Being back in the boatyard in Newport in December is a little different from the last time I was here. I must get asked several times per day about when we will be headed to Florida or the Caribbean or at least somewhere warm. When I reply that we are staying put and that its actually kind of nice to be cold, most look bemused. The truth is that for a lot of boats its a life of sunshine and warm waters. Great for relaxing in but pretty horrible for working hard in, particularly boat yard work. I do not miss the searing 100 degree heat of Palma where we spent a month this summer and equally I can feel properly festive rather than sipping a beer wearing t shirt and shorts, staring at an inflatable snowman the Antiguan’s have erected to get into the spirit. So while the boatyard itself may not feel that christmassy and there is a definite sense that people are looking forward to their holiday break, the Dorade truck has brought a little Christmas cheer to the yard as you can see from the pictures.
As with most boat work, prior preparation is key to efficient work and great results so this past two weeks have been all about getting set up for the new year. Surveyors have been to asses the damage, I have met with contractors about scheduled work to improve systems, appearance and speed, sails and foul weather gear are stowed properly and logistics work is ticking over in the background to ensure next season runs smoothly.
The boat yard will be quiet for a couple of weeks but Nick and I have our homework projects, Nick refurbishing all of Dorade’s wooden blocks and me putting the finishing touches to operation and maintenance manuals. Next year will be a big one for Dorade with some ambitious sailing on the horizon but I have no doubt she will exceed expectations and continue to show the world just how capable an old lady can be.