After sleeping off the rigours of our crossing back to Isafjordur, we all set about the huge task of preparing Boreal for winter. Apart from the obvious cleaning out of the cabins and living space, all sails had to be dried and folded, ropes rinsed and wound, and a multitude of equipment cleaned and stored.
The sailing fraternity in the harbour were very social, ready to lend a hand and pass on their expertise. We went to watch a crane dismasting another yacht, so we would know what to expect the next day when it would be Boreal’s turn. It is a major operation and needs a great deal of preparation so that all vital fastenings are detached at exactly the right time and not a moment too soon!
Wednesday night was our last festive supper on board – chicken, butternut, cauliflower and peas, followed by boat-baked “Chocolate Cherry Cake a la Boreal”.
On Thursday afternoon we took Boreal further around the harbour to a stone quay. A huge crane arrived with several, extremely useful looking, burly chaps. With Greg hoisted up the mast, the crane extended its arm and Greg attached the hook to the mast. As the crane took the weight of the mast, those on the deck scurried around unfastening the stays and bolts. Finally the mast was lifted up over our heads and placed on crates on the quayside. With webbing straps slung beneath the hull, Boreal was also lifted from the water. It was an anxious, surreal moment to see such a graceful water bird, minus mast, suspended in mid-air. Thank goodness for the skillful crane operators! Michelle took some great pictures of the whole process.
The crane placed Boreal carefully on crates and temporary stabilising plastic boxes along side another stored hull. No longer able to sleep on board, we booked into a guest house and enjoyed larger, more stable beds and hot showers.
Friday and Saturday morning was taken up with power washing the hull, securing the stored mast, building a wooden cradle for the hull, disconnecting all services and emptying water tanks. Guillaume and Greg spent many hours grovelling in the bowels of the boat maintaining the engine
and gear box as well as endless mopping of oil and bilge water. So, hopefully, Boreal will hibernate for winter, safe and secure.
However, this blogger assures the readers that, in amongst all this hard labour, we found time for lots and lots of laughter, as well as sampling of a world renown Icelandic fish restaurant and visiting the local museum.
For your present blogger, this trip has been a fest of awesome sights and wonderful camaraderie – quite simply amazing. Thank-you Guillaume so much.