The Season Moves to a Close…

… and from our correspondent in Solan, Himachal Pradesh, India…

So the season is drawing to a close. We’re now in Bangor, Northern Ireland and looking at the options for winterizing Toodle-oo! – either here or perhaps we’ll move her back to Whitehaven in the UK. We have plane tickets already booked for our return to the US – so we can both earn honest crusts during the winter months. It’s all a bit scary, leaving the boat for 5-6 months while we are 3,000 miles away – normally I’m within 30 minutes and regularly pop down to the marina to make sure all is well. Oh well – I guess that’s what insurance is all for…

So, ‘in water’ or ‘on the hard’ storage? I’m favoring in water, Laurie is convinced she’ll sink! One thing she has learned from some helpful folk in the slip next door (while I’m away in India) is that they always leave heaters and dehumidifiers going during the winter storage time – helps to keep the boat from freezing and lowers the prospect of mold. Both are on order as we speak!

I get back from India on October 6th, Laurie leaves for the US on the 17th – so we’ve got 10 days for a possible late season sail if the weather permits – or otherwise a long drawn out cleaning/decommissioning program to get the boat ready for winter – I’m staying on until the 23rd to finish all winterizing.

So where are we off to next year? Plans are far from firm, but thoughts are to head north to Scotland for May and the first half of June – it’s imperative to get there before the midges arrive at the end of June and make life unbearable! Of course that unfortunately means that we’ll be there before the weather has really warmed up – but that’s the lesser evil when compared to midges! This’ll give us 6 weeks of cruising in the Scottish Hebrides – thinking Islay, Tiree, Uwist, St. Kilda, Lewis and Skye – followed by a transit of the Caledonian Canal (keeping an eye out for the Loch Ness Monster) and then crossing the North Sea to the Baltic. The Ocean Cruising Club is planning a cruise in the Baltic, right up to St. Petersburg which we’re thinking of participating in – it will be an excellent opportunity to visit some countries that neither of us have thought about visiting before: Denmark, Sweden, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Russia and Finland. At the close of the season I’m not sure where we’ll end up – I suspect either southern England or perhaps northern France… It’s really wonderful not having a plan that’s so rigid that it cannot be messed with as the time arrives!

I’ll surely be posting more details of our 2014 plans – so if you’re interested in joining us, keep tabs on this page and grab your spot – first come first served!

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