Laying-Up, A Break From Vigilence

Phyllis and I just finished laying-up Morgan’s Cloud for the winter at Billings Diesel and Marine in Maine, where we will be replacing the engine. As always, we are sad to move off the boat, which, over the last 18 years, has become more our home than any place else.

But you know, there is a silver lining to this and that is the break from the constant vigilance that taking care of a boat in commission requires: What will the weather be tonight? Are we securely anchored? How secure is this floating dock we are tied to? Does that guy in the big motor boat coming in to dock just ahead of us know what he is doing? Is that a new noise I hear coming from the engine? Looks like a nasty gale the day after tomorrow, where should we anchor to ride it out?

Don’t get me wrong, I would still rather live afloat than on land, but there is no denying the lightness that I feel once Morgan’s Cloud is securely put away in a shed.

Yes, life on land has its uncertainties too, but somehow they don’t seem that immediate or frequent when living in a house securely attached to Terra Firma. On the other hand, issues that we have to deal with living on a voyaging boat are a lot more “real” than the plethora of details that living on land always hands out. After all, how worried can you get about choosing between a Blackberry and an iPhone when it’s blowing near gale and it’s time to reef?

So sure, I’m enjoying the break from vigilance, but it won’t be long before the benefits of land life pall. That is, other than long showers, front loading fridges, and toilets that magically flush when you push the cute little handle.

( You can view these images larger, as well as some others from the lay-up here.)

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Meet the Author

John

John was born and brought up in Bermuda and started sailing as a child, racing locally and offshore before turning to cruising. He has sailed over 100,000 miles, most of it on his McCurdy & Rhodes 56, Morgan's Cloud, including eight ocean races to Bermuda, culminating in winning his class twice in the Newport Bermuda Race. He has skippered a series of voyages in the North Atlantic, the majority of which have been to the high latitudes. John has been helping others go voyaging by sharing his experience for twenty years, first in yachting magazines and, for the last 12 years, as co-editor/publisher of AAC.

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