With Hurricane Earl rolling up the coast, I went out to the marina to strip off the canvas and prep the boat. I didn’t get out of work very early, and by the time I got there, it was pretty dark; while I remembered my tools and the keys, one thing I forgot was my headlamp. I removed the genoa and boom, including the vang and mainsheet, in the dark, pretty much by sense of touch. It was only after I was done that I remembered that we have a fully functional deck light. I also stowed everything that was loose, latched the cockpit lockers with carabiners, and double-chocked the wheels.

It may have been overkill. There were a couple other sailboats that had been pulled from their slips and placed on trailers in the yard, but neither had their sails removed. As it turned out, a cold front moving through the area pushed Earl further offshore, leaving us with 30kt winds but nothing extraordinary. Still, I don’t regret the exercise, and it leaves us with a better hurricane preparedness checklist going forward.


"Prepare to fend off the bridge abutment."