We have only two more passages this season. We're currently on Bequia, in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and will soon move down to Carriacou, which is part of Grenada. We have a dive scheduled there, and then down to Prickly Bay to prepare for haul-out.
Since our first year cruising, we have made it a practice to create a "Lay-up to-do list" at the end of each season. There are many small tasks to be accomplished, and it would be easy to forget one or more without a list. Generally, we start with last year's list, and then modify it as needed.
We group tasks into three groups: 1) things that must or should be done while we're still in the water (for example, taking down the sails), 2) things that must or should be done after we're hauled out (e.g. storing the dodger), and 3) things that could be done anytime (e.g. preparing our watermaker for storage). The last couple of years, we've assigned tentative dates to each task in advance, though we feel pretty free to move things around as is convenient.
At the moment, there are 53 items on the to-do list, and we'll undoubtedly add a few more over the next week.
A second important list records the things we want the boatyard to do while we're away. A major part of this is always the routine maintenance of our diesel engine -- oil change, filter change, etc. We always need new coats of antifouling paint, as well. This year we are going to ask them to repair some dings in the fiberglass on our transom and to repair the tachometer on the engine.
Gretchen also likes to write down a list of the articles of clothing, etc, that she wants to pack. On this subject, David more or less wings it.
Some sailors are much more into to-do lists and checklists than we are, completing or reviewing a list before every passage, and at every anchorage. We haven't found that necessary, though we certainly have a pretty fixed routine for these activities.
Haul-out is always a time of mixed emotions for us. We will miss the sailing life, but are looking forward to seeing our friends and favorite places in Switzerland. The chores and commotion of the transition are inevitable, but never something we look forward to. Soon enough we'll be back sleeping in a bed that doesn't constantly move, and enjoying the cool weather of spring in Switzerland.