Home Up A Trip on Land

Lagos. Loads of goodbyes - Lagos was initially a bit of a culture shock after some of the places we'd visited.  Initially, it seemed very touristy and there seemed to be an awful lot of Brits, but as we travelled further down the coast we would come to realise that it was one of the least commercialised parts of the Algarve.

Last night rally dinner at (naturally) not quite the best restaurant in Lagos.  A very great deal of speeches and prize giving.  We got a plaque, but the organisers still seemed to have failed to grasp the point that by leaving the UK last and arriving in Lagos first, by any sensible definition,  Samarang had actually won.

Steve & Jan stayed for the rest of the week.  They booked into the marina hotel for the first couple of nights, and then moved across the road into another hotel, outside the marina complex, but still overlooking the marina.  This saved 50%.

Lagos marina is extremely well run, the staff are all helpful, it’s clean, has good facilities and there are bars and restaurants at the end of the pontoons.  It has an awful lot going for it, but cheap it is not.  

We saw Steve & Jan most evenings for drinks and dinner, which made it feel still pretty much like a holiday.  The gear change from holiday to real life was to go through several shifts before becoming reality.  They flew back to the UK on Saturday 28th July.  One more step towards our reality.

We had taken one night off from holidaying with Steve and Jan to have drinks, dinner and say goodbye to Estrela (Mike, Richard, Thelma & Ann), the boat that also snuck into Camariñas, but failed to make it to the bar.  Mike & Anne plan to leave Estrela in Vilamoura where they have an apartment and will fly down again later in the summer so we may see them again before we leave Portugal.

Over the next few days the participants seemed to melt away quite quickly.  Last to leave on our pontoon was Joy – A Regina of Vindo 49, owned by Hans & Marlene.  They’d hardly had the luckiest of rallies: engine problems in Biscay, torn genoa in Sines  (E700 -  ouch!), a leaking port light that had destroyed loads of new pilots and charts.  Worst of all they’d lost their flag staff!  Another story.  They left a few days later with paying guest, which as we burn money feels an increasingly attractive idea. 

Paul & Liz on Heller West were one of the last still in the Marina, an excuse for drinks and dinner, if ever I heard one.  But Bill & Ann of Endeavour had managed to stay away for several days before, courtesy of a cheap Sleazy-Jet flight they were back for a long weekend, making us six again – another good reason for drinks and dinner.  Bill allegedly used to compete in dinghies against another Barry Bullen in somewhere like Hartlepool.  The other Barry Bullen apparently knew a fair bit more about sail trimming than this one and Bill keeps promising to pass on these skills. 

New Friends  - we were joined on the pontoon by Misty Too from Israel.  Misty was a nearly brand new Moody 47, which seemed to have sprung multiple leaks.  Salt water maybe from the rudder stock and fresh maybe from the tank filler.  At the request of the owners, because of the language difficulty I spoke to Moody back in  Plymouth, from where the boat had only recently been collected.  I have to say that I’ve always rated Moody quite highly, but the level of disinterest was breathtaking. “You’ll have to go back to the broker you bought it through in Israel.”  “But you built the boat and they’ve just collected it from your yard” – “You’ll have to go back to the broker in Israel”.  “But he’s just an agent with no technical knowledge and he’s just going to contact you.” “That’s probably true.” “And these guys are leaking and just want some advice.  They’re not even trying to claim under the guarantee or anything” “You’ll have to go back to the broker in Israel” - I think you get the picture.  There have been several times during the refit of Samarang that I’d wished I’d bought a new boat - this little incident made me realise that a new boat may not have reduced the pain as much as I thought – certainly not a new Moody anyway.  We were invited for drinks and then for dinner aboard Misty Too before she was lifted out a couple of days later by Sopromar the local boat yard for repair and storage, and the owners returned to Israel.  Unexpectedly we were to be neighbours of Misty Too again quite soon. 

One of our first tastes of how the other half live came when we met Barry & Rosemary on Ocean Conquest a Nelson 60 parked on the hammerhead at the end of our pontoon.  Twin 550HP Caterpillars, 10 gallons/hour @ 7/8 knots rising to 35 gallons/hour @ 13/14 knots.  And apparently very wet and uncomfortable in anything above force 3/4.   Did have a four-poster bed though.

More serious business – Whilst all this had been going on we had been organising a much needed service for Mr Perkins.  We’d also been reviewing our refrigeration strategy and whatever the blue water gurus say about large capacity, top loading fridge and freezers, cooled by engine driven compressors (which we had)  – we had decided to scrap the freezer in favour of extremely inefficient and power- hungry front opening electric fridge, just like we all have at home.  Why?  If you’ve ever lost your balance whilst head first in a (extremely efficient) top loading fridge trying to find the olives that have spilt, at the same time running your engine for 2 hours a day (which makes you really popular with your neighbours) – you’ll know why!  - Much, much more on the fridge later. 

Back to the engine. DCS Engineering (another recommendation if you’re down here) turned up to service the engine and pointed out a very, very unpleasant wobble in our prop shaft where it passed through the stuffing box.  We needed to come back out of the water! 

Pedro and Hugo from the boat yard – Sopromar - turned up to inspect the boat.  Their travel lift would need us to detach both the forestay, and inner forestay if they were to lift us out.  Panic! New mast, etc.  No problem – Pedro and Hugo would do it all for us.  More panic, followed by doubt, other complications, much prevarication and searching for other boatyards with bigger lifts anywhere on the Iberian peninsular.  Finally, slunk back to Pedro and Hugo to ask them to lift the boat. 

It went without a hitch of course.  Pedro and Hugo took control, took our lines, leapt on board, slackened the rig, lifted and chocked the boat and retensioned the rig.  All accompanied by Hugo’s jokes about having forgotten to wear his Mr McGoo glasses.  Pedro and Hugo are brothers-in-law.  Hugo is married to Sandra who runs the office with Mum (who owns the boatyard) - a family affair.  Pedro is an Elvis lookalike from a distance (dark hair, blue eyes, very long eyelashes, slim and of course fit.  Hugo is dark with brown eyes , equally as fit and has a wicked sense of humour with matching smile.  Enough! (For the avoidance of doubt - previous sentences Lindy's words!)

We now have to board the boat via a 12 foot ladder and remember that any fluid going out goes directly on to the tarmac!  At this point we decided to go back into holiday mode, hire a car, drive up into the hills and down the coast, stay in hotels and have baths and let the work all get sorted whilst we were away. (NB baths are a bit like boats, only with water on the inside instead of the outside.  Interestingly, baths are sometimes also called tubs, as are boats – which is all very confusing.) The trip along the coast would also give us chance to check out potential marinas and anchorages for when we got Samarang back in the water.  

The washing is in the oven

 Up A Trip on Land
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Last updated 18th March 2018