There followed a 2/3 day period of Henry
Kissinger -like shuttle diplomacy. Eg:
Me - “Pedro, because we’re out of the
water and can’t run the engine, we have no way of cooling our food.
It’s very difficult. If
the boatyard carpenters are too busy to fit our fridge, can Blue Water fit the
fridge for us?”
Pedro – “Never. They used to work
here. They don’t respect the
rules. I will find you another carpenter.”
Me – “Can Blue water at least deliver
the fridge on board the boat so that we can power it up in the cockpit?”
Pedro – “They can deliver it to the
Me – “Getting the fridge up the
ladder and onto the boat is very difficult.
If Blue Water deliver to the boat then it will be their responsibility if
the fridge is damaged.”
Pedro (smiling) – “Yes, that’s
true. Yes, yes, they can deliver on
board. But no work!”
And so we got a fridge, which stood in
the middle of the saloon whilst we waited for Pedro’s carpenter – and true
to his word he did find us one – to fit it.
The Blue Water guys were almost physically thrown out of the yard the
moment they’d got the fridge on board and it became clear that they weren’t
going to drop it.
A slight diversion as we invited Ian
& Jenny from Moidart to admire
our fridge, followed by us being invited back to Moidart to admire the fact that
it actually floated in water – unlike Samarang.
This followed by dinner, drinks, return to Moidart, drinks, discussion of
politics (Ian’s v.dodgy) and all of a sudden its 4.30am and you’ll be sorry
(later) in the morning!
Back to the prop-shaft. The old shaft was not in fact bent, but
too short, and appears to have been joined to gearbox with many flanges + much
angle grinding -hence wobble. This
was presumably when the old Volvo was replaced with the new Perkins, which I
think was done in the Caribbean.
since it’s done a 1000+ hours in that condition it could go on for another
1000, but it really doesn't look very pretty when you see it out on the bench.
Local machine shop wanted E1000 to
machine one whilst Lancing Marine price was c.£200 (E300). What bankers call a “spread”.
Nothing's ever easy though and after a week + ASAP, who have always in
the past been excellent, were still unable to quote a delivery date and Lancing
Marine are too busy to even take the order.
made contact (via David Sheppard at Bruntons, who supplied our feathering prop)
with Paul Bell of 1st Marine Propulsion, for whom nothing was too much
trouble. He made the shaft, acquired the coupling and shaft seal, boxed
the whole lot up and shipped it to Lagos.
Meanwhile Lindy and I were getting
on with a list of jobs which never seems to decrease no matter how many we tick
off – though the boat does feel more like home every day. Seeking to complete
one of these jobs I made my third trip to “interesting” local timber yard.
They don’t have teak or iroko, but do have a hard wood that looks a bit
like mahogany but lighter (maybe sapelle?) and what they assure me is marine
ply. At least I think that’s what
they assure me, as nobody speaks English and I can only order beer in
Portuguese. Given a sketch and
dimensions though they will cut and machine anything I require. Only one person
there today who I hadn’t met before. We
managed with signs, pen, paper and tape to: order my wood, discover that one of
his colleagues was in hospital having an operation on his leg, the other on
holiday and that the Patron would be back that evening.
He himself had been a carpenter for 20 years, but although he could of
course drive the routing machine to make the moldings I needed, he did not have
the appropriate EU certificate to allow him to do so. He would speak to his boss later and if I could return
tomorrow morning (not afternoon!) he would let me know if he could make them or
whether I would have to wait until the following week – when of course there
would be a backlog of work.
This took over half an hour (plus a half hour walk in each direction) and I left promising to return the following day with amongst other things a dictionary. If you add this to exchanging pleasantries with other yachties in the boat yard (minimum 15 minutes each), discussion with Hugo about the slowness of the government in allocating land for extension to boatyard, admiring with the owners each new boat lifted ashore (followed by them admiring Samarang), acquiring at least one thing of which there is only one in Lagos, but requiring visits to several shops to find, having lunch, etc, then you begin to understand why our rate of progress has slowed down. We are however becoming very comfortable with this pace of life.
Deliveries - The prop shaft arrived a few days after dispatched, as
promised. Even more miraculously the electric winch from Enkes
finally arrived. This is a real saga:- Ordered and paid for in advance
(they don't take credit cards or sterling cheques), back at the beginning of
April. Dispatched by TNT next day delivery at end of April. Had not
arrived in Eastbourne by 1st June when we left. Via intercession of Dutch
intermediary, Ronald Pronk at Enkes agreed to manufacture a new winch and dispatch
to me when I reached a reached a fixed point. Called Ronald when we first
arrived in Lagos ( e/o June). Second winch has now been manufactured,
first winch has also been returned. First winch now dispatched, inexplicably
by parcel post. By E/O July winch has not arrived so second is dispatched via
TNT. Second winch arrives on the same day as first winch is located in Beirut!!
Only remaining fly in the ointment is that installation instructions are all in
Dutch and I phone Enkes to discover a recorded message in Dutch which I think
says that the factory is closed for August.