To our winter home - Portimao to Lagos; 6nm travelled
01 November 2013 | Lagos, Portugal
Nichola / sunshine all week
A Thames barge (least we think it is) a long way from home in Portimao
Monday 28th October
We were expecting a short, easy trip for the 6nm from Portimao to Lagos but the weather had a sting in it's tail. We up-anchored on a windless morning and motored out into Lagos Bay. As we passed the entrance to Alvor the wind increased a little, nothing more than F3. Then suddenly it was F5 from the north, then a steady F6. The sea chopped up and we had a few waves spray salt over us and our speed dropped. We only had 2.5nm to go, if the wind had come 30 mins later we'd have been in.
Once into the harbour entrance the wind eased as we got into the shelter. We got checked in, requested a bridge lift and motored on through to the marina when the wind was much lighter. The first berth we were given turned out to be a bit small - the finger pontoon was narrow and wobbly and ended about 2/3 of the way down Emerald's hull and we couldn't get her pulled in very securely. A strong wind from the south-west could have hefalump-Em pulling the pontoon away. We were also sticking out a bit into the fairway behind.
We called up the office to see if we could go round the other side where the fingers were longer and wider; a space was available so we moved around. This berth feels much more secure and we have a wide finger pontoon next to us which helps for getting heavy stuff on and off the boat as we can get the trolleys up to the side.
A quick walk around the town before settling down for the first night in our winter home.
Now begins the winter boat jobs! There are the regular jobs such as engine sevicing, cleaning and protecting the boat and canvas. A few areas of mould have appeared on the internal headlining but nothing like as bad as the growth we had in the UK. They'll be cleaned and then we'll paint the headlining to freshen it up (I'd love to replace all the headlining but that's a job for another year). Then a few little repairs to make, such as to the Coelan along the toerail. More major jobs are:
1. The fridge - it hasn't been working properly for most of this year. Having searched on the internet for boats with the same problem we're thinking it's the insulation that has gone. We could build a new inner layer of insulation into the existing fridge space but really we should remove all the old stuff and replace it. This would be the doing it properly way but it won't be easy as access is a mare. We had some insulation left over from another job last year which we've brought with us, but we'll most likely need more and some thin plastic panels to make a new inner box.
2. Sunshades and dinghy chaps - I'll be busy on the sewing machine making sun covers for the dinghy (they call them chaps, I think like what cowboys wear) and shades to try and keep the boat as cool as possible.
3. The arch - Colin is going to price up the building of a stainless steel arch to go over the back deck, the solar panels that are on the rails along the guardwires will then go on it. If we think we can afford it then we'll build it.
4. Finish plumbing and wiring in the watermaker, ready for commissioning next spring.
5. Finish building and installing the solar water heater. This will go in the middle of the bimini where we currently have a solar panel. If we have an arch the solar panel will move to there, otherwise it will sit above the dinghy davits.
6. All our porthole seals have perished, we can't open some of them without black rubbery lumps flying off everywhere. Some of ports we can't even open as the seals have melted shut.
7. Replace the engine starter battery and upgrade the wiring.
8. Painting the deck if we still have any time left after all the above.
And amongst all that we're going to have some fun :-)