Sunday, 20 May 2012

Albufiera - Portugal

We are here, next move to Gibraltar, Jamie up to his usual antics, bar fight then into the drink with nice looking cuts and bruises to go with it. Nic is off to Oz for her sisters wedding and Steven is hunting for a new 8-10hp 2 stroke for the tender, the old one is just playing up far too much!

Update... Well I had a miracle worker make the old 8hp 2 stroke work almost like new... celtic marine in albufiera, he charged more than quoted ,but I cannot grumble as it now works great, but I still want one of the tohatsu 9.8hp 2 strokes its only 26kg, the suzuki is 34kg , hard work on the arms and back!

We had a great time in Albufiera, A big shout to Karsten and Limmy (2 German dudes) if they ever read this (great people) and to Rhino (ok not his real name) but a German psychologist, we had a mad conversation, (under the influence of course) and lastly to Eric and Lin at Sharkies bar , if you ever visit this place give their bar a visit. we intended to stay a couple of days and I dragged Jamie to leave after 9 days, well more so I managed to get him to sober up as he had ran out of money!!!

Oh I almost forgot Richie and the Hungarian Parliament guy (sorry I cannot remember your name- too much booze), Ritchie had just single handed across the Atlantic, so in true Scottish style we took him to the pub and got him well smashed  ;)

We confused a few people by hanging an Irn bru towel as a national flag.

As per usual, Steven had no fuel and upon leaving Albufiera the fuel berth had no fuel, they said a three day wait, so off we went anyways, it is a sail boat after all.

It has been a great adventure so far, with much more to come, I miss everyone at home, but its the price we pay to live this life!

It was actually much worse than this looks!
Simple mechanics

Monday, 14 May 2012

Figuiera da foz - Portugal

So we stayed in La coruna longer than expected due to strong head winds and finally when we got a decent weather gap to head south we were becalmed after only half a day, so on came the engine and we motored almost 200 miles.

So the fuel gauge on the boat is not the most linear, it took 28 hours of motoring to leave the full position and only 13 hours more to reach the quarter tank level, this would explain the lack of range I had when crossing Biscay when we were becalmed the last two days.

We had a minor disaster, when the gas ran out mid pizza making and the camping gas adapters I had got for Europe would not fit the existing gas fittings. After much head scratching and one piece of cut pipe and 2 jubilee clips later we had a working gas system.

So far not much has broke, one shackle on the vang control lines snapped and one clip on the transom guard rail gave up the ghost.

We made an attempt at La Coruna to rig up the solar panels, all the fittings I had got for a over Bimini job would turn out to have to be made to work on an over transom fitting, we don't have a rigid vang, which means the boom continually tends to lower itself and need tightened up, after noting bends in the bimini frame , no doubt caused by the boom, a transom mount for the solar became a must, by sheer fate or luck or our skill, we managed to arrange the fittings in a way to make the panels fit on the rear of the bimini. Will upload some pics later, the net here is not the greatest.

So far the wifi wand ( a wi fi extender) has been a great piece of kit and one of the most used better purchases I made. If you like your internet, some sort of long range wifi device is a must.

Massive beaches at figuiera da foz
Jamie, actucally sleeping like this!
Jamie , no idea what hes up to  ;)

Sunday, 6 May 2012

La Coruna - Spain

Well we made it to Spain, We had a great start then became becalmed for two days . The first two days were great if bumpy, we tanked it along, hitting ten knots fairly often, and at hull speed the majority of the time, even with the sails reduced to their first reefing points. Nic complained about the difficulty in cooking, but hey it was a great run and we were looking at a record passage. Then it just stopped as if someone had thrown a switch, 2-3 knots of wind.

To make matters worse , Steven had decided half a tank of fuel was sufficient, ie enough to get to shore in an emergency, but not quite enough to motor the remaining 200 miles to Spain, so wait for wind we did, we motored as far as we thought safe on the fuel tank gauge, we even removed the fuel sender and dipped the tank with a pole measured the tank, and worked out the cubic volume , realising we had 56 litres of fuel remaining and 90NM left it would be prudent not to try and motor all the way, we ran till we had an inch in the tank and waited.

Our prayers were answered at around 2am on friday night with 14kn of wind on the beam and we rocketed the remaining 90nm to spain.

We had a little stowaways en route, nick named them tic tack  & toe, they made our boat their home for a night!

So we are tied up in Marina La Coruna, in the north west of Spain, a pretty nice place and reasonable rates, it a bit tight on space, I think the staff were trying to guide me to the pontoon behind where we are, as the finger barely stretches the boat length and the gaps in the fingers are less than the length of the boat, getting back out is going to be fun!

The first night was funny, Jamie went and got extremely drunk and went off for more booze with some guy he met at the bar who was doing a cat delivery, the next morning no sign of him and the cat was gone, eventually he turned up late afternoon, telling us in his drunkenness, he had got a taxi, which had taken him to the wrong marina, he had promptly went up to the first finger and crawled into the last boat on the left, which was not our boat.

3 Englishmen awoke to a mad hungover, still part drunk Scottishman sleeping in their main saloon, he had climbed into the wrong boat in the wrong marina! Thankfully thy were all light hearted about it all.