Alcaidesa (Gibraltar) – Lagos (Portugal)
According to our plans, we should have been in Lisbon right now, but we are still in Lagos. Yesterday, a couple of hours after departing Lagos, the engine stopped, and we were not able to start it again. Below you can read from the logbook how we got back to Lagos again.
Our motor has decided to take a wellness break here in Lagos, so Lisbon will have to wait for Carpe Diem to visit, and settle for the rest of us. We have booked our flights home from Lisbon tomorrow (Saturday), and are going from Lagos to Lisbon by bus later tonight.
Just before noon, we were towed to a travel lift and lifted while being onboard, something that challenged a few not to fund of heights. It looks like a very good shipyard with all facilities required for later going down and work on the boat so we can sail off again. At least it is cheaper hard standing in the yard than afloat in the marina.
With the boat safely in the yard, we will both have time for packing, cleaning and some sightseeing. The bus will not depart until 01:30.
The following is from the logbook, added a few details:
Alcaidesa (Gibraltar) – Barbate, Sunday July 23rd 2016
35 nautical miles
Mist and cloudy, later on no clouds
7 m/s, increading to 16 m/s
Below 1 m
8:30. We have left Gibraltar. There are 4 nautical miles to the straight. We are sailing 4-5 knots on a broad reach. Sun is starting to appear behind the Gibraltar rock while we are finding our way between the big containerships anchored in the bay.
11:00 It is getting quite windy, but sailing downwind and downcurrent we are moving fast. The plan worked out. We have just passed the most southern point of Spain mainland, Tarifa. So far our journey has brought us more south, but this change now as we start heading more north until we are finally home in Denmark.
03:00 pm. We have arrived in Barbate. We saw two dolphins when entering the harbour. These dolphins were bigger and darker than what we normally have seen. The girls have for the first time been swimming from the beach, it will be the last swim in Spanish waters this year.
Barbate – Vilamoura, Monday July 24th 2016
124 nautical miles
16 m/s, decreasing to 3 m/s during the evening
3 m, decreasing to 1 m
11:00 We sail off to what is the longest leg so far, and we expect to use 24 hours. Provisioning is done, sun panels and wind generator is charging the batteries, and nightshifts has been planned. From 9pm until 9am each person is on duty 2×3 hours. We are excited and looking forward to trying this. Many years ago, we tried sailing during night, but this is first time June will sail without having me awake at her side.
03:30 pm. We are just about to say goodbye to the Spanish coast. Next time we see coast, it will be Portuguese. We have plenty wind, and are only sailing by head sail, and reefed to half size. Big waves are coming in from behind; we are going 8 knots down a wave, but only 5 up. Some are sleeping, as the night before departing was noisy in the harbor.
11:45 pm The wind dissapeares, so we take the sails down and start the engine.
03:30 am it is a guite night. Nanna and June started their nightshift at 3. After an hour Nanna asks what time it is. It’s only 3:10?? They had both been driving for half an hour so what happened. As we have entered Portuguese waters, and now are close enough to land for the phones to pick up signal, and the time adjusts to Portuguese time zone. We have sailed 100 nautical miles since 11 am yesterday, and there are 25 to 40 nautical miles to go.
We have seen the most amazing stars in the sky, at least until the moon appeared and ruined it. Nevertheless, it was nice getting some light from the moon so we could see the horizon.
09:30 am After a calm night with many stars in the sky we have seen the light coming and the sun rising. It is so beautiful. At 9 we were at the harbor, but decided to take a swim in the 23 degrees warm water.
We are resting the rest of the day..
Vilamoura – Lagos, Wednesday July 26th 2016
29 nautical miles
1 m/s, increasing to 16 m/s during the day
11:15 am. Departure from Vilamoura. First hour by motor as there is no wind. However, the wind is slowly building and against us. Currently it is very good with 7 m/s and flat water.
05:00 pm heavy wind against us. It is shallow so the waves are steep and we are getting a lot of splashes. We decide to go by motor.
06:00 pm. In Lagis marina. We have sailes along very beautiful cliffs and through a canal into the harbor. .
Lagos – Lagos, Friday July 28th 2016
6 nautical miles
1 – 5 m/s
Weather means everything when sailing. Due to heavy wind we have stayed in the marina today, but put us at the waiting pontoon outside the bridge, so we are able to sail off now at 4 am.
4:10 Nanna and Søren drop the mooring lines while the rest are asleep, as sail of by motor. There is no wind.
5:00 Wind is coming so it is time to set sails. Just before the sails were set, the engine stops. Søren finish setting the sails, and then try to start the engine. It starts… and stops after 10 seconds. This repeat itself a few times. Søren checks air in the diesel flow and changes fuel filter. It is very filthy so this can be a good explanation. We start the engine again. Now it runs for 30 seconds, but dies again. We start sailing back to Lagos, while Søren call Tonny for advice. Unfortunately it is clear, that we can’t get it up and running ourselves.
On our way back, we plan how to get into the marina. We have to sail through the narrow canal with many small boats, and possible current going with us, and that makes it difficult to stop at the waiting pontoon and not continue into the pedestrian bridge crossing the canal.
9:00 am We test if we can pull the boat using the dinghy, but have to give up. Søren call the marina to hear if they can tow us, but they refer to the marine police, which sounds like a lot of paperwork and insurance involved. Evaluating the wind and current closer to the canal makes Søren decide, that we can actually go in by sail.
10:00 We contact the marina telling them we are coming in by sail, and we would appreciate if they could be at the waiting pontoon helping us stop before the bridge. We are sailing slowly and controlled through the canal. Halfway through a dinghy shows up to help us. It is from the yard, which has been contacted by the marina. There is no real need for them, but it is Ok having them close by. We get to the pontoon and the girls jump to the pontoon with mooring lines and manage to stop the boat. Well done, and perfect landing.
I am very impressed by the crew as they all were active in helping, ideas and testing.
02:00 pm An engineer from the yard arrives at the boat to examine the engine. The injection pump is far from working as it should, and we have too much dirt in the fuel. This also means it is not quickly fixed and we are not sailing out of Lagos this time.