Yacht Pipit


A cooler Lagos, 14th February 2012

Cliff top view on the coast between Salema and Sagres - Chip checking his GPS, Andy checking his KitKat...

Last Wednesday's walk was to be the last lead by Chip for this season, as he and Sue have returned for a visit to the UK before jetting off to Cyprus for a while. Pat and Alan will be taking over the helm for more walks until sometime in March or April when it gets too hot for walking. We walked from Salema to Sagres under gloriously clear skies, although the breeze was much cooler than it has been, and we covered 20km with some challenging climbs and descents. This has brought our total distance walked this winter to over 250km, covering the complete coast from Alvor in the East to Sagres in the west, as well as plenty of the hinterland and out to Cape St Vincent.

Very welcome lunch stop.

One of the more moderate climbs - four legs makes it easier...

When we reached Sagres, just five of us continued on to Ponta da Atalaia (lookout point), signifying the start of the Algarve:

We happy few.

As we mentioned in our last dispatch, we attended the first of John & Mo's Mediterranean Cruising talks (covering the coast between here and Gibraltar and the Western Med) last Tuesday, given to a packed house in the Marina Lounge Bar. An enormous amount of preparation time obviously went into the presentation, which was full of helpful information accompanied by stunning photographs, and it gave us renewed inspiration for exploring some fascinating and beautiful places. We were also pleased that it confirmed that much of the research we've already done and the practical preparations we've made have been wise, but also highlighted a couple of items we'll need sooner than we thought, e.g. a boarding plank/passerelle arrangement which we'll probably need as early as Gibraltar - we're looking for a solution that will work either stern-to or bows-to - research in progress! The second of John & Mo's talks, covering the Eastern Med, is on Thursday.

Last Thursday's ropework class number four covered some decorative knots: crown knots, sennets and wall knots - very, well, decorative! Must get around to putting a Turk's Head on the wheel to replace the cable tie on the spoke!

Andy with his decorative sennet between his legs...

Et voila!

It's (k)not been all play and no work though. Andy sanded back the ensign staff, although if viewed from a distance, this activity may have looked somewhat dubious... Several coats of varnish are required now.

Ann finally spliced up the kedge anchor line (a thimbled eye splice where the nylon line will be attached to the length of chain) and also the anchor chain snubber. We've put thimbled eye splices into two lengths of line for the anchor chain snubber, attached to a bow shackle and the chain hook. We hope this will allow us to rig it with one line through each fairlead, taking the strain off the bow roller and to the forward cleats. All that's needed now is to finish off the splices with some whipping and seize the shackles.

Splice is nice...

One other job that has been on the list of minor maintenance was to remove the cover on the shower sump pump and give it a good clean. If you are having your lunch, look away now... I think we'll do this more often in the future!

Another of the more important jobs on the list was to service the genoa winches which had become quite rough and noisy. Following a suggestion to cut a hole in a cardboard box to put around the winch to avoid parts rolling off the deck, we reverted to an idea Ann had already suggested of cutting a hole in a disposable aluminium quiche tray and taping that in place. This worked a treat, as it had the potential to catch any escapee parts and also prevented any white spirit used to clean off the old grease from running onto the teak decks.

Before servicing.

Disposable aluminium quiche tray in place.

One of the pins on one winch required some 'persuasion' with a rubber mallet and screwdrivers to remove it, but other than that, it was a straightforward job. Andy cleaned all parts with white spirit, then hot water before drying thoroughly, then lightly greased the cogs and roller bearings (and oiled the pawls) during re-assembly. Although both winches didn't look bad at all, it was a very satisfying job as the transformation is startling - winch smoothness is one of those things that deteriorates gradually over time in such a way that you don't really notice.

Cleaning the parts in more disposable aluminium quiche trays.

Greasing and re-assembling.

So now we have a few days prior to liftout to finish a few other jobs. We have taken the soft option again and rented an apartment very near the marina - well wouldn't you? Saves having to descend an 8 foot ladder and walking to the ablutions block when you need to, well, ablute. There are also more social activities this week, including another Scrabble Scramble tonight, with bonus points for any luvvy duvvy words - Happy Valentine's Day!