Drip drip drop little April showers/The Last Exit from Lagos

andromeda of plymouth
Susan and Andrew Wilson
Thu 29 Apr 2010 14:24
The last exit from Lagos (at least for a while)...
After seven months in Lagos it’s time for us to move onwards and
eastwards/westwards.......well certainly to Gibraltar to pick up a sail –
more on that later.

The adage of” expensive maintenance in exotic locations” certainly came to
visit Andromeda. We were staying an extra month as Andrew’s mother,
brother and his wife were coming to visit us and so we decided to have
Andromeda lifted in the Sopromar boatyard here to check on the anodes and
anti-fouling. Our lift was scheduled for 9amon a Monday morning and in
true boaty tradition some folk off another boat moored here (Little Else –
thanks Ju and Liz) volunteered to come along to help get us into the
cradle. We left our berth beautifully – as no one was watching of course –
and made our way round to the boatyard. We then had the fun of trying to
get Andromeda go backwards in a straight line with the wind determined to
blow us off course. After a few tries we thought we had cracked it and set
off for the cradle only to be gesticulated to and asked if we could remove
the wind vane off the top of the gantry. We said we would try and went and
tied up on a pontoon to get some tools. The boat yard manager then came
zipping over to us and told us we would have to take the forestay down as
the gantry was too high anyway. There followed a frantic few minutes of
work releasing the forestay, loosening the back stay and tying things up
so the mast wouldn’t fall down – a bit scary. This did have its good
points though as it now meant we could go into the cradle forwards, a much
easier proposition with a long keel.

After Andromeda had been cleaned down and placed in her cradle on the hard
we inspected her bottom. We noticed that the anodes were not in good order
– the port side had about 20% left the while the starboard had about 50%
which is not good after only a year in the water and the one on the prop
shaft had completely disappeared. We also noticed water running down the
keel so we asked Pedro to take a look.

It turned out that a previous not terribly good repair had failed which
meant water was seeping up into the boat around the keel. The folks in
Sopromar quickly swung into action and the repair was made in just under a
week – the photos will show the extent of the work needed. This combined
with the water tank repair meant a largish bill – gulp!! However we have
nothing but praise for the professionalism and care taken by the team and
we are very fortunate to have discovered the problem here. We reckon that
with these repairs we are now down to two(ish) water leaks from above
decks when it rains heavily – good news.

At the ARC seminar in Guildford we were provided with a large amount of
very useful information for the Atlantic crossing. We have been thinking
long and hard about a water maker or a downwind sail – we have opted for
the sail and will be picking this up in Gibraltar later in May –
we will update the blog on all the details in due course, but this is why
we are going to Gib – afterwards we plan to head for Madeira. We are
very excited about the sail and will be going out with the sail maker to
learn how to handle it correctly – we insisted that it was something
Susan could handle on her own and the sail maker has committed to ensuring
this will be the case. Keep tuned for more details assuming you can tear
yourselves away from the election coverage!

Andrew’s mother, Ian and Karen came to the sunny (not) Algarve for a sail
on the lovely Andromeda and got thoroughly wet on a number of occasions
but we did get out for a day on the water before they made the challenging
journey home courtesy of the Icelandic dust cloud. Andrew’s mother took
the helm and Andromeda sailed beautifully for her, maybe the newly painted
and epoxyed keel helped! It was great to see them out here enjoying
themselves experiencing the delights of being under sail and anchoring.

Susan has been busy line dancing every week since we got back and this
week was the last session. She has had anything from 2 to 20 willing
participants each week and will be missed from the Lagos live-aboard
community – the Portuguese are still not sure what to make of it, but all
who have attended have thoroughly enjoyed themselves.

As for the rest of the time it has been hectic with a lot of spring
cleaning to be done and stuff to stow, it’s amazing just how much we seem
to have on board and getting it back into lockers etc is a real challenge,
Susan has even got rid of some stuff and not snuck it back on board. We
have been out for quite a few ‘farewell’ meals as lots of people are now
starting to move out of the marina for the summer.

We have also been busy raiding the local supermarkets and making sure that
there is plenty to eat on board and we will be experimenting ready for the
Atlantic passage. (It’s so exciting).

So after seven great months in Lagos we will say farewell for now and make
the last exit for a while – we would like to come back before heading for
the Canaries so will see what wind, weather and opportunities present
themselves later in the year – it’s a great place to over-winter. We have
met lots and lots of very friendly and helpful folks out here and we hope
to catch up with them on our travels in the future and we wish them all
fair winds.

Happy birthday to Alice, 5 years old on the 5th of May – we hope you have
a lovely day and we are thinking of you, and missing you lots.

And Happy birthday to Ruth as well (13th May) – we won’t reveal which one
it is.....

Mum and Dad, Happy 59th Wedding Anniversary just in case we don’t get a
card off in time.

Susan and Andrew
s/v Andromeda of Plymouth

ps. We have now started with films – any guess where the titles are from –
clue there are 2

pps We have gone back to this format as some people were experiencing
difficulties reading the previous ones, but we are working on it, when
it’s not too hot and sticky, and we don’t have anything else to do, you
know, loll on deck drinking wine etc, it’s a strain you know.