Waiting for Godot aka the new roller furler etc.

andromeda of plymouth
Susan and Andrew Wilson
Sat 21 Aug 2010 18:30
It’s been a bit strange being back in Ponta Delgarda once again, mainly
because we have spent a bit of time mentally twiddling our thumbs. As
ever with these sorts of things everything seems to move so slowly.
Contacting the insurance company, getting a firm quote, agreeing a repair
strategy, all took longer than we hoped. As ever we would have liked
things done instantly but patience is a virtue so we are told, and we are
cultivating it. Surprisingly once you do start to be patient things start
to happen. We duly received our quote and emailed it, then put a hard
copy in the post to the insurance company. We transferred money (always
fun with international transactions) so the parts could be ordered, then
spent a couple of days with fingers crossed in case we had unwittingly
given a complete stranger our money and not the right recipient, but
needn’t have worried and the bank even helpfully sent letters to Reading
to confirm the transactions.

We decided to ring the insurance company again as no emails or calls had
come back from them (this is obviously one of the ways they keep their
costs down – like playing chicken and of course those of us on this end
blink first, as they were always just about to ring you – yeah!). The
result was the go ahead – just as well as we had already gone ahead and
anyway in this situation you can’t do anything else or you end up owning
one of the wrecks we have seen in various marinas that have a problem and
never seem to get repaired. So things are in motion, the furler is wending
its way from Germany and with a bit more patience Thomas and Annie will
suddenly announce that it has arrived and we can start to get a bit
excited again.......watch this space.

Meanwhile we have been using our time usefully getting on with some of the
jobs we had lined up for Lagos. Andrew has been checking all the above
decks equipment, cleaning, mending and sorting out a myriad of items from
the `to do’ list. Susan has started in the fore peak (the pointy end for
those who don’t speak “sailorese”) and has been taking everything, and we
mean everything, out of all the lockers and storage spaces and cleaning
and checking it all then repacking it back into the lovely clean lockers
and updating the inventory too (do we sense a medal needed here?). Susan
has also managed to create some more space by getting things tidily in the
lockers so there is hope that our future crew mates may even get a locker
to put some stuff into – don’t bank on it too much though because there is
still time to spread out again. Anyway Susan has now got as far as the
side bunks so all the stuff from there is spread around Andromeda but it
will soon be back in its rightful home and then there is only the rear
cabin, head and galley to do, plus the food and it will be done. Hopefully
there will also be time to make the new curtains with any luck.

We were a bit sad this morning as we said goodbye to Lesley and Andy as
they sailed off in Kodiak. We were welcomed back to Ponta Delgarda by them
and have spent the intervening weeks offering support and encouragement as
their new engine was eventually installed, tested and they came off the
hard and back into the water with whoops of encouragement from us on the
quayside. They have had a real saga with the engine and it’s almost
worthy of a book but we are not going to go into it here. Anyway having
got back on the water on Tuesday and sorted out various bits and pieces we
went out with them yesterday(Friday) for a test sail and motor to Vila
Franco do Compo, about 10 miles up the coast. The sea was a bit bumpy but
the engine worked fine (except for a bit of steam which was rectified when
the shells of little creatures were removed from the inlet hose) and the
reglassed chainplates appeared to be ok and by 2pm we anchored off the
entrance to the caldera for lunch. Lesley and Andy couldn’t resist a swim
to the caldera whilst Susan and Andrew boat sat as there was quite a
strong current running. We motored back to Ponta Delgarda and tied up to
the fuel pontoon. Lesley and Andy have gone to Santa Maria and we were
intending to sail down there with them in Kodiak and then catch the
Hellenic Wind Ferry back to Ponta Delgarda at the beginning of next week.
Unfortunately it is the holiday season and there is a music festival on
Santa Maria this weekend so there were no seats available on any of the
trips back here. Never mind. We have however just had a text from them
before they get out of signal range to say that the boat is performing
well with a nice bit of wind and they are going a respectable speed – we
wish them well and hope to catch up with them again in the Canaries if not
before – depending on how long they stay in places and when we get going

We now plan to try and finish the job list without adding too many more to
it and also have a couple of days out and thought we would try out the
‘glass bottomed boat’ trip as we have walked pass the craft so many times.

Our various parcels etc. that have been waiting patiently for us in Lagos
are going to be picked up by the crew of a Moody 54 by the wonderful name
of Alice. Andrew and Celia on Alice are coming down the Portuguese coast
as we speak on their way to Lagos before heading to the Canaries to join
us on the ARC. This fortuitous contact has been made courtesy of Andrew’s
cousin, another Chris Wilson, who is skippering Alice in the ARC with
Celia and Andrew and other crew members. We were so pleased to be able to
arrange to get our bits and pieces picked up from Lagos which has saved us
from the spectre of them following us from marina to marina. We are
looking forward to meeting Celia and Andrew and taking them for several
drinks to say thank you.

Other news, on the 22nd August(tomorrow) it is Susan’s Father, Brian's,
birthday and also our brother-in-law Derek’s birthday too, Happy birthday
to you both and we will raise a glass to you I am sure. We had news this
week that Phil has passed all his dispensing optician exams and is now a
fully fledged FBDO. Well done Phil we know you worked really hard to
achieve this. We have seen some lovely photos of Alice and Isaac on
Facebook – they are growing up so quickly and getting more beautiful and
handsome by the day, just like their parents.......guess who is missing
them. Well we actually miss everyone at home and all our friends wherever
they are and really enjoy hearing about what you all have been up to so
please keep in contact and let us know. Yesterday we had a text from Sue
and Paull telling us they were just driving through the Lake District on
their way to Scotland, have a good time and hope the weather is kind. We
also heard from Alison and Stephen on Yo Ho Ho who have spent the summer
sailing from Gibraltar to Ceuta and back with various visitors and will
shortly be heading back to Lagos again.

More in due course when our repairs are completed and we can continue on
our way.
Andrew and Susan
S/V Andromeda of Plymouth