September blog

andromeda of plymouth
Susan and Andrew Wilson
Thu 27 Oct 2016 16:14

So what do we do next?


The summer is nearly over, though the temperature in Lagos may beg to differ, and we have had a little time to reflect on our 2016 summer (so far) – wow, it’s been busy, and we have thoroughly enjoyed it. And we still had a regatta to sail (more later, though we didn’t think we would) and Chris and Tanya and Alice and Isaac, followed by Sue and Paull, to visit us – amazing.



The summer was busier than we had expected – we had thought of a leisurely sail along the coast and up the Guardiana river and a gentle cruise back to Lagos. Instead we had two amazing sailing adventures, clocking up some 3000 nautical miles with great friends, who remain great friends! It was really nice to re-visit Madeira and see places we had missed on our first trip way back in 2010, and indeed see Teceira and Pico in the Azores, islands we had not visited before; the Madeiran and Azorean islands remain some of our all time favourite islands. And nothing major broke! Although we did run out of fuel off Cabo San Vincente – not something we should do very often!! So maybe it’s not us who encourage the gremlins, well only a little perhaps. And we visited a few places in Spain and France and the Channel Islands we had not seen before. All-in-all, a great summer’s sailing.


Then we were on to our next adventure, visiting friends and family in the UK which was very special. Our time there was great and it was wonderful to catch up folks and to see how the grandchildren are growing, so fast.  Lincolnshire remains flat but it was good to catch up with Ian and Karen, we saw our Mums on several occasions and had some fun with Ollie and Shayla, Amaya and Mysha and of course Jen and Paul, and Phil (off to another new job) and Ruth, and a fun few days with Nick and Kim in sunny Norwich. Time with the family was a treat and we also had a great time with friends Sue and Paull who even took us canoeing up the river Chelmer followed by a BBQ – a wonderful summer’s evening to be sure. The trip home also resulted in an achievement of sorts – we visited three separate IKEA’s in one trip – I for one will be forever haunted and changed by the experience -A.

Andromeda is fine – she has survived our absences very well, very dusty to be sure, but she is still our home and we continue to love her to bits. We have a bit of work ahead of us before next year’s cruising season, to where we know not at this time, but probably aim to do what we didn’t to do this year, i.e. the Guardiana and Algarve coast. But then that’s what we said last year and we did not expect to sail as far, nor spend so much time at sea, nor see and do so much, as we did! So we never know. And as for the year after that.....!?


Although the yacht we were going to do the Bluewater Regatta on (Scarlet) had pulled out, a chance conversation with John and Brenda saw us taking part on a J46, Garretty,  a major surprise to us. Garretty is a fast cruiser/racer and in good winds she certainly can fly. After the first two days of strong winds (20-30knots) we were in joint second place on handicap. However, the third day saw very light winds so, alas, we slipped back to 4th on handicap. Still, we had some great sailing and Garretty certainly flew in the stronger winds – we recorded 10.2 knots on a beam reach from Bergau to Lagos – pretty good! Still, we have doubts about the handicaps as none were published and locals won, however, no sour grapes. Well, maybe next year........? What are we saying!


Three days after the regatta we were down below on Andromeda sorting out some space for when Chris and Tanya, with Alice and Isaac, visit us next month. Suddenly there was the sound of a bow thrusters and a crash and lurch on Andromeda – the yacht trying to reverse into the berth along side us had hit us! Interestingly Resting Goose, a Jeaneau 49, had managed to hit our outboard which is stored on the stern rail, which damaged his stanchions, guardrails and bimini – however he was moving and we were berthed. David, the skipper, acknowledged fault and we quickly got the outboard to Sopromar for a damage assessment and checked Andromeda for further damage, which thankfully was minor. David had been trying to reverse in strongish winds when a gust caught his bow and turned him sideways onto us. The outboard is “uneconomic” to repair so we await the outcome of the insurance companies discussions. Resting Goose left a few days after the incident, heading for the Azores. David and his partner Ann were very nice folks and we had a glass of wine with them before they left – interestingly they knew a couple we had met in the Caribbean, Martin and Marilyn from Rocking Horse, whom we knew well and had may a few good hours (sundowners) with before we left the Virgin Islands in 2014 for our return to Europe – small world it seems.


Anyway, have now fixed the forward head, rear head still to do and the forepeak has to be emptied, and the side bunks, outboard decision awaited, activities in the marina subject to negotiations, and we are emptying Andromeda of stuff to make way for visitors, and to get rid of stuff, and stuff we have been carrying around for years, and stuff, that is, well stuff!


More in due course........happy birthday to Jen, Susan and Andrew’s Mum!



Marina de Lagos

September 2016