Springtime for Lagos and.........

andromeda of plymouth
Susan and Andrew Wilson
Sat 27 Feb 2016 13:40

Springtime for Lagos and.........



The marina is pretty full at the moment and there are, as usual, fantastic and amazing people, challenging summer sailing plans, Caribbean crossings, Atlantic Island cruising, sailing regatta’s, Atlantic rowers (2 teams), Mediterranean cruising thoughts, some folks even heading north to Svalbad (chilly at times!), and a whole range of other activities, some of which we take part in, some we don’t, which is the way of cruisers. 


Ju and Liz who we met when first here in 2009 have returned, in a camper van plus Jack the dog, and plan to spend about a month hereabouts; great folks with great stories and amazing experiences to recount. For our part, after Phil, Ruth and Ollie visit us, and that’s after Sue and Paul and the trip to the UK to see folks, we should be off to Madeira and the Azores with Paul and Jackie on Jetstream (a Contest 44) as crew – a trip of about 2 months by the time we return to Lagos in mid-July. Soon after that we will be off to northern Spain to crew for Bill and Allie on Fallen Angel on a trip across Biscay and the Western Approaches to the UK as they plan to sell their yacht, Fallen Angel, to fund a trip across the US in an RV! Then, if we have our breath back after seeing folks in the UK, we plan to take Andromeda up the Guardiana river and then on to Culatra in time to meet Chris, Alice and Isaac for a week or so, before returning to Lagos for one more winter – we said that last year I think! Life is challenging!


The Music Group is going very well with each evening very different from the previous one (the song list is approx 185 songs played at least once and this doesn’t include the jazz numbers when Brian and Helmut come along, nor Andrew’s sea shanty’s), Line Dancing continues to attract new folks, Mexican Train has up to 16+ players, Bridge equally so, Beach Volleyball has restarted (though skimpy shorts are not in evidence at the moment – nor are oranges between sets and young ladies with pom poms, nor is the sand raked regularly.........), the Dawn Patrol attracts new walkers and we have found another cafe that does wonderful hot chocolate (1:50 Euros for a pot!) which we can frequent at times – not too often otherwise the benefits of the walk would be lost(!), Fun Sailing has a regular 4 or so yachts participating and raising money for the marina’s charities, and yes we are working hard. Susan is Zumba’ing, Pilates’ing and swimming twice a week in addition to the line dancing and dawn patrolling – and is noticeably slimmer as well! Honestly, we are working very hard. Very hard indeed. Really, we are. We are! Honestly!


However, our major challenge this month was the lift to check the prop shaft, which we suspected had moved astern as a result of our encounter with a rather large fishing net (engineers will understand torque – which we, sort of.......). This was potentially proving problematic for our dripless stern gland and unless we fixed it could result in an ingress of water – which on a boat you don’t want or need. Yup, a biggie! And we can’t safely go anywhere until it’s fixed or replaced. Otherwise we might become a reef. However upon inspection by the engineers in Sopromar, they determined there wasn’t a problem. Thank goodness though we remain a little wary of the situation. We were in the yard for a week so we replaced the anodes (technical – but if you want to know more, just ask), and gave Andromeda another coat of anti-foul. We also had to replace two sea-cocks which were becoming problematic, even more so as they were connected to the loo’s. Andrew replaced valves and seals and some of the pipework (one of his all time favourite jobs) and now both loo’s are working as designed with new sea-cocks in place. Hurrah!  We were well looked after when in the yard as we had events and dinners each evening with various folks which was a great way to spend the week’s evenings. We also had great help from fellow cruisers to move Andromeda to and from the yard – extra hands are always most welcome when manoeuvring in tight places in a yacht that has it’s own mind. 


A bunch of us were invited to drinks, nibbles and tour of a motor boat called Migration, which is a Nordhaven 63 – she has motored from the US via the North West Passage, NewFoundland, Greenland, Iceland, Norway, Scotland, N. Ireland, England and then to Lagos in the last year. George and Marcie (and Gulliver the dog) were really pleased to show us round and, wow, what a boat she is. Wood, shining steel, carpets, sofa’s, queen size beds, multiple fridges and freezers, an engine room Scotty would be proud of and indeed drool over (as did one or two of the guests!), vast amounts of space and a bridge that looks like the control room for the moon landings – quite, quite different to most of what us yachties are used to. A really nice evening and they are enthusiastic Mexican Train Domino players, which can only be a good thing. Migration carries 10,000 litres fuel and has a range of 3000 miles. They are the folks heading for Svalbad this year. Migration is very different to Andromeda, but she could never replace her.    


Two weekends back saw winds of over 30kts for several days through the marina from the north – unusual and a little uncomfortable but most folks hunkered down and waited until conditions relented before venturing out. In Met Office and sailors terms this is around gale force, which is not what we signed up for. The peak wind speed recorded was 52Kts – which is about 60mph – pretty brisk it must be said, but nothing compared to what the folks in the UK have experienced this winter, though more than enough for us. We have more high winds forecast for this weekend before we head to the UK to catch up with folks, after which we return to another list of jobs to prepare Andromeda for our visitors. Yup, this cruising life is hard.


P.S. We are in favour of the EU! And the BBC! Just so you know!


More in Due course


Andrew and Susan

Andromeda of Plymouth

Western End of F Pontoon

Marina de Lagos