Santa Maria

Basil Panakis
Wed 29 Jun 2016 19:50
The morning started OK, then the wind died. 45 miles to go, lets reduce the deficit, put the engine on for 30 minutes and the wind picked up and kept on going. I did not want this much as I was planning to arrive Sunday morning not in the middle of the night.
Reduced sail, and again put a reef in the main eventually rolled the Genoa all in.
Lovely approach, textbook. Waited for a yacht to get out from that tight entrance and took a berth. As I was finishing my tea the marina rep turned up telling me that I have to move. The berth is for bigger boats not for minnows like me. He cast me off and then took my lines. More protected place really.
Sunday’s walk was as if you were walking through a graveyard. No one about nothing open...came back to the port and had something to eat at the Club Naval. Less food and for more money than what I was having in Terceira. Did not go to the club again. I live on take aways from the supermarkets. Some excellent food well cooked and very well presented.
On Monday as I was leaving the boat to go for a shave and a wash I heard an engine starting, I thought who on earth starting an engine so early. It was mine, just started all by itself. Stopped it and switched off all power. On the way back  called on the maintenance people in the marina. Arranged for 13.30 appointment.
He said it was my starter may be we need to take it off service it get a replacement selonoid from Lisbon by Friday. It could also be the ignition, we could change the barrel. But to be honest he was not sure.
However, when I took the drawer with all the tools in I noticed a hole just above the starter and the alternator. This was the result from me enlarging the draining holes. Overenthusiastic. I should have checked. It would have saved a hell of a lot of trouble.
The engineer told me it had nothing to do with it.
Promised to come next morning fill the hole and extract the starter motor. Morning came and gone. Then I moaned in front of the marina guy especially as I was saying that I wanted to leave the next morning. Both of them then rushed to come and fix the problems. As I took the draining hose a lot of water came down over the starter motor and generator. The engine started again all by itself. Water was and is the culprit.
The engineer, Richardo, owner of the firm, could not take the bolts and nuts off. Took the wires  off cleaned them and replace them. Also the two working together filled the hole with resin and glass strands.
The engine started as it should. Problem fixed one more time.
Paolo came the next day to check and it passed the inspection but he wanted to put some filler in some of the cracks. Also hacked sawed off part of the doodah and filled it down to the desired shape.
Went and paid the marina for 4 nights, then the bill for the engine 47.50 euros. Their hourly rate here is 25 euro.
I had decided to stay the day and do a tour of the island by bus.
Yesterday I took the bus to the airport and had a long chat with the driver who told me about this long bus ride. At the airport had a coffee and a custard pie and walked back taking photos and video.
There is a fellow single hander, Dave, in a Rustler 31 (Rustler’s own boat, no 1  of 1965). He knows Denis and and started a conversation and last night I was at his boat having a glass of wine and a long chat. He hired a scooter and went around the island and he highly recommended the trip/journey and that I should see it before I left.
So at 12.30 Zulu time I took the bus and came back two and a half hours later as Natasia told me.
There are quite a few yachties I talk to. The NZer, the South Africans in their cat. The German in TINLIZZY, the French man in his plywood boat. Everyone has a story to tell.
Dave was a delivery skipper and is full of information. He keeps his yacht in Cowes and in winter he goes and lives with his wife in the states.