Serenity of Swanwick
Phil and Sarah Tadd
Mon 5 Oct 2015 13:37
We left Sines at 1550 to a complete lack of wind. We had decided to do the trip to Lagos overnight, because we could not do the full 80 miles in daylight. There is a problem along this coast with poorly marked fishing pots which can foul your propeller if you run over them, so our plan was to get out into deeper water during daylight to reduce our chance of coming across them. As it was the night was absolutely clear and the stars and later the moon gave sufficient light that we could see enough on the calm water.
As we were going to have about 12 hours of darkness, we decided on 4 x 3 hour watches and tossed for who did which. Sarah got 2000-2300 to start the system off. Phil cooked supper (Lentil, carrot & mushroom casserole with ginger and spices), and then left Sarah on deck to watch the sunset, the shore lights and the passing boats. The moon came up at 2200: a big red ball gradually fading to white and giving amazingly bright light. There were a couple of other yachts around, including one which was gradually catching us up from behind.
Phil’s watch was quieter, with the wind picking up but still not enough to sail, and by the time Sarah came back on watch at 0200 the light on Cabo Sao Vincente was getting close, as was the yacht behind. Sarah started her birthday celebrations with a cup of tea and a kitkat.
By 0330 there was enough wind to sail, and shortly after we began to alter course round Cabo Sao Vincente. As the wind picked up, Phil came back up on deck to help reef the mainsail, and Sarah was then able to set a small amount of Genoa. We could tell from its navigation lights that the boat behind was also now sailing, and from the AIS that it was ‘Modjadji’, which had also been in Sines.
We had just over an hour sailing before the wind died (the story of our time in Portugal) and we were motoring again. Behind us, ‘Modjadji’ also started motoring, but didn’t seem to be making progress and we wondered if she had a problem. Sure enough the VHF radio came to life: ‘’Serenity of Swanwick’ this is ‘Modjadji’’. At last we knew how to pronounce it! They had lost most of their engine power and asked if we would stick with them. So we throttled back, put the coffee and toast on for breakfast, and watched the most amazing sunrise. At daybreak Jenny decided she didn't fancy going over the side to check their prop, so they put a GoPro (waterproof camera) on the end of a boat hook to photograph it and found there was nothing wrapped, so they had no choice but to carry on slowly. After a while idling along with them at under 2 knots we offered them a tow the last 7 miles to Lagos.
‘Serenity’ performed well with the additional burden and we made just under 4 knots. Pete & Jenny had decided to go into Lagos to try and get repairs done, so we dropped the tow just outside the harbour to let them make their own way to the marina, as we couldn't tow them up the narrow channel. Caves and grottos are a feature of the coast here and tripper boats buzz constantly around them. They also buzz up and down the channel, making it a bit nerve wracking coming up.
We were safely moored by 1210, and chose one of the quayside bars for lunch. We checked around once we were waiting for our order and decided all the customers were English. After lunch we went and checked on Pete & Jenny, who had already been to the boatyard and were waiting for an engineer, so we sat and had a beer and a chat, swapping sailing tales. The outcome of the engineer's visit on Monday is that they probably have a damaged clutch on their sail drive and they will be moving to the boatyard pontoon for further checks. Good luck guys.
On Saturday morning we went looking for the farmers market and found that it was the real thing, with lots of fresh fruit and veg, bread, cakes, dried fruit and nuts, chickens, eggs and rabbits, so we stocked up well on our fresh food. Pete had told us about the excellent chandlery, so we spent a lot of money there and have got a lot of jobs done. We cleaned the decks of coal dust from Sines, only for it to rain orange sand over everything yesterday. Lagos has good and bad points. It is a fairly typical tourist resort (Phil says better than Torquay!), with people trying to sell you tourist tat and boat trips on every corner. But it also has the attractive red tiled buildings, palm trees and fabulous coastline. Among the awful music in some bars there has also been some very good stuff. Yesterday we sat on the boat listening to a really good jazz band playing in LazyJacks along the quay.
Today we have confirmed that we are insured for the Atlantic Islands and have emailed marinas on Porto Santo and Madeira to reserve places, and if all is well we hope to leave tomorrow for the 480 mile trip to Porto Santo.
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