The weather in the boatyard was quite good during July and August - apart from a couple of days with temperatures in the 40s. With early starts we were reasonably productive during the mornings but the afternoons were a struggle, even with an air conditioner on board.
Once the boatyard had installed the final 3 windows we were able to get on with finishing off both outside and in. Paul still had a lot of small boatbuilding jobs to finish off, such as light fittings and navigation instruments, not to mention replacing various hoses here and there. For Rachel the on-going problem was how to get an area clear and keep it clean long enough for the finishings - paint, varnish, etc.
We set ourselves the deadline of end August and stopped major works two weeks beforehand to make sure we had time to pack up all the tools and materials. Despite being eager to get afloat, this was our least favourite task. Deciding what to keep on-board and what to store elsewhere or dispose of has been an agonising process. Although Mystic has plenty of space, she won't sail well if heavily loaded. We had inherited a lot of stuff from Mystic's previous owner and, of course, we had brought with us quite a lot from Lynn Rival. The temptation was to take all the excess back to the UK but fortunately we were limited to how much we could get in the car.
We timed our final car trip back to the UK so that we could visit the Southampton Boat Show - as if we really needed more stuff! Once back in Lisbon we had just a few more days to get organised for launching, including having Mystic lifted so the bottom of the hulls could be Coppercoated.
Afloat (sort of!) at last
At last we are afloat and so far have motored about 500m up the river to a mooring off Seixal. It's a pretty spot, with little boat traffic and a lot of birdlife. Looking across to Lisbon, in the foreground is a low-lying spit of land with derelict buildings that were used for cod-drying until the 1950s. At low tide both men and birds scour the mudflats for clams, including the small flock of flamingos that still visit the remotest part of the bay. The incoming tide brings huge jellyfish so we're not going swimming however hot it gets!
On a mooring at Seixal
Watching the locals messing about on the water (actually there's a serious canoe club in Amora)
The sea beckons - somewhere in that direction is the way out to the river Tagus, and on to the Atlantic