Eighteen: May 1 - May 20, 2005
Normally we wouldn't write a new
chapter so soon, but we did want to bring you up to date
on our doings. The engine repair has proven to be much
more time-comsuming than we'd originally thought. The
initial rebuild job went smoothly and quickly, but when
we came to run the engine, we had smoking and odor
problems. The odor was the worst of it; it smelled as
though we were burning used cooking oil from a very
cheap fish-fry. Imagine what that would be like on a
long, overnight passage with a following wind pushing
the fumes up into the cockpit. I think I'd be ready to
jump over the side, just to put myself out of my misery!
Anyway, we determined that the
problem was "lousy" fuel, and as soon as this batch in
the tanks is gone the problem will go with it. So we
are "Good to Go." Our mechanic has been brilliant.
Ramilha Johnson is his name, and he's a New Zealander.
What a great guy!
As we were "test-driving" the
engine, we managed to get in a couple of short
day-sails, and it sure does feel good to be on the water
We've had some fun in between
repairs. Mostly met some great new people. More people
are flowing into the marina as the winter boats leave.
It's always interesting. We've also gotten tremendous
use out of our dinghy. One day we took it over to the
nearby fishing village of Alvor which is about four
miles from Lagos. We had a lovely lunch overlooking the
sea. The ride back proved to be a bit wet with a little
increase in wind and water activity, but well worth it.
We took in another couple of "grotto" rides and even
packed a picnic lunch one day. Amazing what fun can be
had when the budget is already overdrawn!
Speaking of "fun," John dragged
Sharon to the "Navigator's Club" evening at the nearby "Flinstones
Restaurant" where the lecture this particular evening
was on "propellers." Across from us several women slept
while Sharon just dozed. Good thing we're getting out of
We'll leave in a few days, and
try to catch up with the "fleet," most of whom left here
six-eight weeks ago. We have been in contact with them
via radio and e-mail, so we're hoping to hook up once
we're into the Mediterranean proper.
On more of a "downer" note, John
had his pocket picked at the train station last week.
Money, credit/ATM cards, and driver's license. It hit
us at a particularly tough time, and felt like a real
blow. But the cards either have been, or are being,
replaced and we'll survive. In the grand scheme of
things it was an untimely inconvenience and we are
grateful it wasn't worse. So on we go.
We wonder what adventures lie