Chapter 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 again. 

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 town.

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 ahead.

Until then, 

A Bientot!