It's been a while since last blog. There's been very little sun to keep the batteries charged, so not much computer work got done, but now we're back on land again. Yes, again! And the new year had started before we'd even got back into the water.
We didn't mind spending christmas ashore, as it was blowing a hooley. I'd hoped to do some blog updating, but on christmas eve, after 5 minutes of rain, the electricity went off and stayed off
all christmas! It was a good thing Portugal doesn't do boxing day, so the yard got it all fixed again on the 26th.
Then the yard tractor broke... Apparently it does that around christmas and in the summer holidays, probably claiming a holiday for itself, when it takes a long time for spare parts to be delivered. Anyway, we used the extra time on land to put back all the things that had come off together with the mast: re-splicing the topping lifts, untying the Gordian knot of lazy jacks, fixing the belaying pins and navigation lights on the shrouds without fear of dropping nuts and bolts in the water, figuring out where the halyards had to go, lacing the mainsail to the gaff, tying the staysail to the stay. I'd labelled everything and taken pictures of where it all went, but we hadn't realized we should have checked the position of the blocks up in the mast as well. In one week Peter went up the mast more often than in the last couple of years. Then on one of the trips up, the halyard he was using started to break! When the mast was down we'd of course checked everything, but we'd thought the halyards would last another year – the boat maintenance being costly enough. So now we ordered nearly 200 m of new rope to replace the lines of dubious quality. Which meant another couple of trips up the mast to attach them to their blocks.
Another thing I'd totally forgotten about was the hole in the staysail. It would have been an ideal opportunity to sew a patch on while the sail was off the stay and I could have done it comfortably inside at the table but now I had to take the sewing machine out on deck.
Being high up on land, we had some more interesting views:
The tractor got repaired and so finally Eos tasted salt water again. The yard was so good to let us stay on their waiting buoy for some days while we sat out a gale. The first couple of days we
pumped and pumped... except the toilet, which refused to pump after such a long time unemployed. But the shithouse engineer got that fixed – how nice it was not to go up and down a ladder anymore
for toilet visits. I did a lot of cleaning, now that we were out of the yard dust and didn't need to empty the bucket under the kitchen sink.
We preferred to let Eos soak up salt water for a while, so we decided against moving to the fresh waters of the Guadiana, but went to Faro instead, where we rented a mooring buoy. Quatro Aguas, that area is called, Four Waters – a crossroads of streams where the current runs really strongly, but without the caña and other debris like on the Guadiana. On one side the view is of Faro town and on the other side sandbanks and marshes with lots of birdlife.
The weather stayed lousy with lots of wind and rain, so no outside jobs got done. Dinghy rides ashore were often quite wet with all the spray. No fun when you have to wear a lot of clothes
because of the cold and need to ferry jerrycans of fresh water with the dinghy – and jerrycans of water make the dinghy heavy which in turn makes the dinghy go against the waves instead of over
them – result: more wet clothes.
The mooring we were on consisted of a big heavy buoy which sometimes banged against the hull when it was wind against tide, so when another mooring became available, with a detachable buoy, we moved onto that. The boat who'd been on it, had not been moving around much with the current, so we thought it would be a good spot. Not so. Eos with her large underwater surface got swung all over the place by the current and eddies. During a springtide the movement got quite violent and we'd had to watch ourselves not to fall when walking around. Eos' leaks had all disappeared by then, but we kept doing regular checks of the bilges, fortunately, because after a particular violent jerk, we noticed a lot of water in the bilge in the bows. And it got more. We figured the mooring line must have got stuck behind the bobstay attachment during a sideways movement of the boat and then caused something to break.
After a few days of continuous leaking we concluded we would have to come out of the water again. Despite all this bad luck, we felt quite lucky to be so near the yard, just a couple of hours away over “inland” waters.
There we had to wait for more than a week however, because they were just totally full. We stayed on their waiting buoy – again on a buoy!, but in waters with less current and we did the old sawdust trick to reduce the leaking: empty a bag of sawdust under water near the leak, so it would fill the seams – and this helped a lot, anyway for the time being.
So here we are ashore once again, but we feel we are in good hands to have something done about this: