|A brief escape from boredom.|
I finally made it to Nazaré, by boat! Nothing to boast about, but I'm here and it's the best two days I've had in a while.
The day began at 5 am so I could finish a translation first. Then I roared out of here at 9 am, bought two jerrycans of diesel on the way to Peniche and stopped at the bus station to get a bus schedule for getting home from Nazaré...by the time I got organized and clunked the boat into reverse at the marina, it was past 11.
Hardly any wind or waves. I was hoping for a light breeze so that I could at least motorsail, but no luck. Raised the mainsail anyway to make people on land envious. Kept myself entertained dodging a maze of fishing buoys for the first few miles.
|Cape Carvoeiro (Cabo Carvoeiro). A German boat going to Peniche.|
I started out doing 4.5 knots at 1800 RPM. Not bad for a boat with a bottom growing a two-year beard and a propeller encrusted with mollusks. Later, when my velocity gradually fell to 3.6 knots, I thought the sick gearbox wasn't going to make it. Not a good situation without wind to sail back.
I even worked out a plan if I lost power out here. I'd tie the boat to a fishing buoy, wait for the fishing boat to come out and then offer them 200 euros to tow me into port.
Opened up the engine compartment, put my hand on the gearbox and OOOH, it's hot. That's it, I'm doomed, I concluded.
The hot heat exchanger hose was lying over the gearbox, so I did this:
|High tech engineering - tied a rope to the hose lifted it off the gearbox and secured it to the pilot house steering wheel.|
I also toyed with the idea of sporadically pouring water over the gearbox to cool it off. Instead, I reduced the RPMs to 1600.
I also thought about putting on sunblock, instead I did this:
|Why get myself all greasy. And who was going to see me anyway..hmmmm, all the people who read this. OK, so I'm not too bright sometimes.|
After concluding that the gearbox is supposed to run hot, or after I stopped worrying about it - forget which had more influence - I went back to 1800 RMP and the speed shot up to a dizzying 3.9 knots. When you're going that fast, it's important to keep an eye out for these guys:
|These things are a menace and seem to pop up out of nowhere.|
About 2 hours from my destination a breeze actually filled the sail and pushed the speed up to 4.3 knots until it died down on approaching the port of Nazaré.
|Land ho! It was so calm I was getting drowsy.|
|Entering the Port of Nazare|
|Nazaré marina, incredibly peaceful.|
Docked like a pro, which isn't always the case, cleaned up, put the position markings on the toerail for the haulout straps, had some sandwiches, drank two glasses of wine, lied down on the pilothouse settee to relax, fell asleep and woke up at 5:45 feeling that life was grand, at least for now.