The Boatist

Sailboat Ownership, Translation Work and Tales of Minor Adventure

Retire early, be passionate, don't worry, die poor

Monday, July 1, 2013

Sailing Home to Peniche

Thursday, June 27

It's dawn and I'm on the road to Nazaré. I've got a bag of sandwiches, apples and bananas and I'm hoping the IPTM staff hasn't gone on strike, like a lot of other civil servants. You see, the yard and travel lift are government-owned.

On arrival, I cleaned up the huge mess - piles and piles of stuff everywhere. The boat looked like it had done a 360º and disgorged all it's storage compartments. I gave the transmission and stuffing box one last inspection and hoped for the best.

At about 8:40 I heard a magical sound - a forklift - which meant somebody was working...followed by the unmistakable rumbling of the travel lift coming my way. Hey, I'm not ready yet, I thought. But they only came for the skiff beside me and hauled it off into the water.

I talked to Alberto and he said I was next. In no time Jakatar was dangling from two straps, Jefferson was removing the supports and I was right behind him slapping on some antifouling. In a wink we were in the water.

Travel Lift in Nazare
Going back where it belongs.
Once Jakatar was floating, I fired up the engine, quickly prayed to all the Gods in the world and shifted the new gearbox into reverse. It clunked loudly into gear, like it should, and I was out-of-there (it also clunked into forward just as sweetly and loudly).

I motored over to the fuel dock at low RPM's smiling to myself, remembering how the old transmission had gotten so bad it sounded like the devil rattling inside a tin box. I botched the first docking attempt - didn't get close enough - but got it perfect on the second try. 

Dove below and checked the stuffing box. Not a drip of water. I was so happy, you'd think I had just won a lottery. Gotta laugh out loud (lol) when I think of the peculiar world inhabited by boat slaves and the little things that make us rejoice. If I had anything other than water to drink, I'd have raised a glass and proposed a toast to all sailboat owners least to all the ones that get their hands dirty...the ones with clean hands can't join the slave club.

So I pumped 150 euros of diesel into the tanks (about 107 liters) only to realize that the fuel level barely went up at all - big tanks!

By 11:00 I was motoring out the port entrance and hoping for some wind, with the mainsail and staysail ready to be hoisted. I eventually hoisted the boomed staysail just for something to do, but ended up motoring all the way to Peniche.
Lifeline at midship
Lifeline at midships. With a harness and short tether I can safely walk up and down the deck. Lifelines running along the edge of the deck are pretty much useless unless another crew member with a bit of experience is aboard. If you fall overboard attached to your harness, what in the world are you going to do? Die, that's what, because you'll never climb back aboard.
The boat rolled in a nasty crosswell that got a little tiring after a while. But hey, better a rolling boat than a static office chair.

Funny thing is I couldn't get the engine temperature over 65º C. I had also changed the antifreeze/coolant to a 50/50 mix as opposed to my previous 10% mix. Could that be it? Theoretically no. 

I realize that the prop and bottom were clean, but the temperature always goes up to normal operating temperature: 80º C. Another problem to worry about. At least it's better than an overheating engine.
Some sort of exploration ship near the Peniche entrance.
Capella Sailboat
Sleek transient sailboat docked across from me. Notice the TV dish and other antennas.
If you want to know why I sailed back to Nazaré the next day, you'll have to read the upcoming post.


  1. A great post ...leaving me in agonizing suspense! WTF?
    I raise my water glass to you and it's good to see you on the water again, and praying you still are(?).
    Strikes, eh. Pretty unpredictable here too. Zoot's in the water, a few drips, all seems fine, just no temps reading aswell... always something. Plus I'm getting slammed at work and this weekends got 7B winds coming. Wet whips on this slave!

    1. OK, OK, no need for suspense. I sailed back to Nazare the next day on a friend's boat.
      Get this: he's a professional piano tuner and was going to tune a piano in why not sail there.
      I went with him because I left my jeep in Nazare when I brought the boat down.
      For non-boaters this may sound outlandish, for us slaves it's another way to get more miles out of life.

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