Jobs Done in Alvor
(Thursday 4th May 2016)
We have been back in Alvor for nearly 3 weeks now and last week, when the tides were right, we had 3 days ‘beached’ while we got on with some hull jobs.
Jobs Day 1 – Up at 6.30am to get Gleda beached on a dropping tide. We didn’t ground till but till 7.30 and Neil had to wait 20 minutes or so until he could drop into the water in his wetsuit to start scrubbing the hulls. As the water dropped below the boat I got down, in my dive shoes to protect my feet against sharp shells, to oil the rubbing and lashing strakes along the sides of the hull. Pleased with what we got done. Back on anchor by 4.30pm. It was another hot sunny day with just a couple of cotton wool clouds. The wind picked up as usual just before noon. Wind and shade in April is just a bit too cool for me but one or the other is fine. I still had to protect my legs though from the sunburn the other day, when it was just the wind. I didn’t shade myself as typically the wind hid the power of the sun. The last few days have been lovely and warm with 22-24 degrees out of the wind. In town it is certainly hot as it’s protected from the wind. We were entertained by half dozen red rumped swallows who flitted endlessly around the boat and even between the hulls. Beautifully coloured and put on such a great aerobatic display. In the mud behind the sand we beached on were hundreds, if not thousands, of crabs. Many with one big white claw. I’ll look it up see what they are.** We also had a visit from a wolf. To be fair, maybe not a wolf but since we arrived I have heard howling from the big villa on the corner. I looked across towards the villa from our spot close by and there was a huge grey dog pottering around the beach. We were on deck having lunch and he paid no attention to us. He moseyed on past, had a lie down and a bark at a dog on a boat going past. A very deep bark. Pottered back up to us. Sat down in the mud full of crabs and watched us for a bit then disappeared around the corner by the villa. I will not be getting down off the boat if it’s there tomorrow. It might of seemed harmless enough but I’m not that much of a dog person to want to find out. (Philippa, it was the size of Maisy with her deep “woof” too). Roll on Day 2. ** turns out they are fiddler crabs.
Jobs Day 2 – Lie in for me till just after 7am. Neil tried to beach from about 7.30. Finally beached at 8.04am. Tide took ages to drop. Neil had to really crack on to get the antifouling on and the water didn’t drop below the bottom of the ramp (when I get off) until gone 11am. I did another coat of oiling the strakes . Two wolves this morning, but they were on the beach below the villa before the water dropped so wasn’t too worried about them. Wasn’t quite as hot and sunny today, bit more cloud. We saw the swallows a couple of times but not as many. While we were on the sand a boat, which came in a few days ago and was anchored nearer the town, motored up and anchored in our spot. Rude. They had seen yesterday us spend the day on the sand then go back to anchor. Don’t like to say what flag they were flying but we should of left a beach towel on our spot! Another day of jobs well done, mainly by Neil. The cleaning and antifouling being hard jobs. Tomorrow engine servicing and portlight re-fixing as it’s leaking.
Jobs Day 3 – A lie in for both of us, although Neil was up at 4am with a cup of tea and nursing an aching arm and shoulder. Not surprising considering he has had 2 solid days of scrubbing and painting. Didn’t take us quite so many attempts to beach this time. Neil found he could change the engine oil from the deck so didn’t need to wait until the tide was down. He did have to get below to change the gear box oil though. My job for today is to touch up the yellow paint on the hulls – mainly where we were bashed by nosey people on pedalos in St Martinho do Porto where we spent 2 weeks last summer. The “wolves” visited the beach before the tide went down so I felt safe getting off the boat. Not they have shown any further interest in us or any signs of aggression at all.
Neil has written more about the jobs done on his blog www.thegledaproject.com Although I would add that I did most of the touch up painting on the yellow hull!
Good job we like it in Alvor as the weather forecast for the next 5 days or so is for very strong winds, blowing from the direction we want to go, and rain. Looks like we are staying till after the weekend as it is far too much wind to be comfortable and we wouldn’t be able to sail in it.
We are looking to head to the Guadiana river, the border between Portugal and Spain. Our friends Jackie and Ian on Rivalady are already there and have been sending us info on places to anchor, visit, shop etc. Although Alvor is lovely, I’m looking forward to seeing new places.
After reading A Foolish Voyage, Neil was contacted by a couple, Steve and Brandy, who have their own website www.thesailingrode.com Steve interviewed Neil about the book, his sailing history, building Gleda etc and made a podcast. The first part of the podcast can be heard here. I’m looking forward to hearing Part 2.
The next post will be from a new place – hopefully.