It is June the 12th in the afternoon, TANIWANI is on the dry in the commercial harbor of Portimao. Cabin Temperature is 32 C, and outside blows an easterly wind with 30 knots, picking up loads of dirt and sand on the way to us. TANIWANI is just getting some new anti-fouling paint on her bottom. Really hope to be back in the water soon and ready for real sailing by the weekend.

The last five days have been busy and exciting. When we arrived late Saturday, we found that the shrouds that Selden had recalled because of a possible terminal failure, have been fitted, but all rig left slack. In addition we found the topping lift magically chafed almost through and the hydraulic cylinder of the baby stay, that had worked just fine last year didn't move.

I (Harald) had to work a full day to get the standing rigging right, except for the baby-stay hydraulics, which where replaced by a bottle-screw and a few big shackles for now.

The highlight of that day was when I shot the piston of the hydraulic cylinder several meters into the really dirty and smelly harbor water. Followed by blind and unsuccessful scuba diving attempts and later decontamination.

Felt really foolish after that, but we may have found a way to fend off pirates.

Luckily the next day went really smooth, rigging all running rigging and putting on the sails. Also the engine that we had winterized and hasn't run since September started on the first turn.

For Tuesday morning we had an appointment with a new yard associated to the new marina in Portimao. We arrived in Portimao right on time at the marina, just to be told that the travel-lift and Yard are further up-river, about as far as one can go before a bridge bars the way.

We knew we had to take the backstay off for this travel lift, because it's cross beam wouldn't clear it and we needed to go into the concrete piling backwards. That all was nicely accomplished despite the fact that our bow thruster caught a fishing line near the marina and was now inoperable.

Then came the next shock: We were just lifted from the water by about a meter, both Beate and I standing on deck, wisely holding on to something, when Taniwani's bow crashed back down into the water with a big splash. Luckily the aft sling didn't slip backwards, which could have damaged the drive shaft. It turned out that the forward belt had been caught on the front edge of the keel and then slipped off.

After this near heart attack, we had another attempt at lifting the boat, which worked, but showed that once on the ground, the travel lift wouldn't clear our radar mast! Since they didn't want to leave the travel-lift attached to the boat for three days, we had to go back into the water and re-think.

At this point Mario from the boat yard pointed over to the commercial harbor: "I think the only chance is to use the big lift over there".  This 'thing' looked frightening, ready to launch the QE 2. "It will be tomorrow, since today is a holiday in Portugal and they don't work at the state owned yard. " he continued, "I'll call you when they are ready...."

So off we went to a nice anchorage right behind the river entrance and with the tide setting in, the water was even ok for some swimming .

To make good use of the extra time, I thought I'd fit the big shut-off valves to the toilets, which I had brought along to avoid last years fiasco in the future. As always it took a lot longer than I thought, as the ceramic like debris that builds up inside the hoses came loose and clogged it right where it enters the holding tank.  

Since I had the pump off anyway, I thought I'd also fit the electric one that incorporates a macerator. That indeed you can do in the advertised 10 minutes, but in order to get proper wire diameter power to it, it takes two more hours to explore Leif's tunnels and cable ducts. Luckily it all seems to work fine now.

Now to the next attempt of lifting the boat: Thursday 1 PM at the big lift . Lift is for 340 tons, has 3 pairs of belts. Each pair is spaced about 3m. As we come closer we start to wonder how this will work, particularly in the aft part where we might not have enough space between keel and prop-shaft to fit two belts.

Boat gets maneuvered into the dock and I pull out the drawings to show to the crane operator and the guy from the yard. An hour, several lifting attempts, and some near heart attacks  later we are slowly moving over the hot asphalt that needs to be watered to not give in to the big wheels of the crane. The tires are taller than a man and the empty crane weights 150 tons!


Another hour or so of slow moving, then we are at the assigned spot. Here I get the final shock for the day, when some of the many workers are pushing in the lateral support posts, before the whole weight was released onto the keel. I yelled at the crane operator and an elderly guy from the big yard who seemed to know something about boats, knocked the posts away furiously shouting at the guys. After that, the boat was properly laid up the good old way, with wood pilings and wedges.

The paint that was put on in Ardrossan, (International Micron Optima), worked very well, and we hardly had any fouling after a year in the water, we could have gone for another season, but some of the zinks are almost used up and shaft and prop are badly fouled with barnakles. 

The fouled rope was cut out from the bow thruster, but we can only pull one of the two props off for cleaning the gap between prop and drive.


Now it's just hot and dirty and we are looking forward to get back into the water tomorrow at 4 PM. Soon more....


Report2:   Lagos to Ceuta