Winter in Lagos

How time flies. Now that I am writing this article about the last months in Lagos, the year is almost over and we have managed to sail down to Las Palmas via Porto Santo, Lanzarote and Fuerte Ventura. But more about that in future posts.

After the autumn sailing along the Spanish south coast, we spent the rest of the winter and spring in Lagos. We had the grandchildren visit us for a few weeks, and now it’s already spring and time to start thinking about how we’re going to store the boat when we go home to Sweden for the summer.

Christmas celebration

A little over a week after we got back from sailing in Spain, it’s time to celebrate Christmas Eve and the Christmas decorations are brought out on Sally.

On Boxing Day we get a visit from the grandchildren and family. We get several sunny days when we can go to the beach, but unfortunately also a few days with clouds. We try to swim a little, but it’s a little too cold in the air and the water for long baths. Only 18-19 degrees in the water, brrr……he Atlantic waves are also a bit too big for the kids.

Winter days in Lagos

What do we do when we are not visiting or working on boat maintenance?

We walk a lot and here in Lagos there are long beaches that invite long walks. To the west of the inlet are several small sandy beaches surrounded by cliffs and caves that are so typical of the Algarve coast. To the east of the entrance to the marina is a long sandy beach, Meia Praia, which stretches several kilometers away to Alvor.

Sometimes we socialize with the boat neighbors, and it happened that even one of the ship cats ventured on board when mother and master were there. We usually end the evenings on the boat playing games or watching a movie or TV series.

Because we need to buy food in a store near the boat, often with a limited selection, you don’t always find what you want. You can buy what is available. We also spend time to reuse a drip-free honey bottle 🙂

Winter storms and sandblasts from Africa

It’s not always sunny and windy, although it usually is. This winter Lagos was hit by two winter storms with strong winds from the south bringing rough seas towards the shores around Lagos. During these storms, the waves moved so much sand into the entrance of the marina that after the second storm it was no longer possible to enter with sailboats except at high tide. At low tide the bottom was visible almost all the way to the other side of the inlet. Several boats got stuck and did not get free until it was high tide.

When the first storm had abated a little, the German boat Todeloo arrived and it was quite a dangerous entrance with large breaking waves before, after and at the sides of the boat. They were probably a little lucky that they didn’t get caught in a breaking wave. The inlet had begun to be more shallow and it was still possible to enter even though it was not high tide.

The second storm that hit the Algarve coast was a bit more severe than the first and it was during this storm that most of the sand was driven into the inlet making it impossible to enter at low tide.

In conjunction with strong southerly winds from Africa, the wind also carries with it large amounts of fine sand which causes the air to be colored a tone of sepia brown. At one point there was a lot of sand in the air for several days straight and the whole boat got a thin layer of fine sand. Then it is not enough to flush with water to remove it. You also have to scrub with a brush or cloth. The sand also sticks to the mast, sails, ropes, blocks and battens, which also need to be cleaned to reduce wear and tear on the equipment.

Boat maintenance

About once a year I take the winches apart for overhaul with cleaning, greasing and possibly changing the springs for the stop catches. We also go over all stainless details and remove rust that has formed. Often the rust has discolored the substrate, which also needs to be cleaned. If there is a lot of rust around the fitting, I usually remove it and clean also under the fitting and reseal so that it doesn’t rust on the underside again.

Vi passar också på att tvätta, polera och vaxa överbyggnaden som tar mycket stryk av sol och salt. Efter varje segling spolar vi bort salt från hela båten. Det gör att både överbyggnad och beslag håller sig fina längre.

Boat neighbors

We are not alone in being moored for a long time in the marina and we always get to know some new sailors during longer stops. This winter we get to know and spend time with the crews of Make My Day, Sigrid and Solit. Make My Day will sail in the Mediterranean this summer and Sigrid will take a trip to Madeira and the Azores.

Summer holidays

Lagos marina has high prices during the summer, which is considered high season here, and it’s time to think about where to keep Sally during that time. We are going to spend the summer at home in Sweden and choose to put the boat at Sopromar, the big boatyard here in Lagos. It is cheaper and safer than having the boat in the marina.

Before storage on land for a long time, there is a lot to do and we want to finish as much as possible before the haul out. When the boat is on land, the fridge and freezer work less well because they need seawater to work well. This means that we want to spend as little time as possible in the boat when it is on land.

The only thing that have to wait until after the pick-up is the preservation of the engine and the electrical generator. We will also check how Sally looks below the waterline to determine what work needs to be done there. We expect that two nights on board will be enough before our flight to Sweden departs from Faro.

So before we lift Sally up, we will wash, clean, take inventory of food and spare parts, empty the fridge and freezer, make a list of things that we will buy in Sweden and bring down to the boat this fall.

When we go through the food supply, we find food with a best before date that has passed or expires before we get back. So there will be a lot of canned food in the last few weeks. The engine oil is almost finished and we take the opportunity to buy 10 liters so we have until the next engine service. It is important to get spare parts when you can get hold of them and other things for that matter. Among long-distance sailors it is called the Cuba method 🙂

Up next

In the next article, we prepare the boat to be put back into the sea and prepare to leave Lagos for this time. See you then!

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