ARC Europe – 26th June 2010 – The Closing Log


We stayed a week in Lagos after Chris left to return to the UK; this gave us time to clean Anam Cara and have several electrical jobs done. We were also waiting for a new member of crew to help sail her back to her home port.

We left our berth in Lagos in the evening of the 24th June but moored on the Pontoon by the Marina office. We wanted an early start next morning, long before the lifting bridge was manned.

There were 3 of us on board when we slipped our lines and pulling out of the Lagos River by 0430hrs on the 25th June and enjoyed the sun rise for another beautiful day. Our destination was Faro; where we had a new member of crew flying in and had arranged to meet, on the quay.

We were enjoying a slow motor sail (due to a lack of wind), taking in the sun when, for no apparent reason, the engine just stopped! Nothing appeared un-toward but it would not start: Fortunately were passing Ferragudo so we changed course to enter the harbour. This turned out to take forever as what wind there was (and there was precious little!) was in the wrong direction so we had to tack, anyway we eventually made it and dropped the anchor inside the harbour, just behind the mole. Fortunately I knew there was a boat yard there, so help was available.

We contacted the boat yard and later the cavalry arrived. Upon inspection they found the filter (which we had suspected) was totally full of water: in fact the tank appeared to be ¼ full of water! They Gerry rigged a fuel tank and we drove the boat back to their yard up river. Here they drained the bottom of the tank taking out several gallons of water!!! Where we collected this water remains a mystery, though we did fill up in the Azores, (probably along with all the other ARC participants) so suspected it was there; Anyway tanks cleared of water and new filters fitted, we were ready to go. Being late in the day we decided to stay the night, then move to the fuel dock early next morning, fill up, and be on our way.

Early on the Saturday 26th June Grainne (Paddy) decided to leave us. We knew she had an interview lined up in the UK and originally was due to leave us in Gibraltar but was now frightened that by waiting ‘till we arrived in Gibraltar, she may be pushed for time: so she “jumped Ship”. Anyway, we filled up with fuel and the two of us were on our way roundabout 1000hrs heading for Faro. Again we had to motor sail due to the lack of wind; arriving at the mouth of the “river” going up to Faro early in the afternoon. We motored towards the town in amongst the sand dunes etc., eventually arriving after what seemed a lifetime. This was a very interesting trip as there was a fast tide running, lots of sand banks and therefore we had to be extremely careful not to go aground. We got up as far as was possible before we dropped the anchor. Fortunately we got a very strong hold in the mud as the tide rushing past kept a heavy pull on the anchor.

We met David in Faro as planned the following day, spent the night on the boat and sailed out the following morning. David was part of my crew when se sailed with the ARC to St Lucia in 2008, so knew the boat well.

Gibraltar was our next stop, firstly as we needed some spare parts and they are cheaper there, no VAT and secondly, it is quite a nice place to stop, though our timing was rubbish: There was a flight of RAF Tornados on exercise and as we were moored by the runway, the noise was excruciating!

Anyway, leaving a couple of days later we had an un-eventful sail; non stop to our home port of San Pedro del Pinatar where Anam Cara is now moored.

As we have enjoyed lots good fun, long distance sailing and exciting holidays in the Caribbean, it is time to do something else. We have now decided to sell her and she is currently been prepared for sale; she is on on the market in the UK but If she doesn’t sell here in the Mediterranean before April next year, we will probably sail her back to the UK and put her on the Hard at Hamble Point.

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