After living on the boatyard for 2 weeks we were very happy to be in the water again. Our next challenge was sailing to Vilamoura to get the mast taken off! Luckily we had almost a week to get there, so that left us some time to relax and visit some magnificent places along the way.
When we were all set we left Lagos to sail to Alvor, only 15 minutes further down the coast. We arrived there at the right moment, you can only enter the Rio de Alvor during the high tide. When we entered the river estuary we could immediately see what a wonderful place it was. It was full of sandbanks which gave us the feeling we were somewhere at a tropical destination. The kids were super excited to go and play on the sandbanks.
The next day we had planned to visit the caves in Lagos. The sea was calm enough to get there with the dinghy. We made sure we were dressed warm enough and had our live vests on because dinghy rides can be cold and wet. The caves were beautiful, we tried to enter one but the sea was a little bit too rough and we didn’t want to hit the rocks with our dinghy. There were also some rocks just below the water surface that were sometimes a bit hard to see, so we enjoyed most of the caves from a distance. Even then the view was stunning. I love the coast of Portugal!
Around noon we returned to Alvor and the tide was pretty low when we arrived. We could see a lot of people on the sandbanks, digging in the sand, obviously looking for something. We were curious to see what they were doing so we changed clothes and took the dinghy to the beach. we met a fisherman who was collecting worms to go fishing and he showed us how to find the clams everyone was looking for. We decided to give it a try even though we didn’t have the tools for it and we found quite a lot of them. Next, we had to rinse them to get all the sand out and the next day we would try to prepare them.
Back at the boat, Sven dropped the crowbar (which we had used to attach the dinghy in the sand) in the water. Liam tried to dive for it but the water was too cloudy to see anything. We tried with a fishing magnet later but we lost that in the water too.
The next day after lunch we prepared to leave Alvor, we had to leave during the rising tide so that if we would get stuck on a sandbank we’d be able to get off when the water rose. Sven had checked out the exact positions of the sandbanks while the tide was still low so we were ready to go. Seen from the boat it looked as if the water was too shallow in some places so it was a bit of a sensation to sail through the sandbanks but we got out without any trouble.
We would have to sail 4 hours to Vilamoura but we didn’t want to arrive after dark so we decided to anchor in Portimao for the night.
It was the first time we were assigned an actual berth, so that meant that we would have to back up to ‘park’ the boat in the designated space, making sure we didn’t hit anything on either side or in the back. Unfortunately, the wind had picked up which made it somewhat harder to get in the berth. It was quite a challenge our first time berthing and it didn’t go so smooth… we made a scratch because we hit the corner of the pontoon which had no protection. It was only a small scratch but we felt bad for damaging our new boat.
On Monday we moved the boat to the boatyard. While Pete and his rigging team prepared everything the crane arrived. It was amazing to see how structured and professional they worked and in no time they had everything ready for the crane to lift the mast off. A bit of an anxious moment I must say but everything went smooth. We were no longer a sailboat at that moment… what a weird view. We moved the boat back to our berth for the day.
The reason we had the mast taken off was to replace the tubes inside, some of the tubes were loose and made an unbearable drumming noise whenever the boat rocked. They ended up replacing and tightening all of the tubes.
The next day at 2:00 p.m. we returned to the boatyard where they put the mast, the boom, the rigging and all the lines back on the boat. Meanwhile, I prepared everything inside to start sailing and as soon as the riggers were finished we set sail to Gibraltar. Thank you “Pete Keeping” for the fast and professional work. It was fun working with you guys!
The sun was already setting when we left so we sailed into the night.
Stay tuned for our next episode because our trip to Gibraltar was one hell of a ride. SUBSCRIBE to our channel if you don’t want to miss it. Thank you for watching and don’t forget to LIKE our video and leave a COMMENT.
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