I had dug out my thermo shirt, thermo long underpants, thermo socks – 2 pairs of them – woollen gloves, hat and scarf; ready for a trip down back to the sea.
A temperature of -3ºC to start with on our departure day but by noon the sun had warmed it up to nearly agreeable when we set off from Sanlúcar and before it got cold again we were anchored at
Foz de Odeleite, all of 10 miles further down the Guadiana. To make the most of the tide and so as not to have to travel in the cold early morning, we had split the downriver journey in two. The
next day we could plug in our fan-heater again, moored in Vila Real de Santo Antonio, where we spent a day shopping for various things.
We sailed out of the river across the bar at high water. The advantage of high water is, well, lots of water, but the disadvantage is the channel might just have shifted recently and a sandbank might just have grown... The depth sounder showed 4m at one spot, which at low water springs would mean less than 2m... But no need to worry now.
The weather forecast had promised a nice Easterly wind and at first it seemed it might be a bit breezy but it soon died down and by the end of the day the wind had even veered all the way to the
West. Anyway, it was sunny and not too cold.
We were quite surprised to see another yacht coming up behind us. When overtaking us we noticed them showing their cone as well – obeying the Portuguese rules as well. They entered the Ria
Formosa about an hour ahead of us and we could see them inching along against the ebb current, showing us it would be worthwhile not to hurry after them. Later when we anchored nearby them at
Ilha de Culatra we saw it was a yacht of a Gibraltar sailing school. Maybe they had done a lesson in timing the tides.
After a night at anchor we meandered 3.5 miles through the Olhão channel to cover a distance of 1 mile to the shipyard where we tied up at their waiting buoy.
Being hauled out on a sleigh was a new experience for us. No strain by travellift slings on the planks, just leaning against two supports on either side to prevent the boat from tipping over sideways. With a telescopic crane the sleigh was pulled out of the water quite smoothly. And then all the smoothness stopped when Eos was halfway on land; the crane had not enough power to pull us any further. “We'll continue after lunch.” After lunch a fishing boat appeared, was pulled ashore by winch and after that the winch cable was lead through various pulleys to where Eos was stranded. The winch got us pulled up the slipway easily but the crane was needed to move us sideways to our place. Again the crane couldn't get us going, but no worry, just add another machine.
But by the end of the day we were nicely settled and we could get started on the hard work on the hard.
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