Lipari 41 owners of “In Tune” get back in tune with their boat in The Med!

Proud owners of a new Lipari 41 “In Tune”, David and Louise (Lucy) Solomons report their stories of cruising The Mediterranean  with good friends Coralie and Allan Davis owners of a Lipari 41 “Whiskers”.

Here is the latest update from Lucy …

Hi to Everyone,

“Aaahhhh…….”a nice relaxing cuppa at our first anchorage of the season – Faro lights in the distance, a red ball just vanishing beneath the horizon – yes, this is what all the frustrations, anxiety and hard work is about.

Not that we are complaining, after 4 months of being indulged and cared for by wonderful friends and family in Australia, we felt quite ready for some good physical labour, the results of which have only added to our safety and comfort.

It is hard to imagine that we left Oz a month ago though we did go via UK. Here David had a chance to refresh his memory and skills by taking part in a 5 day Skippers Sailing Course on a catamaran in Plymouth. It has also given him a certificate of expertise which may be needed later in our travels.

I had the good fortune to spend this time with our son, Ian in Barbican, London – in the evenings anyway – in the daytime, when he was at work, I was busily patronizing the underground railways to take me to various shopping centers. It was a good opportunity for me to stock up on many of the things we could not fit into our luggage and which we cannot buy too easily once sailing. I now have a years supply of glucosamine tablets for example, as well as other pharmaceutical items including cold and flu tablets which we used in abundance. Having flu injections a few days before we left Oz. – was not a wise move.

We ordered a lot of items on line too – many through Amazon UK. These we had delivered to Ian’s address. From there, we organized a freight company to transport them to Almansil near Faro in Portugal. It was lovely seeing Coralie and Allan again – they were there to meet us at Faro airport. We drove via the freight co. to pick up our stuff and somehow managed to fit in a 30kg. box, our two suitcases and back-packs, two king lambs-wool underlays, a sewing machine, two radar reflectors, and a few other large packages plus the four of us, iinto Coralie and Allan’s Volvo.

This Volvo, purchased by Coralie and Allan for 450 pounds in the UK, and then driven to Portugal, absolutely brim full of boat necessities for both boats, was a real blessing. Unfortunately, it had to go to the wreckers before we left. No-one wanted a UK registered car with the steering wheel on the wrong side!.

Two days after our arrival back in Portimao, “ In Tune” was lifted out of the water, suspended in a harness between the arms of a huge crane, and deposited on dry ground. With Coralie and Allan’s help ( C. and A. in future) -the next 5 days gave us time to add our new Kiwi Feathering props and blade cutters, have the engines serviced and gave us time to clean, polish and anti-foul the hull where needed. I also shopped to re-stock for food and supplies and unpacked and put away, all of our “stuff”.

Work continued when we returned to the marina. With Allan advising – David moved our solar panels. The three huge panels were at deck level and not getting the benefit of the sun. It was a big job, taking days of preparation cutting the pipes and drilling out and putting in new rivets and bolts. Then, with ropes attached to the main-sail halyard ( rope) and the winch it took the four of us to raise it up to the end of the binimy (roof). It was a job well worth the effort though, not only providing us with more power but also adding extra shelter and improving our vision out of the back.

Coralie and Allan have been very helpful – having already finished and experienced all the necessary jobs.

Another time-consuming job – worth doing, was adding four luff cars to the main-sail.

This however, wasn’t achieved without some major frustrations for poor David. He hates using Allan’s big sewing machine – it doesn’t always co-operate as it should. Even worse, on this occasion, he needed to use it on the roof just under the mainsail in very still conditions. All went well sewing the first three, then, just as David was sewing up the last one, the large spool of special thread he was using, flipped off the shaft and rolled down onto the deck bouncing into the water ……. of-course……….! It was not a pretty sight watching the guys reeling in a kilometer of thread and seeing it pile up on deck. At over $100 a reel, it is not only very pricey but also difficult to get and besides, David is not one to let a tangle or two beat him.!!! I wont mention how many hours he persevered with the re-winding…….. but……. did it beat him?………definitely not.! Luff cars, incidentally, attach the main more closely to the mast and allow the sail to be raised and lowered far more easily – an important necessity with the unpredictable winds in the Med. – we have been told.

I wasn’t idle either during David’s toiling and managed to make good use of my new sewing machine. There was quite a lot of repair sewing to be done as well as sewing up batteline shades for the outside of the windows. These have a two-fold purpose – one for shade, the other for added privacy. I have still to make curtains.

Fortunately, we both enjoy being busy and this boating life certainly provides plenty of opportunities to keep us on our toes.

Oh dear…..! I can hear a few colourful expletives coming from the port engine compartment – David is trying to replace the cylinder in our water maker after Allan kindly sterilized it for us. I’d say all is not going smoothly……

There are still a few jobs to do – (wont bore you with more details ) but we need to take advantage of the good weather. So, the time has come for ‘Whiskers’ and ‘In Tune’ to finally leave their safe haven and begin the next leg of their adventure. I have become very familiar with Portimao and we really enjoyed our stay there. This Algarve coast with its majestic limestone cliffs is very imposing and beautiful and we find the Portuguese people very friendly and helpful.

So here I am, finally anchored, in an idyllic setting – thinking of you and trying to finish this before we leave Portugal and our Portuguese sim for e-mailing runs out. . It is certainly lovely being on the water again – under clear blue skies – even if we DID motor the whole way………. we haven’t been too lucky with wind direction.

David has just appeared at the door with a much more serene expression on his face – I presume he has fixed the problem. It is late – I will finish this tomorrow.

“Anchors up” early today … it is Thursday 28th April and another beautiful day. The seas are relatively calm and although we are motoring again the wind is gradually swinging around to the SE. – does this mean we may actually get our sails up?

“YES….” Both of them …. 7 to 8 knots with a 13 knot wind ….. David is clapping his hands with glee.!!!! Sails to play with and set and adjust and ……….who ever said that sailing was relaxing ………..!!!! We have arrived at the Rio Guardiana river too soon but we must enter on the high tide. This is the river that divides Portugal and Spain.

Five attempts at anchoring have left the high spirits a little deflated —- we hope that the anchor will hold this time. David is sitting up at the helm checking how the boat will settle while I heat up a bagette in the oven for a late lunch ……..but…………. an hour of good sailing today….. bonus!!!

Tomorrow we continue our journey to Gibralter. Then we will go across to the Baleares and eventually Sardinia and Italy to Croatia. Well, these are our plans anyway … and we all know about plans…..

I hope this finds you all well with minimal dramas and unhappy moments. Please forgive me for being very tardy with e-mailing. Only Mark and Ian scored regular – if very brief at times – updates. Thank goodness for skype. Things should settle back into routine again now that we are on the move —— we hope………. No promises here!!!

Love and warmest wishes to you all – until next month – if I don’t hear from you sooner.

(Lucy) Louise and David

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