Lisbon and crew change

Chris left on 9th Sept and I had a couple of days to catch up with Greg and Katie and have a look around Lisbon. As with Porto the centre of the city was very appealing with the mosaic cobbled streets, but there wasn’t enough time.
In the marina there were also jobs to be done. I had still to service the prop and after the aborted effort in Porto, I was travelling further south where the tidal range was getting smaller and the difficulty in finding a suitable wall to dry out alongside was increasing. I decided to check on the possibility of lifting out with the travel hoist at the marina. I managed to get a half price deal……….. lifting out, having an hour to do the job and lifting straight back in, for the price of a single lift. Still a bit pricey compared with drying out and doing the job for nothing back home but it seemed to be my best option. So that’s what I did; changed the anode, cleaned the prop and refilled it with grease.
Coming down the coast of Portugal from the Rias in Spain was the longest bit of continuous downwind sailing Holly Mae has done and it was beginning to show with chafe on the sails. A hole had appeared on the tack of the topsail.
John Maggs was the first of the new crew to arrive on 12th, and he came bearing gifts from Patrick, the sailmaker. Some patching material , thread and needles. John then hoisted me up in the bosun’s chair to investigate the exact cause of this hole. It seemed to be where the sail was being pinched between the aft shroud and the brass strip on the gaff. To make a smoother surface and reduce chafe I covered both with gaffer tape. This solution lasted but a short time . At least when the gaffer tape subsequently wore through and a second hole appeared I was sure of the cause. The solution would have to wait.
Later that day, my brother Nick and nephew Sam arrived. So in the morning we filled the water tanks and drifted down river to Caiscais. We anchored off the beach, swam, ate and drank and then swam some more. The water was beautifully warm.
Sat. morning we went ashore for provisions. There was a lovely produce market where we stocked up on fruit and veg. We then had a leisurely lunch aboard before setting off in the early afternoon. Just as we were weighing anchor my phone rang……….. it was Noley to say that Holly was in labour. I asked her to pass on the message to hurry up as we’d be out of phone signal in a couple of hours !