|Sunday evening on the Praia do Norte.|
Thank God for a most productive sally to Nazaré, - not that I caught any fish this evening, but the energy of the sea was thrilling enough. Here's a view behind the beach:-
Such recent memories are very precious these days! We oldies in Ireland are going to be under house arrest again for a while, until hopefully being let out to spend some money in December. It's not that I mind too much, for there is plenty to attend to here at home in the line of kitchen/heating refurbishment, and not to mention the little matter of my prostate cancer. Still the principle is appalling, especially if it comes to fines being dished out, 'good citizens' maybe reporting the 'irresponsible' etc. What will things be looking like come February? I'm all for taking due care, but personal responsibility is not something that can be imposed, and a clumsey regime of fear will be resisted by anyone with any spirit!
Patience was also called for on account of the Citroen. Ominous sounds starting coming from the gearbox on the journey out, which became chronic once we arrived in Nazaré; it sounded as if I were towing a tin can along the road. At that stage we only had two weeks, and a Citroen garage that I went to had no time to even look at it till after we were due to leave. Mario, at whose restaurant we ate most evenings,
|Chez Mario, with Dad at right and on the wall.|
We were delighted to find that we now have neighbours, Damien and James, who are also doing an ambitious renovation, of a huge and famous catamaran, the Commodore Explorer; what's more, they have kindly undertaken to get some epoxy primer on those floors whenever they show up. The big job next trip will be to install them, whenever we will manage that. Stevie fitted one new plank, but there are still a couple more to go; then we shall at least have a strong and stable hull, to which Stevie recommends we apply an epoxy skin, - so hopefully this will be managed in the Spring!
However, the highlight of the trip was getting part of Alec's prototype motor in place. I think it will be a positively elegant and very effective set-up, and am very much looking forward to seeing it in action. HopefullyAlec will be able to start installation once the floors are in. It is great to have the space to install it, complete with built-in flywheel, directly on the shaft, a concept that could be applied, it seems to me, in very much bigger craft, and with considerable advantages over, for instance, saildrives. I was looking at the set-up that Dan and Kika have on the Uma. Their videos are excellent, informative and great entertainment on a wet and windy winter's evening, but Alec comments on their drive:-
'ridiculously low regen... at 6 knots 300 watts... at 48 volts... amps times volts equals watts, that means 6 ampere/hour... and they were 200 ampere/hour at some points of motor test... that means they're going to have to sail 34 hours to get back what they use in an hour! Also, they're running the motor much faster than the prop. Crazy, so much noise and so many losses in the reduction gears.'
Anyway, hats off to Kika and Dan for what they have achieved and those great Sailing Uma videos, which combine information and entertainment very well. Dan's t-shirt announces that he's 'in no hurry to go anywhere'. Some talent! I wish we hadn't had to rush home across Spain, over the plain, past those venerable old cities, Ciudad Rodrigo (with Stevie filling us in on the siege during the Peninsula War), Valladolid, Salamanca, Burgos.
And here's to the day when the ferry home doesn't have to belch all that smoke!