Back in Gibraltar

On 28th February Jacquie and I arrived back in Gibraltar to get “Synergy” ready for our onward trip into the Mediterranean. Our plan was pretty loose; make a quick run down the Costa del Sol, which has been comprehensively destroyed by development then hop across to Ibiza. After running up the Balearics chain to Minorca we intended to make the trip across to Corsica before making our way down the Italian coast to Sicily and then across to Corfu in Greece where we might spend next winter. However, the plans were pretty loose and liable to change at short notice. We had no definite departure date, just sometime in April when the weather looked suitable, but before then we had stacks of jobs to do to get ready.

14 March 2016         Algeciras

The first task was to get Synergy out of the water and do some below the waterline jobs. There is no boat hoist in Gibraltar so we planned to move Synergy across the bay to Algeciras where they have a travel lift and, better still, Miguel who is extremely helpful and speaks good English. On a beautiful sunny Monday Jac and I left our berth in Queeensway Quay Marina for the first time in 6 months and made the 4 mile transit across Algeciras Bay to the boatyard where we planned to spend 2 days working on Synergy. We had to spend an hour drifting around the marina while a large work boat was launched down the slip. Once that was done we were able to motor “Synergy” into the pit in preparation for lift out. By now it was 1pm and lunch time. Having helped us tie up the boatyard  guys disappeared off for lunch for 2 hours leaving us stranded on the boat as the pit was to deep to climb out of! Finally arriving back after 3pm we were hauled out, “Synergy” was propped up and were able to get on with the work.

The first job was to get the hull cleaned and a pressure wash took off all the residual sludge. There was no marine growth thanks to the copper coat anti fouling paint which should keep the barnacles at bay for at least 10 years. With the hull clean, we were able to get to work on the metal bits. We scraped the prop shaft clean and replaced the anode. Frighteningly. the old one had all but disappeared which meant electrolysis would soon have started attacking the propeller. It would appear that Queensway Quay is a bad place for losing submerged metal!

The other outstanding job was to replace the bow thruster rotor which was damaged when a line went into it at Dartmouth. It transpired that one rotor had lost 2 blades and the other had lost the tip of one blade so I replaced them both, together with the anodes. With this work completed by sundown on the Monday all that was left was to clean and polish the hull above the waterline. We had intended to do the work ourselves, but the boatyard crew had capacity to spare so we decided to let them do the work. It would have taken us 2 days, but 2 professionals did it in one day and produced a far better result than we would have been able to achieve.

While “Synergy” was out of the water at Algeciras, we met Michael Briant and Louise Brochard whose boat, “Paw Paw” was on stilts next to ours. They were also based at Queensway Quay, although we hadn’t met them there. Michael and Louise are both hugely experienced sailors and Michael was generous enough to give us an electronic copy of one of the several books that he had written on sailing topics. We planned to meet up when we were all back in Gibraltar.

16 March 2016      Algeciras

With “Synergy” cleaned, polished and with all the important metal bits replaced we were ready to drop her back into the water and make our way back to Gibraltar. We successfully dodged the anchored and moving commercial vessels, ferries and cruise ships to arrive in good style back at Queensway quay full of self congratulation at having completed the jobs so quickly and not having hit anything either on the way out or back in again!