Since acquiring Adina we had been troubled by noises coming from her rudder. It’s hard to replicate them via words but it sounds like this “urrrr, urrrr, crrrrr” The “urrrr” being fine and the sound of a hydraulic arm but the “crrr” that echoed up through our bed when sailing was not so fine. One hopes the written sound impression amuses! So after recording the sounds and much discussion with various people, we decided it was time she came out of the water and was inspected. Good friend John Robbins put us in touch with his sister Win who with her husband Tony keeps a boat in Mallorca. In turn she put us in touch with Phil and Lucy Saunders who maintain their boat. There will be a quiz on all these names at the end of this blog but suffice to say they were all importantly helpful to us.
Monday morning we entered Port Adriano where Phil was waiting, waving at us from by the hoist for an immediate haul out. Port Adriano hosts some special boats including the iconic yacht Maltese Falcon (well worth a quick google) so we knew we were in good company. Phil had kindly negotiated a reasonable deal with the boat yard including permission to sleep onboard. Each and every penny helps.
It’s a little nervy standing on your pride and joy as she is hoisted out of the water. Adina is 18 tonnes but that’s nothing compared to some of the boats the yard hauls out. Phil introduced us to Lorenzo the site manager and Susie was soon on the charm offensive as we were told he was the man to make things happen and also likes the ladies! Truth be told this was one happy boat yard. The staff bent over backwards to help and it’s not often you visit a place where people seem happy to work.
Adina also needed her hull cleaned given she had spent a winter in UK waters. Once a year a boat’s hull has to be cleaned and a coat of so called anti foul is applied to try and stop underwater creatures making a home of your boat. A boat left for a long time in the water can end up looking like a coral reef with all sorts of gremlins on it. Adina has an anti foul called copper-coat which literally contains 98% copper and is meant to last up to 10 years so no need to bring your boat out all the time. But in a few places such as under the keel bulb it had failed, most likely as a result of not being applied properly in the first place. We decided to roll our sleeves up and sand it back ourselves and apply new copper-coat. This seemed to win us some kudos as the boatyard staff admired us doing our own work (admittedly not to the level they could do it). Furthermore Susie is a real hands-on girl and the sight of her sanding or painting away drew even more admiration.
An engineer arrived to look at the rudder and spent most of the afternoon trying to take it apart and scratching his head. Come 4pm he informed us his day was up and he would be back tomorrow – mañana, mañana! Right-oh. Indeed come 4pm everyone left and we’d be the only people in a locked up boatyard. But don’t worry – we had a key.
Back to testing the names mentioned earlier. John Robbins who had put us in touch with his sister was by good fortune in Palma on holiday visiting his sister Win and husband Tony. John and his wife Val are good friends from England and own a Moody yacht called Seize the Day. We had helped them deliver her to Southampton when they first bought her. John and Val have turned Seize the Day around like I’ve never seen anyone turn a boat around and she is now a wonderful warm welcoming boat. Pretty much like John and Val come to think of it. Sounds of “Ahhhh…”
John is an engineer and is a source of all knowledge when it comes to boats and has been a very important help to us. With Susie being an engineer too, the two of them chat away and solve issues, while I the banker try my best to absorb as much of it as possible, trying not to look too clueless and generally do what I’m told. It was fabulous to see John and Val walking into the boatyard as the last time we had seen them was our farewell drinks in London and soon we were on Win and Tony’s boat for obligatory sundowners and being whisked off to dinner.
Next day back to reality and the engineer had bought friends. Many friends. They started to attack Adina’s rudder with real zeal, chisels, hammers etc. “Your boat is strong, very well built” is all I could get from them. Thanks but you smashing her up is a little painful to watch. More engineers appeared and a man who owned a 37m yacht walked past and gave them ideas. Better than anything they had come up with. We were getting more nervous. A man with glasses who they all deferred to appeared. We played him the noises. He felt the boat was too young for any rudder damage and it was simply a case of steering cables being very tight. A bit of lube, job done, and a happy ending as they didn’t bill us for all the looking and trying to hammer the rudder off. We grafted hard at the hull re-activating the existing copper-coat as well as applying new where needed, changed all the anodes and even fitted some new davits for our dinghy.
Work completed meant we had a day off with John and Val, his sister Win and John’s lovely daughter Vicky while the copper-coat dried. John and Win took Tom to a fish shop to buy a rod to complete his fishing kit. It’s no easy matter buying something you know nothing about and being one who likes to research I was just having to rely on advice but it was a popular shop so here’s crossing fingers. Tom and John were then allowed to head off and post some postcards. This took some time and accusations of them stopping off for a few well deserved beers may or may not have been true. But this is strictly between John and myself and may the records state the postcards were posted.
Win then treated us to a supper of home cooked Paella which she has learnt from all her time in Mallorca. John and Val have always been fabulous hosts to us on their boat but fair to say it’s Val who does all the cooking and John who looks after the bar. Eventually John took this to heart and one weekend informed us all he was cooking. Lobster? Shoulder of lamb? Nope – Shepherd’s Pie! Fair dues, it was very good and we think he bought it off a caterer. Back to the Paella. John had decided to help and was being instructed by Win. Or should we say being told off by Win “John – it’s not concrete, stir it gently, you’re stirring it like it was cement”. Eventually John much to his dismay was dismissed. Stunning Paella.
With somewhat sore heads the next day we boarded Adina as she was lowered into the water. We had really warmed to the people in the boatyard who looked after us. Port Adriano – muchas gracias!
In front of us we had an eight hour sail to the east of Mallorca, passing places we had stopped off during the previous week. The winds played fair and we sailed all the way until the end when a right brutal little wind kicked off which had all yachts reefing frantically. We even overtook boats – never say the racer in Tom has gone. 18 tonnes Adina may be but give her wind and she will fly! Our final night in Spain was on a mooring buoy in pretty Porto Pedro. Spain has treated us well, we’ve seen a lot, met up with many friends, and loved the Spanish way of life.
John and Val – thank you for taking time out for us and being such fabulous supporters. Really looking forward to you joining us on a leg of our little adventure.
Next we sail for two days to Sardinia, where we plan to spend two weeks.
Viva Espana! Hasta lluego!