The passage from the marina of Parque das Nações to the boatyard of Centro Náutico de Algés passed in no time because the bottom of Suwena around the log wheel was so full of sea life that the wheel only span slowly. From the trip of 10 nautical miles we only logged a mere one mile into our logbook.
On a way we also passed a funny amphibious bus called Hippo that could run both at sea and on the road. Passing RIB throttled heavily around Hippo trying to make as big stern wave as possible for getting the tourists to scream while the waves were swinging Hippo around. The amphibious bus Hippo became a familiar sight to us as it used the boatyard’s ramp for driving ashore on a route around Lisbon.
The boatyard of Algés is located just at the mouth of the river Tejo and therefore the haulout times are limited by tide and swell from sea there. The guys running the travel lift were professionals and without any waiting Suwena was quickly hoisted up on slings and soon she was securely on land supported by a steel cradle. Good for us as the rising waves made it impossible to lift out the catamaran that arrived just after us.
Our planned visit to Algés was prolonged to double because the previous boats were not ready in allocated time. And more time was passing due to waiting for a new genoa furlex to be arriving from Selden. And then the coppercoat applying was pushed forward by a week due to the rain on a week when the painter was booked to our boat. However, every day the long list of work to be done shortened: removing of sea growth from the hull and propellers, polishing metal parts and gelcoat, fixing the fridge, painting the propeller with Seajet Pellerclean etc., etc.
When the box with Furlex from Selden finally arrived, the guys from the Tecnirigging came to install the furlex and also made an inspection of the rig. They also serviced all nine winches of Suwena. Now all of them rotate silky smoothly. We also got back our genoa, mainsail, and mizzen sail from the loft. Each one had received a new UV protection strip.
But of course, it did not happen like in movies 🙂 When the furlex was installed on place we were totally surprised by the amount of electrical work required. We thought that it would be just a simple replacement of the unit, but the wiring of the new unit was totally different. New motor has three wires instead of two. In addition, we needed to install the Selden bus cable. It took several days when Andrus and boatyard’s electrician Wallace opened walls of the cupboards and walls looking for a best route to new cables. After all each boat is an individual with its cablings.
From the beginning 11 years ago Suwena has had a Coppercoat instead of traditional antifouling paint. Coppercoat is the mix of epoxy and copper powder. It has performed really well. Until now each spring we have just hoisted her out, washed the bottom with pressure washer and that’s about it, voila. Now for the first time there were some signs of wearing in the edges of the hull where the water flow is having the greatest abrasion effect. The places of abrasion were first lightly sanded, and then painted over with five coats of coppercoat. This will last us again many years with minimal upkeep. While applying the coppecoat it is extremely important that it is done in dry and warm enough conditions and it needs to be lightly sanded at the end for activating the copper. The only rainy week of the spring was just when the painter was ready to start, and we had to wait for a week before having suitable weather for coppercoat.
The additional week was really special! Just outside the gates of the boatyard there is a rather big open field used mainly for sports and dog walking. We were wondering what is going on as the huge stage was being built there. We were curious and asked around “What’s going to happen on a stage?” To our big surprise and great pleasure, we learned that next Saturday Guns N´ Roses will perform on a stage, WOW!!! During the weeks in boatyard, we became well acquainted with the boatyard’s staff and we got an invitation to employees’ concert party; first the barbeque and then enjoying the concert on the roof terrace. The latter must have been the best VIP stand even though we were just outside the concert area.
The soundcheck started on Wednesday and audiovisual systems were tested for several hours. In the evening just as I were doing the dishes suddenly, we heard “Welcome to the Jungle” by real live voice. You definitely cannot mix up Axl Rose’s unique voice with anyone else and I said to Andrus “Have a look, now it’s the real deal”. And so it was indeed. I left the dishes and climbed next to Suwena’s boom for rocking while the band had its two hour long rehearsal and we got a private performance. Well, on Thursday again during the dishes “Welcome to the Jungle” was filling our senses. I was completely stunned, “Wow, they are back”. Now there is a huge pile of dishes onboard Suwena as I cannot wash up unless Axl Rose is singing live to us and giving a pace for my dish brush 🙂
On Saturday afternoon there was a happy invitation four meters lower at the bottom of the ladder “Barbecue has started, come on”. The sunny afternoon passed quickly by grilling and enjoying beers. And as we are in Portugal, the football was found somewhere and immediately the game started on the parking lot including the big boss of the boatyard.
At dusk we climbed to the roof terrace of the boatyard and could see the full stage from there. Guns N´ Roses was unbelievably amazing. One hit followed another and not forgetting their latest single. The voice of Axl is one of a kind, cold shivers wre running along my spine as we rocked with hair flying in the wind. We were not annoyed at all any more that the applying of coppercoat was delayed by a week 🙂
Finally, Suwena was ready for summer voyage.