Aleria is a sailboat again

Re-rigging under way. Jorge, Alex and Jorge hard at work on the mizzen mast.

The riggers were to start reassembling our rig first thing Monday morning. Sunday we were preparing all day, doing last minute chores – I cleaning the cockpit and aft deck, Alex wiring and wiring and wiring and fretting and fretting and fretting. So we thought we should prepare with a fine dinner out. We chose Marisco, the seafood restaurant upstairs in the marina which everyone had been saying was wonderful.

The main mast flying through the air.
Alex chose a dorada and we thought it weighed in at €47 and were horrified but went for it anyway. I chose small local crustaceans that looked like mini lobsters which are eaten cold and clams cooked in butter and garlic. OMG, we shared everything and it was fabulous. The service was excellent and the waiters were so nice. A nice bottle of wine and it all came to about 75€, still less than a meal out would have been in Ireland.
In the morning, the riggers arrived to install the base units then worked all day well into the evening installing all the wires. The crane was scheduled for the morning and we were to bring Aleria over to the service area. The crane arrived at 2 and we were still there at 7 pm. Jorge and Jorge worked nonstop like dogs. And it was all coming together.
In the morning, they’d lift the boom, bend on the sails and sheets, and we’d go for a sail to test the rig. They were happy with a few minor adjustments. Back to the slip and they inserted pins to secure all the wires in the turnbuckles. It’s all very smooth and shiny – so different from the old stuff.

Jorge guiding the main into position. 
Jorge had one last job. He would come either this evening or tomorrow morning and install a mast boot to make it all water tight. So after 3 ½ weeks, Aleria finally has her new rigging. Was it worth it?  Probably but we’ll never know if the old stuff was still okay. But after about 20 years, which is how old our standing rigging was, and three Atlantic crossings, we think it was better to do. And frankly, I think the Jorges did a magnificent job.

At Vela Azul with John Duggan

Back in her slip with rigging in place.
Last night, John Duggan, the OCC PO for Cascais, invited us to dinner at his favourite fish restaurant Vela Azul. His friend Jaja, an Iranian American navy ex-pat working for NATO, joined us. What a riot! We laughed, and talked, and ate fish heads, the specialty of the restaurant. Drinks back on Aleria and the night was done.
So here we are, back in the slip. Masts in place, sails under cover, boat clean and tidy for the first time in weeks, months, maybe years.
Tomorrow, laundry and shopping. Friday is my birthday so maybe we’ll stay here one more day. Hey, we’ve racked up a fortune already. What’s another couple of bucks? Next stop, the Algarve.

After the seatrial when final adjustments were made. 


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