IN THE MED

N 39° 31' E 02° 21'

Life On the Hard

November 19, 2011

Places we’ve been to recently have been very bike friendly. Not here though, C took a tumble when her front wheel dropped into a drain grating that stretched right across the road. The spacing of the bars being a perfect fit for a small diameter bike wheel such as ours. Ending up in an ungainly heap on the ground, she was quickly surrounded by women who kindly rushed out of a nearby shop to help. C luckily escaped with only a bruised elbow and a broken gear lever on her bike. The spilt shopping from her basket was quickly recovered by the ladies.

Back at the boat, C realised that the eggs we’d bought were all broken but, amazingly, they hadn’t broken the skin under their shells. Not wanting to waste them, we decided to make an omelette but were puzzled when they wouldn’t break into the bowl, in fact, they appeared to be hard boiled. Looking up “cocidos” printed on the egg box we learnt it meant stewed. So it was egg mayonnaise instead. Never seen that before.

We’re coping much better than we feared on the hard. We’ve rigged up a temporary grey water tank and the toilets and showers are only a short walk away. But it’s still a bit like camping in a tree house.

The weather’s been amazingly warm and sunny, apart from this morning, when we had a spectacular thunder storm which lasted for ages and seemed to be going round and round the nearby mountains, and a week last Sunday morning, when we recorded a gust of 46 knots. We left the boat and went for a coffee or two in the bar until the wind died down a bit. The boat, however, with the tie-downs, hardly moved at all. Apparently, the marina recorded over 80 knots last winter!

After much huffing and puffing, bruised hands and ribs (not to mention swearing) we finally separated the prop shaft coupling from the shaft, something that the engineers in Nazare failed to do. With heat, penetrating oil and shocking it, eventually it moved a miniscule amount. Then using a spacer to push the shaft out of the coupling a quarter turn at a time on each of the four fixing bolts it finally came off, after two days! Needless to say we were relieved and elated.

Having removed the prop shaft, some wear is evident where it runs in the bearings but as there was no play evident we’ll postpone replacement of the shaft for a while. We’ll get the coupling cleaned and trued up on a lathe locally.

C’s started the messy job of replacing the Treadmaster non-slip covering on the coach roof. It’s a very slow process. The best way we’ve found so far to remove the old covering is to use one of those oscillating power tools fitted with a saw blade to scrape off the cork like covering and then sanding off the remaining epoxy adhesive.

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