Racing into Harbour

We needed to drop by another Lagoon dealer called Oceancat in a place called Mazagon, so that we could pick up a plug for our emergency swim ladder that had been recalled. It was a bit far for a day sail so we settled on Cabo De Santa Maria, near Fago, about 40nm along the coast from Lagos.

The day started off well and we soon had our newly repaired geneker up, going along at 6 to 7 knots.With a few hours to go, the waves started to build so we made the decision to drop it. We were still going along at a good clip with the geneker out, but the wind instructs were starting to act strange. The True wind was only showing 7 kts and the apparant wind was down to 0. We were travelling along at 7 kts so that was pretty good. Only problem was there were white caps starting to appear and we eventually worked out that the wind instruments weren’t working.

As our 2pm rule had passed, we decided to err on the side of caution and put a couple of reefs in. As we went outside a large fish farm, we noticed we had company – another 40 cat had crept up behind us. As we got closer to shore where we had to head in through a breakwater and into a large estuary behind, we dropped our sails and turned on our motors. Our new found friend kept on sailing. It was a nasty entrance, with the tide rushing out of the estuary, against what was now a reasonably strong wind. With our two 75hp earning their keep, we were being tossed all around the place in the whirlpools that were forming near the entrance as it went from shallow water to a deep hole back to shallow. We were doing 7kts of speed but only 3kts over ground. Meanwhile our new found friend had his whole sail up and was flying in first behind then beside us through the narrow entrance. I was not all that impressed as I struggled to keep La Mischief going straight. As he sped past, I realised he only had small outboards and his only way in was to get enough speed up and sail in. I think he must have gone through here before.

Safely in the channel, we motored around to the anchorage, where we joined about 20 other yachts at anchor for the night. As we anchored, we noticed that our wind instruments had come back to life and were showing 40kts of wind – perhaps a voltage drop problem. Something else to add to the list.

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