Preparing for our first shake-down cruise

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Finally the day had come. Naima had been waiting for us for several month now until we finally found the time to move her to our harbor of choice where we plan to get most of the bigger repairs done, Almerimar. But before even moving Naima there, a 170 nm cruise, we wanted to make sure that she is ready to assure us a safe passage. Mani, a good friend who did much of the sailing training together with us joined us on our first little adventure on Naima.

Since we all a lot of stress at work before arriving on Naima we decided to start the week with a day off to relax and hike to the top of Gibraltar rock (see Top of the Rock).

Knowing that in a couple of days we were hoping to sail around the rock trough the famous Gibraltar strait, we wanted to make sure that Naima was sufficiently seaworthy. We had been on the boat for five days in the winter, but still we felt like there were so many things we didn’t understand enough. Buying a used boat can be full of surprises.

In fact, it wasn’t even “Naima” yet, but she still carried her previous name. So our first project was to scrape of her previous name and baptise her to her new life as “Naima”.

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One problem that we couldn’t resolve within a short time was that something with our propeller wasn’t right. Ela had the pleasure to dive in the nice harbor water to shoot some videos so we could show it to the mechanic. There was also a noise or better a beating that could be heard when the motor was in forward gear. We had two mechanics look at it and discussed this with some of our more experienced neighbors and finally decided to leave anyway, but to motor as little as possible on the way.

And then, just before we wanted to leave we found that all the sudden there was diesel in the bilge… At this moment we felt that we had started our cruising life on board. Wasn’t this what all these books and blogs had been telling us about? Isn’t sailing a synonym for boat work in exotic places? Anyways, we couldn’t depart quite yet.

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Instead, we spent the rest of the day cleaning the bilge and fixing the leak, which we found to be in the diesel tank meter.

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Thanks to our nice neighbors we had an awesome pump, which made emptying the bilge almost a fun exercise…

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Then we put a temporary fix on it. Thanks Mani for your engineering skills… there is always room for you on board of Naima…

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One day later we were finally ready to leave the harbor and set sails (continue reading here).

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