Every year, usually during winter, ships have to go to dry docks for annual maintenance, to check for rust, chipped wood, etc…
In my previous article about Anixa (http://seagirl.pt/experiences/eu-e-o-veleiro-anixa/?lang=en), which belongs to the David Melgueiro organization, I referred that the ship would be needing its annual maintenance in March and that i had volunteered to help.
On the first of March, the captain invited me go along on the small trip that took Anixa to the dry docks, which were, in this case, the Algés Nautical Centre. We departed right after lunch and as soon as we left the marina area the captain allowed me to steer up until the entrance of the Alges’ marina. It went quite alright this time around.????
When we arrived at the dry dock, we entered a special zone, so that a gantry crane could lift the ship out of water. I loved this part, it’s really different being inside a ship suspended in the air by cables. When Anixa was finally lifted all the way up to ground level (which was some meters above water level) i had to get out so the workers could take her safely to her designated dock.
In the following week and pretty much all weeks that followed until the job was done, me and another student from ENIDH went back there to do all the maintenance such as: cleaning, taking care of the hull with paint and special anti-vegetation products, sanding work, taking care of rust, varnish wood, etc… Oe of the days there were four of us so we were able to distribute the work quite well.
One of our typical maintenance days usually started around 1100 (11 o’clock am), pausing at 1300 for lunch. we then would go back to work until 1800.
Despite some of the work being quite laborious, i enjoyed myself a lot because i really felt like i was learning important basics regarding ship maintenance.
Now Anixa is back on water, in Oeiras’ marina, ready to go back to the sea with students from ENIDH and members of the David Melgueiro Organization.