Motor Sailing, 17.44.39N 36.12.46W

David Batten
Tue 3 Dec 2013 20:52
Tuesday.  Another night and day of motor sailing.  The wind has gradually gone round to the starboard quarter, which means we need more wind to sail and the maximum we have recorded is 13 knots for about 2 nano seconds.  Average wind speed has been 8 to 10 knots, so progress has been very slow.   Thank heavens for the iron topsail and capacious fuel tanks and the skipper who specified them at the design phase.

We have just had a bit if a fright.  Greggie was doing a good job of making the most of what wind there is to help minimise fuel consumption, Jane had just completed a rigging check and Venetia was cooking supper when there was a bang and a shudder.  We had clearly hit something below the water line, possibly with the keel.  Nothing appeared in the water behind us and the boat did not actually stop going forwards.   All bilges were immediately checked and we listened in silence for the sound of water coming into the boat.  Nothing.  We suspect a basking shark (Jane did see what she thought was a fin out to port) so we hope for the best and continue on our way.  We cannot really give a meaningful warning to the other yachts as we have nothing really helpful to tell them.   We do reflect on the fact that in all the thousands of sea miles we have covered between us, none of us have experienced hitting something at sea before.  Motoring on seems to be a bit of an act of faith at the moment and we all have a drink to calm our nerves!

On the bright side, the water maker was properly commissioned for the first time with great success, so everyone is going to embark on the second shower of the trip tonight.

Tomorrow will bring a very thorough bilges inspection and maybe, fingers crossed, a bit more wind and no more frights!


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