Las Perlas>Galapagos July 4th 2011 - Day 5: DTF 296nm (01:53.2N 85:38.1W)

Vries Peter Pons
Mon 4 Jul 2011 22:50
Quite a hectic day, dramatic enough to have skipped yesterday's daily update
until now. As if the relaxed day we had the day before is supposed
compensated for by God knows how many stressful ones. It all started quite
benign: at midnight we set the clock back one hour (UTC-8h/NL-9h). And we
decided to shorten the crossing by 70nm by first going to Wreck Bay, San
Cristobal, where our agent Bolivar will have our "autographo" ready, our
permit to visit three islands with our own boat. But all night we had rough
seas, so very little sleep and the bilge was filling up continuously for
unknown reasons, as mentioned in an earlier blog. On top of that the
automatic bilge pump had ceased to be automatic, so we had to pump by hand.
Early in the morning we decided to heave to to avoid being thrown around
when investigating the problem. We discovered that the front cabin and most
stuff in it was soaked, partly because of leaking rivets in a hatch, which
was easily solved. But that did not explain why the bilge filled up as
quickly as it did. Then we found a leaking through hull fitting just above
the waterline of the front cabin airco, which was installed in Spain by
order of the previous owner. Since we had rough seas and Aquamante is
heavily loaden, that fitting is mostly under water whilst sailing, and was
not well fitted. Since tightening did not prevent it from leaking, we
temporarily fixed it with epoxy, a lifesaver on board. Close to this area
another little river was coming down, but up till now we have not been able
to ascertain the reason. We do know it is somewhere on deck, as the bilge
only fills up when sailing close hauled in heavy seas. And we're not sure
either whether that is the only other source. Then I fixed the sensor of the
automatic bilge pump, which was a relatively easy thing, whilst Daph was
taking all the wet stuff and mattresses out of the cabin and laid it to dry
in the cockpit or whatever other place she could find. She then reorganized
and repacked everything again, as much and as far as she could. When we add
to this that we noticed some other things had broken down, the little sleep
we had had, a look at the deflated dinghy on the bow due to a prior
stupidity , the overcast skies and wind still from the SW, so right from
where we have to go to, meanwhile increased to some 20 knots with
corresponding steep short waves, it should not be a surprise that moral was
low, when we started our night watches. And all of this only because we had
a relaxed day the day before.