New Zealand>Fiji - Day 5 (2014-07-27 05:00 UTC - 22:43.4S 178:35.3E - DTF 369 nm - Track 916 nm)

Vries Peter Pons
Sun 27 Jul 2014 05:33

What was a lovely sail today with light winds, moderate seas, a reasonable speed of some 8 kn. right on target and a lovely steak with parsnip lunch outside in the cockpit for the first time ended with a bit of a bummer when we made an accidental gybe as a result of one of our autopilots breaking down. No damage thanks to the preventer and light weather, but annoying that an autopilot gives up on us during such a short trip after all that work. The base of one of the two hydraulic rams broke off, which has happened once before. We have a spare and it was the old one of the two that broke, so maybe some metal fatigue, or otherwise not well made for the enormous lateral forces. In the proper location I’ll have the old one rewelded and see whether it can be made stronger. We switched over to autopilot no. 2 (always good to have a spare on a boat, better to have two!)  and continued more or less unfazed. After the issue with the generator and some minor maintenance problems a neat little list of have-to-do jobs is growing, so never a dull moment with a boat. Compared to what we did in the last year and a half peanuts, but not exactly what I was looking forward to upon arrival in Fiji. However, this is the first time since November 2012 that we take Aquamante out for a trip, so maybe I should not be too surprised.


At an average speed of 7.5 kn we could make landfall just before dark on Tuesday 29/7, but with the lighter winds that is a bit of a challenge and if we do not make it, we would have to heave to much longer. So we put the first reef back into the main and take it easy to time our landfall on Wednesday morning.