9th June 2013 - Dodgy Decimal Points and Dodgier Electroni cs

Jon & Carol Dutton
Sun 9 Jun 2013 03:54

27:15S 176:31E

9th June 2013 – Dodgy Decimal Points and Dodgier Electronics

We start with a correction to the last blog entry which will probably be of interest to nobody at all.  But, just for the record, we had a bit of a bit of a battle with decimal points which led to an underestimation of the speed at which diesel flows through our return pipes.  By a factor of 100.  So the stuff still flows through at a slow meander - at getting on for 50 metres per minute or so - but we have to admit that that’s a bit faster than our original 50cm a minute.  It’s still only about half the speed of a guardsman wearing a funny hat doing the quick march at the Trooping of the Colour.  So, it’s still a pretty leisurely pace.

The ship’s fitted VHF radio has now decided to go on the blink.   No sooner does one bit of Raymarine kit come back from hospital but the next decides that it’s its turn.  And, of course, it’s much more fun for all if it does it when it’s 500 NM away from anyone who might be able to fix it..  A pox on you, Mr Raymarine.  We’ll just get by using the single sideband HF radio and the handheld VHF sets.  Then I guess we’ll have to send the set off to Auckland or even the UK for sorting, using Fijian postal services.  Hm.

Otherwise all is well aboard.  Carol has been feeling a bit under the weather – as she usually does at the beginning of a passage after a longish break from the sea.  But, she’s getting through it and should be fine soonish.  She did try the Paihia Bomb as a seasickness remedy (a locally renowned remedy in Opua and sourced from the pharmacy in Paihia, 6kms away).  But, whatever else it did, it wiped her out fairly smartly.     

Progress north has been steady and reasonably quick in the Force 4-5 easterly breeze.  However, the breeze is dropping now and it looks likely that by this evening we’ll be under engine and will stay that way for a day or so.  Within the next half hour we’ll pass the 500NM mark on this passage which will leave us around 600NM to go.  So, it’s looking like an arrival in Savusavu on Thursday sometime.  That’ll be good and we look forward to meeting the crowd who left a week before us and experienced very different conditions.  We risk being told that if the best we can come up with after sailing from NZ to Fiji in mid winter is a diesel leak and a dodgy VHF radio we’d better go back and try harder.  Let's just hope we’re not PNG - status; not country. 

Jack has proved a very versatile hand aboard and has made all the difference by allowing us to run 3 watches.  So, there has been no lack of sleep.   Meanwhile, the difference in temperature is already very noticeable.  It’s now around 1530 local here on Sunday 9th.  We’re about 200 NM south of the Tropic of Capricorn and so should enter the Tropics sometime tomorrow night.  That’ll be good too.

We have deployed the fishing line but no luck so far.  Not so good but it can only get better!

Be back in a bit.