BVIs to the Azores - Day Eleven 31 31.131N 050 38.641W

Mike and Liz Downing
Sat 7 Jun 2014 21:02
A very slow 24 hours with very light winds. A speed of 3kt is still our trigger to consider resorting to the engine and generally we will resort to it if our speed drops below 2.5kts. When jellyfish and weed starts to overtake us it's definitely time to put the motor on! We are seeing quite a few Portuguese Men of War jellyfish with their sails up. The motor went on twice overnight, once for just 45 minutes and later for a couple of hours. It's on now and we're heading more north on the hope that we'll more quickly pick up the stronger winds forecast. The suggestion is that they will arrive tomorrow, from the south west, being light to start with, but building to 20kts or more. It would be possible to just sit and wait for them to arrive and not use fuel, but even though the sea is flat, there's still a swell and it is more comfortable going forward, as well as the possibility that we might get to the winds a little sooner. When motoring like this the RPM is kept down to about 1800 and in this slight sea it gives us a speed of 5kts. It also doesn't use so much fuel or oil. However, as soon as we can sail at 3kts it'll be turned off. Our noon-to-noon run was 92 miles.

It's been a 'fix it' day today. My temporary repair of the deck scupper leak was not a success and the water still came in. All my repair seemed to do was channel the water in a slightly different direction so more lockers got wet! Good job we don't sleep on our double bed in the aft cabin when underway as it's been the dumping ground for all the lockers we've had to empty. So today out came the chisel and all the epoxy putty that went on last time came off and I started again. With little wind or rain in the last few days you might expect the deck to dry out, but it becomes soaking at night just due to the atmosphere and that has been dripping through. (Slight understatement - it's more like a little stream!). Anyway, more putty has gone on, a little more precisely and with more force this time, so hopefully it will bung up the crack, or cracks - it's very difficult to see exactly where the crack is. Fingers crossed that it does the job, or at least reduces the problem to a more manageable level. We've used a load of Bounty paper towel to mop up the water and as we're starting to run low, started drying it out and reusing it. The adverts say you can do it and it does work very well!

I'm still running an SSB net at 14.00 each day and there are 3 boats calling in. One, Shayele, was on the net with us from St Helena. He left from Antigua a day earlier than us, but we've caught up a bit (when not going round in circles with our rudder problem!) and he's about 80 miles ahead. He has rigging problems and so is not pushing the boat too hard, but in these generally light conditions that's not been too much of a problem. One of the other boats left from Bermuda so is coming from a different angle. His generator has packed up and keeping his batteries up with a fridge/freezer on board is becoming a problem. The other boat has a sticking furling genoa, and has run out of beer! That just shows that any boat without a problem is definitely the exception when it comes to crossing oceans!

A couple of dolphins came to pay a visit yesterday evening, the first we have seen for a long time. The Azores is a well known area for whale and dolphin watching so hope to see more as we get closer to the islands.

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