Back on track

Gudrun V
Axel Busch
Wed 9 Feb 2011 12:08
Day 5, Wednesday, 09.02.2011, 12:00 UTC, 20:44.8N 020:42.4W

Back on course! A look at the battery monitor this morning showed that I've gained 15Ah over the last 24h, despite a very bad angle So my new energy plan works out. With no new troubles and sufficient food and water I've decided to go back on track towards the Caribbean and bypass the Cap Verde islands. New course: West. Because of the difficulties with the water, wind-vane, autopilot, head and solar panels, I had sailed a much more southerly course then originally planned. Simply because it had looked like that I had to stop over at the Cap Verde islands, and sailing on a starboard tack was more comfortable (my berth is starboard).

It seemed like a good idea at the time. Well. On hindsight it wasn't such a smart move. I could have sailed more westerly without giving up the Cap Verde island as a safe haven. As it is now I have added probably two days to the crossing. Well, learn from your mistakes Axel and look ahead. The good news is that you're heading for the Caribbean now!

And in pleasant weather too. The wind is a little light, and has been since yesterday. I took advantage of that and did my washing yesterday afternoon. Then I washed down the boat and especially the rails, which were caked with salt from the spray. Can't have that on a true swabian boat, can we ;-). If only I could bring my recycling to the "Recylcinghof" too, hehe. I took care to take as little food in plastic wrapping with me as posiible, but it can't be entirely avoided, especially for emergency meals and stuff that goes into the fridge. Because the fridge is now turned off and I had to eat that stuff quickly, I already have a little bag with plastic that I will now carry with me for the rest of the trip.

This morning I set up the two GoPro HERO HD cameras in the cockpit, one on either side on the bimini frame. I can swivel both to look anywhere I want, including forward. That should allow me to film whatever comes up without too much trouble. A pity really I hadn't set them up before, because a lot of "interesting things" (e.g. trouble) has happen't already, and I hope that from now on it's going to be rather boring. Well, we'll see :-)

Because the wind is so light (6 to 8 kn) I'm only making 4.5kn of speed at the moment, which would mean about 30 days for the rest of the trip at that speed (aaaargh!). In an attempt to gain more speed I tried to set the main-sail (2nd reef) in addition to the parasailor. Which was another stupid move. No wind for the parasailor left, and it wrapped around the shrouds. But it had to be tried, hadn't it. And yes, I have that embarassing event on camera. Fortunately no damage was done, and now everyting is back as it should.

Plan for the rest of the day: check all lines, blocks and shackles. Then tidy the interior which is a little disorganized after all the repairs.