Fri 13 Jun 2014 11:24
When I went up this morning in daylight about 8.15 am our time I notice that the vane was at a strange angle, immediately I thought that the upright pole had gone/bent. Some how had jumped out of its vertical position and disconnected itself from the blade. Not possible to repair while at sea.
Turn back was the easiest answer, 13 days back were Azores, downwind or beat for the next three or even four weeks to the States without steering.
Tried a few things but did not work. I had to dismantle the steering come what may. Hove to and started to tie different ropes to different parts before taking them apart. Ropes everywhere. I could see that couple of the parts were bent too. I made a loop and twisted this with a spanner then yanked it, I hang outside the boat and stepped on the other bent part and the steering works. But for how long? Will it part company again?
I made my decision back to the Azores, if the steering lasts that long. I put Praia (Terceira) on the chart plotter but it does not matter, could be Punta Delgada again. What ever the wind brings.
The stats, so far 1210 NM to Punta Delgada in 16 days, 6 days better than last time. Azores to the Turning point 775 NM in 13 days. Approx 1400 NM to The States. Shame after so much effort and preparation to be let down by equipment.
I had to swap batteries as I could not start the engine. It was rough so I did not start the engine for top up.
The main bilge pump in the cockpit broke. Took it to bits a jubilee clip here and a couple of s/s seizing wire loops did the trick for the time being.
I have been kept busy.