Web Diary 11 - Blue Fox

Sun 11 Dec 2005 13:15

As we enter the final stages of the journey, I thought I would explain the ‘watch’ system deployed on Blue Fox.  It is based on three hours on watch followed by six hours off.  Each crew is designated a number 1 thru 6, there being six of us on board. There are two parallel sets.  Nr. 1 hands off to 2, hands off to 3, hands off to 1 etc. in the first set. Parallel to that, but staggered, 4 hands off to 5, hands off to 6, hands off to 4 etc. in the second set.  This means that each crew member has his individual time for coming on and off watch but there are always two up on watch.  Also, because of the nine hour sets, the watch times vary each day. It also keeps all of the crew in contact with each other through hand-offs and overlaps and enhances communications, while ensuring we avoid the insular mindset which tends to develop with the traditional two man watch system


Davrosquintus system - Patent pending


We have had a couple of unfortunate issues happen within the past 24 hours.  Firstly, while attempting to goose wing the headsail the car at the inner end of the spinnaker pole broke free.  The first sign of trouble was when it started raining small ball bearings and the car came away from the track on the mast.  The ball bearings were part of the mechanism to make the sliding of the car on the track easier and also to secure the car to the track.  The failure of the bottom section of the car allowed the bearings to run out.  The outcome of this is that we have lost the ability to pole out our headsail which makes sailing dead down wind very difficult, with the result that the remaining course for St. Lucia will consist of two very broad reach legs.


The second incident is the water maker has developed a fault which means no more making water till we get to St. Lucia.  Fortunately this has happened towards the end of our voyage and we have plenty of drinking water to complete our journey.  The biggest impact is the rationing of water for cooking and washing resulting in a suspension of the showering regime until we get to St. Lucia. So now we all have something else in common.


Major treat today was the baking of a large soda bread, which was then sliced and served with marmalade or jam to taste. Simple but very effective and for some of us it brought back memories of the Inchicore years with the Barretts - I guess you had to be there.


That’s it for now




14.39N 055.08W