Day 21: STT -> Azores - ~24 hours to landfall

Blue Note
Marco M.
Sat 18 May 2013 14:16
Date: Saturday May 18 2013 - Time: 12:00 Blue Note Time - 10:00 EDT - 14:00 UTC
Position 39:12.08N 33:58.25W
COG 53T SOG 4.2kt, Wind 100T 10.7 kt, Barometer 1021.1 stable
Temperatures: Air 19.4C, Sea 9.5C
Last 24h Sailed Distance: 122 NM
Last 24h Decrease Distance on rhumb line: 114 NM
Sailed distance since departure: 2470 NM
Time since departure: 21d 1h 00m
Average Speed since departure: 4.89 kt
Average VMG since departure: 4.01 kt
Average VMG last 24 hours: 4.74 kt
Intention: sail to Flores
Distance to End on rhumb line: 131 NM
ETA: Monday May 20, 2013
Diesel consumption:
- 30 gallon left
- 74% diesel burned with 94% of passage done, ratio = 1.28
- 40 Usable hours left motoring
- 161 NM usable range left on motoring
- Ratio of: Distance_to_End/Range_on_Engine = 0.81

We are about 130 NM from making landfall at Pta das Lajes in Flores.
There is about 10 kts of wind almost from the "wrong direction". But in order to save diesel we have turned the engine off and are now sailing.
At this point a successful landfall is relaying on some wind, the Yanmar engine to continues to do his job when asked and on the estimate of diesel left.

Blue Note has two diesel tanks, a small one of 25 gallons and a larger one of 67 gallons.
We also left with 22.6 gallons in containers.
We always start a passage feeding the engine from the 25 gl fuel tank and during the calm of days at the beginning of the passage we transferred the diesel containers into the small fuel tank.
The small fuel tank has an analog fuel gauge and when that reach about a level of 1/4 we had switched to the main fuel tank.
Thanks to Kevin of Island Yacht, who helped installing the replacement for the main fuel tank
(the old one in aluminum had pin holes and was leaking diesel in the bilge, the new one is in fiberglass),
there is a way to empty by gravity the small fuel tank (located under a settee) into the main fuel tank (located into the bilge under the floor boards).
We had open the connections few days ago and now all our available diesel is into the main fuel tank.
The large fuel tank has a float gauge connected to the SCAD tank monitor.
telling us that at the moment the tank is 49% full.
Independently to the gauge I can also estimates the amount of fuel left by the burn rate of 0.47 gallons/hour (this number comes from the average of different past passages) and the used engine hours from the engine control panel. The number I get is 45% full.
I think it's comforting that the two numbers are close and that the "measured" one is higher than the "estimated" one.
As a safety margin I'm setting a reserve of 24 hours of engine hours, that means with a burn rate of 0.47 gl/h, about 11 gallons. This should take in account that the fuel line at the tank does not exactly pick up from the bottom of the tank and that we want to reach the marina with "some" diesel left to let us maneuvering.
So: Let's say we have left 45%*67 gallons = 30 gallons of diesel left

Besides practising with estimate of diesel consumption we have also entertained our self with experimenting with French cooking.
Damien and Lisa yesterday made focaccia bread with onions and rice pudding.
The focaccia served us as an afternoon snack and the rice pudding was a our breakfast while for dinner we resorted of the well trusted "piatto di pasta al sugo di pomodoro".

The lure is back in the water for more tuna, but we read that tuna are spooky and the engine noise might keep them away.


Dolphin visiting Blue Note during a moment of calm.

JPEG image