Congratulations Gemma and Neil !
Blue Sky's Voyage
George & Michael
Sat 9 Dec 2006 19:22
Hello Friends "18:10.27N 48:13.82W"
Antigua 775 miles
Firstly, this is a very special day for Gemma (George's Niece) and Neil who will be married this afternoon near Ludlow. Congratulations and every good wish for the future from George, Michael and the crew.
Sadly, we were not only unable to attend the nuptials, but we've also been somewhat preoccupied with maintenance matters, mainly fixing dodgy equipment.
Our thoughts on:
1 Eno cookers
Despite being quite monumentally expensive, the lock on the cooker gimballing mechanism
failed today. It obviously wasn't designed to work anywhere there are waves which cause it to rock occasionally. Hmmm...
2 Aquagen Towed Generators
Probably tested behind a motorboat in the Solent on a calm day. Utterly useless in the Atlantic if there are any waves. (Anyone seen any waves in the Atlantic lately ?) Considering that towed generators are only likely to be used on long passages, this is a fairly significant design fault.
Firstly the towing line supplied knots up hopelessly in no time at all as it is too soft, Marlowbraid works much better (3 strand core) and a firmer line, say 14mm dyneema would probably be even better.
Secondly the line supplied it is not nearly long enough and the turbine is pulled out of the face of following waves with some force causing the line to wrap around the clamp on the turbine and chafe significantly. (Plastic sleeving for the last 5 metres helps a lot.)
Thirdly, the clamp holding the line to the generator is unbalanced along the axis of spin and causes substantial vibration in the generator - a simple bowline is much more stable.
Lastly, a fuse of greater than 10 amps would have been helpful Martin, but we changed that for a 25A trip we happened to have in stock.
3 Aquabase Watermakers
Aside from being far too busy to bother replying to emails from mere customers, we have a fundamental objection:-
Anyone supplying a watermaker to a sailing yacht without an effective bubble trap to strain out air in the seawater input does not deserve to be in business. A watermaker basically pushes seawater through an extremely fine filter at high pressure. You will appreciate that compressing air is quite easy as anyone who has pumped up a football will know, but compressing water is difficult. As soon as you have air in the system, the process fails.
Even a baby in a bath will splash around and produce bubbles, even a rowing boat produces bubbles - and a sailing yacht in a rough sea - bubbles galore !
We are proud to report that we have today built a bubble trap of such astonishing design excellence that Rolls Royce Motors themselves would be proud. It is most effective and we are looking forward to freshwater showers again after a period of water conservation. Further exciting reports to follow!
We were followed and played with by a large pod of whales for more than an hour this afternoon.. They approached from the quarters, surfing in the waves behind us and often made a more rapid move towards us, diving under the keel or the bow. The larger ones were up to 10 metres long, dark backs, a pale patch on the underside and a relatively small, curved dorsal fin.
Since they surfaced only occasionally, our photos of them underwater would probably not impress on the blog, but believe us, it was impressive to watch live.
Fortunately we have no damage or adverse effect and seeing them in proper light was rather less scary than in the fading light of the last sighting.
George, Michael and the crew.