OSTAR day 5

British Beagle
Charles Emmett
Sat 1 Jun 2013 16:00

Day 5

Saturday 1st June 12.00 BST

Position – 46 51 75N 18 02 56W

Log 680 miles (117 over last 24 hours)


After sending yesterday’s blog, the sun came out and for a few hours at least, I had a wonderful sail.  However this was short lived and another difficult night ensued with the wind once more light and shifty moving from the NW to NE, E and has been SE all morning – not that I have spent much time on deck as, for the last 8 hours I have had my head stuck in the engine compartment.


On a positive note to start, at 3.00 am this morning, the sky was clear and the array of stars was quite breath-taking.  For those of you who have never witnessed it, once out of range of any light pollution, you can see hundreds of times more than you can from the UK, even in remote parts.  I wish I knew a bit more about the celestial world; my knowledge is very limited but I did notice that the Big Dipper seemed to be rising in Venus – or perhaps that has more to do with 50 shades of grey – more of that in a moment. There was only 4 knots of wind and it was hard to keep the boat moving with what little wind there was being behind me and therefore AWs was practically zero. I was however able to make my BTW at least for a while albeit at a slow pace.


Yesterday afternoon I managed to fix the monitor: Whether or not it holds up to any weather remains to be seen – it’s amazing what can be achieved with a bit of super-glue, duct tape and sikoflex. 


After a glorious sunrise at 5.00, it all started to go wrong. I made a cup of tea and was enjoying the peace and quiet during the stunning daybreak when I thought I would run the engine for an hour to charge the batteries. Dead. Nothing. No ignition light, no pre-heater, no engine and only a few hours of life left in the batteries. Once again I switched off everything I could and charged up the Iridium phone and laptop and waited for a decent hour to call DL for more help.  Amazingly, during the last 8 hours, David has managed to talk me through, step by step, what can only be described as a complete overhaul and partial re-wire of the engine.  I have replaced cables, tested circuits, removed and replaced any number of electrical fittings – I almost feel like a mechanic!  The end result I am pleased to say is that I have an engine that is running AND seems to be charging the batteries properly – at least until the next problem arises as I somehow feel this will not be the end of it.  But another huge thanks to DL.


On to other matters. I am pleased to say that as a result of a bit of ‘off-the-wind’ sailing last evening, the unwanted article that was moored in the heads has been released to the depths of the Northern Atlantic – I suspect that that is enough said on the subject.


I cooked myself a proper meal last night for the first time and decided to sample on of my ‘Look what we found (dot com)’ meals in a bag – and I have to say that thrown in with a bit of curly pasta, it wasn’t at all bad.  Thanks to Charlotte ‘smoking’ Louise for letting me know about them!


I was delighted and somewhat excited at one point during the night to be woken by the alarm on my AIS – something had broken my 5 mile guard zone – perhaps another OSTAR boat.  Alas it was just a large container ship heading for Europe somewhere.  I waved at him, but I don’t think he saw me, probably due to the fact that it was dark, he was about 4 miles away and was about a billion tons or so.


I have not seen any more wildlife since the birds of day 3, which I am now reliably informed by my personal ornithologist (or twitcher – I am not sure which) were gannets.  Thanks to J.Net & Col.i.n.


As for my book………well I have not as yet had a chance to read much more, but I have one piece of information to share with any members of the female variety that may be reading this…….he does not exist…..by that I mean a 27 year old, self-made billionaire who looks like a god (or model).  Generally speaking billionaires are either 1. Not self-made, in which case they are old money, Eton educated and likely to be extremely dim and/or dull – 2. Fat – 3.Old – or 4. Any combination of the above.  If indeed they are self-made, young and/or good looking, they are almost certainly gangsters and probably Russian.  That is my word of wisdom for the day.


Boris is OK.  I cable tied him to the helm yesterday (just a safety precaution and nothing to do with the book!) as I don’t have a safety line or life jacket to fit him, to see if he could help steer the boat for a while, to give me a break – but he was hopeless. I have therefore returned him to his vantage point in the saloon.


Back tomorrow

C, Boris and Beagle