OSTAR day 14
Monday 10th June 12.00 BST
Position – 45 17 27N 41 29 07W
Log 1,745 miles (133 over last 24 hours)
1200 BST today marks the end of my second week. Before I started the race and in thinking about the whole challenge of my participation, one of the things that most concerned me was dealing with boredom, as there were bound to be prolonged periods of light or no wind. Well I shouldn’t have worried – I can honestly say that there have not been more than a few minutes when I have been stuck for something to do.
Although my charging problems persist, I have become slightly reticent about them.
For the last week, I have been tearing my hair out and getting myself in to a right state about it all, hugely frustrated that all my efforts seem to achieve nothing. Both David and I are now completely stumped as to what the problem actually is – and it may simply be that either the alternator or the batteries are just f***ed! If this is the case, there is nothing I can do about it. Today I dismantled the alternator sensor unit and bypassed it, but it made no difference. I have decided that tomorrow I will go back to the beginning and start again with the alternator, take it off, strip it of all fittings and replace/clean them again.
I have been sailing now since yesterday at about 1800 in good Easterlies, which, although not my most competitive point of sail, has been a welcome respite being able to sail downwind for a while and fast. During the night the wind speeds got up to 35kn with big swells running and at about 0300 this morning I had to gybe, which proved very exciting!! I had had the small spinnaker up earlier in the evening, but had decided to get it down before it got dark as the winds were building all the time – what a good move that was!
Talking of getting dark, my daylight hours are now markedly different from when I left the UK. It does not get light until around 0800 in the morning and sunset last night was just after midnight. The weather has been awful – just one solitary day of sunshine – the rest of the time it has been murky and grey (fifty shades of it) and I am getting a lot of drizzly rain which is singularly unpleasant as I am trying to spend as much time as I can in the cockpit, hand steering, to preserve as much power as I can.
At the risk of upsetting a few with another ‘lavatory’ story, but I know Bod will enjoy it…. I was quietly anchored in the heads this morning, when the boat was picked up by a wave and crash gybed. Luckily I had a preventer rigged, so no damage was done (in these conditions and wind speeds a full crash gybe would quite likely break the goose-neck), but the boat ended up on its ear and pinned down flat. As I had not closed the door to the heads, I ended up being thrown across the boat, trousers round my ankles, with my head ending up planted in a locker, with some lifejackets – not a very fetching pose. The one positive outcome was that the deposit in the pan decided not to follow me out – phew. I was not desperately happy about this situation at the time, but looking back it must have been quite an amusing site – I am sure I saw a wry smile on the lips of Boris.
Not much else to report. I am pushing the boat really hard and it seems to be paying off. I am still not able to make much of a dent in Jeroboam’s lead, a few miles, but as at the 0800 positions this morning I have final caught and overtaken Tamarind. As she is the lowest rated boat in the fleet at 0.930, just below me at 0.934, I will need to give her a bit of time – something like 2 hours over a 25 day race, so I suspect that I will need to be ahead by 8-10 miles before I am given second on the leader board. So onward and upward – sailing/engineering/sailing/sleep/sailing – and tea where possible!
No pearls of wisdom to share with you today – too busy.
Congratulations to Becks and Shay who I understand have got engaged – well done!
Welcome aboard Oliver
C, Boris and Beagle