2/3rds of the way to Antigua
On Friday we did quite a lot of motoring so opened the chart table fuel tank, which drains down into the main tank. We managed to sail a fair bit of Friday night, but made a mistake while trying to furl the large genoa. We used the winch for the inner genoa and as it was already fully furled we pulled the furling line completely out of the furling drum. A number of factors were involved, it was at night and we were tired, it was during a squall and we had been running with the main genoa on the port side for several days and had just moved it to the starboard side – that’s our excuse.
We also found that Oscar (Windpilot) was finding it difficult to correct the course to port and we were having to hand steer even when there was reasonable wind.
On Saturday morning we were motoring and the engine revs started to be erratic and then the engine stopped. I first changed the in line fuel filter, but that didn’t resolve the problem. The filter was a bit dirty, but I suspected that there was a blockage again at the banjo fitting on the tank, so I swapped over the tank out lets for the engine with the generator. This resolved the problem and we were under way again. Hopefully cleaning the banjo fitting can wait until Antigua.
I took apart the inner genoa furling drum and swapped over the 2 halves and refitted the furling line. This fixed the furling. I the serviced the Windpilot with copious amounts of WD40 and this cured the stickiness.
We motored through to 2.0 am on Sunday when the wind picked up considerably. We set up the twin headsails and set up Oscar. The system worked wonderfully despite 25+knot gusts and fairly large seas. This meant no more hand steering so far!! We have had a great sail from 2.0am through to now (2.30pm) and it looks like continuing, although the forecast is still for light winds tomorrow.
We now have less than 1000 miles to go and will be 2/3rds of the way in another 4-5 hours.
We are in much better spirits with Oscar behaving and having good winds