Sunday, 10th January, 2016
W. Eric Faber
Sun 10 Jan 2016 10:12
Today marks the anniversary of our start of the World Arc in St Lucia. It seems incredible that we have spent almost an entire year on Luna Quest. Distances at sea no longer seem forbidding: 1600 miles to St Helena will have been covered by the end of the week. Then it is just a 72-hour stop-over before we commence the 2000 miles to Salvador in Brazil. There is no airport in St Helena and no marina. It just marks a convenient stop on the way to Brazil.
Although the principle of a water-towed generator is very good, the negative side is that the spinner at the end of the 30-mtr rope does not always stay below the surface of the water. When it jumps out from the rear of a passing wave, it spins furiously in reverse because of the twist in the rope and before it lands back into the water, it will have knotted the rope just where it attaches to the spinner. During the night it developed a huge lump of knots that eventually stopped the spinner from turning. It had to be brought aboard and untwisted, but the speed of the boat does not always allow that. At 4.5kn of speed it can be pulled in, but at 5kn you are likely to pull the tendons in your arm. We were running at 7kn. We, therefore, furled the genoa and pulled the mainsail flat in with the wind remaining on the quarter. With all her strength, Julia managed to board the spinner. The rope appeared badly mangled and the nylon eyelet at the end torn, but it had done its job.
The heavy seas from the day before had filled one of the cockpit lockers. It took us quite a long time to mop it out and once in St Helena, the gas bottles in there will have to be washed in fresh water. While engaged in various tasks around the boat, we narrowly missed a floating palm tree and nearly lost the use of our Autopilot as one of the wash boards came adrift tumbling down the companionway just missing the Autopilot control panel.
Julia’s Ibook on Africa is coming on well. Many hours are spent selecting and editing photographs. As long as we have a good power supply, Julia can work on it, but today the sun is hidden behind a thick layer of grey clouds and the Autopilot overnight has depleted the batteries….