12 March

Sun 12 Mar 2006 22:15
Hi Readers

Another day to forget, however on the rowing front we foiund ourselves this
morning in a light NE wind with minmal swell. This eventually veered to an
ENE which is our ideal wind direction, with this we can lay our destination
with ease and therefore every mile is a mile off our overall total. Wind
strengths and swell have been slight therefore its another case of grinding
out the miles with no spectacular distances to look forward to at the end of
the day.

Well why was it so bad you might ask.

Firstly the watermaker problems have returned to haunt us, this time its
the bearings suffering belatedly from the effects of their submergence in
salt water the other day. It suddenly stopped and blew a fuse this morning.
The motor winding was OK thankfully. How to get the lubricant to the
bearings? Through the brushgear holes of course, in the oil went went to
find its way to the bearings somehow. Its now running but under close
supervision, I reckon that we will have to treat it with tlc from now on if
we are to avoid hand pumping.

We noticed that the secondary photo cell panel wasNT presenting any charge
the battery. The solar panel wa delivering about 5 volts instead about 18
Some fiddling later seem to provide a solution but really I'm still not
clear what I did. derrrr.

The stove which had continued to annoy us final exploded into life below the
control valve so I guess that is that unless we can beform a miracle. No
more hot food! At least the lack of gas is no longer a problem. Might even
get some more rowing done too!

Apart from this everything is fine , the sun is shining and we can row at
night in light fleeces under a moonlit sky.

On the wild life front we are seeing flying fish now. These are about 300mm
long and can travel for 100s of metres just above the wave level. They are
clearly flying rather than just gliding as their flight path is totally
horizontal. No fish has landed a board but we are waiting with knife and
fork at the ready.

Early in the expedition I was complaining that rowing at night was quite an
ordeal with complete blackness outside no idea about direction, waves or
anything. I have just come in from a row in darkness but this time the
experience is completely different. I was steering and rowing down a silver
motorway provided by a full moon directly behind and above for the right
course. The waves were easy, no waterproofs now and a warm breeze. The
feeling of being in such a beautiful place and so far from anywhere is
something hard to describe but is a mixture of fear and pleasure, of
isolation and control, all tempered by a nagging awareness that things can
change so quickly and the ocean has no hiding places. Thats the reason why
we are doing what we can to move things along as much as we can and so limit
the exposure to ourselves out here.But there is still a good feeling about
being in a place where our Seame hasnt picked up a radar bleep for days and
we havent yet seen another vessel for over 500 miles.
Wonder what tomorrow will bring. T x