Day 11

Mon 17 Jan 2011 19:17
16:51.457N 57:25.164W
Distance so far  1976nm
So yesterdays tack worked well and put us back nicely on course. Myself and the Captain on deck at 1900ish with nowt but the moonlight lighting us. The change of set up took us approx 30 mins and instantly felt the benefits with a much more balanced boat and at least an extra knot out of it - worked like a well oiled machine! And speaking of well oiled machines, did I mention that there had been a lack of gremlins on board this time? Well I was wrong...and they've evolved.
After we settled down on our new course last night, Syd emerged once again from down below with the news I'd been expecting since Day 1...The generator isn't charging the batteries. Being the optimistic chap I am, and knowing he's had loads of issues in the past with the generator, I thought it would be a piece of cake for him to bodge. But this time it appears it is the invertor (the bit the charges the batteries by converting AC to DC), so we have AC charge but no DC. For those who don't quite know the outcome of such a failure I shall list the items using (the working) AC: kettle (thank god), my hairdryer. And now for those that won't work: Autohelm, Bilge pumps, Nav equip, Nav lights, Compass light, fridge and freezer and many many more (but I named my favourites). So basically everything needed to sail a boat! So last night we turned off all the nav equipment/lights and autohelm to save enough power in an emergency and just used the compass light as not to drain too much power. So last night was a different shift pattern, doing 90 min stints on the helm, and unfortunately that's the way it'll be till we get there.
The engine has been professionally bodged using the finest duct tape and a bent jubilee clip. After an hour with our heads upside down in the engine compartment Syd and myself returned fairly confidently that it'll last for all of about 5 mins. Syd even pulled away a chunk of corroded metal from the manifold (not a great sign). But it appears the salt water used to cool the engine has leaked over the manifold, causing a really corrosive mixture-a bit like Alien blood.
In other news we sailed within 20feet of a giant turtle! Really impressive, but got me thinking what would happen if we actually hit one head on? An armour plated amphibian vs a plastic floaty thing. hmm. My conspiracy theory of the day is that the Titanic was actually sunk by one of these big boys, with an iceberg happily taking the blame. I would love to see Kate Winslet in the film shouting "Turtle" as she clung to the front of the boat. Maybe i'm starting to go insane, but i'm in good company. Syd has started wanting choclate spread on his (warm) cheese and (warm)coleslaw sandwiches....a clear sign of insanity...or pregnancy.