Back to the UK - Atlantic Ocean - Day 14

Donald Macdonald
Sat 15 May 2021 19:28
Position 33.33.8N 39.56.0W
2 weeks at sea and still 740 nm to our destination Sao Miguel. Last 24 hours 174nm done. Trip so far 1715nm.
This morning Harold appeared to lose it on a couple of waves. Initially just disengaged and engaged again as a sort of reset, this did not help. The sea did not look particularly difficult to deal with so decided to hand steer. This was not good as helm was juddering and wanted to snatch to another direction. For an hour I pondered this as John was sleeping. Thoughts of faults ranged from bearing gone, blade delaminating, a bit broken off plus something tangled around the rudder blade. When John got up asked him to GoPro the rudder. Blade had a whole lot of weed down half the length of the blade. Solution to get it off was to stop so spinnaker down, main down drift backwards. GoPro in water again blade all clear and still nice and white from our cleaning it in Antigua. Main back up, spinnaker packed away, jib unfurled because wind was now 15-18 knots and more comfort with similar speed. We are still getting 7-8 knots boat speed and 6-7 knots SOG so acceptable with this extra wind strength than we had forecast.
One ship passed us by in the night on its way to Houston. Saw a squadron of flying fish take-off towards an Amarda of Man-O-War, outcome unknown.
This afternoon galley restocked and should get us to our destination.
Not sure what we shall have for dinner this evening as rocking and rolling big time will not be able to put stuff in bowls without it going over the floor. May try meatballs in sauce as one is chilli for John and other tomato sauce so only one pour at a time not 2, followed by pineapple rings in juice.