Day 14, 15, 16
Mon 7 Dec 2009 23:04
Saturday morning we got into a more windy area. But soon again the wind decreased to a force 3-4 just above the lower limit when we would start the engine. We were doing 5 to 6 miles per hour. We spent the morning trying to find the defect in the 24V alternator which was exchanged in Las Palmas and was dead after an hour of operation. According to Murphy bad things never come alone.
At 7pm our generator (the power plant ) stopped by itself in the middle of charging the batteries. We stated troubleshooting on Sunday morning after the breakfast and the St. Nicholases and devils made of chocolate. While inspecting the engine of the generator we probably loosened a cable of the oil pressure sensor which is practically invisible in the backside. Starting the generator again it looked like that we repaired the failure when after 30 minutes it suddenly stopped with the error message Low oil pressure. We could not find the mistake as the oil level was correct.
So we worked o plan B. We still had the 12V alternator on the main engine in operation. We dissasembled the battery bed with 16 batterries and started charging the blocks of 2 with the 12 V charger
and then reconnecting them again - twice a day till enf of the journey.
We had to built the connecting cables with 6 wires of 10 mm. Fortunately I had a cable sufficiently long and thick to cut it in 6 pieces, 1m long.
Today we went back to the generator and finally could detect one tiny cable which was detached and the oil pressure errormesage was eliminated.
But the initial deffect was still there. The generator still runs like only 2 of the 3 cylinders were working and it dies after 15 minutes. So we need to continue rewiring the batteries.
This gives us enough energy for autopilot instruments and electric
toilets, but not for cooking, bread baking or making water. We still have about 400 liters of water, enough till St. Lucia. Yesterday we had a
dry food day, but today I activated my old camping gas cooker, which is mounted on a 2kg gas bottle. We put a cork plate on the electric stove put on it the gas bottle and fixed it like the pot. Then we had 2 cooks frying the beef filets - one holding the pan and other opening the cover and turning the steaks. - Medium rare was the choice of the cooks. We do have 4 m waves so kitchen work is quite a balance act.
And the wind gusts are up to 28 knots. Boat is leaning in any direction for up to 30 degrees.
Right now on Monday evening we have less than 300 miles to the destination. The weather forecast is good, enough wind. We estimate
to cross the finish line on Wednesday afternoon.
Today we have changed the time again and are now at GNT - 3 or.
4 hours behind the Central European Time.
Crew is healthy and in a good mood, partially because of the dreams..
One dreams about a long shower, the others about chocolat-au-lait 's
And am fearing a nightmare trying to find competent people to repair the faulty equipment and get the torn spinnaker in original shape....