Wed 1 Dec 2010 05:15
15:43N 32:27W

Today we motored the whole day. Too little wind. Just now, 3:35 am, since today two hour time difference with Amsterdam, we have set the PARASAILOR and switched off the engine. It looks like we are a bit too early setting this sail, as the wind is dropping again to 7 knots, making the sail very unstable.

H forgot to change the time on his alarm, as we set back with an hour, and was on deck one hour too early... Poor H.

Hn discovered today two new problems. The first one is that the VHF (marifoon) was not working outside. Luckily there are two, so we could still use the one outside. But after fault finding and swapping the in and outside VHF units a few times, both of them do not work anymore :( We have tried re-setting everything, but no good so far. Maybe in daylight check a few wires.

H then discovered that the tri-color, the light in the top of the mast, shining green to right, white backwards and red to the left, is switching off automatically. This is obviously not handy as it is this light that other boats can see from afar. It turns out that this light is switched off (no idea why) when we switch of the outside plotter display. Very strange, but at least we know what triggers it.

Then Hn noticed a funny sound below deck. After searching in the various compartments, E found two nuts (moeren) on the bottom floor, and concluded these were missing on the auto pilot fixture. Apparently they had come loose, and this allowed the auto-pilot electrical engine unit to vibrate a bit. E fixed it, and was entitled to an extra beer. Unlucky for him, happy hour was yet an hour further away, as we just moved the clock back (on E's recommendation in the afternoon :)

A the spotted a little tear in the foot (onderkant) of the main sail, according E this is a design flaw, as the sail is simply scratching the boom every time the boat tilts a bit. E tried to apply a piece of extra sail over the mainsail at the location in question, but despite the special needle-pushing-glove he could not push the needle through the mainsail. It is amazing how strong that material is. So we took out the duct tape, and made a 'temporary' repair :) And while we were on the foredeck anyway, we removed a piece of cover to be able to remove a flying fish, whih like his other fellows, got stuck yesterday. I think we counted nine in total, all landing on the lower side of the boat. They smell awfully, so we are not yet trying to eat them, in stead, I think wednesday we are going to catch a tuna!!!!!

We also swapped the main halyard with the topping lift (yesterdays problem) so we could finally hoist the mainsail properly, except there is no wind to sail it with.

H and I are now desperately trying to get the PARASAILOR stable and have us move forward. If only there was 2knots more wind we'd be good.According to the weather reports tomorrow, wednesday, everything will be good, 15 knots of wind, but now....