15:00.283N 48:36.428W

If Knot Y Knot
Patricia Day
Mon 18 Dec 2006 12:02

Day 14, Sunday 17 December 2006


Having cooked the bread first I was going to have half of that for lunch, but then I cooked the cheese straws and popped the bread back into the switched off oven to finish off.  I ate over half the cheese straws and forgot about lunch. 


Having agreed that I could go a bit easier on myself it didn t really change much.  I did use a little more water for my shower and cleaned my teeth without using the mug, there was enough power in the batteries to charge up the computer so I didn t need to turn the engine on, but I could have if I had wanted.


I never liked downwind sailing and people kept telling me this was a downwind route, so I would give it a go.  I have a preventer on the genoa and put one on the boom before I put up the main and let it go out the other side.  Just because I did not like downwind did not mean that I could rule it out, there was to be a vote.  The genoa had a vote, the main had a vote and I had a vote, so I could not outvote the boat.  I hated it, surprise; the genoa was upset and the main just wanted to go back to sleep, curled up in the mast.  So that was unanimous then, no downwind.  Now if the wind was constant and the sea was smooth then maybe this would work, but I can t see it catching on.  Back to gybe, gybe, gybe, gybe, gybe.  Actually the few hours after the downwind experiment the boat stayed on track without intervention. 


The wind was 8 to 10 knots all day, sometimes less, very rarely more.  Still the swell, but the waves had died down and generally it was sunny and very comfortable.  I had not paid any attention to the bilges for several days, the process was not compatible with swell.  I mopped out the keel bilge where the water goes from  side to side, but will not go through the little holes into where the pump would suck it out.  Timing is everything.  Floorcloth down while on starboard tack, water comes and soaks into cloth on port tack, squeeze out and back down and start again.  This saves taking the floor up and I can do it just through the inspection hatch.  Quite enjoyable seeing if you could keep up in time with the swell, things are getting sadder aren t they?  The engine bilge did have some water in there and mixed with diesel, I will have to pay this some attention when I next put the engine on for any length of time.  It could be leaking from the pipe joining the two tanks, but this will be difficult to get to because of all the junk that seems to have moved into the back cabin.  This junk also gets in the way when I am fighting my way back to the transom to mop up the water there. 


Decision number 795B: I will not carry stuff that I do not need.  This is not the first time I have made this decision and always gets overruled before embarking on a long trip when I panic and try to take as much water and diesel as possible.  I need to run the watermaker daily, because that is what it says in the instructions, so therefore I do not need the large water bottles.  I have nowhere to stow 5 or 8 litre botttles and waste a large proportion of their contents because they are unmanageable.  These will be leaving the boat as soon as possible after arrival.  I will just keep the 1.5 litre bottles that fit in the bilges and every time I buy a bottle of water I will throw one of the old bottles away.  I need a couple for oil changes of course.  That means I just have a problem with the diesel, or do I, just how much do I need really.  I need it for running the watermaker daily, battery top up and emergency motoring on a long passage.  If I am island hopping I can always top up, but I only like to fill up once a year.  Well I will just have to top up with a can if necessary.  I was going to be brutal with the jerry cans, but I have got quite used to them now under the table, give me something to rest my feet on and now they are stowed properly they are no problem.  Perhaps I could get some soft diesel tanks for long trips that squash down when the are empty.


It was 6pm before I realised that I had not had any lunch, but my rice pudding was nearly ready.  I had eaten all the cheese straws and that was a lump of cheese which is protein, so the bread could wait until tomorrow I would just have the rice pudding; with evaporated milk and jam.  I had not eaten my chocolate ration for the day and really didn t need it, but ate it anyway which was greedy and I felt a bit ill afterwards.  That was the last of the that bar.  I am now on the last bar, I kid you not, no hidden reserves, one last bar, with about a week to go.


Herb was back on the radio last night, lots of boats have now arrived and it was a short broadcast with us backrunners being got round to by 8:15, a good ½ hour earlier than usual.  The ones in my area said the same thing, no wind, motoring, wish there was more wind, slow, but so comfortable.  You make a choice, speed or comfort – actually you get given one or the other, you don t get to choose.

Athe winds are supposed to be light, 10 max Monday and 10-15 until Thursday.  If these light conditions do continue and it is comfortable I might be ok with the chocolate situation.


Last night was all gybe and a bit of a nuisance.  I put the alarm up to 1 mile and a couple of times it went off just as or before I was going out to change tack.  I had tidied the cockpit and the floor was clear of ropes and buckets.  I went out, now always with the torch.  There was a dead fish and blood everywhere.  My reaction was not that good.  It was easy to drop him overboard as he was not putting up a fight, but I thought that as the blood was dry I would leave cleaning up until the morning and then I went indoors and trod on a wet floorcloth – that could have taken my last shred of sanity if I was on the edge.  It is no coincidence that I did my work experience in an accountant s office not on the deck of a Japanese whaler.  


Then very early this morning I winched in the sheet after a gybe and the entire centre of the winch came up with the handle.  So the other day when I put it all back together for the second time I had not got the pins back in the grooves then.  I left it until daylight and did it properly.  I could have serviced the winch at the time, it s giving me enough opportunity.  I could re-plumb the watermaker, too, but I have no intention of doing either at the moment.