27 Nov - Day 11 Position at 14.10 hrs 21:28.8N 032:54.1W

Imagine Of Falmouth Online Log
Jon Constantine
Tue 27 Nov 2007 17:53
Day 11 Distance to Antigua 1657 nm (nautical miles).

The fish was just as delicious the second time.  Fried in olive oil and a touch of butter and more than a touch of rough chopped garlic. 

Shortly after we ate, it started getting windy in the back garden.  (That's the view over the stern - see today's picture).

The direction of the wind also changed meaning we needed to gybe if we were to maintain our course down the rhum line.  We decided as it was getting dark to take the penalty of being north of the line and get rid of the poled out genny and spend the night under main only which worked well earlier in the trip.  But not last night, the sea developed  a nasty cross swell and with our speed down to 5 kts, each wave lifted the stern and tried to corkscrew us.  Horrible!  I think I got about 2 hours sleep and Sam not much more. By morning, we were 15 miles north of the line.  In the great scheme of the trip, what's 15 miles in 2800?

Today has been about the windiest so far.  The picture of Sam with a wave coming up behind us was taken about 15 mins ago.  I suspect they might get bigger tonight but Imagine rides over them quite happily; its just a bit uncomfortable down below and rather noisy too. The sound of the wind, the whoosh of the sea, an occassional crash as a wave collapses against the hull, and inside, everything that can make a sound, joins in the chorus of bangs, tinkles, creaks and rattles.  Somewhere near me, there is a spray can and the ball bearing is ticking from side to side.  I'll have to find it before lights out or it will drive me mad.

Now, the next subject could take me hours to write about but I'll keep it short for fear of boring you. 

'Fridges.  Seems like a simple enough appliance doesn't it.  Nip down to Curry's, bang a couple hundred quid on the counter and next day a nice man comes around, takes away the old one which has served you well for years but is now just too small, and takes the polystyrene and cardboard off your new one and plugs it in. Bob's your uncle, cold beer in 10 mins.  Same on a boat? I wish!  Try asking the nice man at Curry's for a 12 volt fridge and he'll say "sorry mate, no call for those".  So it's down to the chandlery for one.  Simple choice? No. There are a number of questions and problems to be resolved before it's safe to part with your lolly and every one of them a trap for the unwary sailor.  How big's your cool box? What kind of plate do you want? What size compressor? Air cooled or water cooled sir? Make a wrong decision and you will regret it for the rest of your cruising life or until you sort the problem out when you have "the knowledge" . 

Imagine has a lovely big double opening freeze box and came with a "standard" air cooled boat 'fridge.  Thats 2 problems already.  1. Air cooled is no good once you head south to the sun.  Poor thing is like a dog left in the car on a sunny day.  Just won't stop panting; and that means it runs far longer than it should in every hour just trying to keep itself cool, never mind having to cool a full cold box. And that means more amps which means more charging of batteries which brings a whole new set of problems which I will keep for another day. 

The second problem is insulation of the cool box. Less insulation means more cold disappearing faster into the atmosphere and thus the thermostat sends a message to the compressor - "more cold please!" Coming right up sir - compressor switches on immediately.  So cruising boats need good coolbox insulation but weekend sailors don't really need it because the chances are you will be in a cooler climate and  in any case probably plug into shore power once you get back to the marina.

The cool box on Imagine looks great - the woodwork surrounding it is really solid and attractive.  Which means it's nigh on impossible to get behind it and check the insulation. In the end I took an angle grinder and cut a hole below the floorboards so I could look up inside.  Guess what's in there?  Yup, nothing.  Air, lots of it and those of you who studied physics will know that air is a lousy insulator and quite a good conductor of heat and cold. Are you getting bored yet?  I think I'll have to make this a 2 part story or I'll be typing in the dark and for that I need light and for that I need electricity ............

So let's call it a day for today and if your interested, come back again tomorrow.

Enjoy the view from our back garden.

The waves are getting bigger

Behind you!!!