1/3 sailed, 2/3 to go (1460 miles) Repairs in mid ocean.

Andy Gibb
Sun 16 Jan 2011 12:44
We are at 12:04.96N 29:02.37W at 1245 Sunday 16th January. WThe duogen
repair seems to be working OK so far, which is very good because in a normal
hour we use 10 amps, so in 24 hours we use 240 amphours, and our entire
battery bank (which is about twice the size of many yachts) is 750 amp
hours, and we try very hard not to let it below half, as this significantly
reduces battery life.
So without the duogen we would have flat batteries after 3 days and half
full after only 1.5 days, and we woudl have to run the engine to produce
power for about 4 hours/day which is noisy uses diesel unecessarily and
increases engine usage before we need a major engine change.
So we are pleased the duogen repair is working as it produces 10 amps/hour,
making us self sufficient in power.
Nicky took over from Martin at 0830 this morning and at 0930 suddenly found
the raymarine autopilot was not responding. Intrepid has the linear drive
top rated autopilot, but when I looked the the pin connecting the linear
drive to the steering quadrant had sheered - 10mm of toughened steel snapped
in two - that gives you some idea of the forces involved in steering
Intrepid through 4 metre mid ocean waves. Luckily I had a spare so although
it takes a bit of re-arranging our aft cabin to get at it, and its
instructive to repair something that changes angle by +/- 25 degrees every 5
seconds, putting your hand under an active steering quadrant that is
steering 15 tonnes of boat, I had it replaced within 1.5 hours with Jonny's
help, Nicky degreased the cabin, and Martin had the helm. Useful to have 4
people on board. On the radio net we heard of 2 yachts that are having to
hand steer the whole way across because their autopilot broke and they
couldnt fix it.
The ARC rally for cruisers does a survey each year on equipment breakages
during the crossing, and top of the list each year are autopilots,
generators, and water makers.
Martin is looking well, demanding yoghurt (refused) we are instead preparing
more homemade soup using our freshish vegetables and lentils, good for the
stomach. Our Plan B was to consider diverting to Cap Verdes if Martin had
not improved, so its good to see him alert and well and several Kilos
The sun is out, the wind coninues 20+ knots, we are poled out, doing 6
knots, all is well with the world - or at least we think it is, we havent
heard any news for the last 4 days or so. Cant say we miss it much.
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