logo Lady Stardust Faro-Portugal to Barcelona - 2010
Date: 12 Dec 2006 17:07:36
Title: Oh what a night

Hi Paul here, so don't be expecting literary genius!
Last night was rough, everything decided to break in a co-coordinated manner designed to wear me down., First the hydrovane twisted on its shaft causing the boat to want to steer the wrong way and reducing speed by a good 1-2 knots, I had to hang from the stern to adjust the fixing bolts. while I did this I let the autopilot steer, no sooner had I fixed the hydrovane than the autopilot kicked it's belt off, rendering it useless. Quite a pain to fix, means taking the steering wheel off. The wind then died, so on went the engine, only to judder to a very noisy halt a few hours later. It was either the gearbox or something wrapped around the prop. At this point i looked around and saw we were only a few hundred metres from the yacht temptation, and heading for it. Now Fritz and Christiana seem like alo9vely couple, we have been chatting most days on the VHF, they have two cats on board, one blind. Goodness knows what they make of all this sailing, they sailed this far from the Baltic
Anyway this morning  checked the gearbox and decided I needed to dive overboard and look at the prop.
Kathy was quite freaked on the idea that sharks would get me, i didn't help by taking her through the Mayday drill before I went over ;-)
It was lovely in the water, very clear and I soon found and removed the wire wrapped around the prop. Sadly it was my wire, that i paid good money for, that used to go to my earth plate. If you ever want an earth plate fitting to your boat, then don't ask me. the cable snapped, and worse half the plate is hanging off, slowing us further. I'm hoping the whole plate will rip off. It's too deep for me to reach. So much for Sikaflex 292, I should have tried sellotape!
Kathy was very relieved when i surfaced and she could quit Shark Watch ;-)
So Engine back on and we could motor, next off with the wheel, and autopilot, belt was repositioned and the whole lot put back together..
Now we have 8 knots of wind so we are motor sailing along at 5.5 knots, no wind due until midnight Thursday, so we have to ration the fuel. ETA in st Lucia now more likely to be Tuesday (1 week away)
Everything else is great, run out of bacon so having veggie burgers for breakfast, Kathy does a great 'English breakfast'
We are 750 miles east of St Lucia in the windward isle and have sailed over 2000 miles since leaving the canaries
PS It looks like the Lady-stardust.co.uk site is broken, also the yotreps and my position/google system is broken. You can find our exact position from the arc site at www.worldcruising.com/arc

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