Flat Calm

Magnetic Attraction
Roger and Margaret Pratt
Thu 28 Nov 2013 12:36
Mid-morning Thursday 28 November 2013

Course: 235
Engine Hrs: 11
Day's Run: miles 117
Total: 650 miles
Air Temperature 28.7C
Water temperature 25.6C
The wind continued at about 10knots  until 1am, when the engine went on.  There is now no wind at all and the sea is glassy and smooth.  This causes a dilemma: the batteries are fully charged, and so the excess energy is just going to waste; but if we cut the engine we won't make progress.  There is unlikely to be much wind until Saturday.  Because the engine is on there is hot water and Lucy and I have taken the opportunity to wash our hair. 
Bryan during his 1900-2300 watch got himself in a real tangle. Roger went on deck to see what all the fuss was about and he found him in a state of undress having suffered a life jacket malfunction. He had managed to undo the velcro around his life jacket causing the AIS to be dangling around and the leg straps all tangled. This was all caused by the wind dropping off and the waves causing the boat to tack which led Bryan to be running around the boat trying to sort things out. All this whilst in the pitch black!! 
The update on the generator - Roger rang the Fischer Panda agents in Poole to ask for advice.  Both the 240 and 380 outputs have failed, but the generator itself seems OK.  It seems likely that one or more of the capacitors has gone down, although Roger also tested whether re-exciting the magnetic field would kick start some action.  It did not.  So although diagnosis and fault finding continues, we're working on the principle that from now on we'll be using precious diesel to charge the batteries, and will need to "pickle" the watermaker with chemicals to protect the membrane. So we're minimising use of all electricity and water. 
We've now done a full shift rotation and I'm back on Mother watch.  Routines are stabilising: the watch pattern is five 4-hour watches and two 2-hour dog watches.  "Mother" gets up with the watch change at 7am and provides mugs of tea; and gets the bread maker going.  Breakfast is at 9am and lunch about 1pm. Supper is at 6pm in the twilight, so that everything is cleared away before the watch change to the first nightshift at 7pm.  There is a watch sheet and there's a great pleasure in ticking off watches as we go.  Visible progress! 
It's an empty sea.  Yesterday's highlights were a cargo vessel, another yacht and small black birds (white tails, quite fine featured (sleeker than black birds), with a wing span of 350mm, can anyone advise?) .  Watch keeping with four of us in the cockpit can be pretty perfunctory.  All very relaxed!
Margaret (Mother)