After yesterday's diary was sent the breeze filled in with a few more knots
and we had a fantasic sail with our #1 Asym in a rolling swell of about 0.5
metres. The sea was so benign that we opened the forward hatch for a
delightful breeze through the cabin. We also looked at the weather and saw
that everybody was in much the same situation as us so that was comforting.
With such easy conditions, we used the opportunity to do a major clean (we
take it in turns to clean through the boat every day) and dry the wet things
out. One of the spinnaker halliards had chaffed through the sheath so that
With the help of Diverse Yachts we have also found the source of our
instrument problem. Two terminals on our main instrument processor have
burnt out. We are very fortunate that the problem did not cause a serious
electrical fire. The damage probably extends to components on the relevant
circuit board so we are now waiting for B&G's proposals. There is no
prospect of the problem being fixed whilst we are at sea so we will continue
to sail conservatively at night, flying a spinnaker at night only when
control is relatively easy. We have also been informed that the relevant
circuit board also controls our compass, which explains how we came to be 90
miles further west than planned, three nights ago, and ran into that front.
Since we started monitoring the compass we have found a random error in our
heading of up to 40 degrees.
Our EFOY methanol fuel cell has worked incredibly well. We have not used our
engine at all to charge batteries. We have about 50 hours of methanol left
which should just last until we arrive.
For those who participated in our sweepstake, no flying fish came on deck
last night. However two whales suraced and blew very close to the boat, the
closest about 30 metres away, A bit scary! Soon after that we were joined by
a large school of porpoises which played around the bow for a long tme -
surprising since we were only doing 6 knots.
Since early morning the breeze has built and we have a good F4, powering
along at 9 knots with orange main, grey spinnaker staysail and white #2 AP
spinnaker - all very colourfull. The sky is typical tropical Atlantic,
scattered white cumulus some with very high plumes that may delevelop in
squalls later in the afternoon. Last night was incredibly clear. Sometimes
we though we saw a boat only for it to be a star on the horizon. We have
Orion looking over us every night.
Everyone is well, barring assorted minor injuries. One of the crew is
getting married in St Lucia (something we are all looking forward to) and
has a foot that is black and blue from an injury sustained before we
started. He will make it to the altar (beach) even if we have to carry him,
he says! Our nappy rash cream is being applied liberally by those with
barnacle bum which seems to be doing the trick.
The treat last night was chocolate sponge pudding with hot chocolate sauce.