20:52N 3104W at 00:20 utc. Wind ENE 4-5 sometimes 6 just as BxWx predicted
SOG 7ish, was higher around 9ish, COG tracking st lucia wpt, 262T.
First day with no watermaker was great. Two of the crew have proper jobs
and used to have a nice shower first thing, and come up for their morning
watch all fresh and smart, and make me and Peter feel a bit skanky. But now
we're all the stinky same. Hah.
Another Peter, friend of Rob's has sent us lots of texts about how out
burnout in the electrical department might have happened, how to fix the
relays and even the interesting info that Rob can last for weeks on red
wine. Usefully, he says that there might be nothing wrong with the relays -
it could easily have been "relay chatter" - the relays bouncing as they open
or shut and banjax the whole thing. Which sounds very impressive, and just
the sort of bullshit that only an expert can deliver.
My turn as Mum today so I made bread and pizza (copyright Pembrokshire
Enterprises) with a bit of bread mix and tomato/onion and chorizo etc,
rolled out with regulation wine bottle, which worked quite well. Then we
adjusted the sails for a while, and got pretty much nowhere other than
pegging out a staysail in addition to Parasail winning a fraction of a knot.
We've had the rear section of canopy out for two days also worth a fraction
of a knot, but no clingfilm round the guardrails just yet.
Awful moment for the crew - another smell of burning, just a day after the
relays burnt out. Arg, again. But it was a spare loaf of bread I had left
in before adjusting sails. Bread goes nice and brown (and black underneath)
if you leave it in the oven for an hour an a half.
We've had a quite fab day of sailing, zipping along at around 8knots,
sometimes averaging over 9knots, and (mostly) actually tracking the St Lucia
waypoint. Not much news on how our rankings are going, so the multihulls are
probably doing badly, again. I hear we're doing really well in the morning,
up to top twenty or so, but then fall back to thirtieth or more in the
afternoon. That's cos we report our position first thing in the morning as
well as at noon, whereas most other boats only report at noon like they were
told. So, by reporting again at 6am we leap up a load of positions, the
slightly-rubbish web software doesn't take account of when we reported, just
where we are, and everyone who looks at the ranking first thing in the
morning at work thinks ooh, very good. So that's we're up and down the
rankings in morning and afternoon. Not cos we stop for lunch,
Peter spent the morning fiddling about with repairing the relays. He said
it might take him a few hours, but I told him that he had only twenty
minutes, like Scottie fixing the warp drives overnight instead of his quoted
three weeks. However, the relay has melted and we have no spare dilithium
crystals. So we need new relays as the existing ones are terminally
knackered, but it does raise an interesting Star Trek question : why was
Uhuru black? *
Friends and shore support people have been googling and phoning around to
find spare parts which can be brought to St Lucia, so thanks for all the
help. James even outlined a brilliant way to make a new relay using various
bits of the boat, although the resulting relay might be a bit big to cram
into the engineroom. No worries with the power rating if we use spare bit of
steel rigging as suggested, though. It's probably best we wait for the
We think we can rig things to make a tank of water, maybe, but it's not
really important: either the watermaker works reliably and we have fairly
limitless water, showers etc all the way, or it's busted (or flaky, which it
would be) and we're washing up in saltwater and no showers, and using fresh
water for drinking. Filling the water tank now would just slow us down - we
can't reliably use a flaky bodgeup more than once. Actually, I suppose my
plan of setting off with empty tanks helped rather than hindered - we made
darn sure we had enough emergency fresh water at the start.
In the afternoon we had a snowball fight in the cockpit, which I started and
immediately won, easily. That's because I had two small snowballs from
defrosting the fridge, and Rob (and then Peter) didn't have any. Har har.
I have to say hi to Pat for sending us a fairly filthy joke which she almost
definitely wouldn't tell us in person, and hi to hubby Ken who was very
polite in comparison. Yeah , I think we'll be there for skiing sometime in
March, ok? But not with the kids.
Also hi to Simon the electrical parts supplier, possibly a bit nonplussed at
being asked to supply parts for a boat in the middle of the Atlantic and
perhaps a bit worried about how the delivery van is going to get here.
Hiya, Simon, we're about a third the way between Africa and St Lucia, can't
miss us, catamaran with big white and orange sail, use the back door, ok?
Plenty of space for the van, but the car park is flooded, about three miles
deep. Also thanks to Simon for correctly commenting that it couldn't be
"rebuilt" and also for suggesting non-recommended ways of bodging the relay
a bit by jamming it with a screwdriver or anything, which is exactly what we
did on a halfworking one, but still no dice on the watermaker one, so we
still need the bits.
Ooh, and finally someone said we are on Youtube, probably search for ARC
2009 start, with big black pirate sail. We're keeping that sail for best
when we get to St Lucia, and using the busted/repaired one for now.
*because William Shat'ner.