Necessity is in Caleta Jamie

Eva and Jan Fr. Mack
Mon 2 Jan 2012 12:29
Our position is 52:10:96S 73:17:12W
We are back to this little bay after a very eventful day yesterday. Eventful, but not necessarily fun. Estero de las Montanas is a special fjord. It is beautiful, but its north winds are fierce. Coming out of our anchorage we looked forward to a fast sail out of the fjord. Even inshore we got more wind than is comfortable - and we suddenly had a problem with Necessity. I struggled with a gust of more than 40 knots when then suddenly the wheel steering broke. Not a lot of fun. The genoa came in fast and the emergency tiller was mounted. It worked fine, but it is quite cumbersome compared to our regular steering. The autopilot is also attached to the quadrant and worked fine. We motored down the estero in winds gusting to 53 knots - full storm. Then into Caleta Jamie where we have been before. Anchoring without the weel involved all hands. I used the autopilot when possible, Bjarte was at the tiller down below steering by orders from me, Fredrik was at the chart conveying infor
mation to and from and Hans-Jacob was at the anchor. Even in the bay it was gusting to more than 30 knots, and we had considerable problems setting the anchor - I think we tried four times. Finally the hook set sufficiently so that Fredrik could get lines ashore. That in itself required some acrobatics, but finally it was ok. Then the repairs started. Bjarte and Hans-Jacob were lead mechanics using all sorts of tools to work inside the wheel pedestal. The chain was broken, but by removing 8 links and adjusting the steering wires, the steering is again working like it should. It took 4 - 5 hours. How long the rest of the chain can be used is another matter.
So here we still are, and everything is ok, but we hope people back home had a more relaxed New Years Day than us.
Jan Fr.