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Date: 12 Dec 2009 17:03:00
Title: Day 12 - Squally night; Spinnaker blowout 17:12.80N 045:34.66W

Wind up and down in the night.  Nothing like the squalls we had anticipated,
ust a bit more wind, and some showers.

Hove-to to swim again.  Led, Colin and Ant parade around the boat.  Ant
takes off to Starboard with his waterproof camera to take snap of the boat.
He quickly found that a boat hove-to can still travel quite fast through the
water, and had to swim pretty hard to get back.  Skipper delighted that he
may now realise that Atalntic swimming is to be treated with
caution...excellent.  All said, water was very refreshing.
 Ant, far from the boat! Powering back.
 
Today we move to GMT-2 hours which feels like a very significant step forward.  By the time we get to the caribbean we'll be GMT-4.
 
Blew the spinnaker down a seam today.  Kay (aka. Fanny) got stuck in with a needle and thread and effected a perfect repair with green spinnaker tape in the shape of some strange religious symbol.
 
 

Observation - Alternators
Colin has been teaching Led about alternators, a small weak spot in the
practical knowledge of this sailing superman - his Kryptonite if you will.
The short sharp course has covered how they work and the various reasons why
they may, from time to time, cease working. Some of you may think that you
know the first bit of this one, and that alternators are something to do
with altering motion into electricity.  We know better. They are called
alternators because they take turns to conk out. PB has 3, and an unholy
alliance of Frenchmen and Spaniards in assorted boatyards has conspired to
set our very own engineering PhD a Herculean task. Whilst not actually booby
trapped, it turns out they were covertly attacking the batteries. So, all in
all an ideal training ground for budding electricians. We have settled for
having one which works, so electricity usage is controlled with a rod of
iron.
We must keep down to about 100Ah usage per day on teh boat, which is a tall
order.  So, have scheduled the turn off of the freezer, no running of the
watermaker, and keeping Nav lights on for minimum time.
Skipper very cross with whole thing, and feels like a lot of effort has been
put into getting the alternators right, and they still don't work.  Not sure
how to proceed.  Will think about it during rest of trip.


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