over 1/3 the way
Monday, 20 April :Day 9
The wind is dropping. This isn’t necessarily a disaster. Whilst the faster we go, the sooner we will get to the Nuku Hiva and Tahiti, when the wind is too strong it becomes difficult to sunbathe up the front without a harness. And the harnesses are a bugger for strap marks. I have no intention of returning to England with the imprint of a crewsaver lifejacket tattooed on my lilywhite torso. If I get any sort of tattoo out here it will be a properly scary Polynesian full body and facial extravaganza as sported so dashingly by Queequeg (Moby Dick is the latest target in my literary sights).
As far as the prophecies go, Keith’s oracular pronouncement about the Duogen roaring to life on Sunday was spot on, but Clare’s sybilline utterances regarding the swell dropping were sadly rather wide of the mark. And I think it is increasingly unlikely that I will hear the charming strains of a ukelele and a few risqué lyrics emanating from the back cabin anytime soon…
In a new addition to the blog, I would like to introduce Tool Of The Day. Today we are celebrating the wonder that is the Old Lady’s Grabber, purloined from a sweet old dear in a geriatric hospital near you. Never attempt the Vendée Globe without one, that’s what I say. They are a marvel, enabling you to pick up the tiniest things that you have foolishly dropped into the most awkward places. Like the Vileda Supermop, it gets into all the nooks and crannies. Unlike the Vileda Supermop, you can pick things up with it when it gets there.
Pretty sure the generator fault (or at least of them) is the fuel pmp, which may even be replaceable in the Marquesas. The asymmetric spinnaker fell apart at the mast head yesterday, but we wouldn’t use it in this wind anyway. All else is well.
Keith was so encouraged by getting the duogen to work yesterday that he had another go at the Fischer Panda today…He does have far more idea what is going on than the “expert” in Panama who had been on a course. (involved reading the manual and following troubleshooting techniques to no avail). We have been reading Pete Goss’s tale of the Vendee Globe and he spent many hours in the southern ocean mending the same model generator as ours.There is even a picture of him sitting beside it looking bemused.!
I am a bit hacked off that our newly filled propane gas cylinder is only ¼ full according to the gauge .When that is empty we have to move on to the butane backup cylinder so I hope the regulator works.
We have been on starboard tack most of the time for 2 years. Now that we have crossed the equator we have S.E. trades and are on port tack. Needs different stowage techniques to avoid flying missiles as we roll. Better for cooking but more tricky for the loo and shower.
We are over 1/3 of the way to the Marquesas…how time flies with sails,electricsand mechanics to play with as well as ordinary stuff like eating and drinking.