Day 2.5: Starry Starry night
Skipper: Kate Cope
Wed 11 Jan 2023 03:19
Day 2.5 Starry starry night
The past 2 nights we’ve had a full moon which has made it very light at night. Tonight as we have travelled west the moon is not out yet so it’s absolutely pitch black. This makes steering pretty tricky as you have nothing to reference however it does make for a wonderful show of stars. First planet out was Venus , handily pointing out just the way we want to go. At various times we have been pointing at the Sun , the moon and now Venus. The sun and moon are particularly good as they shine a sort of path on the water which is fun to follow.
After the Azab race where I realised you can spend a lot of time wondering about the stars you are looking at, I’ve a great phone app to identify their names and give you info about them. Tonight I saw a strange bright “star” that turned out to be a satellite…good for comms to know they are still up there. So bright it shows up on a photo
Luckily my autopilot is behaving like a dream. There has been so many issues this year with Doublehanded boats and autopilots however my pilot steers perfectly, you can even set to wind mode, downwind in 20kts - which will mean nothing to the non sailors but a few SF3600 owners will be jealous :-) . I also have a complete second autopilot system just in case.
The other surprise is we are managing our power so that so far engine charging is not required. I’ve a fuel cell that puts out between 3.8-4 amps , then in the day the new fixed solar panel gives another 1.5amps. We are charging phones and the Bluetooth speaker for music off a small fold out solar panel which is surprisingly good. We don’t have the laptop or Nemesis display on permanently, nor the Certus Sat system which is a real guzzler of amps. We just turn them on when needed - like to send you this blog.
Well I better get back on the helm though George the autopilot has been doing a great job whilst I’ve been writing he’s closed the gap on EH01 by 0.4nm. Maybe I should stick to doodling on clouds …. Maybe not I just got the boat surfing at 12.5kts and George only managed 10.9kts.