First a quick, Hello! to Ebenezer and friends from Rally Portugal, we have
recieved certain information that lead us to believe they are among, "The
Well, what to relate? Last night was thankfully quiet. We had between 18 and
25 knts all night generally over the port quarter, we flew the genoa rather
than the Genniker as a result of not wanting to have a repeat of the
previous nights high jinks!
Both watches therefore were able to get a relatively peaceful nights watch,
not too much to do, thus allowing for sleeping in rotation to catch up.
(always clothed, including boots and in the saloon or cockpit of course) .
It worked well. The crew are not as refreshed by it as we had hoped , but of
course still the better for it.
The morning broke quite sullen in mood, we had among the strongest winds of
the night at about dawn, say 28-30knts and the sky looked utterly
beligerent. In the event we got a few gusts but more of the same, so OK. As
the day progressed we got some sun and a lessening of the wind so about mid
afternoon we unfurled the genniker and will fly it through the night, all
things being equal.
The day passed in a generally uneventful manner, most of the crew being on
the tired side and the sail configuration being undemanding but I do have a
few items of interest to relate. I believe they will be interesting items to
those who find such thing so.
Sea water, there is a lot of it about in this part of the world but some has
been finding itself inside the boat...not a fun thing. We first noticed it
yesterday, in amount it was about 3 washing up bowls worth in each hull. If
you do not sail, this will seem a small thing, but the problem is that
unless you can find where it is coming from you cannot predict how matters
may develop. If it is a water tight fitting in the skin of the boat that is
leaking, this could burst at any time ,whereby the boat instantly has a one
and a half inch hole in the bottom. If any of our esteemed readers has ever
had a one inch hole in his or her bottom, then they will know what I mean!!
So the hunt began, I didn't tell of this earlier for fear of worrying loved
ones needlessly, but as we believe we have the matter understood , I can go
Earlier this year I had 4 serious electric bilge pumps fitted, one in each
hull bilge and one in each engine room bilge, ( which is seperate from the
hull bilge ) Their outlets are high above the waterline on the inner side of
each of the hulls. each has a shallow swan neck and an in-line non-return
They are fitted as best as can be but a small head of water, just an inch or
so is capable of sitting above the valve if water can get itself in to the
outlet fitting. I know this because in early summer we found crystalline
salt at the filter box on the bottom of the pumps but not water or crystals
Since starting this crossing we have been getting very violent bumpings of
wave tops under the bridgedeck, it is known as slamming, but since we set
off from Las Palmas it has increased, partially because the cat is heavy and
partially because of wave shapes. two of the fittings face aft, a good idea
I thought at the time, but on this crossing, the passing wave tops are
rushing under the bridge deck and slamming into a small aft facing part of
the hull.....where we fitted two of the pump outlets.
So...we dried the bilges, looked everywhere else and left it for a
while....today we had one and a half bowls in each hull, the seas since have
been easier and so if our theory is correct we wil have a little less
tomorrow. I am comforted by the fact that both hulls are exhibiting exactly
the same symptoms and that tends one to think away from some structural
problem, or split, or any such as the hulls would not respond identically.
My intention is to watch, mop and do nothing till St Lucia where we will fit
cowls over the inlets. I am keeping notes on amounts and times of emptying
and leaving it at that.
For those reading who have loved ones aboard, or even souls you are vaguely
fond of, I say to you as skipper, I am sure that it is not serious, just a
nuisance. But now it is a nuisance we understand and that is the most
And another thing.....Food....We commissioned a survey today of all edibles
on board. We have divided all food onboard into two equal amounts on the
basis that we feel we have about 2 weeks to go and are exactly one week out.
It is clear that in an ideal world we would have a little more of some
Still, this discipline should at least ensure balanced consumption and an
even cuisine till the finish. At the end of the day here is no-one aboard
that would not benefit from a little less food anyway!!
We will have enough and I don't think that we will really feel the rationing
of items, now that we are to eat them in a planned manner, but to run out of
one or two important items prior would add to stress and make all feel a
I am sure that our disciplined and timely response to this challenge will
mean that it produces very little impact. Having said that....there is one
apple left and Trevor keeps asking about it...I may have to divide it into 5
and observe each crew member consuming his fair share witnessed by his
It is lonely at the top, the responsibilty is immense.
Jeff spat a piece of spearmint chewing gum into the sea today...."a common
enough occurance" you may say, and you would no doubt be correct. Jeff then
further related that he wondered how long it would take to reach the
seabed....3 miles below. Makes ones bottom go funny to think on that too
A friend of mine who is back in Mersea at home and has been a fisherman all
his life, once told me that he asked his first skipper, (he was fresh out of
school at the time and 14yrs old ) what he should do if he fell in as he
could not swim. The reply was that he should, 'old yer breath boy, 'till
yuo'm touch the bottom, then you best run uphill,... just as fast as yer can
We are being visited by flying fish this last day, they are fascinating,
but they arrive at great speed and do not announce their arrival. One
minute you are snoozing in the cockpit, then you swear you saw a fish hit
Anthony on the head!! Bizaar, but true. We have a photo to prove it.
It is now 20.50, ten to nine in the evening. I am off watch but on again in
an hour, so I am off for a short sleep, the wind is steady at about 18-22
knts, no squalls as yet. Fingers crossed.
Night Night my sweety pies. Tim XXXX