Restless Atlantic Crossing 11

Restless of Auckland
Roland and Consie Lennox-King
Wed 30 May 2007 02:22
Hello all from Restless!
We are currently are 40:03.00N and 24:59.48W. We're travelling at 7 knots at this point in time at a course of 85 degrees and have winds from 20-30 knots from the northwest. We are 1064 miles from Cork, Ireland!!!
So not much has happened really since we left the Azores but I think that Consie and Livi are demanding more update emails from us and gave us a 0 out of 10 for communication which we can't have. So I'll see if I can bore you with a paragraph or two about wind and stuff.
We're actually making some good ground. We've had between 15 and 30 knots pretty much since we left the Azores and it has generally been from the northwest. Our boat speed has probably been averaging about 8 knots, with max I saw on my watch of 9.8 knots so we're having a good ride. We have about 4-6 feet of swell also from the northwest and so we've been rolling around a lot but still some good surfing down some pretty impressive swells.
The word from Herb is that we will have this wind until about Thursday and it will be going around to the west and then southwest but we should expect gale force winds from the southwest around Thursday (If that makes much sense but that's about as good as we get from Herb).
So we're prepared for a fun ride, some high mile days and hopefully a fast trip to Ireland!
We have had one drama that I guess might be interesting to tell you. Our wind vane, Moni decided to shear off the rudder that sits in the water that gives it the drive to turn the wheel. What happens is the wind vane on the top gets pushed over to one side by the wind when the boat goes slightly off course and that then rotates the rudder depending on which way the vane gets blown. The rudder is then on an angle in the water and is forced up to one side. That force then gets transferred along some ropes to the steering wheel and therefore turns the wheel to bring the boat back on course. Interesting huh? So what happened is the rudder got forced to one side by the water where it is restricted on how far it can go by the frame holding the whole thing together. This force was then too much for the ~1mm think shaft and it failed in combined bending and shear. So that's my engineering reason for the failure but the bottom line was it broke!
But don't worry, Moni now has a new shaft and is back in working order due to some able crew members and a few hours of drilling, banging and sawing! 
So that's pretty much all the excitement we've had so far... hopefully we've had our share of gear failure now!
Must get going, it's happy hour and my beer's getting warm!
Love from the crew of Restless!