Wednesday 6th April 1402 Ships time 0802
We moved the clocks back an hour today. If I could
have turned them back more I would have. The extra hour was on my watch. I
thought that was a cute suggestion by the crew to insert the extra hour in my
day watch. The crew thought it was cunning plan by me to get an extra hours work
out of them.
This morning in the lightest of breezes ( 4-6
knots wind speed) we sailed with our spinaker at 2 - 4 knot boat speed. I set
about checking for a deisel leak and thought I had found one. There were a
considerable number of chafe points having developed in our fuel lines and I
thought one of them was leaking. However on further inspection I could not
confirm a leak.
After we got to a stage where boat speed was two
knots and the sails flopped and they couldn't be bothered making the effort to
stay full any longer we dropped the spinaker and went back to engine. We decided
on the tactic that I had previously used between Bali and Singapore where I ran
each tank dry in succession. We had had 20 hours out of our 420 litre mid fuel
tank and we would expect to get 26 out of it. We ran it for only half an hour
before it ran dry. That makes over 20 litres per hour consumption! Something is
It needed a quick bleed to get the engine going
again and now onto the Starboard tank for the same tactic. We had run it for 40
hours and the guage showed empty. We should get about 56 -58 hours ourt of it.
We must hope now to get another 16 hours out of it with the guage already
showing empty......... there is no chance of that. However running it dry will
confirm exactly where we stand with fuel.
We have 540 miles to run and it would seem that we
have fuel for about 34 more hours which is about half the distance we need to
make. Outside the sea is almost glassy......
We have jerry cans but only 120 litres, so at
this rate that would be about 50 miles. So which ever way we look at it and do
the sums we are going to fall over two hundred miles short of our Sri Lanka
waypoint. Galle is another 25 to 30 miles beyond that.
We desperately need some wind and there is nothing
significant forecast. We hope that we can do something with the seven or
eight knots which is forecast for tonight but we'll see. When under sail
today we made 13 miles in four hours. Our best sailing distance in four hours
was 44 miles!
Oh well hopefully something will turn up. Maybe we
can get fuel from a fishing boat or maybe a wrong forecast and some wind
will come. We have also lost one tank of water due to a burst pipe at the
beginning of our passage so rationing of water is now in place but we have
plenty drinking water. Joking about the situation today we were talking in the
cockpit about the Robertson family's Survive the Savage Seas book and John
Caldwell's Incredible Voyage.
The Robertson family were administered a salt
water enema each day by Mrs R to hydrate them and it is believed this in
part saved their lives. As I was telling the story the faces round the table had
turned a terrified pale grey. "No way! don't even think of it" they said. The
stories continued and
we talked about John Caldwell's Incredible Voyage
where he had to eat his shoe and his belt and eventually drank the engine oil.
Aghast at this prospect I could see that the salt water enemas did not seem
like such a bad option after all.
Let's see if we are laughing in another days
time.... you know just ten knots of wind across our beam for twenty four hours
would do the trick.