Logs and logs

Scot Free III
Frank & Anne
Sun 19 Feb 2017 09:55
16:24N 041:03W at 08:30GMT

STOP PRESS: Was sitting at chart table just about to log-on when fishing reel screamed and a 4.5kg Mahi Mahi was finally landed and steaked. Tail fillet for cheviche!

Wind light all night F2-3 with a slight roll from the 1m swell. Forecast for much the same until Monday. Probably hoist the cruising chute when it gets light.

We have a couple of different logs on board. There's the paper one, in which we write down important information like position, course, speed and "sorry, accidentally eat the last biscuit". Useful if the electronics die and we need to revert to old fashioned EPs (Estimated Positions). Or if a persistent squeak might result in something breaking. Then there's the one under the boat which "logs" distance run. (This used to be an actual log, tied to a rope which was chucked over the side, at the bow, and timed as it floated to the back of the boat) Ours is almost as simple. It's a tiny, paddle wheel, which spins round and allows the rest of the navigation equipment to calculate things like boat speed, true wind and "are we nearly there yet?" Well, ours has just stopped turning.

This is quite common and there is an easy solution: stick your head and shoulders down into the bilges, unscrew the collar and pull it out. This leaves a large 60mm hole in the bottom of the boat whereupon a 60mm column of water shoots up your sleeve and hits you in the face; until you jam your hand over the hole, grope around in the dark for the bung, take your hand off the hole, dodge the jet and stuff the bung Into the hole. You can then sort out the paddle wheel which is usually just clogged up with weed, barnacles or tiny shrimps. Of course, there's always the chance that kelp, weed or someone else's discarded fishing line will come up the tube, with the jet of water and stop you getting the bung in or reinserting the paddle wheel. But, it's easy enough to dive-down clear away the blockage while someone else holds their hand over the hole.

I won't quote Anne verbatim, in case any children should read this, but apparently we won't now have a working log until we are anchored somewhere off St. Lucia.