Groundhog Days

Digiboat's "Product Testing"
Simon Blundell
Thu 17 Oct 2013 13:51
05:31.19S 026:56.22W

1301z 17/10

Wind, weather, seas, no sashimi, problems with electrics and pumps - all
the same as last few days.

Good news is we've (or the wind has) decided we're not going to Rio and
have finally finished our westing and the ESE winds are allowing us to
make ground E toward Africa. (Jed is depressed again - he thought there
was an outside chance he'd get a quick taste of wifi as we seemed to be
heading into range off Brazil.)

Genoa tack shackle blew apart yesterday so Robbo and I hooked up various
lengths of spectra to various winches and strops and pulled the tack
back down and reconnected it while being dumped under every few waves.
In the still fairly small swell, the boat length is enough for there to
be about 20 foot of up/down movement right up the bow, so a bit of a new
sensation for Robbo as he stood infront of the forestay with his back to
the direction and his butt aimed straight at the upcoming surges. Not
sure if they were squeals of delight or pain as tons of water goosed him
every few seconds.

Mostly had the full genoa, 1 reef in the main and about a third of the
mizzen out for the last few days (the corner of mizzen helps remove most
of the weather helm). The wind fluctuates between 8-10, 10-15 and 15-20
over the course of the day/night. This morning with wind 18-22 and
close-hauled doing 8-9kn the seas had become steeper and more confused
and a few big crashes rearranged the saloon and galley items
considerably. Time to slow down, Aphrodite is quite efficient at
launching off waves at that speed, but the designers didn't do such a
good job building her to land smoothly. The genoa's been temporarily
hidden and the staysail's now out so we've dropped to 6-6.5kn but with a
much smoother ride.

A few more electical quirks discovered yesterday, too confusing to
understand let alone write about. Fortunately the autopilot repair seems
to be holding, but we're still on full time wheel-watch (wheel is
engaged and someone always standing within reach) in case HAL is just
waiting to take us unprepared. It did loose power again yesterday but it
was just the imbedded fuse had blown. No more of them onboard so hot
wired an external breaker in place of the fuse. So far so good ...