Wasting Time

Digiboat's "Product Testing"
Simon Blundell
Tue 29 Oct 2013 13:34
29:09.09S 012:30.24W

1334z 29/10

Big storm to welcome us into the southern side of the wind circulation in this hemisphere. 30-35kn with driving rain welcomed us to the south winds, which lasted for about a half day before easing to 10-15kn then eventually dropping off completely. A day or so of motoring sucked more bad fuel out of the tanks and stalled the engine. Several more hours in the engine room in the middle of the night scrubbing fuel while Rob was woken to try to get the boat sailing in the almost non-existent breeze while I was rolled around in the sauna. With more filter changes and cleaner fuel, though still very emulsified, I bled the engine and she re-started without too much complaining. Tentatively spent the remainder of the night slowly - but successfully - motoring and fortunately a S breeze slowly built through the morning and back to sailing by noon. Fuel and filters have been flushed and changed again sfollowing a day in the engine room, so hopefully minimal problems ahead. Although we effectively have half as much useable fuel aboard now as it seems the fuel in the bottom 20% of the tanks is too fouled.

2 days now of perfect trade wind sailing, as forecast breeze building from the NNE-NE and last 12 hours has been on beam reach at 9kn. As much white sail up as possible - the main is still on 3 reefs due to the tear in the leach. I went up to the top spreader a couple of days ago during the calm with sharp pointer object and thread in hand. Unfortunatley, after being bashed around at 100 feet up for 30 minutes it became obvious that it would be impossible to bring the two pieces together to sticth them up with so much weight of the main pulling them apart. So we'll have to remove the main in Cape Town to do this repair, and meanwhile suffer with less sail area, and thus less speed, than our potential.

Crew are enjoying the trade wind sailing. Although freezing cold at night, and brisk in the morning before the sun warms up, the days are clear, seas flat and afternoons warm. Not so much to fix, change, alter with the systems now. Although the Washing Machine did come under HAL's influence and sprung a leak then blew its circuit - so it now also has an extension lead and is connected elsewhere. Water Maker has been working well so water restrictions partially lifted now. Tanks still to be fully refilled at which stage all remaining water restrictions will be cancelled.

To fill time, Apprentice has had another go at the cockpit table, although serving a purpose, it is still a long way to go before looking the part for a superyacht. He seems reluctant to continue work on it while Rob, Robbo or I am nearby to offer expert advice. His hobbies - now that he has finished reading his first ever book are slicing extremely thin sheets of ham off the Ship's Cow (which just keeps improving each day) and has just taken up basket weaving using a beer can. Not sure if he has much future, or indeed much idea, about that one, but I can see him working in a Deli on standby for when the meat slicer breaks down. Jed should now probably be called Supine as he still claims (or feigns) seasickness and spends about 23 hrs each day flat on his back watching a movie on his laptop or reading another ebook. The hour spent sitting is cocktail/snacks horu and dinner. He obviously isn't seasick (as he can read for hours and eat full meals - both of which are not possible if seasick) so I suspect his sickness is related to his distance from land and wifi and bikini wash Wednesday (a regular treat from his last Whiteboat crew position with, what sounds like, more female crew than would be strictly necessary). Rob between enjoying the sailing has taken up lure construction as his hobbie. The professional ones don't seem to work in this hemisphere so he can't really go wrong with his beer can version. Although I probably wouldn't have used his paper aeroplane folding technique on the light aluminium - but anyway the fish lures can catch birds, so perhaps his flying lure can catch fish? Julie's hobby seems to be trying to create a loaf of bread that everyone agrees to like. Naturally any fruit based ones are out as far as I'm concerned, Robbo rejected the onion and olive as being neither sweet nor savory enough, Ryan wants more than just a plain loaf and Rob has no idea what we're all carrying on about. Robbo spent all day yesterday constructing a hammock from some lifeline nets the previous owner had onboard to catch toddlers from falling over the side. I think he's put more time and effort into making a jig and designing and attempting to shape it than simply tying the four corners into a final position.

My time is consumed by lazarette and engine room essentials. Hopefully I'll get opportunity to waste time on useless endeavours on the next leg!

Expecting these perfect trade winds will continue for a few more days so we can waste more time with stupid hobbies - we do have another dead patch to get through, then with stronger SW winds on the other side of it for a fast broad reach into Cape Town...