10,000 miles

Digiboat's "Product Testing"
Simon Blundell
Sun 1 Dec 2013 08:35
36:17.61S 074:32.65E

0742z 01/12

We've sailed out of the Roaring Forties wind stream in the last day or
two as our course is now sloping us more to the N. Our dream run of
210-220 miles run each day has ending, hopefully only temporarily though
as we cross over the mid ocean high and get to the SW wind squeeze up
the W Aust coast. The current is still pushing us and the seas are still
ridiculously calm which is helping our progress. Mostly motoring since
yesterday morning with an opportunity every few hours for motor-sailing
which doesn't generally add speed but does make the ride more
comfortable removing or dampening the rolling motion. GRIB forecasts
show we should be into a decent reaching wind by tomorrow night and
possibly earlier.

HAL has returned to keep us on our toes and shorten our afternoon
cocktail hours to just the more appropriate sunset hour session. The
genset had a runaway - extremely high revs and massive billows of
exhaust smoke - which points to an injector pump problem which is one of
the few items on a diesel engine that is beyond our ability to fix or
service. After an emergency shutdown, then many engine room hours
cleaning aand flushing the fuel system the first restart attempt was
looking promising for 2 hours before the runaway occured again. Another
engine room day and stripping off the entire fuel system - all but the
injectors and injector pump and servicing and cleaning it all including
devising a method to manually flush the injector pump, then reassembly
and firts test late yesterday the genny ran perfectly for 5 hours and
has been cautiously declared HAL-free.

It started looking like water rationing was to be re-introduced (we had
this for a week or two on the Atlantic leg) as without a working genset
we can't run the watermaker. So between engine room sessions Luc and I
did some hot wiring (yes - back to spending some quality lazarette time
between engine room stints) to run the watermaker from the inverters,
which created all types of HAL'esque behaviours throughout the boat.
After servicing the watermaker's feed and high pressure pumps and
declaring them fine, but now cleaner and better lubricated, it was
discovered that the inverters output only 180 Volts (rather than the
expected 220/240). I guess the missing 40-60 volts is running HAL? As
the telly, kettle and microwave have all been working this voltage loss
hasn't previously been discovered, although it does account for the
poroblems we've been having with the washing machine spin cycle. A day
wasted on this diversion in the lazarette, albiet a good bonding
experience for me and Lu in the dark cramped space bouncing off the
walls, steering gear, scuba compressor and each other for a few hours,
until we conceded to HAL on this option and returned to the generator

Ultimately we got the genny running, rewired the watermaker to it and
had 6 hrs of trouble free running of both the gen and watermaker. So
with an extra half ton of fresh water on board, and 5 hours of power to
the hot water heater I enjoyed a long hot de-dieseling shower - my first
hot shower for this leg.

Galley antics continue with Ryan now throuwing himself firmly into the
firing line as takes the mantle of Head Baker. His dubious start earlier
in the leg when he made the shot-put loaf still in mind (it actually
sunk when we tossed it overboard) meant he was under very critical
scrutiny by Kay the Head Chef and Robbo the reluctant and sulking
su-chef. To all of our surprise, but mostly to Ryan's, the loaf was
spectacular and rose so much it virtually lifted the lid off the bread
maker. Now 3 or 4 loaf's later the standard has been upped each time and
his bread is so good as to be beyond description (and this truely is not
just because we're 3000 miles from the nearest shop). Anyway you can all
taste his bread at his Bakery he'll be opening in Rozelle when he gets
back (it'll be alongside his ship building business, which'll be next
door to his fitness gym upstairs from his delicatessan).

Now that Kay's bread duties have been revoked perhaps she can learn how
to adapt to sailing in straight lines between destinations rather than
sailing just in circles. Left unsupervised in the cockpit while the
Captain and 1st Mate where playing engine room and lazarette games she
is developing a habit of going in circles. No attempt to cover this up
is possible as a zoom into our track on the chart shows her Victory Laps
quite clearly as prima facie evidence. The Crazy Ivan is always a random
regular on a yacht, Kay is developing this into her own trademark and
enhancing it into the full circle version (could possibly be coined the
Crazy Cottee?). Anyway we keep telling her this trip is not about
sailing in a circle.

10,000 miles has been swept under our hull for the three of us remaining
onboard since Burriana in Spain (seemingly all those years ago....).
I've been playing this game for a while now, but for Robbo and Ryan on
their first ever ocean outing it is a huge achievement and one matched
by only a fairly small handfull of non-professional sailors world wide.
Equivalent to about 16 Hobarts! I'll easily confess (but not directly to
them!) that every mile sailed with them has been a pleasure...