Digiboat's "Product Testing"
Simon Blundell
Mon 30 Sep 2013 04:57
32:43.21N  010:20.50W
0415z 30/9
Well not as much progress along the rhumb line as hoped for by this stage approaching 1,000nm on th etrip log, but closer to 600 straight-line. Mostly head winds since since entering the Atlantic have hindered us getting out into the trade wind belt. Weather data shows a N-NE flow between Africa and NE of the Canaries, so we're heading for this more favourable wind to get us up and away...
On the positive side, Aphrodite seems to enjoy sitting at 9+kn in anything over 12kn of wind. So once we do get into the trades it'll be a fast comfortable sleigh ride to the Equator.
A semi breakthrough fishing today. Jed, who seems to be back to full speed now (apart from his broadband withdrawals) hooked a small tuna but lost it well before it got near the transom. A few hours later I noticed a mutton bird flying behind the boat like a kite - wings spread and swooping from side to side. After reeling it in and getting the lure out of its beak it flew away quite happily. It appears to be juvenile and stayed in sight of the boat through till sunset. Anyway, Jed failed to land a small tuna, and failed to notice his lure flying 20 feet up from the water's surface. Unfortunately he wont be able to Google for "Fishing for Dummys" instructions for another month. I suspect his duties will be re-assigned.
A spontaneous crew training excercise occured when the jib fairlead car stopper blew off and overboard. So all hands to strop down the jib sheet, then furl, then pilfer a stopper off the staysail track and rebuild the genoa track. Now all fairleads are lashed with spectra so that should be the end of it. We did pick up a box load of titanium blocks from the Volvo 70 head quarters in Alicante before leaving Spain, so I think this is a good opportunity to break out a bit more titanium. We also got hundreds of titanium nuts and bolts and other deck fittings, so all repairs and additions to date involve titanium in some way.
Ryan and Robbo spent a second day in the bilge, installing a new bilge/fire pump - titanium bolted down. And Julie who cameleoned back to human colouring today got stuck back into bread making, cleaning, washing and cooking. (With her onboard, concious of such things, there's a good chance we wont arrive in Cape Town smelling like we've been at sea for a month)
Tried the water maker today for the first time and put quarter of a tank in while charging the batteries. Be good to swap the not-too-pleasant tasting Spanish water out of the tanks. Although Robbo's been enjoying it - better than drinking fresh(ish) water out of a swamp in Afganistan I suppose.
Motoring now through the dead spot between wind patterns, no swell today and only mild sea, so on-course for W of the Canaries and expecting to hit favourable wind through the day.