Atlantic crossing 21:50.77N 27:29.64W
Alan Franklin/Lynne Gane
Wed 10 Dec 2014 19:37
Dear family and Friends,
We have finally had a calmer day, we have passed through the storms for the moment at least. Its been a day of assessing damage and repairs. From 7am this morning when the engine cut out, Alan has been working tirelessly to sort it out. It was one of those moments when we looked at each other, no engine, no water maker, oh no! Happily the water maker started and once cleared of air bubbles, worked to fill up our tanks again so the galley got a thorough clean, some washing hung out and oh bless a shower, the first since leaving Lanzarote. I can’t tell you how good that felt. The engine has had a fuel filter change, unfortunately bugs grow in the diesel and block the filters, a new impellor which pumps the cooling water around the engine and we will need to add a special debugging chemical to the fuel tank.
The boom block also came loose, this has a temporary fix but will need repair in harbour. We have a couple of leaks which we may try to patch if we get some calm water. But we have been lucky, our friends boat just south of us suffered a knockdown, where the boat is lying on its side in the water, with the self righting mechanisms it comes back up but a lot of water can get on board, they have also lost their self steering gear and towing generators. So for all the difficulties and discomfort we are very glad to have come through the experience.
It will be hard to forget the howling of the wind, thunderous, whining and the look of the sea, the swell was there but surfaces waves were flattened by the storm force winds, the sea spray picked up and riding on the wind.
In amidst of this 2 strange things happened on my midnight watch. Whilst reefing the sail, I saw a beach ball just a few feet away, for an instant I had a mad notion that it was a lobster pot but we are in several thousand feet of water! And the second, with all this ocean , poor visibility and heaving seas, I suddenly spotted a AIS signal very close by. We can look up the boat details, we passed within a mile of an Atlantic rowing boat 30’ long and 7’ wide and didnt see a thing! But with all that ocean I am amazed that we see anything.
We are looking forward to heading straight for Antigua in the next day or 2, still have 1950 miles to go.
All our best, Lynne Alan and James
For a brief period we had the usual winds for this latitude and it was sunny and warm, but then the rain closed in and the squalls passed through.