The burden of responsibility
Sat 8 Dec 2018 14:35
I came on watch yesterday middle of the night and found tank 1 to be empty of fresh water. tank 2 is empty as well. we have been making water for around 2-3 hrs but the flow rate has been unpredictable. our on board usage of water has been higher than we planned and i've been unable to cut it back. so finally and inevitably tank 1 ran dry. OK no major panic, we just have to run the water maker for a decent amount of time the next day to put back in 100L or so of fresh water. problem over.
dawn comes and we flash up the engine to recharge the batteries and we start up the water maker. we are rolling round a bit in the swell. the water maker struggles to make any water. it gets air locks and stops. this on its own wouldn't be an issue but with two empty tanks this is now a serious problem. we have 80L in tank 3 and 100L in bottled water plus two 20L jerry cans of water so we wont go thirsty but we do now have to strictly ration water.
eventually we get the water maker to produce around 50L per hour but only for a hour or so.
i am pretty stressed that we've allowed ourselves to be in this position and now we are the water maker is playing up for the first time ever. the crew seem oblivious to this.
a general theme on this trip has been my level of stress and worry about the boat and the systems. this is for a couple of reasons, 1. as a professional mariner i hold myself to high standards. I am always looking ahead to what could go wrong then i work to avoid this. it comes across as being too picky or too worried all the time. but its been my job for around 20 years to keep yachts working with out too many obvious problems.
2. i have close friends and my dad along. it doesn't matter who is with me on a boat, the level of responsibility is the same except of course when you have taken 3 close friends and your dad across an ocean on a yacht you rebuilt, much of it yourself. If something goes wrong with something i repaired and some one gets hurt i would struggle to come to terms with that.
3. this is not a coastal cruise. its a trans ocean passage. we are in a remote region of the world. while there are other yachts around we cannot rely on them for support. if something goes wrong out here it can go very wrong and it can take a while to resolve. i know, i sat for 3 days last year with no engines on a delivery. that feeling of helplessness is awful. we must be self sufficient and we must work harder to nurse the yacht to her destination. we are putting a huge number of hours on the yacht, lets say an 18 day passage, thats 432hrs on wear and tear on everything. now lets look at your average coastal cruiser. lets say 6 months of the year, 12 weekends. 5hrs per day sailing. thats 120hours. now add in a two week cruise with 4hrs sailing each day over ten days (because you dont sail everyday) thats 160hrs use per year.
so 160hrs compared to 432hrs over 18 days on this trip and you start to understand why i am paranoid about wear and tear.
anyway, 771nM to go as i sit and write this. bets are being placed on very late Wednesday to midday Thursday for an arrival. either way the beer is going to taste awesome.