Fixing stuff and other yachts

Sun 9 Dec 2018 14:30
16:08.5N 050:26.5W

COG 264
BTW 260
DTW 621

another long night for me waking every time the sails flogged and snapped full again. lighter winds have left us rolling around and finding it hard to steer the course we want while keeping the sails filled. we kept our pace up but the daily run was a bit lower than we want. 154nM.
this morning on watch i saw the autopilot was struggling. a quick look in the laz area and the connection between the ram and the steering quadrant was working loose. i hand steered until dad appeared at the companion around 0700. while we chatted about the steering MIke obviusly heard and woke up so he joined in.
we soon had a plan and once dave was up we emptied the laz of the rubbish that had built up and i slid in there and curved myself around the steering gear to get my head close to the steering quadrant so i could see what was going on. some nuts had come loose and a bolt. we had to borrow some nuts from another part of the boat to tighten everything up again but hopefully for now the autopilot and the steering quadrant are firmly held together.

we also fixed a small air leak on the water maker and ran her up. she was playing up but with new pre filters and this little fix she is back to making 40L/hr

weather for today is more of the same 15kts with a slight swell. annoying to be honest. tomorrows forecast is for more wind and higher swells. this will make life easier in many respects. we will reef down and settle in for 24-36hrs of bumpy sailing but the plus side is our speed will go up and we should eat up the remaining miles. if we are trucking at 8kts we will be smiling. this yacht is strong and she gives great confidence in her ability to just dig in and sail.

i popped a call out on teh radio this morning for 'any yachts'. i got three replies from yachts nearby. one we could see, the first contact in about 4 days i think! we all faced a similar frustrion with teh wind and swell and gear issues so its good to hear we are not alone! also each of the yacht is much faster than us so on corrected time we will be way ahead of them. it's a good point to note on our tracker that the positions they have given us are our positions on teh water. they take no account of our handicap. we have consistently been sailing up with faster yachts so i'm hoping we are well placed once the over all results are in. i'm happy with our position overall.

lunch has just been served and its left over fish in burritos with some random filling. very tasty.

hope all well ashore. strange not having heard any news at all for 15 days. we do wonder what if anything interesting has happened!

SY Gitana