Day 23 - Easterly Heading Resumed

Where Next?
Bob Williams
Thu 6 Jan 2022 00:48
Noon Position: 45 53.9 S 170 19.1 W
Course: E Speed: 5 knots
Wind: WSW, F4 Sea: slight
Swell: SW, 1.5 meters; N 1.5 meters
Weather: overcast, mild
Day's Run: 89 nm

We continued on a NE'ly heading overnight to a light NW'ly breeze. This morning, at 0800, the wind had shifted into the west such that Sylph was now heading north. Figuring that we had now made enough ground to the north to ovoid the low pressure system to the NE of us, I gybed and brought Sylph round to an E'ly heading, poling the jib out to starboard so that we are now running wing-on-wing before a gradually freshening WSW breeze.
This morning, in the way of precautionary maintenance, I attempted to start the engine. I say attempted because it in fact did not start. The starting panel was basically dead indicating an electrical problem. I eventually traced the problem to a poor connection on the starter motor solenoid and after a bit of a jiggle and the application of some WD40 the engine came to life.
Another small job I completed this morning while the cabin sole floor board was up was to better secure a piece of ply I had placed in the bilge to keep some tinned food stored there in place. It could still do with some improvement but it is better than it was.
And another job, this one on deck. While I was poling out the jib, I noticed a rust stain on one of the new flexible solar panel. That required investigation and, after I had finished with the engine and the keel stowage, I tracked down the rust to the junction box linking the two flexible panels into the ship's batteries. Unfortunately the junction box is mounted on the coach house just forward of the dodger where it is exposed to the weather, and it isn't waterproof. I had tried to seal it with some 'liquid electrical tape' but clearly that had not worked very well. Not having anything better to replace the joiner with, I found another larger junction box, connected the panels back together and this time buried the box in silicone, wrapped up in cling wrap, and then taped up with some gaffer tape. I doubt whether this will keep the elements out entirely but hopefully it will keep the panels functioning for at least a few months before requiring attention again.
It has been mostly overcast since yesterday afternoon, with at times a little drizzle, so I was unable to take evening stars last night but I did manage to shoot a sun just before midday today when the clouds thinned a bit. So, we have one sight for the day and I am hopeful we will be able to obtain an afternoon sun as well so as to be able to plot a running fix.

All is well.