Day 85 – Oil Change Two

Where Next?
Bob Williams
Tue 8 Mar 2022 13:11
Noon Position: 41 42.1 S 010 01.5 E
Course: ESE Speed: 6 knots
Wind: NW, F4 Sea: slight
Swell: W 1.5 m
Weather: overcast, mild
Day’s Run: 103 nm sailed (84 nm of Easting)

We lost the wind late yesterday and ended up drifting with just part of the
jib poled out to starboard to keep the boat moving in what little air there
was. I couldn’t put more sail up as it just crashed and banged about as
Sylph rolled in the swell. At 2300 I glanced up at the GPS from dozing in my
bunk and noticed the speed was up to two knots. With such a small amount of
sail up this meant there must have been at least enough breeze to keep the
sails full. I got up and sure enough the Australian flag was fluttering
steadily from the backstay, rather than hanging limp and flopping from side
to side as Sylph rolled or occasionally fluttering to intermittent breeze
generated by a large swell passing by. We soon had the mainsail back up and
the jib fully unrolled to have Sylph running with the light W’ly breeze on
wind off her starboard quarter. Since then we have enjoyed a pleasant sail
overnight, putting in a gybe at 0400 as the breeze veered into the NW, the
nice steady gentle breeze continuing into the forenoon.
I have taken the opportunity with the fair weather to change the engine oil
once again. I have now used up all the engine oil I have on board so the BRM
is going to have to live with what its got until the voyage is over. The
only problem now is that after completing the oil change the engine refuses
to start. I had run it without any trouble yesterday so no idea what the
problem might be. I have bled the fuel system which is the usual culprit but
to no effect. This has led to the drastic measure of consulting Nigel Calder’s
excellent little book “Marine Diesel Engines: Maintenance, Troubleshooting,
and Repair”. This afternoon’s job then is to continue trying to get the
engine running by following Nigel’s troubleshooting procedures.
And today marks the end of week twelve of the voyage. This last week we covered 1006 miles for an average of six knots overall, which isn't too bad for a heavy old boat like Sylph. We have now sailed a total of 11,004 miles which is just a tad over half way in terms of miles we need to cover for a full circumnavigation.
Advanced clocks one hour to time zone -1.
All is well.