Day 115 – Fresh Breeze

Where Next?
Bob Williams
Thu 7 Apr 2022 07:29
Noon Position: 30 57.4 S 078 59.0 E
Course: NNW Speed: 6.5 knots
Wind: ESE F5 Sea: moderate
Swell: S 2m
Weather: partly cloudy, warm
Day’s Run: 125nm

The wind has gradually freshened and Sylph is once more making her customary day’s run of a hundred plus miles. At midnight we reduced the main to two reefs and the jib to 80%. This morning at 0715, with the wind backing into the ESE, I dropped the pole and set Sylph on a broad reach. I do not want to allow Sylph to fall too far off to the west as it is ground we will have to make up later. The Indian Ocean trade wind can become quite strong the further west one goes and I don’t want to have to be close reaching, or worse, close hauled, into 25 knots or more of wind.
However, before the wind freshened late yesterday, I worked on getting the head off the engine and I am pleased to report that I have succeeded without too many dramas. What was revealed was not a pretty sight to behold – water and corrosion in all four cylinders. I have sponged them out and given everything a liberal dousing of WD40 in the hope of minimising any further damage. Later, when conditions ease again, I will try to free the pistons up but I don’t like my chances. Whether the engine is salvageable or not will need an expert to determine. At a minimum the engine is going to need a complete overhaul including a re-bore of the cylinders. But that is something that will have to wait until we are back in port.
For now, we sail.
All is well.