3 weeks weed growth on the boat

Dick and Irene Craig
Tue 30 Mar 2010 01:10

Monday 22nd and we have been at sea for 2 weeks, covered in excess of 2000nm
(nautical miles) and have managed not to have to use the engines at all which is really great. The rest of the fleet used their engines soon after we left Academy bay, Galapagos and most of those, some 200+ nm ahead of us, have resorted to the iron sail once again. We are hoping that we might be able to sail the entire distance of 3000nm, which would be really brilliant..
Today around 8am we reached the point where we had traveled ¾ of the distance. Around 16.30 we crossed yet another time zone so are theoretically nine hours behind UT (universal time) though we won't put this into practice until tomorrow when it is easier to absorb during the daytime, adjusting the watch system to incorporate that extra hour.
We had problems with the generator last evening and although Dick was unable to identify the cause of the problem, he managed to get it to work for us. Unfortunately, the unidentified problem returned next morning and was ultimately found to be the impellor. Not that one could see anything obviously wrong with it but to the discerning eye, the cogs had reversed. How that could have occurred is anyone's guess but having established the cause it was just a case of fitting a new impellor and we were back in business.
If it was necessary, we could recharge the batteries using the engines but that is not as efficient and wouldn't solve the problem entirely. The water-maker is connected directly to the generator and would need to be re-wired. However, all would not be lost.
The Victron equipment is not working satisfactorily as it keeps overheating when we are recharging the batteries. We have resorted to removing the protective covers to allow more air to reach the units but that isn't helping. They are not in a location where anyone can brush against them accidentally. They are in a very awkward, almost inaccessible place. Isn't everything on a boat that needs attention located in a place that one has difficulty in accessing?
We have had a fishing line behind the boat for three days now, two fishing lines today. Not a bite. I don't mind too much as I am not a major fish fan and I find it distressing to catch these beautiful creatures, even though we are going to eat them.
Dick saw a huge flying fish, almost as large as a salmon. This is the largest flying fish that he has seen though I do remember when I was returning by passenger liner from Cape Town, way back in 1972, the flying fish we saw then were huge, nothing like these tiddlers that are so much in abundance.
A couple of nights ago we saw a boat on the radar and at first thought perhaps we had caught up with one of the other WARC boats. Tucanon and Ariane have been taking turns to be the lead boat of us stragglers. Not so. It never came closer than just under four nautical miles but was very brightly lit. We decided it was a fishing boat but over 500nm from the Marquesas and thousands of miles from continental land.
Thursday 25th and we have less that 10% of the passage still to do. Having left the Galapagos on the 7th, we now feel that being at sea is the norm and are contently living our lives accordingly.
Despite the hundredss of sunsets that I have watched from the sea, tonight was the first time that I saw the green flash. Dick, standing next to me didn't see it. Amazing!
The salad stuff is now much reduced. We are down to our last cabbage with only one green pepper, one cucumber and one tomato remaining since lunch today. As of tomorrow, fresh fruit will consist of only grapefruit, apples, lemons and limes. The last orange was consumed yesterday and the last passion fruit today.
Dolphins came to the boat about 8pm and although it was great to see them, because the moon was shining brightly, Bev missed the opportunity to see the phosphorescence, as they made their way through the water in the darkness.
On the morning of the 26th, there are only half a dozen boats still making passage. Three of these boats are behind us though two of them didn't leave the Galapagos until several days after the official start of this leg.
There is not enough wind to maintain an average of 5knots which is a disappointment. We really don't want to have to use the engines and now expect to arrive after dark on the 27th or even during the early hours of 28th.
The sugar scoops on the boat are covered in seaweed after the three week passage. Fortunately it should scrub off quite easily but looks most unattractive. The waterline is equally festooned. Monday morning, while Dick and I were getting in some provisions at horrendously expensive prices, the crew managed to clean the growth from the sugar scoops and some of the hull. The photo doesn't do it justice as the step was covered with seaweed until we arrived in this anchorage. The lack of water over the step and the hot sunshine has killed it and faded it from green to beige.
All of the boats which left Galapagos have now arrived, some have already moved off to cruise the other islands. We will stay here until Wednesday when we will sail to Paumau on the north of the island where there are 5 of the largest tikis in this archipelago.

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