Dances with Waves

Rich Carey
Fri 1 Dec 2017 09:10
15 57.287N 033 24.957W

Costner's movie 'Waterworld' is likely more appropriate, but the emptiness he portrays, of the rolling plains of North America has some synergy - although Dolphins not Wolves constitute wildlife.

Not much afoot, or afloat, these days. I was going to put the lures out yesterday, fancying that we were far enough from shore to avoid catching birds. Then a bird flew past.

Food remains remarkable, with the three alternating Chef's of the day, coming up with meals not credible with circumstance. Steaks last night with boat baked bread rolls, and boat made garlic butter. Bosun is doing pretty well out of the deal also.

Battery charging is now under a more discipline regime. The parallel wired solar panels suffer horribly when any portion of them is in shade. With the sun traversing parallel all day, south of us, and a starboard tack meaning shade from the mainsail, we could barely make 5A of charge. With 10A of common drain at any time, the solar is proving only 15A). Later yesterday with the wind now largely easterly, I was able to gybe the main to the other side, reduce shading, and increased the charge to 25A. This still requires a minimum of 2.5 hours engine charging to make back what we use at night. This escalates to a potential fuel issue, down the wet road (but not yet of major concern). We're already saving energy by: Not using the Raymarine auto pilot (Hydrovane is a thing of beauty - if we needed to save weight, the crew go overboard before it does); Turning off the freezers at night; Turning of the 240v Inverter at night; Having salt water showers (with fresh water rinse off). Reducing the watermaker usage to one hour every two days (120L), is critical at the moment, although as we get closer to the destination we can take the brake off that in stages, as we'll be able to start carefully running the fresh water tank down.

We had a very slow sail yesterday (3.5-4.5 knots), moving to mediocre overnight (4.0-5.0 knots), and that's the case at the moment. With the wind mostly on the tail, we've spent the last two days with the wing on wing sail up, and main with two reefs. The main shades the wing on wing, hence its reduction. Real wind (opposed to 'apparent'): Under 7 knots we wallow along pathetically; 7-11 knots we feel slow but that we're progressing; 11-15 we're doing nicely; 15-21 we're quick; over 22 knots we're the fast and furious.

I'm not sure what the time is, as we're doing a strange dance around the clock, by putting the clock back when we feel like it! This is to do with our watch system, and estimated time to go ref easterly component of travel. I raised the subject on the daily ARC HF SSB radio net, and different skippers have different schema's. Most seem to not bother with a gradual adjustment of the clock. They have fixed period watches and don't seem to care that light and dark therefore start to rotate through illogically, the further west you go. Think of that in terms of dawn - start dawn might be at 08:00 - if you don't adjust the clock then by arrival it may be at 12:00 ... One skipper popped up and said that changing the clock as you go was in fact critical - reasoning: "how else are you going to know if the bar will be open when you arrive?" - good point!!

No significant issues with the good ship thus far. Minor things:

Strip light fell down in the kitchen - factory glued! - drilled and screwed it in place properly.
Salt water shower in cockpit broke - cheap crappy rose - had a different one in the spares kit - replaced
One of the cooker knobs became seized - greased, and worked it back to life

All's relaxed on x86

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