Excitement in the Atlantic ...with Pictures 24:47:34N 18:17:42W

Zipadedoda of Dart
David H Kerr
Wed 21 Nov 2007 19:38

We have had a cracking days sailing. Mostly 5 to 6.5 knots to windward. It was sunny and warm and whilst we were heeling quite a bit due to the previously mentioned weight of the diesel in Jerry cans on the side decks.  It was none the less most enjoyable.


We were greeted this morning with a very moody sunrise.


 The foe boding dawn


This was a perfect reflection of our mood, after a rather exciting night. Whilst cracking along last night, I noticed a strange sweet pungent smell. ( Concerned it might be me after not showering for 2 days). At the same time I also noticed that the power drain on the batteries was much higher than normal. Which given that our wind generator was actually contributing power for the first time was a bit of a puzzle. The smell turned acrid and some smoke became evident. To cut a long story short we had a small fire in one of our electric pumps. This was the fresh water system pressure pump.  (Without it no showers for crew and I).


 Pressure switch completely destroyed by fire


What had happened was a result of a shoddy installation of our water maker. A bronze T piece pipe joint had been left unsecured. It had been rubbing on the front part of the pump where the pressure switch is installed. This wore through the plastic casing and shorted out the 12v supply, but for some reason did not trip the breaker. As the fire started, the adjacent water hose melted and put out the fire before matters got out of hand. So, as I carry spares for all the pumps on board, it was a simple matter of replacing the pump and burnt out wiring and repairing the hose. Oh and finishing the water maker installation as it should have been in the first place. (If you would like to know who installed this, happy to supply details,,,,,,,,,,,)


Earlier today we furled away the Genoa, and gently sailed along at 4 knots in a near flat calm and transferred all of the diesel in the deck cans into the main tank, all 160 Litres.


  Fully colour co-ordinated diesel transfer!


The wind has completely vanished this evening and we are charging along under all the canvas we have at breathtaking 2.9 knots. If we go any faster my hair will catch fire. Oops, no more fires please………As of 1900 this evening we have covered 441nm since leaving Lanzarote. Not that impressive a performance, but we have to go with the wind.


Been fishing too, but with no luck.


The trade winds are set to arrive on Thursday evening (for us) and hopefully we will then get some serious downwind sailing and catch up with some of the other boats in the fleet over the next week or so.


Happy days, only 2474 miles to go to Jolly Harbour in Antigua. Roll on!!!!