the daily routine

Mollihawk's Atlantic Circumnavigation
eddie/david nicholson
Tue 2 Dec 2008 22:54
The wind we were chasing seems to be running away from us!
We are caught up in a low pressure area and  there is little or no wind to be found.
From our weather satellite charts which we get in the form of Grib files we can see that there is plenty of wind  to the South and the West of us so we are slowly making our way in South Westerly direction.
Consequently we have spent the day attending to boat chores.Today's included a full scrub down of the top sides which never got the attention they deserved before we left and the repairing and fixing of things as they appear. A fuse has blown on our instrument panel which tells us how much water and diesel we have left on board and we have no replacement! JP is manufacturing an alternative.
The biggest problem on long voyages at sea is the Chaffee,the constant rubbing in one spot of anything from a rope to a metal fitting or even a sail. If it keeps rubbing in the same spot it will wear through and even metal shackles will wear right through given time.So the most important daily chore is to check all areas of the boat to make sure that where there is wear we adjust and change the positions of things so that that don't get a chance to wear through.
Time is also spent catching up on lost sleep from the night before.We work a watch system which is split into day hours and night hours and in the mid Atlantic it is dark from 6.30 pm to 7 am.
As we head West we move through the different time zones and at present we are 2 hours behind Irish time.The time zones change every 15 degrees of Longitude and we are presently 33 degrees 40 minutes West.
 We operate a night shift of 4 hours on and 6 hours off.There is always two people on deck at all times and each shift is shared with a person from the last shift for 2 hours and a person on the next shift for 2 hours.We start our night shifts at 9 pm until 7 am and the day shifts are more easy going with only 1 person having to be on watch and we all do 3 hours at a time.
Everyday we run our generator which charges up our batteries which are keeping our freezers and fridges going as well as all navigation equipment running. We run our water maker which turns the salt water all around us into fresh drinking water by removing the salt through a filtration process known as reverse osmosis.
We are cooking our dinners and baking brown bread every day in the gas oven. Gas is the one thing we cannot replenish if we run out but to date w ehave only used one cannister and have 3 spares.
Enough on the daily routine. We had a bet with an Italian boat Malaika 5 skippered by the infamous Paolo Liberati before we left Las Palmas that for a bottle of Irish Whiskey we would beat them to Saint Lucia. They are a bigger and faster boat and they rose to the bait!
Well an amazing thing happened the other day a boat appeared on the horizon and sailed across our stern , they called us up on the VHF radio and who was it only Paolo! With no other boat in sight for days it is unbelievable that of all boats to cross us it would be them.He still believes he'll beat us which has us chasing every wind shift!
We have heard tales of English boats tossing back their unwanted tuna and can only surmise that they must have had prolonged periods in calm waters as we have had no such luck on that front and can only assume that we are going too fast for the Tuna!!
that's all from the blogger ..... it's happy hour!

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