Fenix II ARC
Liz/Steve Rakoczy
Mon 25 Oct 2010 07:35

21/10/2010      Distance: 41NM        “38:50.88N 0:07.53E”


We have been sailing - to be precise mostly motoring and motor-sailing for 3 days and we have been rather unwell for exactly the same amount of time. Not feeling well of course takes away the shine from anything and our spirits have not been what we expected to be on the start of our great adventure. Of course it does not help that Fenix has been reluctant to appreciate all that TLC she received from Steve in Barcelona (yes, you will have the opportunity to read about it as soon as we finish listing all the items) and we have been dogged with equipment failure. Steve has a cold/flue, Bird, Swine or Spanish? Who knows? And he was just getting worse day by day. He was like a sick puppy feeling very sorry for himself but bravely soldering on and repairing newer and newer faults (just to mention the main concerns : bow-thruster battery failure and the transmission dripping oil). Of course we carry several antibiotics for the crossing but he was reluctant to use any, in case we REALLY need it. Last night, he felt sick enough to agree to start a course from Roximycin but he insisted that we ask the “Boys” to bring a replacement dose. The “Boys” are two fellow sailors from Perth who will join us for the crossing. He was better this morning.


Not to be out bided two days ago in Valencia I developed a severe abdominal pain. I cannot compare to anything but childbirth. I spent the night in agony consulting the Skipper’s Medical Emergency Handbook. After identifying all the symptoms and the fact that I had 37.3oC temperature I concluded that I had appendicitis. It is an easily treatable condition, nothing that an emergency surgery cannot solve. But what will happen to my Atlantic crossing?


What an irony, that having been thinking about doing a crossing for years and preparing for it for 10 months, I am set to spend my holiday in a hospital bed! I turned to the old trusted Aspirin. I felt better next morning but not well enough to forget about the whole thing. So I called our Perth GP, Tony Barr, for advice. He answered the phone cheerily and after chatting about the benefits of Spanish red wine he told me to hang on and see what happens.” If pain persists, go to see a doctor.” This advice scared me so much that helped by further Aspiring doses I started to feel better by next day. However the battle has not been won as I still feel some pain in the right corner of my abdomen. For the time being it is a wait and see.


Talking about equipment failures. We changed the battery in Denia and got a new transmission oil filter. We are facing a potentially serious problem as our Raymarine Autopilot, from time to time literally “looses its bearings”. Yesterday, while motoring it drove us around in a full 360o circle around an imaginary tree! Now, imagine the same happening in 20 knts wind, the Spinnaker flying. I guess this is what you call crash jibing. Now, if we are lucky we loose the spinnaker, if not a crew or the boat. Not funny! Steve, who has an uncanny ability for trouble shooting and fault finding, recons that our fluxgate compass is playing up. Today, he called a sailing shop at our final Spanish destination, Benalmadena, and ordered one. I hope it will be waiting for us.