Electrical Activity

Flyer of Lorne
Dave Sturrock
Mon 10 Nov 2008 03:07
37:22.68N 08:49.64E
09 November
Today has been a day of light winds and high activity on board Flyer as we tackle some more jobs on the list, unfortunately some of these were actually generated by our own activities.The days run was 136NM which is a below our target of 168NM but was fairly commendable given the average wind strengthy in this period was around 7knots of true breeze. We were able to make 4-5knots boatspeed on a close reach in these conditions for around 18hours with the engine on during some frustratingly light spells during the night. We have now transited the Tunisian coast with the Algerian border around 10NM ahead. There has been a lot of fishing boat activity and alarmingly many lobster pot trots marked only with clear plastic bottles! We have not seen any other yachts sailing since we left the coast of Malta. Just after daylight this morning we witnessed some electrical storm activity at closer quarters than we would have liked. There were a couple of cloud formations that produced lightning and then tornado columns reaching down to the sea within a 1NM range. By tracking the movement of these systems we were able to keep clear but only just!. It was all very surreal to see this in bright sunny conditions which felt much too fresh for this kind of activity. We have some good photos of these to post next time we are in harbour. The next piece of electrical activity was on board Flyer. No sooner does the ship's spark leave and our domestic freshwater pump packs in!. Well the exact sequence of events was that skip had gone overboard (with a safety line attached) when Flyer was stopped in the water to fix another vexing problem, a blocked toilet outlet. On his return on what was ultimately  a failed "dynorod" mission, the deckshower was found not to be functioning. You will just have to imagine the why me, why now expletives as they cannot be entered in this log!. So a salt water shower it had to be then!  Further investigation found a terminal connection had failed on the 12 volt pump which took a bit of a soaking on the beat North from Malta when Flyer was pressed hard over. This was due to some backflow from the port heads sink causing more bilge water to slosh around than usual. We have a spare pump but were able to effect a temporary repair with a crocodile connection untill we can source the correct spade terminal connector. I have to say again, where is chieffy when you really need him! There was then a frenzy of activity with the following jobs completed, engine exhaust hose secured, cabin port seals cleaned and sealed, rigging tension adjusted ( port tack quicker than starboard). We are also having a problem with the mast through deck wiring where the swan neck fitting has been snagged by the genoa sheets when tacking. This has been re-secured but has been added to our lenghthening list. At least we have some assistance on the horizon with Hanse Yachts providing a technician dedicated to Flyer for the week leading up to the start of the ARC at Las Palmas. This is very welcome and is a great initiative by Hanse to support their yacht owners.With all this effort going on, you can imagine the food in take has had to go up to compensate. So despite also being deorived of  the head chef (Sandy) we have still been well provided for with some innovative menus. I have just returned from deck where I am pleased to say the engine is off again and we have a 10knot Nly breeze which is finally abaft the beam. I feel a Gennaker hoist coming on soon------Richard, wake up!