Thursday, July 05, 2007

Tuesday 3rd July

At Sea
5 32.840 S
119 28.078 W (at Midnight)

Whilst the night continued to roar and we made good speed for most of the night, by the time dawn arrived the wind had dropped to 9 knots and the swell was hitting us almost side on – not very comfortable and we weren’t moving along very well. The radio schedule showed that we weren’t alone; no one seemed to be doing any better than us. We had breakfast and then decided to try poling the jib out on the opposite side to the main sail – effectively goose winging it. This worked for about 2 hours; Gerry had gone back to bed for a while and I was on watch when suddenly the pole jerked free of the sheet and that end clattered to the deck. I yelled for Gerry to come up on deck as we don’t go out on deck without the other person being in the cockpit for safety reasons. He decided to take the pole off all together and return to the tried and tested stay sail solution that I had suggested a couple of days ago. Once we were back in order we managed to move along at a steady 6.5 knots all day but we did roll around a bit. We managed to run the water maker twice though we probably only managed to put half the usual amount of water into the tank as the pressure dropped every time we rolled or the speed got up too high causing the sea water intake to fill with air rather than water, still every little bit counts! We saw nothing of note all day – 10 days now without signs of human life apart from us – it hardly seems possible. The sun at least came out today although it was still quite chilly unless you were directly in the sunlight. We have noticed that the boat is making a lot more groans and creaks since we left Panama, some of them we can’t even work out where they come from. Our steering has begun to make a thumping noise when the auto pilot stops and changes direction – something to be looked at when we get to the Marquesas I think. The hydraulic cylinder that we had resealed in Panama still has a leak, it’s no where near as bad as before but we have to top up the fluid in it periodically during the day, I guess the new one that we bought is going to have to be fitted after all. Once we began the night watches the weather picked up (for some unknown reason it always seems even worse than it really is at night – something to do with light perception), anyway we had roaring winds of 18 knots gusting up to 22 knots. The boat felt like it was on a collision course all the time even though we turned so that the wind was dead astern to try and keep us balanced and steady – it really didn’t work and it was similar to being on a roller coaster all night. We did of course manage to pack some serious miles away because of it, though it didn’t do much for our sleep deprivation.



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