13th today- Murphy takes up residence!!! (Days 10/11) N.Z. to Kauai

Sunday 13th June Problems never come singly when Murphy's around...!

Spent today entertaining Murphy !! Wind well abaft the beam and light - so spent ages first thing, organizing poling out of genoa (first time since in S. Atlantic, on way to Cape Town from Canaries!).. Downloaded a weather fax... studied it ... Spilled coffee all over chart table (luckily no laptop there!!) - major drying-out operation needed ... Noticed batteries' charge well down ... started genset... died... overheat warning light on .... Started main engine.... not charging... and wind had almost died, so almost no boatspeed without 'iron sail'.
Off with motor .... and all instruments off to conserve charge... Not enough wind for wind-generator to input any charge. Tilted solar panels for maximum sun effect... gave 1-2A input to battery bank - voltage up, nearer to 12V with trickle charge - better for batteries!... Checked oil level & water strainers in both motors - all OK... so impellor probably gone in genset - access not that easy...( must check if time for oil change, while at it.).
Looked at engine problem - alternator belt gone... Searched for spare (not listed ...grr!), since I felt was easier to replace belt than genset impellor (will be first time of doing it on generator). Started trying to loosen nuts on alternator belt tensioning system ... fixed by a 'gorilla' ! ....
Checked on deck ... wind had unexpectedly veered to NNW from SW... so started to down the pole to take genoa over to leeward ... Suddenly noticed was noon - so wrote position/weather report in logbook ... Back on deck... got boat closehauled under windsteering... Back down...kept trying to loosen nuts.. finally managed (after judicious use of rubber mallet!).... belt too small?.... kept trying... finally figured out how to get it on..checked in briefly to Pacific Seafarers Net... Tensioned belt...tightened nuts... steps back.... Started engine.... yippee!!!!! We have battery charging..! Closed up engine compartment forward access.... was being difficult.... Sunset, so decided to leave genset impellor to tomorrow - one success/day is plenty, I decide, with all that time & effort...
No food all day, so time to eat, drink & catch up on emails, gribs etc... Murphy's staying the night on board, waiting to see what he can do to 'help' the genset problem along tomorrow....

Saturday 12th June Wind to 36 kt and seas to 4m - and very steep...

Had N-NNW 32-34 kt, gusting 36 kt, from sunset to this morning! Died down slowly ... W 24 kt by midday and WSW 17 kt around midnight. Seas were 4m and steep-faced this morning, but much calmer by night time. The sky cleared by noon to give bright sunshine but the seas were still big and the strong conditions brought lots of birds - they always seem to enjoy the strong winds!
Yet again, the top mains'l batten has broken - and worryingly, it has torn the sail vertically at the luff - about a 30cm tear. The batten end holders are just not sturdy or large enough at the luff for the flexing of the battens when the sail is backed occasionally - often by swell, especially in light winds, despite the boom being prevented. (On Sunday, I saw the second batten had also broken at the luff - this is the third set of battens.....)
Had a good sleep in the easier conditions of the afternoon - I was feeling very tired, having had very little sleep over two nights with Thursday night's very changeable winds and Friday night's strong conditions.

DMG to noon today: 128 n.ml. DMG to noon yesterday: 118 n.ml. (Positions posted on Winlink/Yotreps/Shiptrak - use 'Travels' page links)

Sea temperature has been slowly increasing - it was 14C over the first week out from N.Z. & 16C at noon on Thursday but has rapidly gone up since to over 21C now. Air temperatures have increased in line with sea temperatures, generally being about 2C higher - so quite early on today, after working on deck, I finally took off all my fleeces and my ski socks - I feel as though I'm headed to warmer climes at last!!

Written by : Mike

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