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18 March 08 Anyone who wonders why I'm doing this should be here now!!

Tuesday 18th March '08 What a great day...!

For the second day, it has been just wonderful ... not fast sailing, but just great being out here on the ocean, sailing gently along under sunny skies with a few fluffy white Trade Wind clouds or a clear sky at night with a nearly full moon and hundreds of twinkling stars. With the gentle wind, the swell has dropped right down, although still there. I feel as though I could sail on for ever....

I eased the Windpilot this morning, spraying everywhere that looked as though it might benefit, and tried it - far better, but it still has a problem on almost a dead run in such light winds (around 6-7 knots all day). The vane seems to flop over and stick there - so we go charging off course...! Dieter on 'Amazon' tonight suggested using a bungy cord to stop it going to the extreme - a job for tomorrow... I later switched the mains'l over to port and the genoa (and pole) over to starboard, goosewinged,
with the wind having shifted to the ESE, & in the afternoon I finally hoisted the new cruising chute - it did quite well, giving us 3.5knots in winds of just 7 knots, and looked just lovely when up.

While going around the deck on my morning flying fish count and deck inspection, I found a webbing tape lying on deck - yet another badly sewn tape connecting batten end to mains'l mast car has come apart. I tensioned the main halyard as much as possible to stop the first batten end from chafing on the mast and lower. I shall keep an eye on things and if needs be, I'll just have to lower the mains'l and sew a new tape in place - a job for calm conditions, that's for sure.

Overnight, I went for a drink of water ... nothing from the tap... I refused to panic (!), waiting for daylight to investigate - and discovered in the morning that the foot-pump worked fine, so clearly there was still plenty of water in the tank (so it hadn't all been pumped out into the bilge through a leak somewhere - my first thought!!) but the electric pump had developed a fault. I checked the pump fuse, that was fine, but when I checked the wires leading to the pump, one moment there was continuity,
the next not... seems like a wiring/connection problem. I got all organized to take the pump out to look at the wiring, but got side-tracked with evening radio 'scheds', taking down the spinnaker come evening and just sitting in the cockpit, enjoying the beautiful evening at sea .... which is where I started, I think!!

Written by : Mike

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