Day 10: Wednesday 23rd Nov 2016

5am/1300GMT Generator not firing up (job for tomorrow in daylight), so running engine in neutral for an hour to charge batteries - not enough wind now for wind generator to cope at moment. Lovely crescent moon and lots of stars in between some clouds - mostly clear. Seas abating but still often rolly.

Heading on a broad reach a bit E of S to try to avoid worst of calms ahead near centre of H pressure area we're heading into- being squashed by Low that is still to our N, whose associated Cold Front we came through yesterday. That Low is still affecting our weather - could even give 20kt winds on Saturday if the High builds as forecast and pushes the Low SE towards the coast.

10.30 am Just had a relaxed breakfast after another good sleep. Bright sunshine, lots of thin white cloud around. Had to remove my thick fleece top - too warm in the cabin - 19C. Sea temperature has increased noticeably over the last two days - from around 10-11C all the way S, it was 12C yesterday and reached 14C today.

Boat is going really slowly - need full canvas now - wind is NNW 12-14kt so we're running nearly dead downwind - poling out the genoa would help - doing that will get interesting in these very rolly conditions! Time to gear up and get out on deck...

3pm Unbelievable ....! Finally got genoa poled out a while ago so we're goose-winged downwind now in wind just W of N at ~12kt, making ~4 kt.

Looked forward to check the set of the sail, I saw its foot was flapping loose! On going forward to investigate - the sprung shackle pin holding the shackle onto the foot of the sail had totally disappeared! Next thing that could well have happened was the genoa bolt rope would get torn out of the bolt rope track in the foil as it flapped in the wind and the sail would fly loose... Damn!!!!

Hurriedly went down and got the first piece of thick twine I could find and spent the next twenty minutes tying the foot of the sail to any hole I could find in and around the shackle (which was still in place but with its jaw not able to close) - including a ring which is looking fairly sturdy. Lots and lots of turns... I'll need to find replacement shackle(s) since I doubt the twine will last very long but I furled in the sail several turns, hoping to ease the load.

I'd been running the engine to charge the batteries - I'd expected to look at the generator problem earlier but poling out always takes a long time, especially in these rolly seas. I still have to deal with the damaged rings at the foot of the staysail (that have been catching the lazy starboard genoa sheet)

We're under wind steering now so our path downwind is rather wiggly - don't be surprised if the tracker gives a weird course reading - it's instantaneous, not giving an average. The wind has veered to just E of N, so we're making a course S-SSW now.

4pm Noted position & weather info now - at 0000Z Thurs24Nov GMT. Have made 120 n.ml. 'distance made good' in last 24hrs. Presently, 260 n.ml due W of Pt Estero which is just S of San Simeon and Morro Bay and N of San Luis Obispo.

About to work on the generator control panel now - maybe it has a loose connection?

4.30pm No obvious sign of problem there - so now to genset itself ... power not getting to solenoid...? (Tries to turn but doesn't fire up)

6pm Well, that didn't happen - had to sail the boat! Having checked weather forecasts, seems clear we need to keep heading SE, not SW, wind now from NNE, still 11 kt, so gybed the main and changed course...

Written by : Jeanne Socrates