Day 48 towards Cape Horn - more work on the spare wind transducer - mainly wood

Saturday 8th December 2012

A day spent mostly down below, in fairly calm conditions: accessing and digging out bits of wood, bolts, bits and pieces and the electric drill,, cutting wood to size (treated myself to a new fretsaw blade!) and drilling holes in carefully-positioned places. Ended up getting out a clamp and using the companionway steps as a workbench when drilling, after nearly getting injured twice...! Final job was to cable-tie the three pieces to the wind transducer arm, with a long bolt to hold the three together as well. The aim was to hold the direction-sensing vane of the transducer upright while allowing the cups of the anemometer to rotate freely below... and also needed to push on the cover of the electrical connections so it stayed at the extreme opposite end of the transducer arm (having nothing to screw into to hold it in place...). Applied some more mastic 'gunge' around the opening of the cable connector cover to make sure it was watertight and then checked to confirm the whole unit was still working - yes! Spent quite a time stowing things away.

Tomorrow, I hope to mount it on the arch... the problem there being to hold it so the vane axis is as near vertical as I can get it. The arm is normally at quite an angle to the horizontal so that could be a bit tricky. Then I have to run the cable down to and over the deck, trying not to foul any lines etc on its way to the cockpit coaming, from where I can lead it to down below for the final connections to the spare wind display and another Seatalk display.... That will involve taking down the head lining in the hanging locker for access... Nothing's easy on a cruising boat!!! I'm hoping to put the spare wind display somewhere useful so it's easily seen down below, but that depends on the cable length available.

The final step is calibrating the wind display.. which might be better done before I run the cable to down below... (I just pulled out the manual to see what's involved...!)

So still plenty to do - but the good news is still that the weather is looking good for the work - the wind has already become much lighter and the seas are lying down with it.... I let out a reef today, so we weren't sailing too slowly, but I'd rather sail gently, with this ongoing work, than try to speed along... What's a day or two in seven months?

Went to make some coffee and found the gas had run out this morning - so had to change over the propane tank ... A smell of gas in the gas locker so I wonder if I hadn't tightened up the connection enough last time I changed over? (I hope that's the problem and not a leak in the pipework somewhere..... I certainly expected the tank to last more than just a month.)

24hr DMG at 3pm: 128 n.ml. Cape Horn was 2800 n.ml. away & our nearest land Easter Island 430 n.ml. away, on 099T, with Pitcairn Island, 682 n.ml. to the W (getting further away now) . Punta Gatera, just S of Valdivia (Chile) is 2328 n.ml. to the ESE and New Zealand's East Cape is its closest point, at 3250 n.ml to the WSW.

This afternoon, the sea temperature was the same as the air temperature - 29C. Sea has been higher for a long time but we're now well out of the Tropics (we're well S of 23:30S - the Tropic of Capricorn) and temperatures will begin to drop rapidly soon... I wonder how much longer I'll be able to enjoy being barefoot?

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For my daily position and track:

See my website's 'Travels' page - go to www.svnereida, open 'Travels', then click on "Where is Nereida?"

http://www.exactearth.com/media-centre/recent-ship-tracks/tracking-nereida/ - courtesy 'exactEarth' using their polar-orbiting satellites -, especially good nearer the poles, i.e. should be good when in the Southern Ocean.

Unfotunately, having run out of lithium batteries for the GPS tracker unit, the other website can no longer keep my track up-to-date - it stopped on 17th November...

Written by : Mike

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