Day4 to Xmas Island - excellent 24hr run!

There I was checking around, when I spotted that the starb'd diesel filler cap looked a bit proud of the deck... it was loose!... & seawater has been sloshing around it with the big seas we've been shipping occasionally. You can imagine my thoughts/curses!!
Went to look in sight-glasses on filters - inside the one on starb'd tank, it looked very murky whereas the one on the port tank had nice clear fuel in it - but was one-third full of dark water - I turned the screw & drained that out, wondering where it had all come from. Then drained the starb'd glass... I let out quite a bit but looks as though it's a mix of fuel with some water - I wonder if seawater has formed an emulsion of sorts with the diesel, hence the murky look. Think I'll leave it for the night & let it settle & have another go at it in the morning.
My worry then was ... what if engine doesn't start tomorrow when I want it for anchoring - would be ironic if I go to Xmas Island to help out "Trudel' ... and then end up myself with a major engine problem!! So I switched over to port tank, with OK fuel (I hope!!) and ran the generator, theory being that if it ran OK for a couple of hours (charging batteries & running fridge at same time!), then I should be OK to run main engine on same fuel line tomorrow... I'm keeping my fingers crossed tightly, hoping I've caught it in time!!

Today has been great sailing - think I've made Nereida's best 24hr midday distance to date - 172n.ml. by log (167 by GPS), doing ~7.5kn & well over 8kn when surfing...! Decided at midday that I'd better reef down! ... wind was increasing... has been SE5/6 all day. Now have full genoa & 2 reefs in main - but still doing ~7.2 kn - so should get to Xmas Island early afternoon.

By this morning at 0900, I'd cut down my distance behind 'Trudel' from 43ml yesterday to just 19ml! (Quite likely to get there first, at this rate, despite leaving a day later!)

I was sitting in the aft cabin this morning reading, when BANG! - we got really hit by a wave ... and WHOOSH!... a load of water came in via locked-in-vent-position hatch - I was furious - how could I be so stupid..??? (Easy!!) I was lucky the computer didn't get wet! Took ages to mop it all up and saltwater damp things aren't going to dry so easily...

It's been suggested that the steering cable may be over-tensioned... I've been thinking the wheel seems a bit stiff (even checked several times to make sure lock was off) so maybe I'll try to ease off a little on the tension tomorrow when I'm stopped.

Mike & Bryan, of Nightwinds, my knowledgeable 'website guys', have worked their usual magic on the website and put in a link to the TV and radio interviews I had in Cairns on making landfall there in July, after completing my Pacific crossing - go see!

Written by : Mike

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