Days 12and13: Mon/Tues 14/15th June 2010 From storm to near-calms ... Tues not

Mon 14 June 2010

3pm - Sun is getting out, weakly, and scraps of blue are appearing, after a boisterous night and morning of increasingly strong winds (to around 30kt) under a cloudy sky - finally backing from NW to W-WSW - so the 3-4 m seas which had built up are now confused, with some from a different direction from others. As they meet, they heap up and we're thrown around even more!! Hopefully, with the winds beginning to die a little now, the seas will lie down ...

There's no changing the generator impellor at the moment, I'm still being thrown around far too much. I'll just have to use the main engine for charging temporarily, since the replacement alternator belt is doing fine. With wind-steering and a wind-generator in use, shouldn't be necessary too often.

The birds haven't all disappeared, athough no albatross seen today, ... but a few Grey-faced petrels and a prion just came by - and a couple of blue flying fish unwittingly flew out of the water below them.

The air is so much warmer now, despite the stormy weather... really noticeable when I go on deck - bare feet & not much clothing are no problem now for a quick trip up to the cockpit to adjust Fred, the windvane, although bare feet are not a good idea in general on deck - I've broken or badly damaged both little toes at different times through not wearing deck shoes when I should have done.... stubbing them on deck fittings is so easy. And when adjusting the sails today, I've been drenched several times with seas washing over so violently they shoot over the canopy & land on top of me in the cockpit! I keep putting on the same wet hat just to stop my hair getting completely soaked as well - I should get out the sou'wester hat I acquired when in CapeTown!

Tues 15th June Not a good day on board!! And not a bird seen all day .... I shall miss them!!

To sum it up: ...very little wind and total failure on the generator front... Having often to run engine gently to make slow progress motor-sailing in just 7 knots of wind. Every so often, I see the wind get above 10 knots and triumphantly turn off the engine only to see the wind die back down again..... It's well abaft the beam (at WSW most of the day), so the apparent wind is even less...

Just been having a mug of tea on deck, gazing around at the seascape & playing my favourite music to sing along to, to cheer myself up with generator repair having ground to a halt..... Felt thoroughly depressed at thought I couldn't fix it... Need a spare sea-water pump I don't have. Present one is leaking badly so seal inside must have gone, not a simple impellor replacement . Just can't get last wing nut off cover anyway. It's stupidly facing away from me (who designs these things?) - it's not in view at all and out of reach and access for getting leverage on it... Why

didn't they put simple nuts there to get a small spanner onto??..... grrr! (Must change that!) Presents a problem since genset takes so little diesel and is so much more efficient at re-charging batteries than running main engine.... so I hope we survive the next 3 weeks or so of fuel usage before making landfall - a relief to have successfully changed the alternator belt on the main engine so at least that's charging OK now... I'm still mulling over how to get that last nut off - if I could change the impellor, it's just possible the pump might work - at least for a bit...

TG for music...... I'm still singing along....!!!!

DMG local noon-to-noon: Mon: 124 n.ml.; Tues: 136 n.ml. Distance to Kauai at 0000 GMT (local noon!): A mere 2927 n.ml.!!

Written by : Mike

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