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Days 23/24 towards Cape Horn - sun at times, mostly light wind from NE, problems

Tuesday/Wednesday 13/14th November 2012

The autopilot rudder bar display disappeared again - while in 'Standby' and under windsteering....grrr!! Happened after I'd made some checks on the resistance of the wires from the rudder reference unit to the course computer - all seemed fine. Took a time to get to under-bunk spaces by course computer and rudder to make the checks, but with fairly calm conditions, it wasn't too difficult. So it would seem that the rudder reference unit itself is possibly OK and has not been stressed /damaged ... I'm waiting for a reply as to my next step in trying to fix the problem but used the AP over Tuesday night into Wednesday and it held course fine in light conditions, with only small movements of the wheel needed to keep us on course, despite the rudder ref problem - wind was only 6-10 kt from ENE-NE... and on Wed in slightly stronger wind, it still did OK... All very frustrating!

In the meantime, the windsteering has also been giving problems - the thinking was that there's possibly a loose bolt - I had a good look today (Wed) - bolt is so tight I can't budge it! And other items I've checked seem OK.... Managed to work safely on the system without heaving to - nice to have sturdy struts to stand in between while working from the lowest step on the 'sugar-scoop"!

Earlier in the day, I looked at the stored tomatoes, after a major galley and general tidy-up. They'd been carefully packed in plastic bags and then sealed in another, partly-evacuated bag - I can definitely confirm that this is NOT a system that works!! Whereas one large 'beefeater-type' tomato, left open to the air, is still firm and edible - I'll fry it tonight with some ham and eggs, along with some potato.... The mandarins wrapped in foil are doing reasonably well and potatoes, onions and apples are all fine.

Sky has been often cloudy - nothing too grey, mostly a thin white broken layer, but we've not seen the sun too often - although it is nice and warm - comfortable, just now, with cabin temperature around 26C - and sea temperature at 29C!! Swell has been far less over yesterday and until this evening - mostly from NE at around 1.5-2m. Sailing has been very pleasant, under full canvas.

Occasional ships pass in the distance - from Panama, usually making for Asia - all well clear.

No repeat of the booby that tried to roost in the rigging - it was well offshore!

DMG to 3pmPST/2300GMT:
Tues: 138 n.ml
Wed: 116 n.ml.(lighter wind than Tuesday);Golden Gate Bridge 1072n.ml & Strait of Juan de Fuca 1714n.ml away at 3pm & our position was then 980 ml W of Ipala which is just south of Cabo Corrientes in Guadalajara, Mexico.

Position reports...

I report weather and position daily to Winlink/Shiptrak - link is on my website's 'Travels' page - click on "Where is Nereida?"

Then there's http://www.exactearth.com/media-centre/recent-ship-tracks/tracking-nereida/ - showing my position as transmitted via my AIS signal - courtesy 'exactEarth' using their polar-orbiting satellites - good everywhere, especially nearer the poles, i.e. when in the Southern Ocean (Has a problem in Chrome, I hear - try another browser!)

and http://oceantracker.net?event=nereida - showing my position via a GPS 'tracker' unit onboard - courtesy "Oceantracker' using geo-stationary satellites with good coverage just now.

Written by : Mike

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