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Mon 2Nov09 Day 24 Full moon rises over Trade wind clouds....

Mon 2nd Nov As the sun set, a BIG full moon rose ...among lines of fluffy pink-grey 'Trade Wind' clouds...

I put problems to one side this evening and sat in the companionway to enjoy the sunset as we sailed along nicely, bouncing occasionally in the swell of a fairly calm sea, the wind having increased a touch compared with earlier in the afternoon.

I'm feeling a bit more relaxed, having achieved a few little jobs today, among them, removing the split watermaker hose from its end fittings (not as difficult as I'd feared it would be) and replacing one end of the new hose - the easily accessible end! I've left replacing the other end for the time being - as the wind rose this afternoon, so our 'bouncing' increased - and to fix that end, I've to turn myself upside down awkwardly to see & get to what I'm doing... so I'll hope to complete that in calmer conditions over the next day or so... (The wind seems to increase often, as evening falls, and calm down a bit as midday approaches)

I spent some time trying to find additional hose end clamp fittings (jubilee clips)... to no avail. I'd wanted to put two at each end, rather than one, because my replacement hose is a tad on the large side .. I hope the jubilee clips will hold tightly enough not to leak under pressure. If they do, I'm stymied... And if another of the wrong hoses gives way elsewhere in the system, I've no more hose to replace it with.... Keep fingers crossed!

A job completed today was taping over the cabin heater chimney covers on the coachroof with both sticky electrical insulation tape and then amalgamating ('pressure') tape over that... I've been getting concerned at the thought that if either one of those got taken away with waves sweeping the deck (as they have often, over the last few days) then I'd be in big trouble.... with one big hole in the coachroof..! I feel much more comfortable now. And I'll be able to see if that has solved the very slight leak occurring inside around the chimney pipes where they enter the saloon coachroof.

Another thing I did today was to 'play' with the sheets, cars & blocks for the staysail leads - I needed to experiment there to see what would work for different wind angles - the shrouds get in the way.... I've added a third sheet...! Looking ahead, there's filthy weather forecast approaching the Cape of Good Hope very soon - a typical Southern Ocean deep depression, giving the strong Sou'wester the Cape and East coast of S. Africa are renowned for... so I could well be using my staysail if I get those same conditions on my approach there (end of November). (They're forecasting 8m seas...and that's an average.. so I'll also have my Jordan drogue 'ready to go', from there onward)

Have finally heard from Selden in Sweden on practical 'solutions' to my reefing problem (actually had a reply of sorts on Friday, which maybe I should have mentioned, but it did not answer my main, urgent queries & was definitely not useful - I had to email again, on Saturday). Trouble is, they've now sent me the really useful info several days too late to prevent my present problem - i.e. whatever happens, to keep the car inside boom from being 'lost' (when line chafes through and breaks..) since otherwise it will almost certainly jam the main (leech) 1st reef line inside the boom. So now I'm told I have to remove the boom end to retrieve the car, untie reef line from it and then I'll be able to tension the leech using a winch...!!! SIMPLE... in the middle of the ocean .. child's play!!

That definitely sounds like (yet another!) job for calm weather since I'll need to release the outhaul, topping lift, preventer lines and all reef lines running through the aft end of boom in order to remove it and I'll need to undo completely, & then tie in again, the first reef line .. Sounds as though I'll need to drop the mains'l while doing it... I'm glad now that I'm headed into the St Helena High, which is presently stretching right across my path, so winds should be dropping more - already they lessened over today (although tonight they picked up again).

Think I'll sign off - it's getting late.... But before I do, ... 'Berrimilla' (Brolga 33) is a UK yacht behind me (about a week, 730ml today) with Alex Whitworth ad Peter Crozier on board ... We'd hoped to stay in SSB contact - but their radio has packed up - so we've had minimal Iridium and mainly email contact.. They're having to pull into Cape Town to get the radio fixed. Otherwise all seems fine on board - they're on passage to Sydney, Australia from Falmouth. With the wind keeping their newly-repaired wind generator working hard, they, like 'Nereida', are having no electrical power problems just now!

DMG ....to noon Monday 125M (490M off nearest Brazil coast, 640M off Bahia de Todos Santos)

Written by : Mike

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