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RTW Day 139 - drifting in no wind again... genoa furling problem fixed

Saturday 9th March 2013

8am Sun getting out after fine rain and overcast skies - pressure well up & wind dying - backed overnight to SW. Had got up very early, to check on deck, with wind expected to back through the night - had to gybe onto starboad tack in order to head more E. Excellent radio contact with San Diego on long path - clear as a bell and very loud. Spent quite some time trying to make contact for emails and weather. Downloaded Australian weatherfax of southern Indian Ocean- useful.

Went to unfurl genoa, in lighter wind - wouldn't unfurl more than a small amount - repetition of previous problem - could be spare genoa halyard this time that's caught up at mast top in furling gear there. Need to release it and try to unravel it. Waiting for slightly less swell, to make that easier. In meantime, wind only around 10kt and speed down to 4kt - wind expected to be very light over today, but should increase by this evening and into tomorrow, from NW again, finally.

10:30am Wind has died completely - we're drifting at just over 1 knot in a breath of SW wind and swell is 2-3 m - so we're rolling around, often quite violently at times... Pressure up to 1032 hPa.... Cloud cleared away two hours ago to give bright sunshine, but the air feels cold. Too calm for birds - one storm petrel seen - clearly lost its way!!!

Tonight... we're still drifting in no wind... Drifted SE most of the day at 1 kt, but not always - frustrating not to be able to control boat heading, but with zero forward boatspeed, no steerage.... although, at times, keeping rudder off centre does help.

Was pleased eventually to resolve problem of genoa refusing to unfurl - gear at mast top was tangled by genoa spare halyard - as suspected. Fingers crossed, I think it's now OK - but, with swell not helping, took a time and some patience to free halyard and lead over to one side clear of other lines, away from mast foot where its end was normally shackled in place.

Opened engine seawater inlet seacock and started engine - but could see no sign of cooling water coming out of exhaust, as hoped and expected, although water was seen moving in clear pipe of loop to anti-siphon valve .... grrr!!! Wondered if seawater pump needed priming with seawater, since seawater strainer is high up and supply pipe to pump had been emptied when changed impellor... So closed off seacock and poured water into strainer holder until filled to above supply pipe to pump - looked to me as though there was already a fair amount there - so maybe that wasn't the problem... Hope impellor is still OK! Will start up engine again briefly tomorrow in daylight to check exhaust again, having checked anti-siphon valve is not blocked... All very trying.... Might yet have to start undoing hoses to find broken bits of impellor flanges.

At least one positive outcome was achieved over the day - so decided to celebrate that with an asparagus omelette! (Last dozen eggs taken out of store)

As I write this, I'm seeing the set of our drift, which had changed to SW from SE, is now S - I'd thought that what little breeze there is had veered into NW and was getting ready to gybe the mainsail and set us up ready for the forecast NW wind, but maybe I'll leave things and check again in 2-3 hrs ' time... Drift is 0.2-0.4 kt just now so we're going nowhere very fast!

DMG: 95 n.ml....another poor day's run, with tomorrow's looking similar, probably worse. C.Agulhas: 2575 n.ml.; C.Leeuwin WP: 1706 n.ml. Ile Kerguelen: 377 n.ml. (208T) Ile Amsterdam: 362 n.ml. (017T)
For my positions, see:
www.svnereida.com - 'Travels' - "Where is 'Nereida'?"

Written by : Mike

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