RTW Day 141 - consistent wind for a change... work on cooling circuit...

Monday 11th March 2013

12.22am Unbelievable - I'd had some very nice Brie while I enjoyed reading some more of O'Brien's "The Far Side of the World" before getting to sleep earlier, with alarm set to wake me up to download 1915Z (12:15am LT) weather fax from Wiluna - (48hr forecast for Indian Ocean) - but message came up: "SCHEDULED CHART IS NOT AVAILABLE" !!! Back to my bunk rather disgruntled, having woken up and achieved nothing!

9am Overcast sky ... a few birds circling - several white-chinned petrels and some Antarctic prions... NW wind up a little more so we're making near to 5 kt now in rather bigger NW swell of around 3m/10ft. More motion felt down below than yesterday but still not too bad since we're sailing downwind. Trying to finish downloading weather and emails, after connecting into Pacific Seafarers' Net - propagation not quite as good as yesterday. Earlier made good contact with both E and W coast of US.

Will finish breakfast and then get into engine compartment to undo fixings on pipes to/from seawater filter and lower it, before looking at impellor again - means removing companionway steps and front panels again - neither is easy, so will take some time and effort!

9.30am Wind just gusted up - we're now making over 5 kt - and I even saw 6 kt for a time... much better! Breakfast....

12:50 pm The 0730Z Indian Ocean current weatherfax from Wiluna was received twenty minutes ago - set an alarm so as not to miss it, since busy on engine at the time.
......Well, one step at a time - water IS flowing into seawater strainer from seacock. Having lowered holder & opened seacock, I could see easily into strainer, so by loosening top slightly to allow air in/out a fraction, I was able to see there was water in there now, for sure . I wondered if it were possible for it to have been full when running engine before and I didn't realise it - but I doubt that, somehow.... I'm sure the motion of the water through it should have been visible to me if it were happening... I've secured it upright .... Now for the difficult job - getting access to seawater pump & impellor, having closed the seacock... Seas have built, with consistent and increased wind, so we're rolling around a fair amount - makes moving heavy steps a bit of an issue .... Coffee break!

4:15pm Alarm for my imminent daily 1100Z weather & position report went offat 3:50pm, just as I finished putting steps back.... All went rather better than I expected in the seas running - found a way to move steps without threatening me, them or woodwork around, despite the swell rocking the boat ... and engine front panel came away rather more easily this second time around. Removed impellor cover on seawater pump - found impellor was absolutely fine - relief!! Turned on seacock and water immediately flowed out of seawater filterholder and hose and into pump cavity (and out onto floor of engine compartment...!) - so clearly no blockage worries in this section of the cooling circuit pipework... good news! (Of course, I then had to clear away the water under the engine, which also meant the whole area ended up looking very much cleaner than when I'd started!)
I felt very satisfied with the outcome... but when I ran engine to look for water coming from exhaust exit in side of hull, the ongoing swell, causing the boat to heel over that way every few seconds, meant it was impossible to confirm anything. However, the weather forecast is showing no wind on Wednesday (surprise...!!), so hopefully I'll be able to run the engine later that day in calm conditions to confirm cooling water is coming out with with the exhaust gases.

It feels good to be moving - but I'm not looking forward to yet another day of no wind on Wednesday - what a 'stop-go' passage this is turning into - so much slower than expected from my previous ones. We managed just over 100 miles today, in the 24 hr up to 1100GMT... but that's nothing like the 120-150 miles/day I'd normally expect in good wind!

A pair of Atlantic petrels and some Antarctic prions were flying around near sunset. Very little seen of the sun today - slightly broken cloud layer overhead all day long ... and no chance to spot the comet near the sun at sunset.. but still nearly a week for that.

DMG: 107 n.ml - a bit better! C.Agulhas: 2713 n.ml.; C.Leeuwin WP: 1564 n.ml. Ile Kerguelen: 448 n.ml. (223T) Ile St Paul: 316 n.ml. (351T); Ile Amsterdam: 367 n.ml. (352T)
For my positions, see:
www.svnereida.com - 'Travels' - "Where is 'Nereida'?"

Written by : Mike

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