West of the Cape Verde Islands

14 Nov

The good news today is that last night was quite stable, and I was able to add to my sleep. I had re-hoisted the mainsail from reef 2 to reef 1 (320 revolutions on the pedestal winch) at midnight, and the boat steered well and the wind stayed from the same direction and relatively same intensity through the night.

Also big good news is that our Watt & Sea hydrogenerator, which has elicited so much attention in this first week in trying to repair tiny hydraulic lines, continued by itself in Automatic mode throughout yesterday and last night. This is very important, as it allows us to conserve diesel fuel. In fact, when I switched the unit into Automatic mode (in which it changes the pitch of the propeller blades according to our speed) our battery bank of 3 x 200 amp-hour batteries, was at 51% full. Now it is at 78% full. So the hydrogenerator is not only covering the 15 amps per hour that our boat systems require, but it is adding surplus amps into the batteries for future use.

When the wind turbine is not in use, it is usually tied off, but sometimes the small line slips and the turbine turns slowly. Although not connected electrically (our policy is that if the hydros are in use, then the solar and wind are turned off) it does rotate, and I had noticed a small clicking sound, which is now somewhat exacerbated. I went back there this morning, hanging out over the antenna platform, to try a closer inspection, and wiggled each blade. 2 of the 3 are a bit loose. I remember when we installed these blades, and we tightened them quite hard. So I will have to take the nose cone off, and see if I can tighten those blades.

We are heading to the west of the Cape Verde Islands. The lead boats are in the doldrums, or the Pot au Noir as the French call it. The leaders are trying to cut the corner toward heading toward the tip of South Africa. We will likely aim for slightly to the west of their entry point, and reduce our risk of ending up in a windless hole for a few days.

17° 51’N x 26° 09’W
193° True
12.8 knots
Sails Plan
Fractional Gennaker plus full Mainsail
True Wind Direction
True Wind Speed
13 knots
Air temperature
82°F / 29°C

Winch Pedestal Revolutions (daily) Amp Hours: Alternator (total) Amp Hours: Solar (total) Amp Hours: Hydro (total) Amp Hours: Wind (total)
2063 1069 82 1243 404

This article was syndicated from Ship’s Logs | sitesALIVE!


  1. sean moore

    World-renowned ocean sailor,
    Thank you, I’m so glad you’ve had my email address and that this report has found me.
    Good luck out there! Again!

  2. John

    If you are a teacher, parent, or involved with children in any way, I cannot emphasize enough that you check out RIch’s sitesalive.com web site!

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