Tasks During the Calm

1 Feb

Yesterday was a very difficult day. From morning to nighttime, essentially zero wind, the boat going in circles, or at 2 knots if we had 2 knots of wind. I’d change from genoa to solent, and even to the staysail thinking that it might stand whereas the genoa and solent were too big for no wind.

Several times we’d get caught aback, and then, in no wind, have to somehow get the boat going in the right direction again. Many times we ended up going south. It was very discouraging. And it was blazingly hot, 98°F (36.6°C) in the cockpit,with no wind to cool. Fortunately I could stay largely underneath the coachroof to keep out of the sun.

I used the time to take apart the two primary winches per Joff’s instructions. In medium gear they were both screeching, metal on metal with no lubrication. Without taking all the gearing apart, I was able to drip just enough winch oil into the top and into one exposed gear, to calm down the appalling noise and bring those gears back into play. I also took up a bit more tension on the solent luff tack lashing. I also charged batteries with the engine since we were not making enough speed for the hydrogenerators. This was our first test for finding neutral after disconnecting the transmission cable, and it worked fine. It did add heat to the cabin and that was too bad. The calm did offer the chance to make some freshwater with the desalinatior. We have discovered that on starboard tack, the sink drain does not drain well. The desalinator brine stream goes into the sink. So we have to make freshwater either on port tack, or on starboard tack but not heeling very much.

After sunset, we had a breeze of about 3 knots that seemed steady. It took a while to get the boat turned from heading South to heading North, and then getting the sails on the correct side, with backstays and vangs. But eventually we did and started to creep north at 2-3 knots, enough for the autopilot. We continued into the night, and it built until we were making 6 knots of boatspeed.

I had a good shower with both seawater and freshwater. The seawater, at 85° F (29.4° C) is delightful! And a freshwater rinse made subsequent naps much more bearable. Later in the night, we had multiple rainstorms and clouds with their wildly varying winds. We were able to keep going through these, although sometimes our direction was not optimal. Eventually, we came out into stars.

Position
17° 37’S x 33° 56’W
Course
358° True
Speed
9.3 knots
Log
24,010nm
True Wind Speed
9 knots
True Wind Direction
56°
Sails (click for diagram)
Mainsail, Genoa
Air Temperature
85°F / 29.4°C
Sea Temperature
85°F / 29.4°C

Winch Pedestal Revolutions (daily) Amp Hours: Alternator (total) Amp Hours: Solar (total) Amp Hours: Hydro (total) Amp Hours: Wind (total)
5613 1919 21,693 3109

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

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