Rich Wilson

Getting Caught Up on Sleep

13 Nov

We continue to settle in to life at sea. The first couple of days were survival in the squalls, and repairs of batten car and hydrogenerator pump. It finally seems as if the latter is now functioning properly, albeit with a repaired hydraulic line. Having spent some time inside that box, I now know what to keep an eye on, and will check daily, if not more often. We had put a small view glass in one of the floorboards so that we can more easily see the converter status, and whether we might be overheating it, and that was ...

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Stability, Speed & Shaving

12 Nov

Last night the conditions,though strong, were stable, and the boat was flying. Because of confidence in the autopilot, I was able to get several 40 minute naps in, and this morning I felt much better rested than has been the case.

Preparing for one of our media requirements, a live video interview at noon, I took the drastic step of shaving. At sea, shaving is very painful, and it took almost 45 minutes. Alas, it turned into a radio interview. But that is ok as my face feels better now!

Just before that we had an incident where, with a ...

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Extra: Hydrogenerator

12 Nov
 Hydrogenerator Pumpbox

Hydrogenerator Pumpbox

I’ve been working quite a bit the first week on our hydrogenerator, so thought I’d include a picture and more of an explanation of the issue and my fix.

The pump box of the hydrogenerator senses pressure on the propeller blades by the water rushing past and spinning it, and can automatically change the pitch of the blades for maximum ampere output, but also to protect the converter (AC to DC) from over amping and over heating.

The pitch is controlled by hydraulic system, and the tiny blue tubes carry hydraulic oil. In the upper left is the ...

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Approaching Madeira

11 Nov

Yesterday I spent considerable time working on photos and videos to send in, including a 360 degree video which is very interesting as you can scroll around and decide where you would like to focus, rather than having the photographer decide that for you. Yet the technology is complicated, and the processes to get these ashore through the satellites leaves me with amazement that it actually works.

Of course in that time, we also had to sail the boat. And as we approached Madeira (Portuguese island), we had to decide a route, as we were also getting toward the Northeast ...

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Contemplating Cavitation

10 Nov

After yesterday’s 3 hour battle with the tiny hydraulic tubing within the hydrogenerator pump box, and getting stabilized within the high pressure system with full mainsail and genoa, I decided to allow multiple naps through the night, with the Presto Digital Timer set at an expanded 30 minutes, rather than the 20 minutes I’d set up until now. You can see the extra minutes within the table, nearly 6 hours of 30 minute naps!

After the hydrogenerator fix, I ran it in manual mode through the night and it worked fine until this morning when I got the rough sound ...

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Heading Toward the Azores

9 Nov

Through the night we went down to the first reef and solent jib, from the full mainsail and genoa, and then to the staysail when we had steady winds of 25 knots. Getting off the coast of Portugal, away from the Traffic Separation Zone at Cape Finisterre,and the myriad ships, and getting away from usual fishing areas, allowed some space on the open ocean, and the chance to get several 30 minute naps in.

We will have this steady and strong wind for a while, and then it will gradually lighten as we head toward the Azores high pressure system....

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Cape Finisterre

8 Nov

After yesterday’s replacement of a batten car on the main mast track, we got back going through the late afternoon and evening, but sailed with conservative sail selection simply because of not wanting to make a mistake while so tired. Mostly due to the time taken in the replacement, when the mainsail was up but was not pulling at all, our friend Nando Fa has sailed off and Roman Attanasio as well. Last night I did force some naps, all very short with the kitchen timer set at 20 minutes, and mostly I’d get up to look around before that ...

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Departure & First Night

7 Nov

What a 36 hours it has been! We arrived at Great American IV in the dark, anticipating heavy traffic, and downloaded a weather GRIB file for analysis of our route. Then our friends arrived and the emotions started flowing. Too many hugs and handshakes to report, and then, 0954, our slot for departure, and off we went down the canal, with an estimated 300,000 cheering, cheering, cheering, wishing every skipper well.

How many tears flowed in the fleet? A lot I’m sure. And then, suddenly you have to sail the monster boat around the world, alone, a big task, but ...

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