Thursday, August 13, 2009

Wear and tear

Another beautiful day in the sun. This time, we have definitely moved
into a new weather zone and we have blue sky, sunshine, blue water but
with a 12 foot powerful swell and a wind which has become constant at
more than 20 knots from the ESE.
As a result, we have had a good day in terms of numbers. We have covered
155 nm for the day and closed on the finish line by 148. We only have
now 817 nm to go and we stand a good chance of arriving on the 19th.
There is a price to pay. After 20 days of constant rolling and winds
regularly above 20 knots, crew and equipment are beginning to show signs
of wear and tear.
The night before last, I found on deck what was looking like the
remnants of a block, and it turned out to be the block used by the
topping lift for the whisker pole. Fortunately, the axis, 10 mm
diameter, is still there and it will probably hold until we get to
Papeete. The sheet had been mashed quite badly by the head of the pole
and I decided to switch sheets and install a "shock absorber" between
the pole and the clew, using a short piece of an old sheet.
In the chapter of minor breakdowns, the valve of one of the heads broke,
but we were able to make temporary repairs which should hold until
Papeete. The electromagnetic valve which allowed us to shut down the LPG
bottle from the galley stopped working (probably electric connection
failure) and we removed it. This implies to make a trip to the back
before and after each meal to open and then close the valve on the bottle.
The major breakdown was that of the main computer. Apprently it is a
powersupply failure, something that I cannot repair here. The
manufacturer is sending me a new computer to Papeete. Meanwhile, since I
had configured my laptop Toshiba so that it could do everything that the
main computer does, we are working with it, but this is our last round.
And I almost forgot, one of the fishing rods came loose and we only have
one available. It means that everytime that we need to change side for
the fishing rod, we have first to move the rod holder. Fortunately, we
don't fish everyday.
As for the crew, we're just plain tired of the rolling. But we are doing
just fine.

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