Monday, July 5, 2010

Up and down !

After a bad day comes a good day ! After we had stopped the engine the
day before yesterday in the afternoon, the wind showed up again and we
had a day of 161 miles over the ground and 165 over the water. Not bad !
Today, I will most probably report a 147 miles day over the ground and
141 through the water. For a day where we felt becalmed most of the day,
it is more than satisfying.
As far as DIY goes, our local McGyver (a.k.a. Olivier) found a way to
fix the vent cover problem. We had purchased in Australia a plastic
container to be used to store the butter in use in the fridge. Nice red
box, however there were only sold in packs of three, so we had 2 too
many. Since their size fits exactly on the outside of the base of the
vent covers that went overboard, Olivier could fit them there with the
help of silicone and duct tape, and cut one end of the box as air
passage. Beautiful job ! We will add a few screws once in the Cocos and
it will be like new new.
As far as leaks go, we have identified them but can't do much about them
right now. The forward hatch will have to be rebuilt with a new lens and
a new packing, or replaced if we can find one that fits the deck
opening. This hatch was made 25 years ago and they don't make them
anymore and there are no parts available for them.
The passage of the mast through the deck, which is a constant headache,
will require the deck plate to be lifted, the deck and the underneath of
the plate cleaned thoroughly, new sealing compound applied and
everything secured back in place.
Then there is a hatch on the port side, which is the weather side
throughout the pacific and the indian oceans, abaft of the chart table,
above the port side water tanks which definitely will have to be replaced.
Apart from all that, we are now deeply in our daily routine, with two
hour watches, breakfast at 9, lunch at 1 and dinner at 7. My mind keep
wandering and wondering about the passage across the Mozambique channel.
This is one of the most hazardous areas in the world in terms of weather
and I want to play it as safe as I know how. In addition to my weather
router based in Perth, I am in contact with friends in South Africa, and
with Tom which has been an unvaluable help since the Panama canal.
I have to accumulate detailed informations on the agulhas current, on
the groups of lows coming out of the south atlantic and travelling up
the east coast of Africa and define the best possible strategy to get
I must admit that I will feel a lot better once in Capetown.

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