Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The weld that has not held

Apprently, I am used to having disasters occur at midnight. This time,
as we had just changed watch, the boat start to luff and did not respond
at all to the windvane. I called Olivier back to check out while I
steered by hand, and Olivier found the water paddle of the windvane
floating behind the boat, towed by the safety line. Difficult to explain
for those who don't know the Monitor windvane. There is a vertical tube
holding the water blade and which rotates to trigger the lateral
movement that in turns handle the wheel. That tube has a hinge, half way
up so that the blade can be lifted out of the water when not in use. It
is the upper part of that hinge which is normally welded to the tube
that came off. This is stainless steel and we should be able to have it
welded back in Rodriguez, not before of course.
Sooooo, in the meantime, we have to use our brand new electric autopilot
and its faulty power supply. We put it on, and soon enough, it tripped
the breaker. So at the end of my watch during which I hand steered the
boat, Olivier put back in place the power supply picked up from the SSB
circuit, and it now works fine.
The weather conditions are a lot better now, with winds at 20 knots from
SE to ESE, and with the wind like that way abaft of our beam, we have a
lot less water coming on deck and finding its way inside the boat. Seven
more days of that nice weather and we should be able to start doing
repairs in Rodriguez. Actually, we might spend a little more time than
planned there as we are likely to be anchored in Mauritius and therefore
have less facilities to do the repairs. We need running water to check
out the leaks and we have to be alongside.
Today I again had a good radio communication with the South Africa
Maritime Network. Life is not all that bad.
We are now 1145 miles fromn Rodriguez, very close to the halfway mark.
We have lost the very nice current that one day gave us an extra 20
miles and made me doubt our loch. All we got today was a mere 6 miles.
Better than nothing anyway.

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