The wind is now down to 22 knots from the 35 + of the last 48 hours. The movements of the boat are a lot smoother, but still not to the point that I want to spend time at the keyboard, fighting gravity when the boat is trying to kick me out of my seat and onto the stove on the other side of the boat.
Yet, during that time with gale force wind and seas building to a steep northerly swell, we've kept busy, trying to keep Papy Jovial in working order. First, it was the lower part of the companionway that had to be secured. It is fasten to the forward part of the water heater compartment, but only with machine screws that had enlarged their path and got out. We replace most of them and put them in backward so that they would be screwed into the wooden part and not the fiberglass. That should hold it in place until we get to Horta, where we will put in place bolts and nuts.
Then the strap at the corner of the portside lee cloth in the main cabin broke as the thread attaching them to the cloth got away. Karen, who is valiantly struggling to stay active, sewed them back (each of the two corners broke, but one after one) and we now have a place to sleep when on a port tack.
After that, it was the turn of the propane sensor to become erratic and keep sounding a leak alarm and shut off the valve. I tried to put the sensor out in the open, to see if it would work in fresh air, but it did not. I have that happened when in New Zealand in 2010, and I had been told, at the time, that those sensors over time start to malfunction. So, for the time being, we took out the solenoid valve located on the bottle itself, and have to shut the valve manually as soon as we have finished using the stove. We only use it for the morning coffee and for dinner, so it is manageable
Then, the stanchion base of the stanchion, abaft of the starboard gate.where the lines for the windvane goes through on two blocks, broke. I had noticed that the stainless steel tube that goes from the gate to the stanchion was bent downward, noticed that the stnachion base on the gate was cracked, and concluded that this might have happened when then the new engine was lowered onto it. I did not see the crack on the other stanchion, and with the continuous hammering of the boat, it finally broke. We removed the horizontal stainless steel bar and I was able to adjust the lines from the windvane, although they are now chafing agains the genoa sheet. Mut that should hold until Horta.
It looks like Doctor Murphy is still with us. Buit we will prevail !
Right now, we are 851 miles from Horta on a direct course that should be on 064. But the wind and the seas would not let us sail on a direct course and we are doing 090, due east. From what I see on the Grib files, we will probably have to tack around May 10th to go north, and then tasck again towards the Azores. How many miles this is going to add to our course is anybody's guess as we can't see that far ahead what the wind is going to do. It might add 200 or 300 miles, so it is difficult to say when we will get there. Anything between My 14th and May 17th.
Our current position, at 6:00 p.m. local time (TU-3) is 33:43 N and 45:06 W.
Despite of the weather conditions, we did celebrate with a rum punch getting to less than 1000 miles from Horta.
Tonight, canned dinner, suaerkraut.
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