Monday, May 13, 2013

water drama !

Yesterday, as Jean-Paul was trying to get some water, nothing was coming out of the faucet. We went into troubel shooting mode, checking the filter on the pump, checking the pump, switching from one tank to the other, all that in vain. We almost concluded that there had to have been a leak in the sytem upstream of the pump and that all the water had leaked into the bilge. And we started thinking on how we were going to manage, with very little security reserves of 6 gallons. We talked about drinking beer and milk and using the hand operated water maker that I keep in the ditch bag near the life raft. We knew for sure that the starboard tank of 90 gallons was near empty and there should be water in the port side tank. Since a modification made in New Zealand in 2010, it is no longer possible to dip the tank having moved the fill pipe to make room for a bunk on top of the tank. But I could hear water sloshing in the tank and convinced myself that there should be water in there. We disconnected the feed hose from the pump and tried to suck the water in, but with no success. Then, we disconnected the hose from the tank and tried to blow in it and found that the hose was blocked somewhere. We used a long coax cable to try and clear it. No success. Following the lines, we finally found the block, in the most impossible location in the engine room where the hoses from the two tanks join and then lead to the pump. We decided that in the current conditions, repairs was a very difficult option and decided to set up an external bypass between the tank and the pump, and it worked. Big relief !
Then, the support holding the radar screen in the cockpit broke and the whole radar fell on the floor of the cockpit. It is still functionning but unusable as such. I am not very optimistic on the prospect of finding a spare with Edson. It looks like this part is very old, probably same age as the boat born in 1987 and there might not be in stock any more. Welding is out as it is cast aluminium. Maybe a special cement, with reinforcing plates across the fracture.
It was also the day we came closer than 500 miles from Horta, and we celebrated again with a rum punch. Dinner was a microwavable type which we warmed up in boiling water in the pressure cooker.
All that resulted in no blog yesterday and also I could not do my usual radio session with the canadian networks.
The wind is still in our face and we might have to tack all the way to Horta, which would take probably 6 days. We are not happy about that, but it is waht it is.
At 18:00 Universal Time, we are 426 miles from Horta and our position is 37:30 N and 37:31 W. Currently we are heading 130 when the island is on 079, doing around 5.5 knots. The conditions have improved, the boat slams less into the waves and the wind is donw to around 15 knots.
We are hoping that the wind will be a little generous and veer or back some 30 degrees to ease up on the tacking.
We shall see. We still have enough wine and rum to last another week.

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Anonymous said...

Radar support--anything we can bring over with us from the US?

Stefan said...

Hi will you try to contact the dismasted yacht close to your position? They are near 36.44 N and 36.04 W. They have inmarsat:
Message max 130 signs.
the have not enough fuel for Horta. Maybe your help wellcome. Pls. try to contact them via inmarsat. I am the "landcontact" only Thanks and good trip for you

Stefan said...

the position of the dismasted Sun Od 45 from today is 36.44N and 36.04 W. They are heading Horta with 3.5 sog. 4 crew all okay. Machine running but not enough fuel. boat damaged but well okay. Thanks Stefan