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Monday, May 3, 2010

May 4th Update - 4th day at sea

Our second night, during the middle of Franks's midnight to 3 a.m. watch - and the middle of my sleep, I began dreaming that someone was banging loudly on the door of my house with a pipe then I realized that it was really a loud clanking noise coming from within the bedroom. I startled awake, of course thinking "what the heck???", and began checking the lockers and engine room for the nature of this horrific sound. When I opened the floor hatch to the drive shaft it became deafeningly loud. I called up to Frank to shut down the engine. He came down, listened and began trying to troubleshoot the situation. He narrowed it down to a few potential problems which I won't go into because he has journaled this in more detail on his blog. We did, however shut down the engine and began the bob. It was a beautiful night and the moon and stars lit up the sky, giving us something to enjoy in spite of our little bit of trouble. As a safety measure we alerted the fleet and sent an email to family and cruising friends.

The winds finally picked up with daybreak and we enjoyed a fantastic sail for most of the day, making up for lost time but falling a bit behind the fleet. We crossed our fingers and prayed for this to keep up, realizing that we should not attempt to use the engine. Frank intended to phone Island Packet as soon as they opened on Monday morning hoping for some enlightenment. In the meantime we kept a positive attitude and attended to the business of sailing.

Our third night, I suppose due to the warmer waters we noticed the boat's wake alight with the sparkling of phosphorescence. That coupled with the brilliantly starlit skies made the lack of wind a nice distraction from the fact that we were losing precious ground. We watched as mast lights passed us in the night leaving us a little lonely. In fact when Frank relieved me close to midnight, the winds had all but died, we were only making around 2 knots. It was apparently so bad that he stayed up all night, not waking me until 5 a.m. when he was making his call to Island Packet Yachts. Gosh they are great! They maintain such an amazing hands-on and personal relationship with their owners. Warren of IPY talked Frank through a trouble-shooting process until they determined the nature of our mechanical failure, which Frank has detailed on his blog (I think). It is another part that we have just worn out, as they do on a cruising yacht, but for we would not normally carry a spare. He is making arrangements to get a replacement shipped to us in Fiji. Meanwhile we are advised that we should minimize use of the engine unless it is absolutely imperative to do so. We feel this is sound advice and are happy to know that we can at least turn it on when critical moments arise. So, here we are, happily tacking along chasing wind like the sailors of old. Many boats in the fleet are staying in touch with us, offering to assist any way that they can and are looking out for us. A friend of ours, Bill on Ivory Quays, was telling us (on the VHF) how much they feel for us and Frank replied, "Well Captain Cook did it this way and if he can, we can". Bill responded, "That's right-o, Frank, Cook didn't have a propeller to worry about".

It is now 10:30 a.m., Day 4. We have easted and although the winds continue their gust and relax routine we are getting a nice average speed of 6 kts out of our girl.

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1 comment:

bev. said...

Ahoy Sis! I want you to know that I will pray that your spirits stay high and the winds fill your sails. I will check on your progress as you know I am unsettled until you reach port. I love you and am glad to know y'all are well. I Love you! Bev.