After yesterday’s 3 hour battle with the tiny hydraulic tubing within the hydrogenerator pump box, and getting stabilized within the high pressure system with full mainsail and genoa, I decided to allow multiple naps through the night, with the Presto Digital Timer set at an expanded 30 minutes, rather than the 20 minutes I’d set up until now. You can see the extra minutes within the table, nearly 6 hours of 30 minute naps!
After the hydrogenerator fix, I ran it in manual mode through the night and it worked fine until this morning when I got the rough sound again, perhaps some cavitation if the boat speed was too much. Cavitation is when a propeller in the water is no longer carving a perfect arc in the water and the water going past the blades no longer smoothly attaches, but begins to create great turbulence. You can tell cavitation because it’s noisy. If you’ve seen the movie Hunt for Red October, there is a scene when one submarine crew says “Captain! We’re cavitating, he’ll hear us!” We haven’t tested yet whether we can still run the hydrogenerator if it’s cavitating since the automatic adjustments of the propeller pitch (to prevent cavitating) is not reliable at the moment.
We receive position reports of the fleet 5 times daily, and it’s interesting to see where everyone is. We’re in the back third. We lost quite a bit on the second morning when I was dealing with the batten car exchange. It took several hours, and during that time the mainsail was just luffing (flapping and not pulling at all). We lost sight of Nandor Fa in Spirit of Hungary, and Roman Attanasio, as they pulled ahead.
Nandor is an interesting man and new friend. Hungary is not a big place for ocean racing, yet he sailed the first Vendée Globe, finishing 5th I think, and then sailed another and had to drop out, and now is back, having both designed his boat, and built it, and now is racing her. All quite amazing, and he’s friendly and modest in addition.
As the wind direction has shifted behind us, we have set this morning the biggest sail that we have, the masthead gennaker (370 square meters, or ~3700 square feet).
Oh, I just had one of those moments where I fall asleep while typing, very strange…
34° 15’N x 16° 15’W, 90 nm north of Madeira.
Wind / Sail Plan:
9 knots Northwest wind, 9 knots boat speed, full mainsail plus masthead gennaker, heading 215° to go west of Madeira
Barometer at 1032 millibars. Temperature 73°F / 22.8°C
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