The good news today is that last night was quite stable, and I was able to add to my sleep. I had re-hoisted the mainsail from reef 2 to reef 1 (320 revolutions on the pedestal winch) at midnight, and the boat steered well and the wind stayed from the same direction and relatively same intensity through the night.
Also big good news is that our Watt & Sea hydrogenerator, which has elicited so much attention in this first week in trying to repair tiny hydraulic lines, continued by itself in Automatic mode throughout yesterday and last night. This is very important, as it allows us to conserve diesel fuel. In fact, when I switched the unit into Automatic mode (in which it changes the pitch of the propeller blades according to our speed) our battery bank of 3 x 200 amp-hour batteries, was at 51% full. Now it is at 78% full. So the hydrogenerator is not only covering the 15 amps per hour that our boat systems require, but it is adding surplus amps into the batteries for future use.
When the wind turbine is not in use, it is usually tied off, but sometimes the small line slips and the turbine turns slowly. Although not connected electrically (our policy is that if the hydros are in use, then the solar and wind are turned off) it does rotate, and I had noticed a small clicking sound, which is now somewhat exacerbated. I went back there this morning, hanging out over the antenna platform, to try a closer inspection, and wiggled each blade. 2 of the 3 are a bit loose. I remember when we installed these blades, and we tightened them quite hard. So I will have to take the nose cone off, and see if I can tighten those blades.
We have the manual on board for these units, I looked up the allen wrench size, and went out there prepared. It’s fairly precarious if that antenna platform were to let go, thus the harness, even though the platform is held in by the lifelines. The harness helped triangulate stability and I tightened the blades.
We are heading to the west of the Cape Verde Islands. The lead boats are in the doldrums, or the Pot au Noir as the French call it. The leaders are trying to cut the corner toward heading toward the tip of South Africa. We will likely aim for slightly to the west of their entry point, and reduce our risk of ending up in a windless hole for a few days.
17° 51’N x 26° 09’W
Fractional Gennaker plus full Mainsail
True Wind Direction
True Wind Speed
82°F / 29°C
|Winch Pedestal Revolutions (daily)
|Amp Hours: Alternator (total)
|Amp Hours: Solar (total)
|Amp Hours: Hydro (total)
|Amp Hours: Wind (total)