While its 05:00 am in the morning and a most beautiful night it has been, we’re wind and speed challenged at the moment. Most of Friday was spent moving steadily east but at only about 6 or 7 knots along the 32 degrees latitude. The strategy here is to stay north of 32 degrees latitude until I can get far enough east to avoid the worst of a no-wind, high-pressure weather pattern that is setting up. The slow winds suggest I may not have gotten far enough north to avoid it. The beautiful part though is that it is exceptionally serene out here. The full moon eases across the sky pulling constellations in its wake. Both nights, I have watched Orion the hunter transit across the bow of the boat from one side to the other. I can almost tell the time of night by his passing.
Much of the past 24 hours has been spent trying to get online and access information. The KVH system has not been locking onto its intended satellites, and so I have not been able to get normal Internet access, which means no receiving or sending emails. So, if you’ve sent me something recently and I haven’t responded, that is likely the reason. Once I get reconnected and online again, I’ll do my best to get caught up.
My back-up system is an Iridium satellite phone with a computer hook-up, which allows me to get very basic text emails for weather and updates. It’s been working just fine, so I’m hoping that continues to be there for the duration.
I was able to get the hydro-generator deployed today. I’d had problems with a sticky pin that caused the unit to hang up, and it did it again today. I went to Plan B, which was to dismount the unit, make the deployment and then remount it in the proper pin location. This went well until I dropped the mounting pin … and no, it didn’t float! On to Plan C, the more traditional approach – which was to jam a screwdriver into the hole! And so far, that seems to be working just fine, and the hydro-generator is generating electricity – so all is cool on that front. Now, a little wind and boat speed will allow it to prove itself a most useful tool.
One of the calculations you often hear me talk about is fuel consumption, and if there is enough fuel to make the next destination or not. The matter of conservation of fuel and energy in order to make the next destination comes down to actual mathematical calculations. I will be throwing out some more calculations here in another day or so, but they will get more complicated by the addition of the hydro-generator … which once it begins generating electricity sufficiently, will greatly extend the duration of time between engine chargings … which should free up more fuel for use when I get to the “doldrums” and hopefully allow me to pass through them at a little better pace. Add that to the list of hopes – hoping for a narrow band of doldrums too … at least something less than the 100 mile band that is projected at this point in time!
So, other than the day-to-day routine of napping, setting up the boat, navigating, checking systems, eating cookies (yes, there is still a fair supply, though not likely enough) and writing updates, things are pretty cool out here. Well, cool in the sense of neat anyway … because as far as weather goes, it’s been hot and up in the 80’s during the day. I am trying to stay out of the sun … not an easy task when there are so few big shade trees around!
So, until later, we’ll just keep on sailing!
– Dave and Bodacious Dream
060.2043 W, 32.0508 N