22/06/2017 – Quite a good day

First of all, what went right? The cloudy, cool morning gave way to sunshine and, by mid-afternoon, it was positively hot. We had wall to wall sunshine but, as forecast, very little wind. ..... ..... We have taken the decision to motor at 5 knots, if the breeze sends our speed up we can throttle back. This strategy resulted in a 125 nm day, not stunning but the second highest this trip! There are two reasons for our fuel economy strategy: i) we don’t know exactly how much fuel we have and ii) we don’t want to arrive in the dark. It’s currently a little after 0600 UT, broad daylight and we have 260 nM to go so 52 hours at 5 knots, just under 44 hours at 6 knots. 0200 is pitch dark because there is no moon! ..... ..... On the baking front, I made probably the best loaf of bread for a very long time, and it was ready in time for lunch. It was possibly better than any of the bread that has come out of the bread maker. ..... ..... Motoring has benefits: abundant hot water; full batteries; use of the water maker without worrying about the batteries, therefore a full tank of water; and calm seas, the very reason we are motoring! I did some more laundry, especially the long sleeved tops which demand a cold wash and which I therefore wouldn’t dare dump in the washing machine. ..... ..... Late afternoon my attention was caught by a surface disturbance which quickly confirmed the presence of a whale. It was quite a way off and made its way diagonally across our stern, getting further away. John wasn’t convinced that it wasn’t a dolphin. Very shortly after that I spotted another one, but got a much better look at it. It was a bit closer and we could see the shape of the fin much more clearly and I caught a glimpse of the shape of the head. I believe they were both short-finned pilot whales. There is no way we could have seen a 2-3 metre long dolphin that far away and be able to make out the detail of its fin. Anyway, to confirm its DNA it helpfully blew several times! ..... ..... So what went wrong? When John got up at 0800 he went to check the fuel level. Unfortunately the gauge hadn’t moved since the previous evening though we have motored constantly. It looks very much as if the fuel sensor has failed, again. We replaced it in New Zealand and then again somewhere in the US last summer. It’s a fragile design where a float goes up and down two very thin wires. Given some of the rough seas we have been in and the way the fuel sloshes about in the tank, I suppose we should expect this sort of breakage but, seriously, why has it broken now when we have ‘suffered’ almost no wind and very calm seas for days? ..... ..... Dinner was meatballs in a tomato sauce with pasta and green beans. ..... ..... It is now 0630 on Thursday and I turned off the engine 45 minutes ago. We are sailing at 6 knots in 13 knots of apparent wind, it would be slower if the seas weren’t so flat. Every hour sailed makes it more certain that we will have enough fuel to motor in to Camaret. On the other hand, re-read paragraph 2, we don’t really want to sail at 6 knots! According to the GRIBs the breeze will not last and we’ll be motoring again by this evening. The fallback position, as ever, will be to inflate and launch the dinghy then drive ourselves onto the fuel dock with the dinghy tied alongside. It’s a very easy fuel dock to approach, fortunately! We have also become quite practised in the art of anchoring under sail but that does demand enough wind to reach the anchorage. We shall see. ..... ..... Joyce


22/06/2017 – Quite a good day — 1 Comment

  1. Having read this I am pleased for you how things are going, you can arrive a few days early as we have secured a stay from Friday, although nowhere near to Gosport as we had hoped. Look forward to your arrival. Phil & Jane.

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