The South American Coast
29 November 2010 | South Atlantic
I was going to update the blog a few days ago, but was waylaid with a few technical problems on board. The other day our genset decided to go "hodididididi-dida - no more". So, it was into fault finding mode that I went and not typing mode. After spending a day checking oil levels, checking and replacing fuel filters, inserting a new impeller and air filter and a number of other things, we got the genset running again. However, a few minutes after replacing the soundproofing covers, the dam thing cut out again.
New let me explain life to you. If you take the human body and slowly heat it up, the brain says "it is too hot - I think it is time to stop work". And that is exactly what the genset decided via its electronic brain and sensors. The sea temperature is 28 degrees Celsius and the ambient temperature is 33 degrees Celsius. So we have the use of the genset with the covers off. It makes a bit of a noise - it is located under Conrad's bunk - and it creates quite a bit of heat, which permeates from under the bunk and into his cabin. Ah, the joys of living in a sauna!
Our fishing turned out quite well - Dylan's name on board has changed to "Dorado Dylan", as he has caught the most Dorado, learned to fillet them and, under the expert guidance of our chef, Juan, learned to cook them - not bad for a young man who's only previous experience with fish has been out of an I&J box! And let me tell you, Dorado is my best eating fish - it really is delicious just slowly cooked in a pan with a blob of butter and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Naomi, you will be proud of him!
As I type this, we are closing on the northern coast of South America and should reach our waypoint during tomorrow morning (Tuesday November 30). The waypoint signifies two milestones in our journey - it is the two-thirds mark of the delivery and it is the beginning of the coastal current which runs up a significant part of the coast, all the way to Trinidad. This current we will be making the best of to gain some extra speed in our journey and thus get to Trinidad slightly earlier than first anticipated. I will report back on our progress in the next blog entry.
Flying fish and sea life have started to appear again. Last night on my watch we had a pod of dolphin playing next to the boat, making an awful noise as they leapt from the water and landed on their sides with a loud plop and splash. They carried on with this for over two hours. We have also spotted some pilot whales and now, once again, have numerous birds flying around the boat during the day.
Shipping has increased dramatically as we have been crossing the shipping lanes. I had quite a long conversation with the captain of a very large cargo vessel that gave way for us yesterday. They were going from Salvador to Italy and had to divert their course to pass well behind us - it was that or T-bone us! The crew are on the full alert for the ship spotting competition and actively vying to spot ships to win the bottle of rum at the end of the trip. There are plenty still to come as we head up the coast right in the main shipping lane! So far Dylan is leading in the score but we will see what happens over the next few days.
Well, as a game of chess is taking place besides me as I type this up, I bid you well until the next blog entry - regards from Conrad, Juan, Dylan and myself, John.