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A family travels from Florida to New Zealand aboard their St Francis 50 catamaran
Day 14 Galapagos to Marquises
06/13/2011, 09 52S 134 14W

265 miles to go, 183 miles toward destination this 24 hour period. Yesterdays steering problem turned out to be the complete loss of the starboard rudder. At 4am we rounded up into the wind, Dean woke me up to tell me something was wrong. I got the motor running got us back on course but the steering was very sluggish with the autopilot having a hard time keeping us on course. By disconnecting each rudder from the system I determined something had happened to the starboard rudder. In daylight I stuck my head under there to discover no rudder, not even a frame, the shaft had sheared off leaving a 1" stub. We dropped the main and jib, raised the kite and hand steered for the rest of the day. It was difficult as you had to keep the boat dead downwind because if she rounded up more than 10 degrees there was no stopping her with just the one rudder. Only three of us could manage it well enough to keep her on such a tight course so it was a very stressful day after a stressful night. Although we were not able to point directly at or destination, we made good time. After talking with our friends on the SSB net we got some good advice on going into the autopilot dealer calibration section and making some changes to make it react quicker and with more turn to the rudder. So at sunset we dropped the kite raised a small amount of main and the jib and tried the new auto. It worked but it was turning the rudder so much I was afraid of the stress so we dropped the main and have been motor sailing all night with just the jib and auto able to handle it. The factory told us that they had straightened many rudder shafts and many were still sailing years later with those same shafts. Well, it did not work out for us. So now we sail on thinking about our one remaining rudder that was bent just as bad as the one that sheared off. Fingers crossed.

Day 13 Galapagos to Marquises
06/12/2011, 09 51S 131 08W

448 miles to go, 204 miles toward destination this 24 hour period. The wind has dropped under 20 knots so miles down a bit but still good. A little late getting the blog posted this morning as we were dealing with some ongoing steering problems which may be getting worse. Will have to investigate further in daylight. Other than that all is well on Ovive.

Day 12 Galapagos to Marquises
06/11/2011, 09 24S 127 41W

652 miles to go, 218 miles toward destination this 24 hour period. A great day of sailing wing on wing with one reef in the main. Lots of surfs up to 18 knots as the wind has been blowing 25 knots for a couple of days now and occasionally a larger wave will come though.. Night time was not as enjoyable as I did not get much sleep worrying about the crew making a mistake and broaching her. Put the second reef in at sunset and then added the third at 9pm. She was still going to fast down some of the waves. But it's a bit like sleeping in a car while someone else is driving, you feel like you're about to go off the edge but the person driving does not feel the same and in fact everything is usually ok. And it was.

Day 11 Galapagos to Marquises
06/10/2011, 09 10S 124 01W

870 miles to go, 203 miles toward destination this 24 hour period. Flew the kite during the day with winds from 15 to 20 knots. Changed to double reefed main and jib at night as the wind built to 25 knots. Good to have the wind back.

06/10/2011 | Malachi
So jealous of your arrival in the Marquises! I'll be wonderful to experience it anew through the eyes of the crew. Enjoy a pamplemousse for us!
Day 10 Galapagos to Marquises
06/09/2011, 08 43S 120 37W

1073 miles to go, 186 miles toward destination this 24 hour period. A slow start with the kite up and down between squalls. The wind returned at 1:30pm and we have been going well ever since. If the forecast holds true we should be able to put a few good days together.

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Who: David, Alec, Emilie, Nathalie
Port: Tavernier, Florida USA
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