|Vessel Name:||L'Eau Commotion|
|Vessel Make/Model:||Northshore 38|
|Hailing Port:||Brisbane Australia|
7:30pm Friday 20th October 2017 ( UTC ) Had a good fast run through the night with everything under control but as the morning progressed and the speed getting up to an average of nine knots things started to get out of hand. The wind had gradually increased to about 24 knots and the autopilot would have the yacht rounding up or falling away. When the whops! became whaps! It was time to furl the asymmetrical which worked out well - a little out on the sheet, a few turns and so forth. It was much more comfortable with just the poled out jib and we were still making over 7 knots so some housework was completed. As it was still comfortable it was time to take up some slack in the under deck wire cables that connect the steering wheel with the steering quadrant. Much thought was put in to whether to heave too or climb down into the very limited space in the lazarette with the electric ram pushing in and out all the time and the possibility of getting caught up in the machinery as against disconnecting it and having the rudder slamming against the stops. The first was done but much care taken with placement of tools and fingers. I have shown enthusiasm for the electric autopilot but current supply had become a problem with overcast sky and very little apparent wind for the Silentwind to contribute much so now the Windpilot is back in favour though much tweaking is still in progress with just the asymmetrical sheeted to the boom.
7:00pm Thursday 19th October 2017 ( UTC ) The wind has been dead astern all day and sometimes in the occasional squalls it looked like the autopilot might be overpowered but it hung on for those precious few moments and back to surging down the waves. With a wind speed of between 18 and 22 knots L'Eau Commotion is often slicing along at 12 to 14 knots. The electric water pump for the galley has been having a few hiccups and today of all days it refused its duty outright; not a big problem as I have plenty of containers of fresh water and also a spare pump, be it with different fittings. The trouble was I had to take a lot of gear out of the port cockpit locker and then get in when the surging became most noticeable. As luck would have it it was just an electrical connection and a small leak on the suction side, both easily remedied, and setting aside those few hours a great and often exhilarating day was had. The sail combination remains unchanged of asymmetrical to Starboard, sheeted to the boom and the jib poled ou t to Port.
7:30pm Thursday 18th October 2017 ( UTC ) I've sent another photo of this great sail combination in perhaps slightly better detail. If I send a file of too large a size the Iridium just clams up and freezes and its a devil of a job to get it going again. Here's hoping! --------------060901030207070503010509--
7:00pm Wednesday 18th October 2017 ( UTC ) Sometimes you can be just too tidy. Rearranging sheets and blocks to be just so, organising the fishing tackle , odds and ends, I came across the little rubber cover for the autopilot control. With the now tropical sun beating down I installed this over the control which is adjacent to the helm and continued on. With the occasional glance at the heading and wind direction I sort of sensed something was not quite right, then the poled out jib backwinded. Oh No ! Have I lost my wind steering so soon? A few more minutes of angst then the realisation set in that when I was putting on the soft cover I inadvertently was pressing the underlying buttons. And the rest of the day? Sheer unadulterated joy. I literally pole danced round the saloon with the 60mm roof support as partner. Up on the foredeck swinging round the forestay and bellowing snippets of songs from my youth.True! You may be able to get an idea of the conditions from the photo with the asymmetrical billowing full and balanced by the poled out jib making over six knots in an almost flat sea. --------------090904080507060003020708--
7:30pm Tuesday 17th October 2017 ( UTC ) A bang at 3am signalled one of the blocks on the starboard track had disconnected and shot off the aft end causing much confusion and a few contusions. Though the following breeze was only sixteen knots the pull on the asymmetrical sheet was more than could be managed by hand and also was caught up under the guard wires, so a little ingenuity, which is in rather short supply, was needed to settle things down. Thanks to Nick of the NCYC I have a good supply of spare ropes and blocks so the sail has now been set up with all sheets led fair and the ability to handle it in heavier conditions. The wind is now quite light but steady progress is still being made. St. Helena by Saturday with any luck!
6:00pm Monday 16 October 2017 ( UTC ) Well you could have guessed it. The forecast for yonks ahead and the actual wind this morning are going directly towards St. Helena and Ascension and my nominal crossing point at the Equator 20 degrees West so I just had to see if she would run straight downwind. A little ginning around as I worked out ways to rig the sails but all seems OK. The jib is poled out to Port and the asymmetrical has its sheet through a pulley right on the end of the boom which is as far out to Starboard as it can go without touching the shrouds. A little tweaking with the sheets to keep the sails full and away we go. Interestingly the autopilot seems to perform just that little bit better working through the wind vane and there is no need to alter course to stop the asymmetrical from back winding. PredictWind has a course tacking downwind with a true wind angle of 150 degrees either side of the wind direction but I find it is too difficult to travel this fine without gibing and being able to run d ead downwind means no frequent sail changes. Also the extra distance travelled equates to the loss of about a knot in speed. The great thing about this setup is that it is very comfortable and speedy with the yacht averaging over 7 knots in 15 knots of true wind. It will be interesting to see if I can keep this combination to the Equator which is about a fortnight away.