10 October 2009
I mentioned this has been an unusually busy trip. This has been due mostly to the number of things that broke. I wrote about the anchor breaking loose, and that was the worst of the problems, but there were others. There hasn't been a lot of pleasant sailing on this trip, but here is a picture of sailing in very nice conditions, late in the afternoon. As we get farther south, the days get longer, and the sunrises and sunsets are slower.
In benign conditions and safe waters, it is nice to have one glass of wine in the late afternoon. After spending all day hove-to, in an adverse current, going slowly backwards while securing the anchor, after I got sailing again, I decided it was time to celebrate the anchor being secure with a glass of wine.
As I was sipping the wine, it occurred to me that I was having a glass of wine when the windvane broke, and another when the fisherman sail ripped. I had not had time to fix either yet.
The wind continued to lighten, then died entirely. Frustrated that all day we had gone nowhere but about 10 miles backwards (due to the current), I decided to drop the sails and motor for a while.
Sails down, I turned the key and found that the engine would not start! Clearly, drinking wine was causing the boat to break! :)
So, no wind, no engine, current taking us in the wrong direction, past sundown, and being safely far offshore, the sensible thing to do was sleep--sail if the wind came up, otherwise just work on the engine in the morning. I tried to sleep, but kept thinking about the engine, and realized I could probably get it started with a boost from another battery. I did so, it started, and I motored for an hour to charge the starting battery. There is a master off switch for the starter motor on this boat (an odd thing to have), which I had forgotten to turn off when I left port, and that drained the battery.
After motoring for an hour, the wind came up, and we were able to sail again. The following day I was able to fix the fisherman and the windvane self-steering.
For the rest of the trip, I had no more wine, and nothing else broke :).