anybody out there?
21 October 2011
Is South America still in the same place? I've been sailing down its coast now for three days and haven't seen a thing. A couple of nights back I did see the distant loom of a large city which I guessed must have been Recife. Apart from that I've had three ships in three days and nothing else. So I plod on, hoping that Salvador is where the GPS thinks it is, which is about 24 hours away now. The wind went light last night, and from dead astern and a large swell rolled up from the south. This met an equally large swell coming from the north east and threw the sea into spiky little mountains, enough to knock any wind out a sail. The clatter down below was unbearable, and if I'd removed all the sails I'm sure the motion would have been untenable. So I drew everything in a tightly as I could and retired the aft cabin where it is not so noisy, if hotter. There was a spell of fresher wind this morning but that soon disappeared and it felt uncannily like the doldrums again. Not nice. So far, motoring for long spells has not been an option because of the lack of the autopilt and in the small hours I decided to put my mind to this problem. The result of this contemplation had me, this morning, removing vast amounts of gear from the stern locker, bending double, curling myself into a ball and dropping into the bottom of it with a head torch and screwdriver - this is where the 'computer' is to be found and I can only assume that the placing of it is some boatbuilder's joke. I was also very cautious because our local GP once went into the locker of his Westerly Centaur and the lid closed on him. He was shouting and hammering for a long time before he achieved his release. So, with the locker lid tied back with much rope, I attacked the 'computer' connections and stripped everything off bar the autopilot. The result is that it is now back and working and I am now motoring hard for home. When (touch wood) I get there, I will let you have some statistics, and also those bits of gear which were a triumph, and those which failed, in case such knowledge is of any use to you. Wind still light, sea still tormented. Time for tea