Panama to French Poly At Sea - day 26
20 April 2018 | 08 33.9'S:134 14.2'W, ~380 nm east of Nuku Hiva
Friday April 20, 2018 Day 27 at sea Well, we are finally getting close, or so it seems. About 380 NM to go as I write this or about the same mileage as from Duluth to Sault Ste. Marie on Lake Superior. We are figuring on arriving either later Sunday afternoon or Monday morning. The wind is supposed to get lighter tomorrow so that will probably be the deciding factor. Our days have been averaging around 165 nm per day for the last few with the trade winds. 177 nm on one day this week. Mostly things have been uneventful except on two days. On Wednesday morning a low cloud bank approached us from behind. Looked very low, perhaps 500 ft. ASL. Anyhow, when it arrived the wind backed from East to North and stayed there most of the day. We were hit with squall after squall with torrential downpours and lots of wind. Gusts to 38 kts so not too bad, just wet. We had two reefs in as it approached so all was good that way. Unlike most squalls that pass over us (we do try to miss them!), the wind stayed out of the North between them. Probably at least 10 separate squalls. By 5 PM things settled down and the wind slowly went back to East. That night Laurie was on watch when the Autopilot quit. It was about midnight and the seas were around 10 feet. She took the helm and called out to me. We had to quickly diagnose the problem and it did not appear to be the electronics so I crawled into the back (read: hell hole) and found that the tiller �"pin assembly�" that attaches the autopilot to the rudder shaft had sheared off. Not good. So, with Shawnda�'s help we dug out our spare Raymarine Linear Drive unit (it was buried under our bed along with a ton of other things) and I grabbed the �"pin assembly�" from that box. Back to the �"hole�" and proceeded to change it out as we were bouncing around. All said, we were up and running in about 1 ½ hours. In retrospect, I am glad we do have a complete spare Autopilot on board! In this instance though, I could have �"jury rigged�" a pin out of some of the hardware that we carry but it would have taken much longer. BTW, the wheels are already turning to get us another spare pin asse mbly as well as other parts. They will be sent to Nuku Hiva where there just happens to be a �"Marine Warehouse�" agent and FedEx delivers. We use Marine Warehouse for stuff we need and is difficult to ship. Oh, did I mention other parts? Yep, the same day the watermaker quit. It is pretty bumpy and difficult to work on things in confined areas as the boat rocks. I was able to ascertain the next day that the motor was at fault and not the hydraulic pump. A new one is on the way but I am pretty sure and can repair the other. Basic DC motor. I just need to get it out so I need calmer seas. Sure, if I HAD to I could work on it now but we are 3 days out and the tanks had been kept near full. We currently have about 150 us gallons so we are more than fine. Many boats leave with only 50 gallons�.... No showers for them! We do shower, but about every third day and we call them �"Navy Showers�". No wasting water singing in the shower! Rinse, water off, suds up and rinse again, water off. I can get my shower with about 1 gallon. So that it about it for now. We still have yet to see another boat either visually or on AIS. No contrails either. The attached photo was taken during one of the squalls. I wanted everyone to know that it isn�'t all sunshine out here!