Day 22, change out the fuel filter for the gen set
13 June 2021 | 06 35.497'S:123 01.496'W, At sea to Nuku Hiva
06 35.497 S
123 01.496 W
Weather; sunny with lots of clouds, wind 10 - 20 knots, waves 2 - 3 metres
Another day when the sun eventually broke through the clouds and we had a lovely sunny afternoon. The wind remained towards our stern until early afternoon and we continued to do an average of 6 knots. In the early afternoon though the wind began to drift slowly towards the port beam which meant that we could no longer keep sailing along goose winged, to that end the jib got firstly furled away, and yes it went away without any issues despite our concerns over the furler not working properly. Anyway once it was away we could then unfurl it on the starboard side giving us wind power into both the main and the jib on that side. Sailing continued in this way until around 4.30 pm when there was yet another wind shift , this time back to where it had come from earlier. We reversed the jib back out to be poled out on the port side and once again we were goose winging, this continued for the rest of the night and into this morning with us managing to do 6 knots for most of the time.
I mentioned yesterday that the gen set had had a hiccough when Gerry started it up and it was time to check it out, I asked him if it was maybe a bit of dirty fuel in the line and he thought the same thing (I think I should apply for RPL in basic engineering!) anyway the investigation involved the replacing of the 10micron filter in the generator fuel system. The replaced filter was beyond full of crud despite only having been in place for just 62 running hours and was obviously the major cause of the hiccough. Once replaced the gen set was run to make sure that there was nothing else amiss and I'm happy to say its back to running as it should. We suspect that the fuel tank has had more than its fair share of stirring up with all the bouncing around we have been doing and that the crud has been stirred up from all around the tank and into the feed line, our last lot of fuel was taken on board in Panama and you would expect that with the huge turnover of fuel they have ther
e that their fuel would be relatively clean but that's probably not the case. Anyway the tank that was in operation was the port side tank and it is still about half full so Gerry decided that we would run the fuel polisher for a few hours and try to ensure that what is left in the tank (about 50 gallons)is as free of crud and water vapour as we can make it. That was our excitement for the day over and done with the rest of the day was spent doing the gazing at the world around us, not much to see there just water, water and more water; reading our books and catching up with sleep when we could. Still no sightings of whales, no dolphins keeping us company, not a ship in sight, no weather buoys as yet and surprisingly no squid or flying fish committing suicide on our deck. The fishing stick stayed firmly in its holder for the day and we forced ourselves to do a much hated job late in the day and emptied out and defrosted the freezer. Whilst everything was out we inventoried
the contents and have more meat and fish than we originally thought, we might not have to stock up too much in Nuku Hiva as I'm sure that we could make it to Fiji and supplement with a couple of canned fish, ham or chicken meals if need be. What we don't want is to arrive in Fiji and have unused meat confiscated, as is the normal process, so we will be doing our best to eat it all before we arrive there. Our night passage was once again very lumpy and the sky was completely obliterated by dark, threatening clouds which only managed to drop a sprinkling of rain but had the winds going all over the place and at all sorts of speeds, at one point I saw 25Knots and we roared along at 9.4 Knots but it was very short lived and we were quickly back to our 6knots. Dawn had us staring at a completely obscured by grey clouds sky in every direction, it wasn't looking good for the solar panels and power production. It was nearing 9.30 this morning before the sun finally poked itself abov
e the cloud line and shone on the solar panels. Our batteries are still requiring topping up overnight as the demand is exceeding the production still which was why the gen set had to be sorted out urgently. We did another 160NM in the last 24hours and no engine hours, we are getting closer. In another couple of hours we should be hitting the 1000 NM to go, we are getting there Ð it would be nice if it was a bit quicker but we'll take arriving safely over faster.