Today is Day 14, marking 2 weeks at sea. Feels like every bit of two weeks and all I can say is I hope the next two weeks are more restful. I have to say I’m far more stressed out here than I was expecting. Something always need attention, something breaking or broken that needs attending to.
The last few days have been no exception. Since departing the lee of Hawaii Friday evening, the seas have been quite rough with the wind at 25-30 knots for most of the time, up over 40 knots in squalls. At the loss of getting farther East, I cracked off 30 degrees to make the ride more tolerable. Today there was a front of some kind, not a usual squall that had wind over 35 knots for 2 hours. Lots of water coming over the deck, large seas, new leaks. One over my day bunk, and one over my navigation station with all the electronics and power distribution. Not good. I’ve tried a few things to stop the leak but it’s just too wet and rough to repair today. Also a batten car failure above the 3rd reef for which I have no apparent repair. Good times. Who knew it was so windy and rough at 12 degrees north? Not the weather forecast! Called for 15 knots today. If I sound grumpy its because I am. Lots of toil over the last few days with little to show for it.
Made good progress South over the last few days though. I do need to somehow work my way more East.
In the early morning hour, maybe around 2 I was awaken by Sparrow crash gybing. Stumbling out of the bunk and into the cockpit, I tried to gybe her back, but no go. The autopilot had completely stopped, requiring a reboot. I went below to reboot, came up on deck and same problem: “average current too high.” Uh-oh. Realizing this wasn’t a quick fix, I hove-to by rolling up the jib, easing the main and lashing the tiller to lee. It was still blowing 30 knots. I visually checked to autopilot drive and in the dim light it looked like the ram piston had simply broken. Heading aft with the tool bag, a bit terrified of what I might find. Turns out the pin fitting had simply unscrewed from the piston, so I screwed it back on and cranked down the locknut. Then put the assembly back on the rudder pin. Above deck test quickly showed autopilot was OK.
Now to unwind the jib and get moving again. I unrolled the jib, but then found I could not bring in the sheet. The deck light showed lots of wraps from the lazy sheet around the working sheet. So at 3am, I found myself buck naked sitting on the foredeck except for the harness, getting drenched by waves as I untangled the jib sheets. Just a little story to let you guys know what it’s like out here.
Dearly need another calm-ish day for more maintenance. Hoping it shows up soon.
Sorry to ramble, rough even for typing. Sparrow out.