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Batteries and Sextants

11th March

We only managed 73 miles yesterday to noon  but may manage more today. I had had  he pole up and out to port then starboard then down again but only partially stowed so it was still on the mast with the forward end resting in the pulpit. We had mostly managed 3- 4 knots over the day. I ran the engine and am noticing that the alternator is going below 10 amps much quicker now, so I am presuming that the batteries are coming up to voltage more quickly but without really absorbing a proper charge. Essentially i am now running the engine more for shorter periods and getting shorter period of useful battery in between. I’m pretty sure it’s time for new batteries and i’m hoping Puerto Rico may be a good place to look.

Having done one charge run last night and slept for an hour and a half, when the. Alarm woke me I could feel things were changed a little, once I’d made it up to to the cockpit the wind was up to 17 knots from about 7 and appeared to be picking up still.  I spent some time putting two reefs in the main and one in the genoa and stowing the pole properly on the deck by which time the wind was NE’ly and 24 knots so we were going along nicely at about 7.5 knots, I hardened up a bit because I could and am expecting more Ely winds and we had a good night’s sail. We were several miles from the coast, but, interestingly, loads of moths / bugs were attracted to my head torch whilst I was working on deck with the reefs etc. this morning the wind has been all over the place but  is now ENE and about 12-24 knots , we have full sail up and are  going well again. Hopefully it’ll last.     

I’m reading Sextant by David Barrie which I can recommend, it is partly about the Sextant but mostly about the golden age of hydrography with  Cook, Flinders, Fitzroy etc and the development of the modern method of celestial navigation with very good explanations of the lunar distance and stellar distance methods, a competing method for finding longitude to chronometers although for decades they were more complimentary than competing.


Jock and Yemaya

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