Well, it’s a month since we set off and I’ve spent equal amounts of time going Out and Back now. Yesterday’s numbers: 78 miles covered and 333 to go to Campbeltown. Getting closer, the forecast, so far has nothing horrible between now and then. I’m hoping to get to Inishtrahull Friday evening and be across the North Channel Saturday morning but that’ll only happen if we carry on making good time without problems.
We had a cloudy day again yesterday and I got little charge into the batteries so ended up running the engine for an hour to put some charge back in again to see us through the night. It’s foggy again this morning but the cloud seems less thick, hopefully we’ll harvest more energy today.
After I’d had dinner (leftover risotto) I was making a cup of tea and the carbon monoxide alarm went off, which is a new one for me. I opened the hatch a bit and noticed that the gas had gone out on the stove. The alarm kept going off even after I’d wafted it a bit with hands and blown on to it and re set it. Anyway it looked like the gas bottle had run out, - 1 month on the same bottle, so I changed the bottle and by that time the alarm had stopped being annoying. I’m not quite sure why the alarm went off, I’m assuming it was to do with the gas but don’t understand it, the stove often blows itself out at the moment because the rocking of the boat is enough to do that, but the gas then cuts off because there’s no heat on the sensor, and this doesn’t set off the alarm, carbon monoxide normally comes from combustion but I had the hatch half open whilst the other day, when I was making bread, I had the oven on for ages and the hatch closed to rise the dough and had no problems.
I thought I might have caught a fish yesterday afternoon; the line had come to the surface and I could see something on the end. I got all dolled up in my oilskins, had a bucket to hand and brought the line in. It proved to be a plastic bag and the weight had disappeared, a bit of a disappointment.
Last night was quiet.
I had porridge for breakfast this morning then was busy on deck for a couple of hours: I lowered the sails for a check and then lowered the mast to check the rigging at the top - I had thought I could pull some through from the bottom to change the chafe point but that proved impossible so, before we close the coast I thought it prudent to have a look. It’s actually all fine, no signs of wear in any case. Putting the mast back up was fine, always a bit awkward and I had to reposition the foot onto it’s position because it didn’t locate as I hauled it vertically. Once I’d got her under way again I taped up the radar cable which has been a source of a leak in the cabin, water has been coming down inside the cable, it’s one of those thick ones with lots of wires inside and a plaited screen around them all to keep the stray wigglies in. I put amalgamating tape and then gorilla tape on top of it, hopefully it’ll hold for a couple of days. Once that was done I moved the anchor cable back to the locker, I had stowed it down below in the bilge in the cabin once we’d cleared Ireland outbound because it’s better to have the weight low down than high up and on the bow from a sailing point of view. Now that I may need it I want it back on the bow. I’ve put the anchor back in the locker because I’m using the bow roller as an attachment for the forestay and it’s working quite well at the moment.
Well I think this is the calmest it’s going to be for a couple of days so I’m going to spoil myself and have a wash and a change, the wind’s due to pick up from the South this afternoon. Hopefully we’ll increase speed a bit then although current speed of 3+ knots is nothing to complain of.
AJWanderlust is close to finishing, you’ll all probably have a better idea than I do but last night she was crossing the Nantucket Shoals, in fog and hoping to get to Newport before the wind dies, I hope that they managed it because it’s a busy bit of water and being becalmed in fog there won’t be much fun.
AJ Wanderlust are nearly across the line - this is from their latest blog:
Wednesday 9 June at 9:50 am British Time
AJ Wanderlust is 30 miles from the finish at Castel Hill. It is 4:50 am
Eastern Standard Time in the USA. An overcast and cloudy morning with light
rain showers. AJ Wanderlust presently south of NoMan's Island and Martha's
Vineyard. Imminent bear away to a course of 313 magnetic for the final leg