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Winch Service

Morning all,

Sandwiches for lunch yesterday, my lidl brownbread is going off, I’m starting to have to pick off the blue bits which is disappointing as its less than 2 weeks old. I remember once getting some lidl brown bread which kept for absolutely ages but haven’t managed to find it since. This stuff, like that I had on the Nostar, seems no better than ordinary bread. Incidentally the filtered milk one can get now keeps for ages without having the horrid aftertaste that long life milk has.

Yesterday afternoon was fine for a bit, I tacked onto port and we were making ground to the WSW when I noticed the primary winch had lifted a little at the forward end. This is the main winch for the genoa, the biggest winches and sail on the boat so it was worrying. They are held down by bolts through the cockpit coaming with nuts on the underside in little cubbyhole lockery things in the cockpit. Looking here, nothing seemed particularly untoward, I had been half expecting to see the washers being pulled through the fibreglass. Anyway I tacked back onto Starboard so the defective winch was not in use and stripped it down to get to the fastenings. Once there, everything seemed fine but the nuts had slackened off. Huge relief, as the winch is vital and huge so correspondingly expensive and I had had visions of damage. I removed all the bolts one by one to see if any were damaged and they seemed fine so I put it back together and tightened it down fully. Now it seems fine. I checked the port side too and tightened up a couple of nuts ther, they must rattle themselves loose when the genoa sheet is rattling on the drum. I obviously need to check them more regularly and maybe loctite them on. i don’t understand how it suddenly appeared, it was as if 2-3 nuts must have slackened off a turn or two quite suddenly. Anyway, hopefully they’ll be fine now.

We’re making good distance to the South now, and should be out of the Bay of Biscay (an area noted for gales and horrible seas) later today and off the coasts of Spain and then Portugal.

There have been many reports of killer whale, or Orca attacks on Yacht’s rudders off the Southern bit of Portugal mainly closer in than I am likely to be but I have a bucket of Kyles sand with me because throwing sand in the water has been suggested as a means of disorienting their sonar and possibly discouraging them. Hopefully it’ll not be needed.

Having had the pressure cooker aboard for over a year and hardly using it, Ive been using it quite a bit this trip, dinner last night was a pork mince, tomato and pepper one pot casserole with potatoes, very good, mind you I’m easily pleased with any hot food at the moment.

Fewer than a thousand miles to go now, although I had, optimistically, hoped to be further on at this point, the gales earlier on in the trip slowed us down quite a bit and pretty much all the wind apart from the morning leaving Rothesay and the afternoon / evening from S. Wales to the. Scillies has been right on the nose.

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1 Comment

Sep 26, 2023

Yep, the primary winch could have been a real problem, a big relief for you now the problem is solved (on both of them). Keeping headsail and staysail flying will help the airflow create a slot effect between the two - a little more speed, but more importantly, given the wind is on the nose, should help you point a little higher and save a few miles.

Funny you mention Lidls bread shelf life, we swaer their fresh produce lasts longer than from most other places. I wonder what they do to achieve this - perhaps Id rather not know!

Keep up the good work and watch out for the Orcas!

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