Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Atlantic Crossing Day 21 - May You Live in Interesting Times

When we were last in San Francisco we had a small farewell gathering with Ken Smith and Larry Jacobson from s/v Julia. They had just completed a five-year circumnavigation. During the conversation over wine Ken stated that he liked cruising best when he was bored because being bored meant nothing was happening.

During the last two days we have had two non-boring events. Yesterday I started the generator to top off the batteries. When the generator engine started I heard a pop and it sounded different. I opened the hatch to the engine compartment, and the air filter canister was lying in front of the generator rather than on top of the intake manifold. "Oh shucks!" I exclaimed. I shut down the generator and retrieved the air filter. The intake manifold had broken clean off where the air filter canister connects. This is the sixth vibration-related failure. To get us through the remainder of the passage I attached a hose with a clamp to the manifold and the other end of the hose to the canister. The air filter canister is now hanging by a cord from the roof of the engine compartment. All seems to be working well. (The hose we used is some that Larry and Ken gave us and insisted we take with us. Thanks for that, guys!)

Today during lunch I popped my head out to look around and saw that the jib was no longer connected at the tack to the roller furling drum and that the bolt rope had torn out about 1.5 feet. "Oh dear!" I exclaimed. We quickly got Shirlee on the jib halyard and me at the bow and brought down the jib. Then we hauled it into the cockpit to make repairs. The two webbing straps that make up the tack had chafed through. What had happened is that the roller furling had lost a couple of bolts and the drum and tack attachment now swiveled free and independently. We sewed on two new straps for the tack and used sail tape to hold the bolt rope in place. The jib is now back up and working well.

Sailing was slower today. We lost the wind last night, but it gradually built up to 15 knots this afternoon. Currently we have 13 knots and it should build to 15-20 knots tonight. We are expecting a front tomorrow and the wind should shift to the NW. It looks as if we can head directly for Horta, Azores, by Saturday (the summer solstice).

All is well aboard Solstice.

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