Well hello everyone at last,
Were do I begin? ok, lovely sunny evening sailing away from Antigua, a lightish wind so did the Reflections Blog post.....Just finished that and on the far distant horizon, a very dark ominous cloud, heralding a storm cell coming.....it arrived 1915hrs just as it went dark..Thunder lightening 40+knts and the most torrential downpour experienced yet. This went on for nearly 3hrs, after it had passed there were storm cells all around me with thunder and lightening, and the rest of the night I was going through one after another! No sunrise the next day, and actually no sun for the next 9 days. So much for the forecast, as none of this had been predicted. The wind was zero knts except when a cloud passed by, the boat inside was soaked. The next evening I started to do the blog, I had reopened the foreward hatch and cabin skylight to let some air in when whoosh it rained again, so heavy this rain out here, well by the time I got back in the cabin, water had filled the keyboard on my laptop and that was the end of that!
This is only day 2 but I had already traveled over 150 Nm.
As the voyage progressed and sailing hard on the wind, GL was hammering into the large seas day after day, but only making about 3 to 4 knts, as there was no sun for solar cells and 3-4 knts isn't enough for water geny to charge the batteries, and they were starting to get low. So day 7 I deployed the petrol geny and immediately blew up my 220v shore supply charger, due to water ingress, so used the 12v output from the geny instead. Then I couldn't understand why they wern't charging quickly, something else was taking power, I checked all the systems and found the bilge pump running continuously, water was pouring into the collecting sump like a river! Panic, all the floors came up + saloon table as I searched for the leak, I was led to the chain locker, so the spare anchor, ballast came out, and all the anchor chain, there just below water were two enormous water spouts that spurted every time the boat hit a wave, whoo, so tried to fix and not very successful. This was serious, I had to sit down and review my options, so I had a good think about it. Fellow travelers 'Aleria'(closest) and 'Tatuhla' were ahead of me and reporting weather conditions even worse to come, poor Sue and Andy on 'Spruce' had been heaved too in a gale for 2 days towards Bermuda. Ok, I would tell everyone what was happening, and have the next day trying my best to reduce the flow to a manageable level. All next day from 5 in the morning I spent getting covered in sikaflex ramming cloth into the seams and sealing them up, and by 3 in the afternoon the pump was stopping for over 2 minutes, with only 40 seconds of run time. After doing the sums on power consumption and petrol left, distance to go, and weather prediction, I came to realize I would not make it too Horta, even though I had already done 1000 Nm!. So I tuned the boat round and set course for St Lucia. After cleaning myself up a bit, well enough to use the computer, I sat down to let everyone know. As my sat comms relays any emergency messages issued for the Atlantic to me, as it powered up a emergency call was recieved, I GL had issued a distress call! and a boat had been diverted to attend. Oh heck, they requested information which I responded too, taking forever to assemble the msg (copy paste is not quick) and pressed the send button, this was now 5pm, then suddenly a ships horn blew behind me, I jumped out the cabin like a rocket and there was the 'Cool Express' who had been searching for me since 9 am.
Part 2 Later
Things to do