This blog is about planning and preparation for a circumnavigation of the world in a 39-foot sail boat followed, hopefully, by a diary of the actual circumnavigation. You can track the progress of Pachuca by visiting http://www.pangolin.co.nz/xtras/yotreps/tracker.php?ident=VNW5980
Saturday, July 7, 2012
The sailing was difficult because the wind was from the SW and too weak for good sailing. The boat speed during most of the night was 2-2.5 kt, with an apparent wind of 7 or 8 kt. Jeff the Monitor wind steering had difficulty steering in those conditions and at 4 AM I had to transfer the steering to the autopilot. Nevertheless I managed to keep the boat moving and in the 24 hours to 9.30 AM we had made good 70 miles from MdP.
I ran the radar all night and found it very helpful. When I first switched it on I saw a hard target 5 miles off the port beam and when I went topside I was able to see the boat's light. A few hours later saw a larger target closing in fast from the north. I went up and saw that it was a properly lit ship presenting its starboard side to me. Then the AIS data came up with the estimate that we would pass within 0.1 miles of each other. I tweaked Jeff to give us another 20 degrees to port and we passed with 0.9 miles between us.
I took sleep in one-hour spells and that worked out very well. I would set the timer on the chart plotter then would settle into the bunk half sitting, gettingt warm under the blankets and trying to control the coughing, which seems to flare up when I lie down. The timer would go off, I'd get up and do a check, maybe have a snack, then set the timer for another snooze. When the timer went off at 9 AM I was in a very deep sleep and woke up remarkably refreshed.
The wind was off the port beam and at over 10 kt and I knew that it was time to raise the mainsail. During breakfast of coffee and toast I went over the procedure in my head. I then went topside and hoisted the sail while sailing close to the wind under headsail in a methodical way with no shortcuts. I had intended to raise the sail to the 1st reef point but when I looked at the sail area and remembered the forecast for strengthening winds I decided to go only to the 2nd reefing point. That turned out to be a good decision because soon the boat was comfortably doing close to 6 kt beating just off a 15 kt apparent wind. I stood at the companionway and surveyed the scene and saw that everything was in order and working well. For the first time since 3 or 4 weeks out of La Paz I was sailing again with fully functional sails and rigging.
The boat sailed all day at over 6 knots through a sea that was calmer than what I would have expected. It needed little attention and I spent several hours snoozing in the bunk. At 4 PM I rolled in the headsail from jib size to about half size because the wind had increased to 19 and 20 knots and was expected to strengthen throughout the night. As usual, the effect on speed was negligible – maybe 0.3 kt – but the boat rode more comfortably.
I regret to report that the boat began to ship water from the moment we began to beat heavily into the sea. It isn't a lot of water – perhaps 3 liters per hour – but it is annoying. I have no doubt that I have identified and corrected one of the major sources of leaks at the lazarette door, but I've got more work to do in hunting down the leaks. This water is a nuisance more than a major problem because few seconds with the electric bilge pump drains it out of the boat. Other than the bilge, the interior of the boat is dry and comfortable. (Later when I reached into the lazarette to open the engine exhaust valve I had a look around the area and found it to be bone dry.)
At 5.30 PM we were 115 NE of MdP, beginning the crossing of the mouth of the River Plate, which is more than 100 miles wide. Our position was 36S47, 55W43. I was entering the night with plenty of sea room, but would have to be more vigilant than ever for shipping.
I ran the engine for an hour to top up the batteries and get some warmth into the cabin. I've got plenty of fuel on board, so why be stingy.
The pressure cooker soup was if anything, better than the first night. There was so much of it that I figured that I'd better have plenty of it so I made – well – a pig of myself. With the third helping of soup came two of the pork pieces. I had assumed that they were there to be rendered into the soup and not eaten directly, but I started nibbling around the edges and discovered that they were full of meat, making it the best part of the soup. Because there was so much meat I had my doubts that they were the pigs feet but rather other cuts that the butcher had also sold to me. At the end of the meal I was sweating and for once very warm.
At 8 PM the wind was up to 21 and 22 knots and the sea had gotten a bit rougher. I decided that the double reefed main and shortened headsail were appropriate for the conditions so I left it at that for now.
radio email processed by SailMail
for information see: http://www.sailmail.com
- Official Clearance into Angra
- At Enseada de Sitio Forte
- At Marina Bracui 22S57.010, 044W23.687
- Ilha de Paqueta (2S59.586, 044W24.465)
- At Ilha Da Gipoia, 23S03.809, 044W21.321
- Another Night at Enseada de Sitio Forte
- A Day at Praia de Proveta
- At Ilha Grande
- Departure for Angra
- Last Day at Ilha Bella
- More Preparations
- Mercury Outboard Running
- Trapped On Board
- Clearance Into Brazil Done
- First day at Ilha Bella
- Safe on Mooring
- Final Run to the Anchorge
- Fair Wind and Following Sea
- Quieter Night, Great Day, Reasonable Progress
- Another Tough Night with Good Progress
- Half Way, and Storm Trysail
- Rough Night, Good Progress
- Hard Night
- Tracking for Pachuca - by Stephen
- Variable Wind, Fighting Current
- Difficult Night but Good Progress
- Sailing Well
- On the Way
- One More Night
- Cleared to Go
- Clearance Blues
- Fridge Follies and Boat Ready
- Firm Departure Time
- Settled Marina Account
- Wine Supply
- Progress with Refrigerator
- Saved My Bacon
- ▼ July (37)
- ► 2011 (288)
- ► 2010 (355)
- ► 2009 (376)
- ► 2008 (269)
- ► 2007 (43)