FROM 1-11. South Atlantic-26°S

Apr 05, 2005 - 1230hrs UTC

1230hrs 05 Apr 2005 UTC Map Ref 149

The last one, about mental plots, was a bit of a disaster – I was very tired and should have kept it till later for a re-read instead of sending it. I think what I was getting at is really two ideas: planning is very important but don’t overdo it or you may never get started and it’s very important – or just more efficient – to have a mental picture of the journey before you start. And a mud map is not a mental plot – it’s a metaphor for a way of communicating one by drawing it in the mud with a stick.

Brittany – I don’t have today’s passes yet, but Leroy said he would call us each evening to check cloud cover and set up a time, so I think it is under control. Mal, that may save you some time ott – Thanks Leroy.

Today will be a day of improvisation – and it will test my preparation. There are a couple of fittings on Kevvo, the self steering gear, which are under significant pressure all the time but in these heavy beam sea conditions they get really worked hard and we have to get the pressure off them and at the same time if possible, fix a slight alignment problem. I have a selection of shackles, snatch blocks (pulley blocks that can be opened up and put over a line without undoing its ends) and other bits and pieces and there are other things we can cannibalise, like shock cord off a cockpit awning. My mental plan for the fix includes a couple of shackles, two small snatch blocks and some shock cord but I have not yet looked in the spares box to see whether all the bits will fit together. Waiting for daylight.

Daylight come an’ I wanna go home…It seems to have worked but I noticed while doing the fix that Kevvo’s main bearings are getting more than a bit worn – he’s done over 10000 miles, so not surprising but I hope they hold out for another couple of months. Life will be a lot harder without him as we will have to hand steer whenever the going gets too rough for the electric autopilot.

Kevin – we will need a new set of bearings when we get to England – I can’t find your diagram but we need the two bearings around the fore and aft horizontal shaft that support the paddle assembly. There is one either side of the vertical tube supporting the windvane. They appear to be different types of bearing – the forward one seems to be just a sleeve. I will send you forwarding details. Would you please confirm that you have seen and understand this with an email via the website? Thanks.

And we’ve just had a serious consultation with the Doctor to celebrate what is really only a minor fix. And that we’re now north of Green Cape again. And more than 1000 miles from Stanley. Slow going though and I hope we can crank it up a bit.

Sunny and warm – wooohooo!

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