Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Galapagos to Marquesas Day 7

24th July 2017

Current Position 04 31.7S / 109 34.2W.at 0200UTC, 2000hr boat time. SOG 10-14kts. COG 264T. Wind SSE 12-16kts. Sea State, choppy 2m swells. DTR 1782nm. 24hr run 208nm

Overnight the cloud cover increased and the stars all disappeared. With no moon, not that you could have seen it anyway, it was a dark, dark night. One could say it was as black as the inside of a cow.

The seas were up again just for a change and white water constantly sloshed past the hulls. The crests of the bigger breaking waves threatening to jump onboard just before GWTW rose up and the wall of water slid away beneath her hulls. Now when this sort of thing happens in daylight it's no big deal 'cause you can see your surroundings and the brain can deal with it. But as soon as the lights go out it's a whole different ball game. Evil and scary. Strange how the mind works

Around 3am a decent sized flying fish trying to elude it's captor took a blind leap of faith. Heading onward and upward towards what it must have thought would be a soft landing in the white water of another wave it had a rude awakening, slamming into a solid white wall instead. Bouncing off the cockpit roof with a thud he fell straight down through the open hatch above the port helm. He was in such distress I thought he was going to knock himself out. Mind you he probably already had concussion after hitting the roof at such speed. With winds extended trying hopelessly to get airborne, fish scales flew everywhere as he flapped around next to my feet. In a heart beat I grabbed the poor creature and disembarked over the back beam to the deep blue sea where he belonged. Hopefully he went on his way thinking the whole thing was just a bad dream.

Daylight is coming later as we move further west, the sun now rising around 07.45, a big change from when dawn started at 04.30 not so long ago. This is great for the offwatch who gets an extra hour of darkness to roll over and snuggle down. Not so great for the onwatch who waits all night for the sun's dazzling rays to peep over the horizon. Well this morning the sun didn't peep and as the light came my world was engulfed in a grey dome as far as the eye could see. Not at all what I was hoping for as I sipped my morning cuppa.

Next came the march of the ominous looking clouds bringing with them fast moving squalls and rain. What a great start to the day!.
On a regular basis the wind and rain blew in, changed our course to somewhere we didn't want to go, hung around while it tossed up the seas and then it was gone taking what little breeze was left behind, leaving us clanging and banging around until the next round came through. And so continued the pattern throughout the day.

In the light of what has been happening with the Norwegian boat Restless of the past few days, when our high water bilge alarm sounded just after 8pm this evening, well you've never seen two people move so fast. Liam was asleep and I was at the nav station at the time. We both nearly collided at the bottom of the stairs as I flew down into the port hull and Liam leapt out of bed.

We have three bilge alarms in that hull and it was the forward one that was making all the racket. With the cover of the bilge off we could see the water. Now just where was it coming from? In that bilge there are four thru hull fittings. After investigation the culprit was determined to be the shower sump float switch. It had come loose from its fastening and was floating around inside the sump instead of doing it's job of pumping water overboard. Liam had just had a shower before he'd gone to bed and the switch must have only just come loose then. He spent the next hour sponging out the water that had spilled over from the sump into the bilge and reattaching the float switch to the sump floor. Crisis averted.

The lesson learned was the alarm works as it should and nothing bad happened.

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