Welcome to the Maunie of Ardwall blog

This is the blog of Maunie of Ardwall. After a six-year adventure sailing from Dartmouth to Australia, we are now back in Britain.

Thursday, 30 May 2013

Day 18 - The Anglo-German Pacific Swimming Club

The gremlins seem to have been a work so it sounds as though the last 2 blogs haven't worked – we're resending them now without photos
Our position as at 23.00 GMT, Tuesday 28th May:
09 degrees 29 minutes south, 132 degrees 47 minutes west
Distance run in last 24 hours: 122nm
Distance to go 345nm
The sun is shining, the sky is blue, the clouds are white and fluffy and there's not a breath of wind. The sea is mirror calm, though there's still a lazy half-metre swell, and we've been motoring for 45 hours now so we really would like some wind again, please!
However we took a very enjoyable hour's break from the noise of the engine at midday to hold the very first session of the Anglo-German Pacific Swimming Club; we stopped the boats about 100m apart and Peter and Graham swam to the middle of no-man's sea to chat whilst Heidi and Dianne  stayed aboard just in case the wind suddenly filled the mainsails. The water was very clear but we couldn't see the bottom, due to the fact that we were in around 5000m depth, nor, thankfully, any sharks or other predatory sea monsters. There was a very definite thermocline, though, as the top 15cm of water was really warm but below it was appreciably colder and, looking down with our masks, we could see a weird haze, almost like a heat haze on land, where the different water densities met.
What we could also see, to our shock, was the amount of sea creatures adhered to the hulls of the boats – Maunie has hundreds of little goose barnacles (rubbery suckers) around her aft quarters and the waterlines were green with slime and weed, in spite of the fast flowing water for the past two and a half weeks. So, as well as an energetic swim around and under the boat, Graham gave Maunie's waterline a good clean – we need to make the right impression when we arrive, after all.
The absence of waves means that the engine isn't having to work hard so we are on a reasonable economy drive at just 5 knots (we reckon we're doing about 10mpg which isn't bad for a 14 tonne yacht, fully laden) but we will have to decant diesel from our spare jerry cans into the main tank later today. Stormvogel's engine began to stutter last night and Peter and Heidi completed a very quick fuel filter change to resolve the problem so the quality of the diesel bought in Galapagos probably isn't great. We have a special filter funnel which removes water and dirt so we'll use that to prevent the same problem (we hope).
The wind forecast doesn't give much room for optimism unfortunately so it looks as though we have another 24 hours of motoring ahead of us at least. All being well, though, we should get a gently breeze on Thursday and a half-decent one on Friday (which is when we think we'll arrive).

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