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.

Saturday, 18 May 2013

Day 8 - on a rollercoaster ride

Our position as at 21.00 GMT, Saturday 18th May:
05 degrees 59 minutes south, 107 degrees 49 minutes west
Distance run in last 24 hours: 170 nm
Hello from a very bouncy Maunie! The wind has increased this morning and so has the size of the waves (about 3 metres now) so we're on a bit of a rollercoaster ride at the moment. We've been sailing goose-winged (with the foresail poled out) for 24 hours and making good progress though, unfortunately, the favourable current seems to have left us at the moment; hopefully we'll regain it soon as, according to the pilot charts, it should be here still.  Since yesterday's blog we've been going due west so are pretty much on the same latitude as this time yesterday but our slightly reduced 24 hour run reflects the reduced current.
In site of the lumpy conditions, we're fairing pretty well; we both managed to sleep during our off watches and Graham had a busy first night watch. The generator was run so the bread-maker was pressed into action (great to have toast for breakfast for a change) and the watermaker topped up our tanks. Dianne's watch was enlivened by all sorts of electrical alarms as the Raymarine chart plotter rebooted itself as a protest against something or other. Graham is currently re-reading The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy and now believes that Raymarine is really a subsidiary of the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation, responsible for Marvin the Paranoid Android, and that, as a result, our plotter has some unexpected hormones programmed into its circuit boards together with, possibly, a terrible pain in the diodes in its left side. More likely it's actually related to Microsoft software – "Microsoft Navigator has found a problem and needs to close" – but whatever the cause it's slightly unnerving when the screen goes blank for minute or two! A chat on the SSB net this morning revealed another boat who has experienced the same problem with a similar plotter.
Life on Stormvogel hasn't been so good over the last day, judging by the vhf conversation after breakfast. Their Hydrovane, now tentatively called Elizabeth pending the outcome of a challenge to find a better name on Peter and Heidi's blog, has really struggled so they had a night of disturbed sleep; the boat kept charging off in random directions, the mainsail or yankee back-winding with an unnerving and noisy clap. It doesn't sound as though they are alone, though, as a couple of boats about 1000 miles ahead of us reported difficult conditions thereon the SSB radio net . One skipper described himself and his crew as 'a bit frazzled' whilst an Australian boat tantalisingly close to the Marquesas said simply "We've had enough now!". So much for the reputation of this leg as being long but tranquil; the Pacific is showing it can do rough too.
Still, the sun is shining so Graham is going to film the seascape on the GoPro so will hopefully be able to get internet access at our destination to put it onto the blog.
Best wishes from us both
Graham & Dianne

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