Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Day 97 – Course, Steering problem, Ballast

05 June, 07 – 23.15    

24 hr progress: 38.1Nautical Miles (1 nm = 1.85 km)
Distance left to Antigua (straight line): 159 Nautical Miles ( 294 km)
Distance completed: 3230 NM (5975 km)
Wave height: 10 ft, Winds: 18-20 knots E-NE, Bearing: 250-270 degrees.

Life here is back to rowing without a rudder. The steering continues to be a problem. The lashing on the rudder loosened more since yesterday and by this evening it was impossible to continue rowing because of the vibrations. (The last time I fixed the rudder, I had taken it off the hinges and just tied it to the back of the stern. .This stress on the fiberglass back of the boat, but its hard to keep the lashings in place because there is no supporting structure.)
It was difficult to fix the rudder today without getting into the water. (I have too many bleeding sores on me right now to get in), so I was forced to lift it back out of the rear hatch. All these adjustments are very time consuming and I hope I can find another solution over the next 24 hrs. I have been thinking of using an oar blade in place of a rudder. I hope to get this fixed soon as I will need better steering ability to get past the reefs.
In the meanwhile, I've moved some water ballast from the center of the boat into the stern, to weight it down more and keep it into the waves.
I've made further progress back South and now just 7 miles of course of landing option numero uno - English Harbour, Antigua at 17.00,32 N 61.45,44 W.
Weather wise, the heat all day has been incapacitating but a strong steady wind all day helped take some of the edge off it. The sea as been fairly calm – in the pre-hurricane sense of the word. The forecast today predicts rain squalls for the next few days. Pressure is normal.
As I write this, its 11.30 am local time (GMT -3 hrs). A rain cloud has just passed over ahead leaving a clear sky. The moon is waning and the stars are back out again. I am still a few good miles away from the light pollution of land, so the view of the Milky Way is brilliant.
The wind has started to pick up a bit and the swell is back. Its going to be a difficult nights row without the rudder. The boats already rocking and rolling a bit more than Elvis.
ETA Antigua: 4 days.
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Ein swimming by the boat...one of the doradas that have been travelling with me for the past few weeks


Mo ro


Dusk taken at 23.00 GMT

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