Well after the trials and tribulations of yesterday it was nearing 5am when I was finally getting ready for bed. Looking out the hatch it was still very dark but as I went on deck to do a final check of the sail trim, off on the horizon directly in front of me was the first tinges of the sunrise. Judging from the oranges and pinks that I could already see, it was going to be a good one. With such a hard day, I felt that a colourful sunrise would give me a good moral boost, so I settled in to watch.
As I sat there the winds were blowing a steady 14 knots from the North and I was holding a comfortable course of 060 True. There was this large rolling swell from the SE and Climate Action Now was just gliding along over it like a bird in flight. Above me was the biggest halo around the half-moon that I think I have ever seen. Truthfully, this was one of the most peaceful times on the boat. It felt like Climate Action Now was right in her element just coasting along. I sat mostly sheltered by the cuddy with just my head sticking out in the wind. I was lightly shivering from the cold and had my hands jammed back under my armpits to keep them warm. I watched this new day break from the middle of the Southern Ocean and I wasn’t disappointed by natures colourful display. Finally, after nearly an hour on deck the cold got to be too much, and I crawled into bed with a hot water bottle down my jacket and snatched a few hours’ sleep.
I got up briefly a few hours later to re-trim the sails and then it was right back to bed and back to the warmth. When I finally did surface at 2pm it was to be greeted with an amazing sunny day with clear skies and this gentle 13 knots of wind still blowing.
Another hot bowl of porridge later and I was ready to tackle the re-wiring of the bilge pumps... I know that I have mentioned this before but just as the back locker requires contortion skills, so does the steering compartment. Only in this compartment there are hydraulic lines, steering cables and other hoses and fittings that I need to carefully manoeuvre my way around. The entry hatch is also only 35cm x 45cm in size and with all my layers on to keep me warm it makes it quite hard to even fit through the hatch... I made sure I grabbed everything before I climbed in and it took me several minutes to just turn my body around into a position that I could work in.
I had plumbed in the bilge pumps the other day and only needed to wire them up, but this was easier said than done. Laying over the steering quadrant that is turning with the wheel I needed to reach the wires on the far side of the boat. As this was also the low side it was causing me to fight against gravity the whole time. It would only take a little lurch of the boat for me to stuff up what I was trying to do and require me to do it all again. Other times the boat would slosh some of the water up wetting the wires I was connecting also causing me to need to re-do it over again. I may have let a few choice words slip from time to time but finally after 2 hours all three pumps were connected and operational, yeh...
I then wanted to take another look at the generator. It still wasn’t working and last time I had a chance to look the wires for the solenoid were still connected. I was thinking that maybe this time it was a fuel issue with water in the fuel however as soon as I took the cover off I noticed that the solenoid wire was broken again... This is the 4th time this trip that the wire has broken….. and this time it is the worst way. The wires as fed and crimped into a little fitting that plugs into the generator. This time the tip of the fitting had snapped off, not the wire and was left in the plug. It’s in the back of the generator with very little access, so it was going to be very hard to get out.
I knew that the main power was switched off so I opened my knife thinking that I might be able to dig it out. As I poked my knife in the hole erupted in a shower of sparks, I quickly pulled my knife out and saw the end of the blade was melted off... Well…… that’s interesting! The power was isolated so in theory it should have no way of electrocuting me... Before I play with power and my knife again unsupervised, I think I will use the phone a friend hotline and tackle that one tomorrow...
So after postponing that repair I noticed that it was already 11pm at night so I decided to call it a day. I am really trying to adjust my sleeping so that I can spend more time awake in the daylight hours and was hoping to get to bed before midnight. Its 1am here and I still need to make some dinner but at least tonight I shall be in bed well before sunrise for a welcome change... The winds have finally moved to the NNW allowing me to crack sheets and Climate Action Now is hopping along at a healthy rate of 8.5 knots in 15 knots of wind.