Entering Iceberg Alley

Evening All,

Late last night or early this morning depending on your view, I was expecting to have a little bit of wind come though.  So, in preparation, I decided to put the first reef back in the main sail. I had been sailing all night with a full main and the No 2 jib and was making such good speeds that I didn’t want to slow up, however, given that there was the potential of gusts up to 27 knots and I was going to be in bed trying to sleep, I feel it necessary to put safety first.

It was an over cast and grey morning with quite a chill in the air. As I was just ducking on deck to throw this reef in I only bothered putting my boots on and my life jacket. I didn’t worry about my waterproofs.  So, in the fresh morning air I put the reef in. I also furled just a touch of the No 2 jib away just in case I coped a big gust.  The winds have been mostly from the North or NW but had started to back to the SW, so I also gybed the boat to maintain a course of 090 True.  That done and it was back to bed for me to once again snuggle up with my hot water bottle.

I had been aiming on getting to bed around midnight however it was well past 5am by the time I fell asleep and I only managed 2 hours before I needed to put that reef in and gybe the boat. So it was no surprise that I stayed in bed until after lunch.  When I finally surfaced, I woke still feeling groggy and lethargic but I figured if I don’t get up now I won’t be getting up. 

After breakfast, I got stuck into repairing the generator.  As I described yesterday the fitting off the solenoid had snapped off but I was getting major sparks when I tried to dig it out with my knife.  The power was off but somehow still getting through, so the only way I could work on this was to disconnect the main battery power lead from the selector switch.  Once that was done I was able to dig the broken section out of the fitting, re-wire and replace it with another one.  Both myself and Chris from SLR in Albany (my go to generator man) thought that this would be what the issue was. So, I packed up everything and turned back on the mains power. 
When I tried to turn on the generator it was a no go.  It would fire and then cut out again…. over and over again.  I was so over it, having spent a few hours already crawling around the back of the boat.  I wasn’t looking forward to going back to start to playing with fuel filters etc.  It just gets messy when trying to do these things in a sea way. So, I thought that maybe it just needed a few more goes...  With fingers crossed I kept re-booting the generator.  Finally, after about 12 goes it fired up and stayed on...  Wahoo.  Whilst for most people this is good news…… to me it was just great awesome news and another major job ticked off my list...

The only jobs remaining to do at the moment is to re-repair the manual bilge pump, as the glue isn’t holding very well and then do my repairs to the storm sails. These will take about 2 hours each.  I am starting to feel like I am getting back on top of things.  I decided to have dinner really early to see if maybe tonight is the night that I can get to bed before 3am...  Maybe...  I am on the right track as its midnight here and as soon as this blog is finished I am off to bed to fall into what I hope will be a deep and dreamless sleep...

I am currently sailing parallel to South Georgia Island and around 300nm to the North of it and will be passing what is nick named Iceberg Alley over the next 2 days.  Iceberg Alley is the section of water between South Georgia island and the Sandwich !slands.  There is a section of the polar convergence line that pushes a lot further north than the rest. It offers an area of currents and cold seas allowing for the ice to travel much further north. 

C-Core have been doing a great job of keeping me informed on where the icebergs are.  The closest one to me at the moment is over 400nm away.  That’s not to say that the smaller burg bits and growlers (small chunks of ice) aren’t traveling much further north, so I will be keeping a very close eye on my sea temperatures over the next 2 days.  I am currently sailing in 11.1 degrees’ sea temperature, so I am in a hot water current, because yesterday I was sailing in 5.2 degrees sea temperature...  I expect over the next 2 days for the seas temp to drop again and then once I am clear of iceberg alley it will rise back up to 7-8 degrees.

I am grateful through for the conditions that I have had over the last few days and it has been a welcome change to have the boat almost flat...  The winds have built up a little this evening and I am regularly seeing 18-20 knots so I am now sailing with 1 reef in the main and the no 2 jib out and the boat is still doing a great high average.  The swell is coming from the south and is quite large. So, every now and then a wave will slap the hull, shove me off course and douse the boat in water.  Climate Action Now simply shakes it off and carries on her way. 

Well my bed is calling so goodnight all.