Day 3 – 31°22.6S 010°39.1E
11 September 2013 – Total Distance Covered: 557nm
Started the engine for the first time at 8am after a few glorious days of sailing.
One of the things that have been giving us hassles is the water speed transducer (log). It hasn’t been working since we left Cape Town. It’s not essential, but it’s useful to work out what the water currents are doing. A lot of the electronics on board is brand new, so niggles are bound to happen. We needed to figure out if this was dodgy wiring, an incorrect setting or a blown transducer. Not easy when the transducer is 60 feet away from the displays. After many hours of debugging we figured out that the problem was a blown transducer, probably due to someone spinning it at a gazillion miles an hour with a high pressure hose when they were cleaning the hull.
Luckily we had a spare and after a few hours of unpacking bilges, rerunning wiring and carefully repacking, we had our water speed back. One of the amazing and unexpected results of this was that the autopilot, that we had been thinking was a little jumpy, suddenly settled down. Obviously it uses water speed in its equations but wasn’t complaining about the water speed being non-existent. Live and learn! It was now making small, neat and precise adjustments, like a champ.
We spotted Minke whales a few meters away from the boat, nonplussed by our presence as we slide by at 10 knots.
While on watch at around 3am we had to change course to avoid a collision. As dramatic as that sounds, it really wasn’t. AIS data indicated a likely collision with another vessel in 20 minutes. We adjusted our course and the vessel passed within 2nm of us. Technology is awesome. The wind has dropped almost entirely. We put 3rd reef in the main to stop it from thrashing about.