Today got off to a bad start. I thought my second GPS had broken when I fired it up and it showed me I had lost 20 miles overnight. Surely not! But, alas, it was true. My weather forecasts from Lee had been disrupted recently (I blame Iridium) so I hadn’t known the wind was going to swing around to the southwest. Not that there’s much I could have done about it anyway. At the same time I got caught in an eddy, also pushing from the southwest, so even my sea anchor wouldn’t have helped, as it would just have grabbed a big hold of the eddy.
So I’ve just had to ride it out. The good news is that the wind is backing further, so by tomorrow I should be on my way again. I was missing my wiggly line (extinct since the demise of the chartplotter) so I plotted today’s positions manually on chart paper, and could see that I am doing an anticlockwise circuit. Tomorrow I should slingshot out of the top. Hurrah!
It never rains but it pours… late this afternoon I noticed that my batteries weren’t charging. It was the same problem that had caused my pitstop in the Abrolhos Islands. I knew where to look this time. I opened up the control panel and sure enough, the LED light on the Sunsaver Duo unit was red instead of green. I knew it could be fixed by disconnecting and reconnecting 4 wires on the unit. Easier said than done, though. Why are these things always in the most inaccessible place? Behind the control panel, in the far corner of my cabin, hiding behind a load of other wires. But after some keyhole surgery we were looking in good shape again.
If anybody has access to a manual for a Sunsaver Duo unit, could they please take a look and tell me if there is an easier way to get it up and running again when the LED turns red? There is a little window with 6 tiny switches in it. Maybe there is a way to use those to reset the unit?
StinsonBeach – happy memories! Bolinas is one of my favourite places in the whole world, so I have been through Stinson Beach many a time. You are lucky indeed to live in such a beautiful part of the world.
Zoltan – I always used to bring a sextant and the books of tables, but after lugging them across a couple of oceans and never using them I have left them behind this time. It would be very difficult indeed to get a good reading from the deck of a tippy rowboat, and the sun has been conspicuous by its absence the last few days, but I can completely understand the satisfaction from celestial navigation. I loved doing the courses.
Photo: for the benefit of those not familiar with celestial navigation, it isn’t as straightforward as it sounds! A photo taken during my navigation studies in 2005.
Aimee – I loved the quote from The Great Gatsby. I’d never heard that before. I also like your analogy with a greener future that lies in the past: “Striving for a future that lies in the past could be at the heart of the environmental message of living uncluttered, simpler and ultimately more fulfilling lives.” Thank you for that.
You might like to see this article that I wrote for MYOO, for Oceans Day.
Today’s quote, apropos of tolerance: “If we like a man’s dream, we call him a reformer; if we don’t like his dream, we call him a crank.” (William Dean Howells)
Sponsored Miles: Carl Jones, Gail Brownell.