The utter brilliance

Written by David Townsend

22, April 2007

Position 01°2’987N 088°01’523W – Pacific Ocean on-route to the Galapagos Islands.

Hi dear friends, thank you for following my journey. Here is this week’s update.

It had been a relatively uneventful week mainly because I have been becalmed for most of it. A total of over 90 hours becalmed since leaving the Pearl Islands two weeks ago. Having so much free time on my hand I have been doing a few onboard chores this week, so far; cleaning all the stainless, cleaning below and topside, the odd dhoby here and there, well that’s not quite true I have washed most things onboard. Four days fixing the water maker priming pump and then to really make my week a plan ‘B’ came up.

Life Onboard:
Now for those who do not know me, I love plan ‘B’s. Plan ‘B’s are great, by their shear definition they often tend to be more daring, more adventurous than there counter parts, a plan ‘A’.

I was witness to a perfect plan ‘B’ seen in action. Unusually on this day there was a nice breeze of around 23kts so ‘smiley’, that’s the new nickname for the self-steering gear. Why smiley, well all the time it is steering, I do not have too, hence I am smiling. Ok, there is a little more to it than that, there is counter weight on it, which is just dying to be painted with a big yellow smiley face upon it.

Ok, back to plan ‘B’; I love plan ‘B’s, have you ever sat back and wondered what your life would be like without a ‘plan B’. For me, I have been living a plan ‘B’ ever since loosing a few peace’s of wire; one was a forestay back in October 2005 while the other was a steering cable in November 2005. Plan ‘A’ was originally going to be me sail around the world the wrong way however I lost so much time waiting two months in Ascension Island for a replacement from France (LHR – love to hate the French). So really, my life is a plan ‘B’.

This example of a plan ‘B; happened while cleaning out the fridge. I had planned (my plan ‘A;) a healthier eating diet during the sail to the Galapagos Island. This was thrown in to disarray, yes shear and utter disarray for I found 18 sausages and 56 slices of bacon (in pre packed, sealed bags), not your ordinary bacon you understand but some ‘thick cut’ bacon. So what does this have to do with a plan ‘B’, well, I had originally provisioned with yogurts, some wonderful breakfast cereal that tastes like cardboard, but that’s ok it has loads of raisins in to dilute the taste somewhat, that and the packed tells me how great it is for me.

On investigating further the labels on the sausages and bacon say they both have the 10th April 2007 as there expire date. I can see you picturing the totally and utter brilliance of what is coming next in your mind, yes, you have it, I would put plan ‘A’ on hold, that being the yogurts and yummy cereal and instead use up the sausages and bacon throw in a few egg’s etc. After all, it would be shame not too.

There you have it, the utter brilliance, the adventurous and often daring example of a plan ‘B’ in action.

Now some may say on reading this that I have lost it, lost the plot etc but when you spend ninety hours plus just drifting, no control over your destination, no idea when you will be moving again anything that happens becomes an important event onboard. Forget the few mermaids, who came by last night, nothing can beat a good bacon butty.

The Boat:
Apart from the water-maker priming pump Pinta has been a good girl. The problem with the pump was two fold, the brushes needed a little attention so I resurfaced them. The pump then worked fine on the ruff home made up test bench I constructed but when in situ she would not operate. I replaced the wiring inside to the brushes and pressure sensor, the sensor was a sealed unit so I had to remove some compounds to get to the wiring, on doing so I noticed that on connector had a bit of play in it. This was causing it to break down under load. I was unable to access the unit further without destroying it so the only thing I could do was to epoxy the connect at an angle where it worked, there so stopping it from moving and breaking the connection.

This cured the problem and within an hour I was making water once again, although I spend four days working on the pump it has saved me nearly $300 that it would cost me to replace the pump. That price is mainland price; it could well be double in the Galapagos Islands besides waiting weeks for it to arrive. I did contact the Galapagos Yacht Club via email, if your coming this way they are very helpful. After emailing them when I was, and indeed still are 200Nm away they spend two days phoning around for me trying to locate parts.

Fair winds (oh yes pleaseeeeeeeee), calm seas.


P.S. Ahhhh becalmed again…