Delivery & Drive Arm Surgery

May 27, 2012 posted by admin

Sunday May 27, 1028 GMT, 48°46.135’N 004°47.730’W Motoring

Tim again – blogging from Diane’s message: Here’s an update. I see the shoreline and signal is snapping in and out. It’s 10:28am.

We started off yesterday about 0930 in 25 knots. I had 2 reefs in the main and the storm jib up. The boat was nicely balanced. About ten miles put the wind started to pick up. Went to a third reef (we were about 45 degrees off of the wind).  Too tight and way too much wind for the code 0, and faster and more stable than with the reefed jib, which I started out with. The wind eased up going into the afternoon.

Jake took off going lower and reaching in the waves. I stuck to the rhumb line, but quickly lost him. He said afterwards that he was going to start working his way back up to the rhumb line, but I never saw him again. Becky joined the gang about three hours later. During the night the wind continued to ease up and shift a little but stayed close hauled. Becky got caught out in the lightening, but I was just ahead of it enough that I only got rained on.

During all of this is when my drive arm for the pilot decided to give up. I have two. One has been intermittent for a while.  The techs thought it was because the wire gauge was a little undersized. I upsized it. While running that pilot during the afternoon, the head that hooks onto the tiller pin jumped off and started freewheeling. The cap came off and a bunch of plastic shrapnel fell out. It hasn’t responded since. So I switched to the other drive arm. It ran great until the rain. Then it just stopped.  Hmmm. Fashioned up a quick tiller buddy with some line. That was semi-tolerant except that there was almost no wind to keep pressure on the rudders and we did a lot of donuts.

A lot of donuts while I figured out how to make two non functioning pilots into one. I pulled the motor out of the shrapnelled drive arm and ran power to it. It spun. Opening the other pilot, found a large amount of sea water swilling around in a nice dark rusted murky mud. Interestingly enough… that motor didn’t spin. What a shocker! So I carefully dried out the inside of the potentially functioning drive arm and shoved the functional motor in it hoping to line it up. The motor doesn’t actually have to line up with anything other than the teeth on the little cogs, but there is a screw head that has to be accounted for. So presto bingo and the darn thing is working again. It shakes and hops a little, but at least it’s driving for the moment.

I’m trying to get to the Chenal Du Four in time for the tidal gate. In fact I won’t make the start of the southerly stream, but I should make the slak tide just before it turns north. It’s a neap tide so it won’t be as strong, but the wind is on the nose…. if the wind builds (18miles to get there still), then I’ll have to go around, which will add hours and hours, for the sake of getting through this little 2 mile passage.  🙂

Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device [Tim: Wow! From the ocean off France? Is it time to buy some RIM stock?]

You can interact with this Google “chart” directly or click the link below to open it full sized:

View Diane’s Plymouth, UK to Douarnenez, France Delivery in a larger map.

One Response to “Delivery & Drive Arm Surgery”

  1. One Girls Ocean Challenge » Blog Archive » Arrived Douarnenez Says:

    […] and I hit the Chenal Du Four around a bout the same time: 1600. [4pm Sunday – T]  At 1645 the tidal gate closes and the tide […]

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