Selene - It is done!
Selene crossed the finish line at 11.30 local time on Tuesday 11th December after one final night of squalls and rain and winds in excess of 20Kts as a final hurrah from the mighty Atlantic Ocean.Bob spotted a spectacular cloud formation as we reached into the finish at the north of the island.It looked for all the world as if the cloud was giving us the finger.I would not tempt providence to respond to this gesture, but it seems that Nature conspired to test us to the limit with as much as she could throw at us.Well all I can say is that Selene and her crew measured up to all that was asked of us and we came through.Unfortunately we were unable to start the engine and had to be towed to a temporary dock by two charming men in an IGY dory with a 90HP engine.Further investigations. read more...
Selene - Final day!
As we run down to St Lucia the tension is mounting if anything. It would be too awful for something to go wrong at this stage, but with a constant wind of 22-25Kts from dead astern we are trying to get the best out of Selene for a final assault. We have been running under our standard rig of 1 slab in the main and the genoa almost fully out poled out in a goosewing. It is fast, but rather rolly and last night was one of my most uncomfortable yet.By day break the seas were a little calmer and we rolled out a little more headsail and began the usual debate over the Badger. 25Kts is really rather more than I would care to hoist, but we needed to see what it would be like. So we decided to keep the reef in the main to take some of the sting out and hoist it and see. The hoist went OK, but we. read more...
Selene - Big Blue
14 days into the race and again we are into 25Kts of wind from directly astern surfing 3m swell, making 8+Kts and surfing at up to 12Kts.We seem to be neck and neck with Persephone.The temptation is to push at this late stage, especially as we are so close to Persephone on handicap, but we are trying to stick to our strategy of steady, percentage sailing.That's not to say there is not the occasional rush of bllod to the head as the red mist rises.We had been sailing under Big Blue all day yesterday in 15-18 Kts, just below optimal wind speed for us and although doing OK, we could have done with another 2 or 3 Kts to really light her up.We had supper at 5pm boat time (we have put the clocks back another hour, so are now UTC-4). I had tried to take a nap for an hour before coming on watch. read more...
Selene - Everlasting battery
We seem to have an everlasting battery.We have kept the instruments running for the last 36 hours over two nights and all days yesterday whilst sailing with the kite as it helps to know TWA, VMG and heading to get the most out of our downwind performance. The instruments use only 0.4 A of current and the voltage has only dropped from 12.1 to 12.0V at this load over 4-5 days now since we lost the alternator.The drain from the computer charger puts the drain up to 4A, but this is only for the 20-30mins it takes to write and send the blog and download messages and gribs.I have been reading Nigel Calder's Boatowner's Mechanical and Electrical Manual to try to diagnose the problem.It seems that 12.7V in the starter battery really ought to be enough to crank the engine, so it is possible there. read more...
Selene - Keep on sailing . . . . !
It is hard to imagine how far removed we feel from the Christmas preparations, both geographically and mentally. However I do feel a bit like Scrooge writing his journal by candle light as I try to eek out the last remaining amps from our batteries to keep the instruments burning and the computer charged so I can continue to write my blogs.Like Scrooge we try to have dinner before sunset so we can see what we are eating - usually this is an advantage, and the fare is much better than I anticipate Scrooge allowed himself to enjoy.So there we were yesterday afternoon anticipating Chicken Tikka Masala with rice - courtesy Kevin and a can opener - actually surprisingly good. We had been sailing all day under a very stable asymmetric kite and were debating the merits of leaving it up for the. read more...