Rafiki - Rafiki - A frustrating finale
Sunday 16th DecemberPhil writes:Dawn came up at 09:10 (GMT) with no wind, so we were still motoring.As the sun rose at 10:10 (GMT), it came up behind a bank of greycloud, which looked just like a wall of fire - very impressive andmemorable.The day continued with no wind, so we motored all the time until 19:05(GMT) when the engine wound down of its own accord with no warnings.As lunch was on the table (tuna mayo sandwiches, with the mayo freshlymade from scratch by Emily!), we ate lunch while the engine cooled.On inspection, the only problem appeared to be that the hand primingpump was sucked flat, indicating a blockage of the fuel feed line.Rob dismantled the pump to find the inlet non-return valve to beblocked with a black gooey substance (possibly diesel bug).Afterclearing it out, we. read more...
Rafiki - Buoy ahead!
Saturday 15th December 2012Cally writes:I am currently on night watch on a very quiet evening. We are motorsailing, as the wind has started to fill in a tiny bit, but not enoughfor us to stop the engine.It is a little frustrating to be caught in this lack of wind and yettoday the Ocean has given us plenty of treats which we otherwisewouldn't have enjoyed.First up was our encounter with the East of Martinique weather buoy.This is one of a collection of buoys in the Atlantic that provideweather data for forecasting. We noticed last night that it would beon our track and so decided to find it. Not the most exciting thingto do you may think, but there is not a lot going on while motoringacross the ocean, nor are there many objects moored in 5km waterdepth! At breakfast time, Skipper. read more...
Rafiki - Chugging away
Friday 14th December 2012Rob writes:We finally admitted defeat on our goal of sailing all the way to StLucia this morning - the wind died away during the night and there isno prospect of much wind for the next 3-4 days, a real shame. On theplus side, we have plenty of diesel left to take us the remaining400NM to St Lucia, having only used about 60l for battery charging sofar.So off we chugged across a flat calm ocean with nothing in sight allaround. We decided to try and use the last days of our trip to sortthe boat out for arriving in St Lucia so we don't have a lot of jobsto do when we get there. Cally set about cleaning the fridge andfreezer out as some fish defrosted and dripped liquid, which has givenit a rather off-putting smell, doing the last laundry before St Luciaand. read more...
Rafiki - The aftermath of an 11 hour gale
Cally writes:Thursday 13th December 2012Sailing this ocean is like moving seamlessly through a series ofdifferent rooms. We are in a completely different "room" now, to thescary black one we were in last night.Today the weather has been beautifully sunny and mercifully cool, bycomparison to the horrible, close stickiness we had before the gale.We have had fun this afternoon averaging 9 kts with the spinnaker andare making good progress, ahead of a forecasted hole in the wind,which is set to last for the rest of our journey to St. Lucia.It's a pity that this will mean motoring (unless we want to be at seafor an extra week!) - especially as our aim in not using our enginethrough our last calm was to manage to sail the whole way.Ironically, if we had motored then, we would have got ahead of. read more...
Rafiki - Dark and Stormy
Tuesday 11th DecemberEl Capitano Robert scribbles in the salt:Today started normally with relatively clear skies and F3/4 wind from the east, so after breakfast we hoisted the spinnaker and progressed well at about 6-8 kts in light winds. Cally was investigating the freezer and found that some of the frozen fish we had bought in Las Palmas was beginning to defrost, so got it out for lunch and announced "of course, you're now going to catch something...". Indeed she was right and about 45 minutes later, we hooked a third Dorado and managed to land it despite not being able to slow down to land it as we hadthe spinnaker flying. This time we filleted it straight away and put the meat into a lemon juice marinade to be fried later.Emily has been busy making friendship bracelets to be. read more...