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NoStress - Log Day 23 - Jacques Cousteau

Wind, what wind? We spent last night, and today drifting at 2-3 knots with a flukey breeze of 4-5 swinging between our stern and our beam. After some maintenance and cleaning (including flushing the holding tanks and the bilges) we looked at the drive selection unit again and a very worrisome vibration started. This was not good news.

Cue the camera team from the Blue Planet! With help from the Blue Peter production department (zip strips, boat hook and sticky-back plastic) we had an underwater GoPro gimbal. A couple of shots over the side and our fears were confirmed. Somewhere along the way we’ve picked up an unhealthy amount of line around the prop, and even the rope cutter on the shaft hadn’t dealt with it. Solution: Jake and I went for a dip with our knives and got to work under the boat. 15 minutes later, recovering a ball of soggy weave the size of a football and we were done. Our misfortune, however, was not. We checked the engine to ensure that the blades of the propeller were engaging and feathering properly and the menacing vibration was still with us. The prop shaft has been warped. It’s not safe to use without risking serious damage. We can only use the engine for drive in an emergency situation. Life at sea is never dull, or short of challenges it seems.

Despite the setbacks of the day the crew are happy - I’m glad that I’m with this team. With a makeshift weight strapped to me, some goggles and a knife - swimming under a 12 ton boat in the middle of the ocean one becomes keenly aware of the reliance you have on your crew.

The instruments tell us that within 500 miles of port now. We didn’t get the wind today, but tomorrow’s another day and we’ll keep pressing towards our goal.

Love to you all from a peaceful spot on the Atlantic 494 miles east of Saint Lucia,

Alex & the NoStress Crew

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