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Walkabout - Day 3 to Santa Marta

N13:09.7 W68:45.2
Not sure where the time has gone recently! Things seem to have been quite busy on board. We haven’t been spot on with our sail set ups, or timings of changes. As a result, Day 3 wasn’t particularly quick. But a big part of that is our intention to sail conservatively. This is definitely a marathon, not a sprint. So if there is uncertainty about the weather, we are on the side of caution.  
On our third night at sea, everyone found sleep a little easier. There comes a point when you are so tired, that you could sleep anywhere. So a comfy bed on a noisy, rolling yacht is quite appealing.
Tom managed to sleep through quite a bit of excitement between 0200-0300. Gusty, squally weather caused Sheila (our 4th hand on board aka Hydrovane) to lose grip on reality, resulting in the main sail attempting to gybe. We have a preventer set up, so that controlled the situation. But it was obvious that our set up wasn’t quite right. So we made a full controlled gybe and reset our course. We then decided to give Sheila the rest of the night off. Soon after that, the auto helm started making some ‘interesting’ clunking noises.
The auto helm drive unit is buried under fenders and warps in the back lazarette. So all of that had to be removed to investigate. And a good job that we did - the baseplate on the hydraulic ram had become lose and was moving about 5mm every time it drove the helm. There is a huge amount of force in this unit, so 5mm could have become 10mm very quickly and soon end up with a bigger problem. Happily, this was averted by some contortionist spanner work at 0300. Whilst Tom slept on. (To be fair it was his off watch period).
The Fishing Club is still without a result. It felt like we had a fish on at one time - the reel went whizzing out - but then suddenly slack. Probably a fish on the line that managed to free itself. And nothing after that. Still a lot of sargasso weed in places which hampers Club activities.
The Ham Radio Club is now in full swing, with 2 meeting a day!!  A special requirement for joining this club is the ability to put up with loud crackling, whistling and white noise, without losing your sanity and still pretend that you can hear what other people are saying. 
Apologies all for late sending of this log - things just got a bit too chilled yesterday!

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