Maria Concordia - Log Days 1 and 2
Those of you watching our position on the tracker may have been wondering what was going on with all other boats starting and us staying behind... When we were casting off I noticed the port engine was not delivering any substantial thrust. The prop was turning but apparently started spinning under load! We had to get the diver to change the repaired prop back to the temporary one. But the diver was diving somewhere else. Another young diver managed to get some securing screws out but was rather insecure and gave up on the big nut. That turned out to be a major problem for the second diver too as it was hiding in a tunnel where a standard 27 mm socket would not fit. After much soul searching he found that the prop, being British made, did indeed have a couple of metric screws on it but the big nut was imperial, one inch, not 27 mmm. Just a little less to fit the socket! Success? Or rather not, because now the shaft kept spinning and it was Saturday late afternoon and he wanted to go home..... I managed to convince him to give it another try with the engine in reverse. That helped to finally unscrew the stubborn nut and change the prop back to the old temporary one. So we left and passed the startline at 18:46, 7 hrs 46 minutes after everyone else sailing into a very dark night in between the British and US Virgin Islands and finally out to the open sea. A decent wind and lively seas did not make this the easiest of sails particularly as we were pushing ahead ahead under a reefed Genoa and reefed Main sail making consistently more than 8 kn reaching on a course almost due North. No Sunday roast, just a hot soup from the can. Confused seas caused a bouncy ride which slowly settled towards Sunday afternoon when we both felt we had found our sea legs again enjoying a calmer and starry night at sea. Now the wind is down to 13 knots moving more to the south and we just shook out the last reef on a beautiful, calm Monday morning. Speed is down though to about 7 kn but we see the first two boats on the AIS a few miles just ahead of us. The bigger and faster boats are more than 120 nm ahead and will arrive long before us. Dan offered fresh toast with scrambled egg - a great way to start the day.