Technology and science are powerful tools, I find it amazing that I can call home using a satellite phone to check on how my family and loved ones are, I can find out what the latest dealings and issues are in domestic and international politics, I received word on potential break throughs on COVID advancement. Amazing.
Following yesterday’s antics with batteries and retaining charge the hydro generator was used and produced enough energy to top the batteries to 100%. This is great new for the team as it means we can produce fresh water, which in turn means showers. As we settled down having made distance records with the boat and feeling rather smug, Holger proclaimed deck showers were in order for the early evening.
I jumped at the opportunity to be first. With all preparations made for showering my wash kit in hand along with towel I began to smile with the anticipation of the shower...........BANG ........a sound similar to crashing metal, short, sharp and snapping sound rang through the boat, my head and eyes turned to the mast, it was still standing so nothing wrong there, switching rapidly to the waterline, nothing apparent. Looking to the transom I could see the hydro generator had turned on its side and was being dragged along by a bent retaining pin. Not only is this an expensive piece of technology but to loose it to the ocean would have significant issues to generate power.
The swell yesterday was upwards of three to four metres with surfing from the top down the wave often reaching 12 knots, which in a smaller boat is quick. A plan was quickly formulated in the new German/English language which has become common parlance on the boat to recover the device. (What this really means is hook on and recover before it snaps off)
With the recovery phase eventually completed and 1 hour before dusk a plan was hatched to repair before nightfall to keep power at max capacity.
Holger rigged up makeshift pins which would replace the long bent pin. All we needed to do was place the two new pins into the housing . Simple. With safety in mind and scenes reminiscent of Apollo 13 (trying to line the moon up through a tiny window following a purge valve being stuck in the open position, sending the space LIM spiralling out of control) we attempted this with two pins through four holes whilst surfing down the waves. Some what precariously balanced over the grab rails and Holger sitting astride a bathing platform which was being washed over by the breaking surf there were frequent shouts of “Dave go Nord, more Nord Dave more Nord” the problem was eventually resolved, a quick drama resolved with a toast to Neptune who gets to keep the spoils of war. Another great day, living the adventure in 3D.