susys running away to sea

"The rigors (sic) of an expeditionary lifestyle"

Monday, August 28, 2006

Bleedin' nuisance

Wed 23 August

We left Canso in the early morning, motorsailing through the seals and the sun. The wind, as ever, was coming from the southwest, our direction of course. We tacked across our course, as the sea was extremely choppy - going into it stopped us short.

By the afternoon, we had gone some way down the coast, when the engine coughed, and about an hour later, died a sudden and rather final death. Thank goodness this is a sailboat, so we could at least sail - and then naturally, the wind turned fluky and then this, too, died. J had been trying to sort out the engine for quite some time - changing filters, bleeding the fuel line, cursing a bit. We had plenty of searoom - far enough offshore not to have to worry about lumps of land, and three anchors in that event, anyway - and it was dark by this time. So now what?

When the engine stopped, we had decided to carry directly on to Halifax, as there was no other big town/city to sort out the problem. We had gone back on to a watch system, as this would now be a longer trip with none of the stops we had planned. J had a short rest, while I stayed as lookout on deck. The mizzen was still up, but not the main and jib; I had the wheel hard a-port, and J had said to tie it, so we drifted round and round in circles. To save battery power - and there was no-one else around - we had turned as much electrical stuff off, so it was pretty dark out there. I heard something 'breathing' in the water - scary! But nothing when I shone a torch out there.

At 10 pm (22oo for the boaty people), J took over, found some wind and some bouncy waves. I was levitated out of my bunk in the forepeak (the bounciest place to sleep on a boat). So much for trying to sleep, especially as he had to tack several times. By midnight, I gave up even a semblance of dozing, and was on watch till 3. And then I slept till half past 6 the next morning.


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