Google Ziets' Yeast and Sourdough Baking Page: 2nd Leg Day 12: Hand Steering and A Raisin Sourdough Loaf

Monday, 5 August 2013

2nd Leg Day 12: Hand Steering and A Raisin Sourdough Loaf

 Yes, the vagaries of electronic engineering and software stability struck yet again. At a most inopportune time on this occasion. The autohelm lost its mind completely this afternoon. In weather that can only be described as uncomfortable. Large choppy swells, the odd one some four meters high. A wind of around 20 knots, gusting 25, cloudy and rainy weather with squalls to boot.

Of course, the day did not start this way, it just developed into this situation. The day dawned on cloudy skies with squalls. We did not see the sun come up this morning. It was actually tolerable, given that it is quite warm out here. Even the sea water is warm. Then the weather took a turn for the worse and we had a rough time for a while, being tossed about in the saloon.

I was kept quite busy during my watch, trimming the sails and making steering adjustments, especially during the last half hour. Small course adjustments on the autopilot are required to keep the sail from gybing. We had the wind directly behind us, which makes it very difficult to steer in choppy seas. The swells cause the boat to yaw, which in turn causes a gybe if you are not careful. We had lots of squalls approaching, the result of which is that we motored the rest of the day, as the wind strength and direction varies significantly during squalls and makes sailing nigh impossible in the direction we need to go.

Then, around the middle of the day, the autohelm lost its memory and all the control settings. For the second time. On the first occasion, we had calmer seas and could get a modicum of control back by performing a factory reset tot he equipment. Alas, this did not work this time around. We did not contact the factory, as we had already exhausted their expertise on the first occasion of failure.

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Authored by Johan Zietsman.

Reposted from The Hungry Sailor on 2013-08-05

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