We plod on under the engine with the drizzle replaced by thick fog. Thank goodness for AIS and radar. We have little wind and that from behind so our progress matches the wind speed. At least the sea state has moderated so, apart from the engine noise, things could be worse.

The almost continual running of the engine has highlighted a new ‘rattle’ from the prop shaft area. The shaft is turning smoothly and concentrically with no vibration so it is not an issue with the propeller. We conclude that it is something to do with the rope cutter. We checked the PTFE shim spacer when ashore in Antigua and it was OK so we think it might be the spring holding the fixed blade in place which has broken or loosened allowing the blade to rattle. This is not a serious problem, just a noisy nuisance and it will have to be addressed but certainly not worth lifting just for this. It seems that some nice weather could induce a sail to the pretty village of Bosham in Chichester Harbour and a dry out at the quay where there is a scrubbing grid and a nice pub.

We sheltered below from the drizzle and cold for most of yesterday and Peter cooked a very tasty Cottage pie with the last of the frozen mince. The DVD choice was the 1970 film ‘Waterloo’ featuring Rod Stieger as Napoleon. What an epic, it must have cost a fortune to make.

The latest forecast suggests that we should be able to sail soon so we will take the opportunity afforded by the current slight seas to decant our diesel stowed in containers on deck into the main tanks.

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