A day in the life

With seemingly no squalls in the vicinity we maintained the balanced full main and poled out jib sailplan. The auto performed brilliantly, grateful no doubt, for the extra grip afforded by the additional third rudder. Although the wind gusted to 30+ knots at times, she stayed relatively straight despite the building seas and the dyneema preventer rigged to the end of the boom was a comfort.

Cracking along through the night

Inspection of the hydrogenerator revealed plastic wrapped around and behind the propeller blades which will have prevented it charging. Plastic in the middle of the Atlantic! It also showed strange marks along the bottom of the unit and one of the blades.

Teeth marks
Strange marks on the Hydrogenerator.

I am no expert but, could these be from sharks teeth, we had seen a monster taking an interest!? In that we had to remove the propeller to clear the plastic, we fitted an alternative, pitched for faster speeds just to understand the difference. We will have to change back to the original because we are clearly not fast enough for the alternative as the charging is sporadic, only when we surf down the swells at approaching 10 knots does it make a significant input.

Barry made some rolls which we had for lunch with some Spanish sausages and brown sauce and he also made a loaf which we will try today, good on ya Barry!

Barry's bread
Proud Barry with his bread.


We discovered a surprising amount of water in the bilge and clearing this out and trying to find the cause consumed much of the afternoon. We had taken some water over and had the most torrential rainstorm with some windows open, notably the window over the cooker which flooded the burners so they had to be dried out before they would work again. This did not however, explain the quantity in the bilges. It was salt water so what had we done differently? We focussed on the generator as we had begun to run this to keep up with the charging requirement and it uses sea water for cooling. We could find no obvious leaks and tightened up the connections so, with dried bilges we will check again at dawn.

Creaming along !
Creaming along !

The bigger winds and stable sailplan produced our best 24 hour run so far of 167 miles. At this rate we will have time for a celebratory dirty beer, get over the hangover and smarten up before our wives arrive in Rodney Bay on Friday evening!


Stephen writes:_

An attempt at a voyage in a day:

Dawn rescues me from a recurring dream of riding a wild mustang on the Texas rodeo circuit. I head for the galley and tea. The rest of the crew gradually emerge and cautiously enter the saloon not sure which of us the Master will favour with the first slap of the day. Bob and I are summoned to the chart table with a curt “blog!” and set to work knowing that editorial power lies firmly elsewhere, and that the text will be scrutinised for any coded messages to the outside world. Hejira Enjoys Long Passages Under Sail. Once our contributions have been passed fit for consumption and Barry`s daily excuse is formalised we settle for Parrot food (muesli ) topped with nuts and berries and drizzled with long-life milk. Hejira Enjoys Long Passages Under Sail. We then consult the calendar to find out what day it is (easy to lose track out here) as the Master has issued another diktat that the crew can have a shower if the day contains a T, whilst he will limit himself to only having a shower if the day contains a Y (so there are some vestiges of humanity left in him after all). The Master then distributes the work schedule and today Barry is dispatched to the galley to make rolls and a loaf, I set to making a new lure and trace by cannibalising our remaining tackle and Bob is to `do what he is told`. The morning passes and soon the smell of baking bread and sizzling sausages permeates the cockpit. We enjoy a ‘Becky’ (shorthand for the refreshing orange flavoured vitamin drink (Emergen’C’)supplied to us by the Master’s daughter) made with slim-line tonic, delicious. This is soon followed by the sausages and brown sauce in the rolls that Barry has slaved over and we agree he should be a candidate for the `Great British Bake Off`.

Little did we know that that would be our last meal for the day as the shout went out “water in the bilges’. The Master paled and together with Barry gave Hejira the marine equivalent of a colonoscopy. All the floor panels were up and the food stores were disturbed from their decade’s long slumber, the Master was on a mission and would fall upon the offending leak as an avenging angel. Hejira Enjoys Long Passages Under Sail. However despite their best sweaty efforts, akin to nautical  Holmes and Watson in pursuit of Moriarty, ` The Great Bilge Water Mystery` remains unsolved, but the bilges have now been sponged out and for the moment are dry. The score in the Hejira versus the North Atlantic fishing contest was an honourable 0-0 draw so battle will be joined again tomorrow. On the wildlife front we were visited by both a Red Billed Tropicbird  (Phaethon aetherus) and a White-tailed Tropicbird (Phaethon lepturus) both beautiful and hinting of our final destination. Evening fell and omitting our usual ration of TV/Film we turned in early to be ready for the night’s watch. The moon was full and the seas full with the wind topping out at 30+ knots, time passed swiftly helped by a further raid  on the Master`s supply of `fun sized` chocolate bars and soon it was time to raise the Master and on this occasion I selected the 69th Psalm which did the job, and so to bed. Hejira Enjoys Long Passages Under Sail.

Crew well. The Master has a grazed knee….bless.


Bob writes:-

A superb 24 hours under full sail! Some exciting moments when the gusts reached 30+ knots.

The skipper must have felt that he could trust the Doc and me as we had no interventions from him at all during our night watch.

Alternatively, had his previous night’s exertions and broken sleep pattern caught up?

The Doc has described ‘a day in the life of’ above, but he did not mention the skipper’s ritual evening ablutions.

As soon as supper has been cleared and the crew given their duties the skipper repairs to his 5* suite aft. After a considerable length of time, heaven knows what requires such attention, the Skipper appears in a very plush dressing gown, pronouncing that he is now ready to be entertained. We have noticed that the dressing gown is being deployed more frequently of late and we question if this is not a less than subliminal message to the crew, declaring his alpha male status and symbol of control.

Noel Coward
Noel Coward ?

We have heard rumours that he has asked Paula to bring out epaulettes and gold braiding , these to be sewn on to the dressing gown in the appropriate shoulder and cuff locations to symbolise his rank and re-assert his degree of control. Should the crew spy just one bit of gold braiding, rest assured, dear reader, that the skipper will then be referred to as ‘the brass on the arse’!


Barry is preening after rising to the bread making challenge.

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