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Friday, April 9, 2010

Tuesday 23rd March 2010

First night hand steering last night - 1 hour on, 1 hour off. The nights are still a bit cool (although not as icy as they have been previously) so 1 hour is about all we can handle at a time overnight. During the day we’ll work on 2 hours on and 2 off to make sure we get sufficient sleep (since when is a 2 hour block “enough” sleep, says the girls who like 9 to 10 hours a night at home...)

The night shifts were surprisingly do-able. It will obviously wear thin very quickly but for the first night it wasn’t as hideous as I had anticipated.


Stu has used his MacGyver skills (complete with tape but no swiss army knife although there is one on board) and rigged up an ingenious steering system with occy straps and light line. While it’s no autohelm it means we can steer from the sheltered and of the cockpit rather than standing up at the helm (although steering a 10 tonne boat in rough swell does give you a decent workout and uses muscles you didn’t know you had!) The occy straps are holding us pretty well on course with only minor adjustments needed which are made by pulling the appropriate line depending on what the little compass we have set up indicates. It still means we have to have someone up, but it makes for a less exhausting, strenuous watch. It also gives the person on watch the freedom to go to the loo without having to wake the other person to steer!

(the line attaches to the wheel in the background)

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