Crew member on GBR8308T Playing Around Logic
Well, quite an action packed night!
Lots of discussion about which way to Muckle Flugga. With the wind in the NW, do we head East, risk the light wind but pick up the anticipated back and consequent lift up there, or keep west in the stronger wind and hope the lift will take us right up to the top of the Shetlands?
After our light wind night on Weds, when the fleet sailed around the outside of us while we wallowed in the high pressure, we decided not to take a risk on it. We believe some of the other boats have gone that way, and we will know the result in the morning, perhaps by the time you read this.
We're now North of the Orkneys, the weather is definitely fresher and cooler, but lovely sunny skies, beautiful sunrises & sunsets and glorious sailing conditions. Quite a lot of oil rigs, lighting up the night's sky. Looking on the chart we've passed near Piper Alpha oil field, and many names of places you just hear on the shipping forecast.
But I digress. We picked up a few useful wind shifts to place us a little further west. During the evening, the wind tempted us to change up from the #1 to #2 headsail, but each time we got ready it dropped a little, allowing us to stay on the larger sail. Overnight, the instruments started to fade one by one. First up was heading, 2nd was boat speed, then wind speed and eventually we were flying blind. We tried rebooting everything, but we just got the same result. The helms did a great job of keeping the boat on track without know where we were going, what gear to be in etc. For the non-sailors amongst you, it is like driving a car in a 30mph limit in the dark around town hoping you don't get caught by the speed cameras, whilst going as quick as you can!
Daybreak and the maintenance team got into action. Graeme spent a considerable time in the steerage area, bounced around like a cat in a washing machine while the steering binnacle was taken apart and the source of the problem located. We finally located it to a cable join where the salt water (there's a lot of that here) had shorted out some wires. 6am, and we're back up to speed firing on all cylinders. A change to the #2 as the wind looked like it was increasing and we're off, with a bit to catch up.
We're looking forward to cracking sheets and heading South tonight as we pass the most Northerly part of the UK - we hope! Funny that we've sailed so far North, yet haven't seen land since Norfolk. It doesn't look like we will see Scotland as we sail around - does it really exist?
Peter - Playing Around Logic