Daily Archives: April 16, 2013

On the beach

Neville Shute devotees will recognize the title of his quiet novel of people in Australia waiting for the inevitable deadly fallout when the rest of the world has committed global nuclear war. It was also a movie starring Gregory Peck and Fred Astair, among others. Good book, pretty good movie.

We haven’t seen a ship for three days now which makes us occasionally wonder if our AIS is working so that we go down to the closet in the Presidential Suite and check the status lights to reassure us.

We saw one dolphin a few days ago. Then a little bird landed on EV and died 12 hours later despite our attempts to give it water. He left a stain in the cockpit and Jack performed the burial at sea.


Other that, there are no signs of life around us or on the airwaves. Even the weather report is done by Iron Mike, a synthesized voice.

When we rode bike trails a lot back in Pittsburgh we’d sometimes come upon a small town empty of inhabitants. Or maybe we arrived too early for an event and found the place deserted. At those times we’d turn to each other and say, “On the beach!”

This is like that. Spooky.


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Big day

We hadn’t made water for a few days. Escape Velocity uses a lot of water even when you’re being careful. The heads use fresh handmade pure water to flush. Even the Spectra watermaker uses water to back flush after making water, and our product output is about half of what it should be so we try to keep up with it.

We have copious amounts of power between the solar panels and having to run the diesel engine due to not having any wind, so yesterday we cranked up the Spectra watermaker and in a few hours we figured we’d have a full tank of water…nice.

Now, dear Escapees, the cockpit on EV can be a surprisingly noisy place especially running an engine and without any wind the rig and sails tend to slat about and if you add in the woosh and splash of Atlantic Ocean waves into the mix, you can’t hear much else.

As it was nearly time to shut off the watermaker Marce asked me go down to check the pump pressures and if the tank was full to shut down the system. She had just checked fifteen minutes ago. Disaster! The pump motors were running but obviously not pumping anything and a closer look at the pressure gauge reveled that the pointer needle had actually broken off! This is not good.

This passage has been really slow except for the first twelve hours when we could head up North a bit and had a nice breeze to sail in. The new equation is how much fuel can we afford to burn getting out to 66 degrees West and still have a decent reserve in case the trade winds continue to play tricks on us verses how long can we hold out on the water we have in the tanks because there won’t be anymore. The amount of fuel is especially nettlesome because while there are three marks on our fuel gauge between E & F they might as well be labeled eenie, meenie and minie for all the information we get from it. Supposedly somewhere on this yacht there is an official graduated stick. Really?

We are very good at conserving water. We sailed in a friend’s 34′ boat eight days out of Annapolis to Bermuda with a thirty gallon water tank and four people aboard having several gallons left when we raised St. George. The boat didn’t smell so good but come to think of it EV has taken on a bit of a funk as well.

In the mean time we’ve broken out the reserve fuel jugs and one by one we decant them into the main fuel tank while there’s no wind to splash fuel everywhere.

Water pressure pump is off. We’re flushing with a bucket of salt water. Dishes are washed in saltwater and rinsed in fresh. Last night we had a brief rain shower. It was glorious. It’s funny how sailing reduces life to the really important basics. Stuff like we just past 69 degrees west longitude.

Big day!

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