Data at 8 AM…Engine hours: 3990.9
Fuel consumed yesterday: 92 gal., total leg fuel consumed: 175 gal.
Miles traveled yesterday: 158 nm, total leg miles traveled: 317 nm
Weather: SW winds 15 – 20 kts., partly cloudy, temp ~75 degrees
Seas: wind waves 5 – 7 ft., building; swell not noticeable
Water temperature: 73.1 F
The new weather forecast came in at 0500. It reflects what we’re already observing: increasing wind from astern. Today should be a bit of a bruiser, with a mellowing trend starting tomorrow. Winds have been mostly in the high teens, overnight. They may kick up to the low 20s today, generating wind waves 7-9 ft.
At this point, all crew on all boats are coping well, i.e., nobody is seasick.
Every once in a while, like once a day or less when it’s rough, the waves will quadangulate (or whatever) to smack the side of the boat with a super-loud WHACK! It startling! Then it’s gone. There’s no change in motion or any other effect; just the very loud sound. If you don’t know what it is, it’s unnerving. It happened for the first time last night.
Best dolphin (porpoise?) visitation, yet! A large pod (30-40) swam in from the south and stayed with us for 5+ minutes. It included several tiny ones, too. On Sunday, we saw something dolphin shaped, but too large. They did an un-dolphin-like jump, more like a breach that was a head-scratcher, too. With today’s dolphin sighting, with all the correct attributes, I think it’s safe to conclude that Sunday’s critters were small whales of some sort.
We thought about it and decided to stop fishing in these seas. There are several issues, not the least of which is the rock and roll to which we will be subject when we stop to reel in. Not only would it be difficult to manage the retrieval and gaffing processes (anyone care to volunteer to carry a meat hook while riding a mechanical bull?), stowage of all loose items would need to be redone. Binoculars, iPads, cameras, coffee cups, small applainces in the galley, etc., etc., etc. are stowed (semi-stowed) with an expectation of some lateral motion during short periods of unweighting. Under way, those two forces are mitigated by the stabilizer fins. When stopped, the fins are not effective and the boat automatically swings around to wallow in the trough of the waves, at which time the previously mentioned two forces are accelerated to escape velocity levels, i.e., shit flies everywhere. So, we’re not fishing until things calm down. This speculation involved only minimal loss of blood and a bottle of olive oil.
To our considerable gratitude, the wind did not increase as the world turned. At 1900, seas are essentially the same as 12 hours ago.
Jura is reporting occasional stabilizer alarms indicating low hydraulic system pressure. It’s low, then it’s back to normal. There are no leaks and the fins are operating normally through their full range of motion. So, it’s not a system failure situation, but continuing low pressure would lead to that. It’s a dual mystery; why is it low and why only occasionally? They aretroubleshooting and testing possible fixes. We are staying tuned.
Yesterday, I talked about the complexity of the navigation electronics. Today’s hydraulic system issue is an object lesson in just how complicated these boats are. There are systems on board for propulsion, stabilization, navigation, communications, fresh water plumbing, heating & cooling, refrigeration, cooking, fire suppression, sanitation and safety. Moxie has 3 diesel engines (main, wing & generator), more pumps than I care to count, hydraulics (for stabilizers, anchor winch & thrusters) and an electrical system that will boggle even an electrician’s mind. It has multiple modes: 12 volt and 24 volt DC service, 120 volt and 220 volt AC service, plus the ability to operate independently or with power provided from shore, in either 60 Hz (North America) or 50 Hz (Europe).
The electrical panel is a marvel and a total fright. It incorporates all the above mentioned capabilities, except the shore power management, which is done in the battery chargers. Unlike the panel in a modern home that functions as distribution and fusing (circuit breakers) for 120/220 volt service, this panel does that for both the AC and DC services, plus monitoring and management of the more complicated systems: battery charging, DC to AC conversion, generator, heating/cooling, fire suppression and pumping. It is the single most intimidating thing on the boat.