07 March 2008

2008-Mar-07 Noon Position

Indian Ocean

  • 101 nm last 24 hrs
  • 938 nm to Salalah, Oman
  • 316 nm from Uligamu, Maldives
  • Winds N 15 knots
  • Seas N 2-3 feet
Sandpiper is presently blazing away at 6 knots. Since sunrise the winds have been a steady 15 knots from the north, making for a nice beam reach with the wind right off the starboard side and the main sail, stay sail, and jib out. The winds died down again last night after sunset. But the lull only lasted for a few hours, and then we have been sailing ever since.

There are lots of ships around and we have been quite pleased with the performance of Sandpiper's C.A.R.D. (Collision Avoidance Radar Detector). It has a small antenna mounted on the stern that listens for radar transmissions from ships. It has a small display screen that is mounted at the navigation station. When a ship comes over the horizon, the C.A.R.D. detects their radar signal and sounds an audible alarm while showing the bearing of the signal.

S/V Shiraz has just installed an A.I.S. that is really cool. It shows all ships that are surrounding them. It displays them on their electronic charts showing the ship's name, course, speed, and closest point of approach. We are a bit jealous.

In Thailand we had our Volvo's engine sea/fresh water pump rebuilt because it was leaking sea water quite badly. After that repair it started leaking again after 5 hours of running time. We took back to the Volvo guy who replaced the seals again. He thought that there might have been a small scratch on the pump shaft that he smoothed out with an emery cloth. This pump has been a problem ever since then.

While anchored in the Maldives I took it out and replaced all the seals. I even mounted the pump upside down thinking that the shaft was wearing on one side. This has not lasted as well . Since leaving the Maldives, when running the engine we have to add fresh water every hour to prevent the engine from over heating.

I now think that the problem is with the pump's bronze housing. I think that is worn, making the shaft vibrate, which causes the seals to leak. That's my latest theory anyway.

Last night I crawled around in the engine room for 2 hours and swapped all the cooling hoses around so now the water that is leaking out is salt water. After running for an hour, it seems to be holding fresh water. This project should have only taken 15 minutes instead of 2 hours. But I got some of the hoses mixed up, then could not get suction on the freshwater side. The joys of boating.

While I was doing this repair, the wind had died completely, leaving us drifting around in circles. As soon as I got the engine running and had the Piper back on course, we had a fishing boat coming straight at us. We had to make a 50 degree turn to port to avoid running into him. Not sure where he was going, or even if he saw us. He never changed course. Of course he did not have proper navigation lights, so I had to track him on radar to see where he was going. It always surprises me that its possible to collide with someone else this far out in the middle of the ocean.

We could not get S/V Shiraz's position last night. Sometimes we can hear them keying their radio mic, but then receive no voice transmission. They have had radio mic problems in the past. We did get an email from them where they told us they were behind us. But they should now be passing us with all this wind.

More in 24,
Tom and Amy

No comments: