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And they're off

Posted: Wed May 09, 2007 5:56 pm
by Silkie
Fairwinds' Noon report Wed 09 May

Position 30deg 22'.5 N 014deg 41'.2W

100 nm from Calheta de Sebo, Isla Graciosa

188 nm from Calheta, Madeira

Left Graciosa 14.15 ysterday and had brilliant sailing for 12 hours, then ran out of wind. Kathy saw a whale spouting, and I saw its flukes as it sounded.

One other little snippet - discovered the new LED tricolour causes chronic VHF interference, so had to choose beteween lights and radio . . . went for lights, but will have to do something, maybe go back to the filament jobbie again - but not a job for at sea - there may be no wind but there is still a 1m crossed swell and with no sails up we are rolling quite a bit. (Can't motor sail - the main juist flogs)

Been motoring for 10 hours now, with not much prospect of wind. If we keep burning and turning at this rate it will be a night entry tomorrow night into a place we don't have a diagram or chart for, so we will probably have to slow down and bob about a bit to get there Friday morning.

All well with crew, although skipper only slept a couple of hours again.

Fairwinds out


Posted: Wed May 09, 2007 9:54 pm
by SteveM
Silkie - thanks for keeping us all updated on Nick and Kathy's progress - it's much appreciated.

Hope you get better sailing weather soon, Nick and Kathy - it can't be much fun battering along under engine. Still, at least your return trip is well and truly underway now (and it must have been good to have seen the whale - Ruth is envious). It'll be good to see you again - let me know when you're nearing Balvicar and I'll whizz round and line a few up on the bar of the T & T.

Fair winds and fine weather, folks.


p.s. I'll line 'em up if I survive Mad Sunday at the T.T....we're off in a couple of weeks.

Re: And they're off

Posted: Thu May 10, 2007 12:44 am
by ash
Silkie wrote:discovered the new LED tricolour causes chronic VHF interference

I'm sure that I've read that somewhere - IIRC cheap leds just rely on a resistor to drop voltage/control current whilst more expensive units with multiple LEDs have an electronic driver circuit so that they're not damaged by overvoltage. Seems perverse and wrong that they're sold to be fitted in tricolours when there's very likely a VHF antenna next to it.

Maybe Silkie needs to post you some more of his little Ferrite Rings - did you ever fix the interference on the echosounder?

Safe voyage and Fairwinds


Re Drawing Pins

Posted: Thu May 10, 2007 1:00 am
by ash
Hey Silkie

I've got more drawing pins than you !! Though I admit it's not up to date.



Posted: Thu May 10, 2007 6:51 pm
by Silkie
Fairwinds' noon report Thurs 10th May

Noon position: 31deg 37'.7N 15deg 58'.3W

Noon-noon run: 102nm

202 miles from Graciosa, 89 miles to Calheta, Madeira

Shortly after yesterday's noon report a slight breeze sprung up and we made
sail, beam reaching at four to four and a half knots for the next fourteen
hours in eight to ten knots on the beam in continuously moderating sea
conditions - very pleasant. However, the wind died away at the three am
watch change and we reverted to the iron topsail. Engine went off for
about an hour this morning and we poled out the genoa, but there wasn't
enough breeze to even contemplate digging out the spinnaker. Took the
opportunity to top off the diesel tank, as we will probably be motoring the
rest of the way.

We have a passenger. A passenger pigeon to be precise. He landed on board
not long after noon yesterday and shows no signs of leaving. I have
furnished a box on the port sidedeck with an old t-shirt and provided muesli
and water, but the bird is obviously used to better things and keeps edging
towards the saloon. Percy is a racing pigeon wearing port and starboard leg
rings on the wrong sides, and is a plump and lazy bird who, I suspect, makes
a habit of hitching rides.

What else? Oh yes, we got a DSC distress alarm call - but it referred to a
vessel 200 miles from us, somewhere near Las Palmas. Otherwise a quiet night
with a sensible amount of sleep happening for once.

Hopefully the next report will be from Calheta.

Fairwinds out.


Posted: Thu May 10, 2007 11:25 pm
by ash
Silkie wrote:Fairwinds' noon report Thurs 10th May

Cheers Silkie.

Assume we'll get photos of Percy the pigeon when fairwinds hits port! Nick will have us tracing Percy's leg numbers.


Posted: Fri May 11, 2007 1:53 pm
by Charlie Farlie

It's my pigeon!
Was it carrying a tin of Skippers and a bottle of Crabbie's in a small leather satchel?



Pigeon post

Posted: Fri May 11, 2007 3:28 pm
by Nick
Sorry Charlie . . . the satchel was only a tattered vestige and I think the bird had been at the Crabbes. Percy the Passenger Pigeon left us just after eight this morning, just as the rising sun cleared the towering cliffs of Madeira. We were less than two miles offshore.

Percy circled twice to gain height then appeared to set off in the direction of . . . the Canaries, which we think was where he was heading when he landed on us about 80 miles out of Graciosa.

We can only assume he had failed to notice the direction the yacht was travelling in when he decided to hitch a lift, leaving him blinking in the morning sunlight after his second night with us and saying 'oh . . . . bu**er . . . . looks like Madeira again . . . '


Gave us time to clean his calling cards off the boat before getting into Calheta though. We arrived here just before nine.

After the noon report yesterday we motored until nine o'clock when several things happened at once. The wind picked up to about eight knots from the NE, it began to get dark and a fogbank appeared. We made sail and headed into the fog while I went below to check something I remembered reading in the pilot.

Ah yes . . .

"Sea fog is virtually unknown in Madeiran coastal waters"

We sailed slowly at beween two and three knots through the virtually unknown for the next five hours, reckoning it better to be able to hear anything that was coming to get you. Definitely getting AIS before our next trip.

(On the postive front the skipper had no problem lying down fully kitted in foulies and lifejacket and sleeping on the saloon floor while the 1st mate peered futilely into the gloom)

At about two the fog finally cleared and we began to make out the lights of Funchal about thirty miles away. We now performed that well known Irish sailing manoevre beloved of the Kilmore Quay Vega sailors and 'put the hammer down', completing the last thirty-five miles in a little over six hours in calm seas with a crescent moon.

I had forgotten how cheap the beer was here . . . blog update delayed . . .

Posted: Fri May 11, 2007 4:02 pm
by Silkie
Well done Nick & Kathy. Have a beer on me.

PS - Matt & the boys have just (1540) arrived at Horta.

Have a beer on me.....

Posted: Fri May 11, 2007 7:41 pm
by stevebirch2002
Well done Nick, Kathy and Fairwinds. You should be very proud. Sorted out your trip for next year, IFR2008 in Harwich - will be a doddle for you now!


Steve Birch

Re: Pigeon post

Posted: Fri May 11, 2007 8:56 pm
by ash
Nick wrote:reckoning it better to be able to hear anything that was coming to get you.

So the 1st mate listened whilst the skipper relied on the alternative method of feeling the mammoth's engines vibrating through the saloon floor.
Nick wrote:(On the postive front the skipper had no problem lying down fully kitted in foulies and lifejacket and sleeping on the saloon floor while the 1st mate peered futilely into the gloom)

Well done to both of you for making safe landfall again.

Never mind AIS, it's a magnetic compass you need so that Percy's pals know which way you're going.


Posted: Fri May 11, 2007 9:01 pm
by EagerVega
Congrats Nick and Kathy from the Kilmore Quay "Sailers"
Have a great rest, its all downhill from now.

With best wishes,

Nigel et al.

Posted: Fri May 11, 2007 9:27 pm
by SteveM
Congrats on safe landfall, Nick and Kathy

All the best
Steve and Ruth

LED / VHHF interference

Posted: Fri Mar 29, 2013 9:02 pm
by Nick
Well, our electric bod finally turned up yesterday to fix this in the shape of DaveS. A (literally) five minute job with two ferrite rings and a wee capacitor. Now I've got to get another LED - any recommendations? Will not know if it works until the mast is up.

Thanks very much Dave, and for the help getting the old wind masthead unit off/out. The casualty list was quite imnpressive this morning - an empty Cardhu bottle an empty Jura bottle and an empty Black Bottle bottle. Pity none of them had more than a couple of good drams in . . . .

Gave me an excuse to dig this thread up from when the problem first reared its head back in early 2007 - life was a lot warmer then!