ARC Europe – Wednesday 16th June 2010

Position @ 1200 UTC

37⁰ 05.04 N 13⁰ 22.98 W

Nautical Miles travelled in last 24 hrs:- 140

Up at 0500 hrs after a terrible night listenig to water sloshing around the bilges. Up as soon as light to see and yes my worst fears, the bilges were full and even splashing above thre floor plates in the galley. So get the pump going and after about an hour were down to acceptable levels. A bit of fun along the way as the outlet pipe outside the boat got blocked and we had to jerry rig an outlet into the cockpit and use the cockpit drains to clear the water. Now where is the water coming in from; all stop cock, skin fittings, propshaft gland and front bow lockers checked, all looked to be ok. That’s a worry, where else can it be cominhg from and don’t forget we had to drain out the bilges yesterday of the same amount of water. The only thing to say is nothing had changed in the previous 24hrs, the seas were still peaking at 4 meters and washing all over the hull, so is it just that being on this port tack for so long under these conditions has exposed weakness’ that hadn’t been apparant befolre or had we hit something as we were banging and crashing into these waves that has damaged the hull or somethinhg, we wontreally knowuntill we reach port where we k now wewill not have any waves washing over Anam Cara. Watch this space!

Next Vince and I were back up on deck to sort out the fuel drums, again. If we decid we need to keep them in future we will have to have a better arrangement to secure them. We had to jettison 2 as they had lost their tops and also the fuel as well as being under the bows caught upin their ropes.

Next,fire up the generator and at last back on nrmal watch.

The restof the day was normal, up and down the wavesa,fighting the wind from the North East and grabing cat naps as we went. I have a nasty coldso stgayedoutof everyons way duing the afternoon andtook to my bunk. a reasonable sleep under the circumstanses and intoevening mealandnight watches.

I had two tankers on a collision course for session. The trouble is calling them, upto ask their intentions. The first didnt respond for about half an hour and though I started to call him up 12 miles away he was 6 miles away when he eventually responded. After exchanging positions he still couldn’t see us but agreed to alter course and run astern of us. It took him all that 6 miles just to manover behind us. If we continue to sail in shiping lanes I think I will have to have AIS, all the ARC boats that have it are able to make contact with the big ships as far as 24 miles away, but more importantly the big boats can see the small ones also 24 miles away. Takes out the “hope” and “guessing” from these close situations.Tomorrow night will be the tough one, we will have 2 on watch as we negotiate the shipping seperation lanes. Anyway baqck to to night, the second ga nker was not so accomodating,; he asked me what I wanted him to do to which I told him and he completly ignorded me saying he couldn’tg see me. I awitched on decklights, shined a torch into the rigging and considered sending up a white flare. Anyway after studying the chartplotter, radar, knowing our speed and guessing his we crossed our fingers as he passed accross our bows. The other two shifts didn’t have any traffic to worry about, would you believe that!

First thing tomorrow will be to look into the bilges. we have been looking during the day but as yet not sufficient as to get the pumps going.Watch this space

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