I entered the fog on day 12 and I didn’t get out until day 19. When sailing offshore you live in a big world. You can see 3 miles in all directions. You can watch the passing of rain storms and and see the stars at night unlike anywhere on land. The fog shrinks your big world and since you can only see a few hundred feet at times, your world becomes very small – almost claustrophobic. I’ve sailed in the fog before so its no big deal, its just nice to see the sun again.
Speaking of “no sun”, three days ago I decided to run the engine at idle for three hours to charge up the batteries which were getting low – as there is little sun and wind in the fog. I go to turn my key and all I here is click. I try again, click, click, click. This isn’t the first time I’ve had a starter solenoid fail on a Vovlo Penta. 5 years ago when I was sailing my 323 Pearson around Florida I had the same thing happen. A random guy at a random marina showed me how to bypass the starter solenoid with a screw driver and arc the power directly to the starter – more or less using a screw driver to hot wire your engine. I took some wire and a spare switch and bypassed the starter solenoid, so now when I flip the switch the power goes right to the starter and the engine starts – its a fancy jerry rig.
Living in a little boat can be quite frustrating. I miss being able to stand up without hitting my head. Two days ago I was standing on my companion way steps resting my arms on the deck, staring out into the fog. Out of no where a 30 foot killer whale surfaces 20 feet behind my boat with water spouting out his blowhole. It came as quite a shock. Its been a long time since I’ve been to sea world and I forgot they could get so big. Its dorsal fin was as big as I am. It stayed for only a minute and left as quick as it came. Sailing is like that – hours and hours of nothing mixed with minutes of incredible excitment. The problem is the exciement isn’t always good. When things break on a boat it often happens fast and without warning (bad excitement). But moments like seeing whales, catching a fish and seeing the milky way at night make it all worth while.
So I’m currently sitting on a parachute sea anchor 20 miles off Newfoundland waiting for the boat to meet me with my new watermaker. The good news is I should have good winds when I head north. The bad news is that the boat won’t meet me until tuesday. So for now I drift…