Day 20

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…

11 thoughts on “Day 20”

  1. Matt, is it too late to call Simon again? Maybe his friends can pick up a new starter? ,

    By the way, you might see cod. I’ve been reading a book about the history of food preservation. The waters you are in now were once so full of cod fish that they were said to be as numerous as grains of sand on a beach.


  2. Thanks for the update Matt. That whale encounter in the fog sounds like a very unique experience, are you able to post photos on your blog as your voyage progresses? All the best with the new watermaker and I’m glad the sun is shining for you, your description of drifting in the fog reminds me of some old seafaring painting – dreamlike and just a little eerie. : ))

    Annie (Australia)

    1. Yes, I just added a link to the RSS feed below Matt’s picture on the right sidebar.

      1. Thanks! I will read more diligently from RSS.

        You might want to change the url under that link from feed: to http: I got a configuration error clicking it.

  3. I check the site several times a day and I get very nervous when I see the boat speed is 00.0 knots. I understand there are explanations but I’m probably not the only one that gets concerned. It’s very exciting to get the feedback from Matt.

  4. Matt; Looks as if you are on your way again after me having a new watermaker delivered…your speed is up again and you appear tobe now heading east again!
    Am looking forward now to see your speed up at more than 6 knots. Old-named “Mamie” will love it.

  5. Michael,
    Thanks for getting that feature fixed that allows us to see Matt’s exact longitude and latitude position!
    Marlowe (Mom)

  6. Hiya Matt,

    I wanted to share a saying by Brazilian Author Paulo Coehlo: “The world belongs to people daring to dream and who take the risk to realize their dream. Remembering that the first obstacle to take away our dreams is Lack of Time, the second is the desire for Certainty, and the third, Inertia.”

    Fair Winds!

    Annapolis, MD

  7. Matt; Re. my earlier email, which was on “July 6, 2011 at 11:53 am
    Matt; Looks as if you are on your way again after me having a new watermaker delivered…your speed is up again and you appear tobe now heading east again!
    Am looking forward now to see your speed up at more than 6 knots. Old-named “Mamie” will love it.

    Of course it wasn’t “me having a new watermaker delivered. I do not know how the “me” got in!! Though you have a lost a few days, what a stroke of luck you were in such a position to get a new one delivered.

    Today I’m very pleased to see your speed is up to 3.5 knots and you are now heading in the right direction……still in fog?

  8. Matt we all here at West Marine store 41 in Annapolis are watching your progress and continue to wish you the best.

    “Fair winds and following seas”

    Be careful…….Julian

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