Gas crisis

Bernice arrives on watch at 3am, the graveyard shift 3-6am, to find out from Paul we’ve ran out of gas! Not completely you understand, just the bottle we were using, and not a good idea to change till morning as they’re kept in a locker on the deck. It’s horrified Paul as Chris usually makes one can last 5 weeks. Oops!! Then again that’s with only the two of them, we’re nearly 3 times that, and she rarely uses the oven. So 1-1.5 weeks for us for a can is probably not too outrageous. Considering the bread and flapjack making going on.

The wind is still fluky and a banging starts which wakes Adam up, he comes up to investigate and manages to get it to stop but it starts again during Huw’s part of the watch and Adam gets up again just as the instruments all give up – batteries out of juice again. Paul attempting to retrieve his emails again. So the gennie and the watermaker go on in the early hours.

In the morning we chat about the gas briefly and agree to try see if (a) we can buy another canister (b) if there is any way if we did we’d be able to secure it in the gas locker. While 3 full cans (that we have altogether) are likely to get us across the pond, at our current rate of consumption it will be touch’n’go. And then if the big crossing is as slow as this short hop south has been due to the wind,we’ll probably run out. So a 4th bottle would be preferable. Otherwise we’ll need to reel back our usage.

Everyone is just pottering about this morning. Will with the fishing gear and clothes washing. Huw helping Paul with some issue on the batteries and Adam’s on watch. If we continue at this speed it’s likely we will arrive in darkness. If we can claw an extra knot or so maybe we could get in in daylight tonight but that’s very slim. At best it’ll be midnight. So it’s looking like first day in Cape Verde for Bernice’s birthday.

It’s an overcast but v. hot and muggy day today with no fish so far. Jacket potatoes with left over chilli for lunch, cooked in the microwave – only available for use when the gennie is on. One step towards saving gas :0)

Thinking of things you might not realise but like to know:
– we can only make water when the gennie is on. (we bring in sea water and pump it through a membrane that extracts the salt and other nasties).
– we can’t go to the toilet or have a shower when the watermaker is on, as we might drag in our used water etc that we pump out further along the boat.
– we turn the gas on and off at the stove every time we use it (gas is the most dangerous thing on a boat as any leakage sinks into the bilges (the space beneath the floorboards and the hull of the boat) and can go undetected and cause explosions)
– if the boat was healing over we’d use lee-clothes in our bunks to stop us falling out, we haven’t needed them on this leg but used then nearly all the way on the UK-Canaries leg (a piece of material the length of your bunk (bed) with strings attached at either end that you then clip up onto a fixed point which turns your bunk into a cot)
– having a shower, or using any water we have to be careful not to waste it, so a boat showrr consists of – wet yourself down, turn the tap off, soap yourself all over, turn the tap back on and rinse. Then pump out all the water that is now under the duckboards
– on watch at night we always have our lifejackets on
– when we use any staples from our provisions we mark off a tally, so when we get into Cape Verde we have an idea of things we might not have enough of to get us all across the Atlantic. It saves us having to count it all
– windows and hatches we’ve had open in the day (normally you wouldn’t have them open at sea, especially in the UK) as the winds have been so light and the temperatures so high, but always close them at nightfall.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.