We set sail at 16:00 on Friday 4th November from Cascais heading for Funchal, Madeira. The wind was brisk F5 and we sailed close hauled into th night and heavy rain. The following morning dawned with the wind having backed round to the NE so that we were on a broad reach making 9knots.
Last night we sailed past a series of submerged sea mounts, part of a long line of volcanic pimples leading to Madeira, where the continental plate has slowly slid over a hot spot. They rise from 3000 metres to just 30 metres below the surface, and with a big swell running wouldn't. constitute a great hazard to a small boat, as the swells will slow down, rear up and break.
Settling into our 4 hour watches, still a bit vulnerable to seasickness.
To my alarm we seem like to have -50mA current leakage again. Spent a lot of time isolating systems, crawling in bilges and cupboards to no avail.. not great for feeling queasy.
Power usage is a challenge. Using the autopilot to steer ( rather essential on a dark, cloudy, moonless night) and running the freezer both consume power at about 6 amps. After 6 hours we need to run the generator to restore the 36 Amp-hours used. During the day the solar panels extend that period. Last night, Saturday night, I was on watch twice, and watched the battery capacity run slowly down to 90%. Then I discovered that I should have been following the voltage which was down to 10.5 volts. I tried to start the engine and just got the useless ticking of an under powered solenoid. Then the generator...... same thing! I recalled that Kate and Mark had had the problem of power failure about here in 2005. Their plottings are on the same chart that I am using now.
Fortunately I recalled that we can cross link the bowthruster battery to the generator, and it was with immense relief that I heard it rumble into life.
Breakfast of Bircher muesli and fresh baked rolls with butter and honey. Sadly Mark saw his again shortly afterwards. It's an unsettling big sea.