Watermaker problem leaves Robin Knox-Johnston scrimping on drinking water 26/4/07

Log Date Thursday 26 April 2007
Position Latitude 42 37 North Longitude 44 47 West
Miles To Bilbao 1,831 nm
Distance in 24 Hours 310 nm
Average Speed In 24 Hours 13.2 knots

The wind stayed favourable right the way through yesterday until it eased and veered but we had covered 310 miles in the previous 24 hours, an average speed of just over 13 knots and the best I have ever down with Saga Insurance.

Our speed will ease for a bit now. Unai is now 194 miles further from the finish than Saga Insurance and the winds from his southerly position do not look as favourable as what we should get, but the margin is still not great enough to guarantee 3rd overall for the race, I reckon on needing another 300 miles over him for that which is still a tall order. Nevertheless the gamble to go north and lose 30 hours appears to have paid off, so far at least.

Transferring diesel fuel to the day tank it managed to splash out as I was about to blow to make a siphon work. That’s the disadvantage with a beard and moustache, the flavour lingers and I have been tasting diesel all night, even after trying to wash it away with the obvious cure, Old Pulteney! If I were an internal combustion engine I would have been flying with the mixture I have inside!

I indulged in a warm sleeping bag last night, absolute bliss after days of sleeping in oilies, but it was too good to last. Active Echo went off indicating it had picked up another vessel’s radar transmissions. So up and back into cold and wet oilies again. Still I suppose it is nice to be reminded that comfort does exist. I saw no sign of the other ship after all that.

Getting a bit low on water. The water maker is playing up; it does not like the port tack either, and am down to three litres before touching reserves. My consumption is frugal, about a litre a day. I might have got some rainwater yesterday but there was too much spray about and saltwater makes awful tea.

We have been out of the Gulf Stream for two days now and the boat is a lot colder as a result, not helped by a cold north-westerly wind. We may have been experiencing an effect from the Labrador Current, which comes down from the Arctic, but I am beginning to see a rise in the seawater temperatures.