Thursday, March 09, 2006

Can we get there from here?

The weather change came as expected last night. Winds increased to 23 knots from the south.
By morning we had come 220 miles since the start and had only 70 miles to go.

About 0330 I heard a bang and suddenly the tiller was loose. A control line for the monitor
self steering chafed through and broke. I just changed that line for a new one two months ago.
It looks like it chafed at the same spot as the old line did. Darn. I should have investigated
why it was chaffing. I also should have checked the new line before leaving shore. Shame on me.

Anyhow, holding the tiller by hand would be extremely tiring so I had to invent. I jury rigged a line
from the tiller around a cleat back to the tiller and took four turns around the tiller. That gives me a
mechanical advantage of 2:1 and the four turns give enough friction to hold it in place. Libby had
the temerity to say she likes my jury rig better than the monitor.

Today the winds increased to 29 knots and we were driven more and more North of our desired course line.
Now we're in the middle of the Yucatan Current and it must be flowing 3.5 knots north. Between the wind and the current we can't make much way any way southward. Isla Mujeres, our destination lies southwest.

It will be a hard fight to beat upwind and upcurrent to get there from here. It might take us another 24 to 48 hours to get the last 50 miles into the harbor. If we tire and give up I'll duck around the corner to the north shore of the Yucatan and hide from the south wind and current there. Our destination is almost at the northeast tip of Yucatan. It's near Cancun. You can find that on a map.

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Click here for a birds eye view of Tarwathie's alternate destination at the northern tip of the Yucatan Pininsula.


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