David Wynne Davies, crew Atlantic crossing 8 October
Half way point to Ireland reached yesterday. Progress had been impeded by headwinds but with the wind now backed to the South and on the beam we were making 7kts. In order to catch up lost time the mainsail as well as the genoa were hoisted supported by the engine although increasing winds this afternoon (gusting 50kts squalls) prompted us to reduce to 3 reefs and a reduced staysail.
Everything then was cracking on beautifully in fairly rough seas – until the engine splutters and dies. Just at that time, supper of lamb hot was being served up. Engine louvres up. Mike switched fuel tanks in the belief that the forward port tank may have been contaminated or be getting close to having to be switched over. Engine starts, but again stops suddenly. Louvres up again. At that moment the container holding all the empty lamb hotpot packets went flying hitting Mike, who was kneeling down analysing the problem below, on the head. He has also got something indescribable on his sleeve. After further consideration the starboard fuel tanks were tested, and the engine started to run smoothly again. We will have to figure out why the port fuel tanks are not feeding through.
Last night to conserve fuel we stayed under sail started off making 5.5 kts. The wind is expected to ease over the next few days, and helpfully be on the nose when we cross the St George’s Channel. Let’s hope that the high pressure over UK moves away before then and that we can benefit from Westerlies.