What are we doing?

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Day 61 An early start

The alarm went off at 4:30am, too dark. At 5:15 we were up and untying and gently chugging out of the harbour. We had a 180 miles journey to compete to Keil.

After we were out of the harbour and had done about 40 minutes of motoring the bilge alarm went off. Not again! So straight to the engine room, nothing. Up came the floor boards and the generator was opened up, again nothing. A trip to the deck showed that the bilge pump was not pumping anything out so I suggested to Linda that perhaps a bit of muck was upsetting the sensor so we going out the hose pipe and started pumping water into the bilge. At this point the pump had something to do and pumped it back out again proving that we did not have a leak. We could not shut off the alarm so I had no choice but to remove the alarm which is very difficult because the pipe connecting it has formed a sort of rigour mortis. I did it and immediatly he problem because apparent, a hole had burned through the alarm. We diverted to Ronne on Bornholm as it was only a three mile diversion and it has the best chandler I have ever seen in a harbour. Well he had the part but only in a 12V version. I am not sure that there is any difference between a 12 and 24V version because it is just a switch but it does have electronics so maybe it was right not to buy it. He did however replace the pipe as I could not re-fit the unit that is how stiff it was and I also bough a new jib sheet. That the fourth line I have replaced on this journey.

We set off again with our pump re-fitted but not working and in the hope that we will be able to get one in Kiel. there was no wind so we were forced to motor for hours on end, Jolief who had left the previous day had had a rough ride, so there is no right answer here.

As the evening drew in it got dark by 9pm and we had the awful problem of having to cross the shipping lanes in complete darkness. Linda went to bed as she had to take over from me at about 1am. It was very stressful crossing the lanes with three ships abreast at one point. Discretion I thought was the best idea. Once they had passed I was on the other side out of the lanes and everything was calm again. I felt that I could not keep going and I was forced to get Linda to take over at 12:30. She was appalled by the blackness (no moon) and light everywhere, there were wind farms ships and navigation marks etc. However once she had her bearings and she felt in complete control she was as happy as Larry.

At 3:30 she awoke me as it was time to re-cross the shipping lanes and I was amazed to find that we had three ships behind us and as soon as they were past we were completely free to cross with nothing in sight. Such a difference to the other end! Linda stayed up with me for this bit and we were soon able to pull out some sail. As dawn broke and we were ten miles from the Kiel entrance we were able to hoist our cruising chute (Spinnaker) and had a lively sail into the estuary. Once in the estuary we doused the sail and pulled out the genoa. We calmly sailing up the estuary until we ran out of wind. When we passed Laboe we decided that we would rather go there than the marina we were booked into. So I picked up my phone and there was a message from Jolief that they were going to join us at our original marina, so when they arrived I took their lines once again for the third time, Gwyn wanted to award me a yellow shirt.

  • Morning sunrise
  • Bilge alarm



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