Day 19 – 02 January 2019
Row4Ocean started the New Year with a bang, smashing through the 1000 miles to go barrier, at 1200 UTC 02 January, the four-man team was 960 nautical miles from Suriname, and relishing the prospect of speeding up on their approach as Nick Leggatt on board Supertramp, which is shadowing ‘Year of Zayed’ reports.
“The team had a great night, really eating up the miles,” commented Nick. “The current has started to turn in their favour and the course alteration yesterday means that the team has a much more favourable angle to the waves. We have started to get a few squalls, nothing major but it is the first rain we have seen since leaving Dakar. It is signs of a change in the weather to come, and it looks favourable. We are still over 900 miles from the finish but we are already feeling the effect of the Guyana Current, which should help the team post good 24 hour runs. Unfortunately today the team had to deploy the sea anchor for the first time to address a problem with the steering but the good news is they have a solution. The wildlife show today was amazing, at one point we had close to a thousand dolphins around the boat, plenty of young and juveniles which is great to see.”
Update from Nick Leggatt:
“Yesterday (Jan 01) the crew noticed some delamination on the rudder stock and this morning the gudgeon pin which attaches the rudder stock to the transom pintles sheered and the rudder dropped into the sea. Still attached by the steering cables and autopilot controls the crew were able to recover all the parts except the broken pin. This occurred at 10:27 02 January and the crew immediately deployed a sea anchor to control the boat and keep the bow head to wind. After much deliberation they were able to jury rig a pin from part of the sliding mechanism of one of the rowing seats, and the delaminated area of the stock was secured with ratchet straps. The rudder blade was replaced with the daggerboard blade in an effort to reduce pressure on the rudder stock, and just before sunset all was reassembled and they set off again. Unfortunately they did not get far before realising that the daggerboard was too short to use as a rudder, causing them to broach down a succession of waves. In the twilight they swapped the blades around again and once again set off, as the twilight turned to darkness. All this was made more interesting by a succession of torrential tropical downpours and rough seas. Excellent effort by all the crew.”