Update from Gerry 06th May 2013

06 May 2013

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Gales north of Azores

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Gales north of Azores

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6th May 5.30 am -20 miles to go see Ireland

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6th May - I can’t believe that I am nearly at Ireland and the wind has
started to drop!!

It has been a most difficult and frustrating time since 27th April when I was confronted with full gales, making it difficult to sail, with strong squally wind from high pressures north of the Azores.  This is where it all became a total mess - all of the electronics completely failed, including the chartplotter and the autopilot. I had to force myself to heave to, to search for the where the fault was, but I could not find it.

The next day, I started searching again, repeatedly checking the network cables, T-connectors and everything like the wind speed indicator, GPS, depth/speed, etc.  Again, I couldn't find the fault.  I was totally devasted.  Then, I had the idea of pulling all of the T-connectors out and connecting them again, one by one, I attached the first GPS T- Connector network cable to the switchboard near the navigation desk and it worked - the chartplotter came on, along with the GPS and AIS.  I was so delighted and then tried connecting the wind speed indicator, which was in good working order until I tried connecting the depth/speed; it then broke down, so I removed it in order to keep the chartplotter going.  The autopilot was still not working; I tried fixing it, but it didn't seem good.

So, I had to steer her most of the time.  While I was steering, I tried pressing the button to switch the autopilot on - it started working again, but between 30th April and 3rd May, it kept switching off and on for no apparent reason.  Then, yesterday, I moved one of the cables from the autopilot and attached it to the ECU (I happened to move it from the bottom halfway to the top), it started working again.  I suspect, although am not sure, that there might be a wiring problem.  Since yesterday, the autopilot has worked without cutting out - I'm so pleased, but have still not had any decent sleep, as I have to keep an eye on the autopilot in case it cuts off again.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it will see me through to the end now!  I currently have about 230 miles left for Troon.  I'm hoping to be there on Wednesday 8th May, at roughly 1pm.

I'm looking forward to seeing you all, including my wife Kay.  She's very brave too and has told me all about my Facebook fans, which she loves, and has also told me how she has met lots of people.  I am very thankful to the fans for keeping Kay going, also to my daughers Nicola and Ashley.  I'm looking forward to being home again.  Thank you.