Sorry for the lack of photos opn this post. I have been asked a few questions by readers about certain items I carried on board and certain experiences we had. I hope you find the below useful and your comments are always welcome.
- We did catch water on the way. Although we had enough for drinking for 30 days we did not have enough for cleaning. In squalls we could catch about 20 liters using cannisters set just below the boom to catch rain water falling off the sail. This worked well but you could easily make it a far better system than we did.
- Our spreaders were covered in foam to stop the main sail from rubbing when sailing downwind. Now, you can either use pipe insulation foam or the cheaper alternative is the foam used for bouyancy in swimming pools (long tubing). I used the latter and tied them with wire cable ties. I would not use gaffer tape as the UV light degraded these rapidy and they also attract dirt. Cable ties were ideal as long as make sure you cut off the sharp edges and keep them well away from the sail.
- For the main sail I used extra sail repair tape where the main touches the shrouds, this worked well although a bit of damage noticed today has occured.
- Our sails were made by Crusader Sails and wqere heavy duty cruising sails with UV protection.
- We experienced two occasions where Troskala fell off a 6 meter wave. The swell would some times push the quarter stern off balance allowing the boat to slide sideways down the trough of the wave before coming back on course. There was an immence amount of water on deck but the cockpit drained within minutes and no damage occured.
- I believe that the reason why we did not suffer much damage was due to taking things slowly and more comfortably than other boats. We were not racing therefore it seemed pointless to push Troskala hard in the first two weeks.
- Were we scared? Yes, there were points I was fearful for our situation but only because we had not experienced these situations previously. The two gybes we suffered were horrendous but little damage was caused but I believe this was down to luck as we could have easily lost the boom or the rig should we have repeated the gyb or had more sail up.
- When there is no wind it is good to put a reef in the main as this stops the banging of the sail with the swell. I only learnt this is Madeira but it makes such a difference.
- We ran the engine at least one hour a day to charge lap tops and phones. Due to swell and having some sludge in our diesel tank our primary filter was pretty blocked. I carried 4 of the following: Oil Filters, Primary and secondary filters, air filters 1 spare belt 5 fueses and two spare ignition keys. There were no issues with the engine throughout the trip. The engine is a Beta 3o, which was installed new in 2011.
- I did not run with navigation lights all the time due to power. I believe that if someone is on watch and actually watching then having them on all the time is not as imperative. If I had an LED Tricolour I would have had it on all the time but it was not worth risking loosing my starter battery to the light and a light is great if you are also keeping a lookout.
- Keep cooking simple. If you have a fridge try and prepare meals before you leave and freeze them. We heard of people using the Wayfarer vacume packed foods which taste great and take little time to prepare
- We used one 4.5 Kg gas canister throughout the trip but also carried a spare 3.5 Kg cannister