Day 7, Passage to Puerto Montt

2000Z 28SEP19, Day 7, Easter Island to Puerto Montt, Chile. We have completed another week at sea! There have been small cell pockets which have kept us busy - furling in and letting out headsail as well as trimming due to the wind shifts, and ducking between cells as feasible. The wind goes above 30kts and then drops to below 15kts. It's right miserable if we don't let sail back out when the wind drops because we are going too slow and rolling about in the large seas. Then when the gusts come we are screaming along, with a rail in the water if we don't take in sail.

Current Position: 35 33S / 096 40W
24 hour progress: 133nm, 5.5kts avg SOG
Overall progress for the passage is 884nm with approximately 1135nm to the entrance canal to get to Puerto Montt. The weather is chilly and sunny with occasional rain in the cells. We are sailing a starboard tack, beam reach to close reach, with 3 reefs in the main and 1-3 in the genoa. Winds are currently 25kts true +/-5kts and the seas are big and rolly.

The crew are all doing well though we feel a bit beat up. It sure feels like we should have put away more miles in the last 24 hours. We are going fast and then pretty slow so that averages to just ok progress, unfortunately. We sure are working hard and getting tossed all about when we do anything down below. Cooking and cleaning are major events and Megan is feeling quite exhausted.

In boat equipment breakage news, our wind pilot (wind steering autopilot, that we have set up as a backup to our nke electric autopilot) took a blade off of our Watt & Sea hydro generator last night. We love our W&S; it provides great power whenever deployed and we are making 6 knots or more boat speed. We need the power to keep our batteries charged and run our electronics - like refrigerator, autopilot and radar. Well a pin that holds the W&S arm down in the water came loose over night and the arm swung up just a little too far, the wind pilot pendulum blade then swung hard on a wave sheering off one of the 3 propeller blades. We have a spare propeller for W&S which had to be located and dug out. We installed the replacement in a wind lull and are back in business. Just another part that is added to the replacement/to do list: WindPilot - 1, Watt&Sea - 0.

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