Day 11, Falkland Islands to St Helena

1030Z 26MAR22, Day 11, Falkland Islands to St Helena. Yesterday was another sunny, warm day though we continue to attempt to sail on the edge of a high pressure system. It is comfortable, but variable and sometimes a little frustrating.

Current Position: 43 38S / 029 25W
24 hour progress: 124nm, 5.2kts avg SOG, almost 6 hours was on engine. Overall progress for the passage is 1,446nm, approximately 2,048nm left to go via a great circle route to St Helena.

Yesterday morning we continued motoring for another almost 6 hours, for a total of an almost 8 hour motoring stretch. We made the most of the engine time in the sunny weather and calm seas with a big long swell - we made water, did dishes, took warm showers, made pancakes. We also tackled two things on our to do list that hadn't been accomplished before we left. We mentioned that our pilot house has two big curved windows. Well, every time we are sailing we say we should clean them and redo the rain-x when we are in port. It never seems to get done. It's on the list but a low priority when you aren't staring out them all day. Then when we get underway we say, we really should have done that in port… By yesterday our windows were quite salty from the ocean spray of the last 10 days. So Daxton went out, did a fresh water wash, cleaned the windows and then put the rain-x on. They are so clean! No rain yet to enjoy the water moving off of them from the rain-x but much easier to see out of without all the salt water spots. The other thing that Jon and Daxton accomplished was fitting some screening into a long narrow vent on our coach roof. There have been other Boréals that have gotten flying fish caught in this vent, then they rot and stink up the boat. We were lucky as to not have this happen to us on our previous warm water ocean passages, but we did have a flying fish that hid and stunk in our sail bag for quite a while after the 2019 crossing of the Atlantic. In any case, we picked up some screen material in the Falklands and installed it yesterday. We haven't seen any flying fish yet so we were happy to get this done before we start seeing them again.

As we motored the winds were up and down. As we only have so much fuel, we decided we probably had enough wind to sail again in the afternoon, so we secured the engine. We spent the day continuing to flirt with a high between 2 low pressure systems. There doesn't seem to be an easy way out and where it looks potentially sailable it is the edge and the weather forecasts aren't precise for where that edge will be exactly. So sometimes we have good wind and other times it is very light. It looks like we will find ourselves in this situation a few more times as the lows go across in the next week. We sailed close hauled and then have gradually been able to fall off to a broad reach. Our course has been good even if our speed has been inconsistent. We aren't really complaining, life is going quite well on board.

The bad news of the day was that we have a very distraught teenager. Ronan accidentally left his phone on and killed the battery. After recharging, it rebooted and, apparently, the new iOS has a "feature" that says you have to verify 3rd party apps after a restart. Well, that is impossible without internet! So, he has nearly bricked his phone until we can get him connected enough to fix the issue. He's a bit frustrated. We are also a bit concerned about this for our iPads that we use for navigation. If we can't access the navigation apps, if the iPad were to be run out of batteries that would be bad. We do have multiple iPads with the data and some are on the old iOS but some are on the new iOS. Hmmmm. This is going to need to be investigated. Can it be turned off? Is Ronan right that, that is what happened for him? Or has he just not verified his apple account in too long? (But also that could be a problem for our navigation iPads that haven't been online since December.) After sulking a bit, mostly because he was in the middle of a book that he was enjoying, he found we have a copy of his book on a hard drive and he loaded it onto his kindle. He also still has access to music and his podcasts plus any number of physical books on the boat and on his kindle. However, both boys are still sad that their Minecraft playing together is over for at least a few weeks. (They had been playing nicely together for the last few days.) He will survive and hopefully his grumbling will lessen.

The other issue is Watt&Sea, our hydro-generator. She doesn't seem to be producing power which is bad news since she is our power generating work horse. Jon noticed last night, when our speeds were good, that our power production was lacking. He pulled up the generator arm to investigate but didn't see anything obvious in the dark. He put her back in the water and it did seem like we might have had some production again later, but it is unclear. Further investigation will be today's project.

We still have a few petrels and albatrosses around and even some larger prions again. We had a beautiful, large albatross for quite awhile yesterday. We believe he was a red-nosed - big wingspan and interesting face. We also had a sooty albatross. Daxton works hard to try to identify the different kinds (which is challenging when it largely depends on what their face or beak looks like) and gets excited when he confirms we have seen a certain type, especially if we haven't seen very many of that type.

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