Masekowitz preparing his circumnavigation in southern France
In the night from Tuesday to Wednesday, the "Croix du Sud" calmly passed the equator for the second time in a gentle breeze.
Henrik Masekowitz writes in his blog: Meanwhile I was lying in the bunk and slept through it. To be honest, there was really nothing for me to do in the last week, except to take the hydrogenerator out of the water one or the other time because it simply over-revs at more than ten knots or the course of the autopilot by a few degrees to adapt to the prevailing wind force
The pods had been optimally trimmed for days, so that any change by a few centimeters was more likely to produce the opposite result than a hoped-for increase in speed. Wild action, but somehow the days are getting long.
The South Atlantic, when you come from the direction of St. Helene, is really incredibly stable in terms of wind and weather. Only once was I thrown off course when a small black rain cloud passed over us.
With a little blow to the west, I hoped to drive through the Doldrums reasonably passably. At the moment I'm still making good progress with a breeze of eight to ten knots. The direction is also better again. However, the routing in the zone is noticeably deteriorating.
Every morning I get the forecast from my weather and routing crew via satellite, which is routing specialist Eddie Dost on the one hand and Meeno Schrader and his weather world on the other. Then I usually spend an hour planning my route in advance. Of course, there are always at least 20 options for every optimized route - otherwise it would be too easy. Normally you are well served with a routing of the highest probability of the weather forecast, but I like to analyze a bit myself and try to understand the complex weather events and possibly gain an advantage after all.
On the way there, I steered brilliantly around the St. Helena high, which gave me an enormous advantage over Joe Harris. This morning I have the feeling that I have come a long way through the Doldrums. My diesel can push something, but not 300 miles. I'm way too far to the east. Damn!
After the hydraulic drive of my main autopilot stopped working last night, I am forced to steer according to the compass course, because my secondary system, with its own computer and electric drive, unfortunately has no access to wind data. I wanted to install a switch before leaving, with which I could have switched the two drives with the computers crosswise. Now I have to go to the last corner of my boat and crawl the wiring accordingly by hand. But maybe I'll leave that too, which will be up to the wind in the near future anyway and the wind mode is not that important there.
I have to admit that I really use the autopilot a lot, it controls almost the entire route and I was just wondering a few days ago how long it will last. Now it has happened, which is not, however, dramatic. I have all kinds of spare parts for these components with me and can always get a drive going when the going gets tough.
I have fewer substitutes for my leisure activities. After reading three books so far, it is slowly coming to an end. By far my favorites are the recently published book "Atlantik-Fieber" by Jan Heinze. He tells the true, very personal story of his Mini-Transat. Really to be recommended and not only because my old boat "Beijamar" is on the cover.
This morning there was a visit to a super large dolphin school. That is always a nice change.
The dolphin school photographed from on board