Masekowitz at a YACHT production before its start
Henrik Masekowitz sent the following lines during the night:
"My goodness, it has been almost a week since my last big update from aboard the 'Croix du Sud'. However, it is far from as if nothing was going on here. Unfortunately, I didn't really have time (sounds strange Apart from the fact that it is extremely uncomfortable to jumble on the keyboard in 35 knots of wind or, let's say, over 20 knots, always one hand on the autopilot and always ready in your head Having to jump up in order to somehow get the boat back on course when a wave of considerable magnitude knocks it on its side.
These extreme changes of situation, coupled with an extremely irregularly churned sea, do not make life here on board easy. A Class 40 weighing just 4.7 tons usually moves like a stubborn rodeo horse. I have to expect a drop at any time. So hold on to avoid being thrown 4.5 meters in free fall from one side to the other. Making coffee, let alone drinking it without spilling anything, is a challenge.
The week was not only uncomfortable, but also a really tough sailing affair. The constant change between reef 1 and 2 in large, or worse, dancing around on the forecastle and taming the spinnaker and switching to the smaller code 5 and not getting any waves into the open hatch is really exhausting. At some point with a wind of 35 knots I was only out with a stay jib and 2nd reef in front of the wind. Just to take a breath and try to eat something tasty.
If you then lie down and bang and hiss at an hourly rhythm with winds between 20 and 35 knots, you just leave it there. In any case, I only dared to pour the reef out of the main once. The result of the overzealous actionism was then the reverse order with even more wind. Likewise in front. Don't stop 100 percent with Spi or Code 0, but the Code 5 variant. It has actually been standing for three days, because I was really geasting while recovering Code 0 and the stupid just didn't want to roll up properly and is still lying in the foredeck in a rather chaotic manner. So it might be. The boat is still going over ten knots - that's enough for me.
Of course you are actually too slow then, but too much does not help if something is broken in the end or the autopilot can no longer handle the whole thing. After all, this is my second husband (or wife?). Whatever the case, a device that I have to rely on, at night when I'm tired in my bunk, but also ready to correct my course by remote control at all times during every maneuver.
Let's get to really existential things. A few days ago I was really happy to have filled my batteries with the hydrogen generator.
Well, one shouldn't praise the day before the evening: The next day the same game until it started to stink suspiciously. Oh dear, I've had the smell in my nose all too often. Whenever chips, i.e. rectifiers or transistors, burn out, there is this unique smell.
So it was over and with it the joy of my carefree energy management. Absolute low blow. Everything, but also everything, goes through my head. Stopping in Cape Verde, turning around in the Caribbean … One thing is pretty clear: it will hardly work with the diesel supplies if you had to let the diesel run for two hours a day to charge the battery.
At first it feels like a shock. Two days - two long days of reflection, emails, and encouraging conversations with my family. Then take courage again and limit damage. I take my multimeter and measure everything on the supply technology. I had suspected a solar regulator for a long time that it was not delivering enough power. So get the controller out, measure the panels and clamp them to the battery. SUUUUPER! Saved three to four amps when the sun is shining. But still too little to get along for longer distances without an engine. Taxing eight hours a day by hand? No alternative. I can't hold out, at least not in the Pacific in cold weather and storms.
The next day I go back to the charred regulator on the hydrogenerator. I try to breathe a little life into the thing under a firework of sparks and mighty smelly smoke. I remove the broken transistor, try here and your bridge, through which the damned current should somehow find its way to the batteries. Then all of a sudden miracles happen: Two of the three phases can be tricked into directing a few amperes in the right direction through a clever combination on the controller module. In the end I have an (almost) zero number. Only use a few ampere-hours in 24 hours and the solar panels, nicely aligned, bring a good portion of excess energy into the batteries during the day. Yay! That is more than one could have hoped for, writes my friend Olli Schmidt-Rybandt by email and is happy too.
To this day, it actually works quite well. However, I can hardly take the generator out of the water now. Hopefully the remaining two phases hold up.
From now on I will concentrate on sailing again. Tonight we pass Cape Verde. Maybe I'll pull something other than Code 5 again.
Oh yes, there was fresh fish today. A couple of flying fish have flown around my ears. I thought about it for a long time and then didn't heat the pan. It's just not my taste - maybe next time.
Let's go south. Course 175 at eight to nine knots. I'll get Joe's bottle of wine (Harris, his competitor who started almost at the same time, d. Red.):-)."
For his part, competitor Joe Harris writes on his blog: To Heinrich (!) Masekowitz: "I wish you all the best for a safe passage and a wonderful finish in second place - although it just looks as if you are ahead."