Thursday, 29 May 2008

Dunking 4847.56 17722.59 Thu 29/05/2008 14:36

Does anyone remember reading a scientific paper on the physics of biscuit dunking? May have been one of Karl Kruszelnicki's - certainly his style anyway. Really interesting stuff, but it seems to me that my McVities absorb tea at a greater rate than the very ordinary coffee I'm using. Certainly, my coffees are more treacly than my teas - anyway, an observation for the record - has no scientific value without lots more experimentation and I'm into the last pack of dunkers.

I think our bit of excitement will slow us down by about half a day to Amchitka - could be a crucial half day if the weather closes on us but that is yet to be seen. We are also losing height, which is a nuisance but can't be helped. I'm resisting getting new gribs - we have to cope with whatever we meet anyway and the gribs seem to change radically every update, so better just to get on with it. I'm not too concerned about the pass itself - I can see from the topography why it could be dangerous but we can go in and have a look. Portland and Alderney races with wind against tide are good for the confidence and McQ professes to be on top of those, so we'll just probe gently when we get there - starting, obviously, at low water slack or an hour or so before. Once we're inside, we have to reassess and move on.

The fix - two large cable clamps about half a metre above the swage, clamping a big U shaped through-deck fitting to the shroud. Big turnbuckle hooked on to the U and a spectra strop from the chain plate to the bottom of the turnbuckle, tighten and bobsyer - the swage bypassed. The mast is still in column as far as I can see and I'm tempted to go for the third reef tomoz in daylight. Will do a similar setup on the other shroud as a precaution and put clamps on all the other shrouds so that we can at least buy time if they start to fail. Will take some photos for the website. Speeds, the handycam hasn't been out of its bag this trip - it's just been too busy or too wet - so there won't be any video for this leg.

Getting lots of help and advice from Dan at Westward - thanks Dan - and I think the long term fix is to get the old barge to Dutch as fast as we safely can and I'll take off the dead one and fly to Anchorage with it. Speedy is checking for riggers - there's got to be at least one somewhere - and we have another friend who will know for sure but he's not answering his mobile at the mo.

Water now 6 degrees. Not much warmer than how it comes out of the fridge. Lucky I splashed the nethers yesterday, I suppose.