Tropical Storm Andrea (Day 14)

The hurricane season has officially started with tropical storm Andrea. We’ll be feeling her effects on the 11th. Looking at the tracking device on the web site you can see the moment I found out about Andrea as I turned south to get some separation from the eye of the storm. Back in July of 2008 while I was on my first singlehanded transatlantic I got run down by tropical storm Cristobel a couple hundred miles north my current position. It was my first big storm and it beat the crap out me. I wish that storm was named Charlie or Chuck, but instead I got beat up by Cristobel? Come on, what kind of name is that? I don’t think Andrea will be too bad but it is a reminder that the big storms are coming and I need to be very careful.
The weather so far has been fairly normal. A front will pass by and it will blow 22-28 knots with the winds lasting a few days, then light winds for a few days, then the process repeats itself. Traditionally, I read during the windier days and do general maintenance and cleaning on the light days. I’ve already read 3 books and have done a wide variety of chores and maintenance. If you plan on being at sea for a prolonged period of time you have to be willing and able to work on your boat underway and you have to make do with what you got. You should also bring as many books as humanly possible. We are pretty well stocked on this expedition.
We had some good rain yesterday, typically rain is a nuisance in the ocean but it?s a blessing on this expedition. I couldn?t raise enough money to buy an electric water maker (desalinator) as they cost between $5,000-$7000. I brought my old manual water maker that I used on my trip around the Americas along with two new membranes but pumping that thing is a huge pain in the butt. On my circumnavigation of the Americas I had to pump it over 450,000 times in order to get enough water to survive 309 days at sea. This time I had Bacons in Annapolis make two super deluxe water gutters that can be fixed to the bottom of the booms when it rains. Yesterday in mild to moderate rain I was able to collect 30 gallons in 3 hours. It would have taken 40 hours of non-stop pumping to get that much fresh water from my manual water maker.
During this phase of the expedition things are easy. Well as easy as things can be considering we are more or less sailing to the Azores without stopping at the Azores. We regularly send our weather observations to NOAA and we have deployed five of our special drifting sensors in the locations that NOAA had predetermined. During the day Nicole and I read and write. At night I cook us a meal and listen to Nicole play the piano. That?s right, we brought a full length electric keyboard along. It takes up an entire berth but takes very little power and listening to Nikki play it is soothing. In a week or so we will arrive at the eastern edge of the North Atlantic Gyre. Then its work, work, work. I’m enjoying the down time while I still have it.

One Response to “Tropical Storm Andrea (Day 14)”

  1. Chris Werner June 9, 2013 at 4:46 pm #

    Hi Matt,

    I enjoy reading your updates.
    Looks like your doing under 5 knots at the moment.
    Whats the best speed you’ve seen.
    Trust all is well.
    Say hi to Nicole.


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