Friday, February 11, 2011
2011 02 11-½ way mark, Leaky Hatches, Sat Phone Charging by Angela
Via Sat Phone to Deb
Big Blue is half way to Barbados. They are continuing to move at a great pace, covering nearly 90 miles each day. At this rate, they should be in Barbados by March 1st.
Angela has successfully built an external charger for her Satellite phone batteries. The Iridium FAQ guys were instrumental in the success. They were able to send me info on the batteries and the phone so Angela could build a charger that works. They tried stuff out at their shop. They took pictures of the set up and drawings of the battery with a key to the connectors. Their mock up called for wires to be taped to the connectors at the bottom of the phone. It worked but the taped wire became separated from the connectors because of the constant movement of the boat. Angela was able to make a charger the battery was able to slide into and make connection with the contacts. She will keep them on the charger for 2 hours then take them off after her rowing shift. This means starting tomorrow, I can begin sending the 160 character messages from family, friends and the Guestbook to the boat again.
The deck hatches have been leaking. Steve has made gaskets/seals for the hatches out of Ziploc bags. He also has been pumping the water out of the deck hatches. They have one trash hatch, but it is getting full. Angela says that hatch is very smelly. They don’t throw anything overboard on purpose, as they want to be kind to the ocean. That being said, people continue to lose things overboard because some of the crew have difficulty remembering to tether things to the boat. Luckily, the crew is remembering to clip themselves to the boat. The Dakine coiled paddleboard leashes are working great when the seas are calm.
Thursday, February 10, 2011
2011 02 10—Angela Reports In
Via Sat Phone to Deb
Today’s fun on the boat….African Day. Louise gave Angela something (ya know, you don’t always get clear details on the Sat Phone) and Angela made a hat that looked tribal. She matched that up with her tech towel and paraded around the boat. Not to be outdone, Ryan decided that he would participate in African Day by parading around in a loincloth. Hum….I guess after being out on the ocean for 25 days they are starved for entertainment. The other entertainment people have engaged in is writing on the boat with markers and now Big Blue looks like a graffiti canvas.
Angela says everyone has about 20 days of snack packs left and feels they will have plenty of food to make it to Barbados. Angela has worked on the solar water boiler and has gotten it to work again. Apparently, a blockage was not letting the full amount of water release from the boiler. Angela was able to clear the blockage and fix the pump and it is providing water for rehydrating meals. The solar water boiler allows them to heat water without using the precious little stove fuel they have left. She has also built a solar oven out of a dry bag, and an emergency blanket. This allows her to keep the meals warm whilst waiting for the other meals to cook. The solar boiler only makes enough water to rehydrate two meals at a time. Angela’s other project is the external Sat Phone battery charger which is still in progress. I am working with Iridium to get diagrams of their products give to Angela. We are getting close and hopefully we will be able to resume sending messages to the boat.
They have had some huge waves hitting the boat from the back. At one point Big Blue was rolling along at 13 knots. There is some water in the cabin, but heck…13knots, isn’t it worth it. She expects the winds to change to easterlies, which will push the boat straight west. Currently they are moving southwest. They are looking forward to the easterlies and getting to Barbados. Aleksa tried to give me her drink order, but couldn’t hear it due to the Sat phone. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it……
Angela says people are doing well for the most part. There is humor and camaraderie on the boat. All of them are ready to be sipping cocktails in Barbados.
Big Blue should hit the half way point tomorrow……..ETA estimate 3/1 /11(averaging 85 mile/day)-3/10/11 (averaging 60 miles/day).
I thought I had been checking Margaret's Blog everyday, but apparently not since this is two days old now. Sorry folks.
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
by The Fabulous Rachel Smith
Angela Madsen, Rachel Smith & Ryan Moeller at the start of the 2010 Row Around Great Britain
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
Big Blue would like give 3 cheers for Hallin Marine who completed their Atlantic Crossing in Record Time. And 3 more cheers for Sara G who completed their Atlantic Crossing about 15 hours after Hallin Marine and broke Hallin' Marine's record.
Sara G is the new World Record Holder for the E-W Atlantic Ocean Crossing!
Thanks to the Ocean Rowing Society for their fabulous coverage. ORS has a wealth of information on their site. They have webcam from Port St Charles Marina, Barbados linked to their site. You can see both Sara G and Hallin Marine boats at the dock. It looks like a wonderful facility. I can't wait to watch our own Big Blue come in about 3 weeks from now.