All Shook Down

Newport sucks! It’s not that Newport’s a particularly bad American city or anything, it’s just that there are so many opportunities for people like Dena and I (James) in Newport that it tends to suck… me… in. That sucks ‘cuz we’re not doing that right now. We have an ocean to cross and an ever narrower weather window to get ‘er done. We’d expected to be gone by now but storms have been interrupting our plans. Anyway… The newly rebuilt sailing rig performed flawlessly on the broad reach from Wickford to the gap between Connanicut and Prudence Island, right down to having a safe and pleasurable amount of weather helm, but those are truly ideal circumstances in every sense. Once we turned upwind, the lee helm we’ve had too much of returned and we had a hard time getting through a tack. We realized that we really had changed the dynamic of the sailing vessel with ballast and that was a bit disconcerting. The fact is we added a structure on the back of the boat, plus we’ve never had this boat as loaded down as we do now that we are ready for an ocean crossing. So we got to move all our shit around in Newport. We’ll fix the remaining helm balance issue with the fine-tuning of the rig. I did an early morning diagnostic on the solar array in Bristol (a complete loss of a visit, since we weren’t able to provision after all even though we’d paid for a mooring) and the news was all bad. For some reason we weren’t making any power on the starboard (sun-facing) solar panel. The bluetooth diagnostic gave us all kinds on conflicting information, so we had to pull everything apart step-by-step. It seemed like the solar controller had gone[…]

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