We’re in Fortaleza. For repairs. The hydraulic ram on the autopilot has been leaking fluid, and finally failed yesterday afternoon. As we don’t have enough crew to hand-steer all the way to Buenos Aires, we had to stop and try to fix it. It’s a particularly frustrating failure, as the surveyor that checked out the boat a month before our departure noted some fluid in the area, and said the seals should be replaced. A few weeks later, the good folks at the Moorings said they had checked everything out, and it was all good- no leaks and no problems. Yeah, right. I suppose I could take the boat back to the Virgin Islands and make them fix it, but that’s not too realistic. So it will be interesting to see what they have to say for themselves, as they have a lot of reputation riding on this.
Anyway, we arranged a local guy to hunt down the seals we need, and are currently waiting for his return, hopefully within an hour or two.
If all went well, we could theoretically have things fixed and put back together this evening, and be back on our way. Although we may choose a quiet night at rest, too.
If he is unable to get what we need today, things may stretch into next week, and then all of our plans will get altered, as July is getting shorter every day. Steve and Marianne are enjoying a nice buffet lunch in the 5-star hotel we are parked in front of, while I repair some previously-shoddily-repaired wiring to the windlass that failed.
Keep your fingers crossed for us, and I’ll let you know what happens…
03.43S 38.31W 2568nm gone, 2604nm to go. 3pm 7/15