Oct 98 Enews

Out of Bounds Enewsletter

We send out an Email newsletter about once every two weeks. Hereís the latest installment from Alex. If youíd like to be included in the future, send an Email to Jeff and heíll sign you up.  By the way, our list is not used for advertising purposes nor is it ever sold or passed on to Email marketers.

Hi Everyone,

When last you heard from us I was back in the states for a wedding while Bill and Suzie cruised some of the Seychelle islands. Since that time I have returned, Mick and Sally (our two new crew members) have joined us and the boat is back on the island of Mahe. Iíll give you a brief update of the last few days since Iíve been back, while Bill will fill you in on the rest.

When arrived back last week I flew a puddle jumper directly to the island of Praslin where the boat was anchored in Anse Lasio. After one day there, we made a quick stop on the island of La Digue before making the 30 mile trek back here to Mahe. At least a brief look at the other two islands was better than no look at all. That was over the weekend. Since then, we have been VERY busy preparing to depart for Mayotte.

Among the usual business of fueling, provisioning and general preparations we have had some major repairs to do. The first and most difficult was pulling off the bracket that holds the refrigeration compressor to the front of the engine. We had an entirely new bracket made up in Australia, only to have several of the welds crack. The second was to remove the high pressure pump for the watermaker. It appeared that one or more of the o-rings had failed and was causing a gusher the size of Old Faithful to spray salt water all over the front of the engine. And the last was to replace a seal for the engineís water pump.

In short, and respectively, the cracks in the bracket were fixed by a local welder, the seals were replaced in the high pressure pump and the leak fixed on the engineís water pump (we also replaced the impeller, just to be on the safe side). After everything was back together and ready to go, we needed to run the engine and watermaker to be sure that everything was working properly. As this is a boat, there had to be something that was not quite right. Much to our disappointment, the watermaker was still leaking. It was reduced to a fast drip, but any leakage at all is not acceptable.

We consider the ability to make fresh water important, but it is not vital to the operation of the boat. Many cruisers out here do not have that ability, but when youíre used to it, itís difficult to live without it. So we pulled the whole thing apart again, hoping to find something that we may have missed. It was especially important to me, as I was the one to replace the seals and wished to be exonerated of any wrongdoing. Much to my relief, it appears to actually be a defect in the casting of the bronze manifold. Bill had caught it before reassembly, but did not believe it to was the problem. Easy to do when you pull out a shredded o-ring that looks like the culprit. In any case, we will have to wait until either Mayotte or Richardís Bay for further repair. In the mean time weíre on water rations for the first time since our maiden passage from Newport to Bermuda. What... no daily showers?

After 4500 miles traveling due west we are finally heading south toward the Cape of Good Hope!! Though this passage to Mayotte is only 850 miles, it will be a bit bumpier than we like. Our route will take us on a SSW bearing and we expect to see the usual SE trades blowing 15-20 knots. That means weíll be beating to windward and we can only hope that the breeze stays under 20 knots and the seas calm. The good news is that the weather forecast is for 15-17 knots with a large high pressure system remaining over us at least through the end of the week.  This will only be a short 4-5 day trip, but because of our angle on the wind and the potential for unpredictable conditions, we put up our 90% genoa and the aft dodger. We will also probably, finally, rig up the third reefing point on our mainsail, just in case. The further south we go, the more difficult the sailing conditions will be. Especially the passage to Cape Town. More on that at a later date.

I have not had much of a chance to read up on Mayotte, but I can tell you that it is in the Comoros Islands and is equidistant from the northern tip of Madagascar and the coast of Mozambique; approximately 250 miles. Itís a French island, and if itís anything like Tahiti or the Seychelles, itíll be expensive. Another good reason to keep moving toward South Africa!!

Here is Sallyís first impression of the Seychelles and the cruising life aboard Out of Bounds. I think she wrote it before all hell broke loose in the engine compartment.

ďWell, what can I say? Our first week in paradise is what dreams are made of. The Seychelle Islands are a truly beautiful place to start an adventure and get acclimatized to living aboard OOB, more like living aboard a luxury hotel than a yacht! It hasnít been hard to get into the easy pace of life here; beaches like white powder, palm fringed coves and crystal blue water. Next paradise, Mayotte - stay tuned!Ē

Thank you all for sticking with us. We continue to receive lots of email that inspires us to continue on. Please keep them coming and donít forget to check the web site for daily updates at sea during the passage to Mayotte.

Alex for the crew of Out of Bounds,
Bill, Suzie, Micko, Sally and Lucy the dog.

Port Victoria, Mahe
The Seychelles
Lon 55 Deg 27.51 East
Lat 4 Deg 37.50 South

P. S. For those of you who are sick of seeing pictures of beautiful sunsets and stunning white sand beaches, hereís one of our water pump!

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