We are about 800 miles from St Helena (S 23 degrees 23 minutes, E 4 degrees 11 minutes). The wind came up today and we were zooming along for a while, but now it’s easing again on a bumpy sea.
It’s also pretty squeaky at the moment. The steering system uses stainless cables that connect the two steering wheels – one in the cockpit and one in the pilothouse – to a large disk (a “quadrant”) in each engine room, attached to each rudder. As the cables go from the steering wheels to the engine room, they pass over two small rollers, which are underneath the pilothouse. The rollers need lubrication – they are not supposed to squeak (the material they are made of is supposed to be “self lubricating”), but they are. It sounds like someone protesting with every tiny turn of the wheel, and the wheel turns every second.
Of course, Murphy’s Law – these rollers are unreachable unless you get into the dinghy and go underneath the wing deck (the part of the boat between the hulls). Can’t do that at sea, not unless it is fully calm, including waves. Hopefully we will be able to do that while we visit St. Helena.