Friday, December 30, 2011

Sophia's Crew Carries On Despite Wind Vane Failure

As the spot track indicates Sophia is now sailing 260 degrees (WSW) which is not toward the Cape Verdes. The crew assessed the breakage of the wind vane (the mechanical self steering equipment see photo below) ,the 3 day very rough beat back to the Cape Verdes and have decided to carry on for St Lucia.
They are hand steering, two people on shift for six hours. Just talked with Chris, they are not getting too tired and Sophia is still making 8 knots. The 12-15 ft Northwesterly swells from the North Atlantic storm that were expected to arrive today and make the sea state worse have not materialized. The weather forecast looks like they will be in more of the same (25+ kts and 9-12 seas from the ENE) for the next 2-3 days.

Click Here to check weather in the Atlantic where Sophia is currently sailing

Monitor Wind Vane Failure: The failure of Sophia's wind vane occurred at the weld that holds the water vane to the hinge (bottom of photo). The crew were able to recover the water vane because it was secured by the line used to raise it when not in use. Sophia and her crew still have 2000 miles to go to St Lucia and fixing this failure at sea will be very difficult. Any ideas out there?

Sophia Turns Back to Cape Verde

We (the land based crew) just received word from the Sophianauts via the satellite phone that they are heading to the Cape Verde Islands. The windvane self-steering has received damaged and is inoperable. Sophia is presently about 350 miles N/NW of the Cape Verdes, so will alter course to land there and repair the windvane. The winds are currently around 25 knots with 9-12 foot seas, so it will be a tiring 3+ days steering by hand to get to the Cape Verdes. Certainly a good decision, rather than continuing on 2000 miles without an operable windvane.

Despite this breakage, the crew is in good spirits with sunny skies and temperatures in the low 70s.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Sophia Leaves The Canaries

As of 4:30 am PST Sophia disembarked on her longest crossing to date from Las Palmas to Saint Lucia. The weather report was for 10-15 knots from the Northeast. The crew - Joan, Jeff, Phil, and Chris. Track them on Spot.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Madeira to the Canaries

Sophia has set out again on her way to the Canaries, this time with Phil as skipper and Jeffrey and Christine as crew. The Three Amigos! They headed out on Friday (12/16) and arrived in Las Palmas on Sunday (12/18). It was a quick crossing -- just under 48 hours -- and according to Christine the first 30 hours were quite rough.

Joan joined the other Sophianauts on Tuesday in the Canaries, and now they are the Four Musketeers! They are preparing to head out for St. Lucia in the Caribbean in a couple days. You can watch their progress -- nearly 3000 miles of ocean to cross -- on the "Follow our breadcrumb trail" link on the left.