With the prospect of the wind increasing and already under sail with a thankfully silent engine, it seemed prudent to decant the diesel stowed in containers on the aft deck into the tanks while we still can. This is a mercifully simple job and requires no pouring as they are syphoned from their recumbent position so no heroics or spillage. We have a dedicated length of hose which is of the wired type to maintain the open bore and long enough to reach either tank filler from any position on the aft deck. The end which is inserted into the diesel container has a length of stainless rod cable tied to it to keep it straight to ensure that it ‘picks up’ from the lowest point of the container; the other end is inserted into the tank filler. A short length of pipe is placed at the neck of the container alongside the syphon tube and a rough seal is made around both pipes and the neck with a piece of rag. While holding the rag and neck to maintain the seal, blowing into this short tube pressurises the container and forces the diesel out through the syphon tube starting the flow which is then naturally maintained until the container is empty. When the operation is complete and all the diesel dregs are run out into the tank, both ends are stopped with wooden bungs to retain any residual diesel and smell inside the tube and the ends are washed before stowing pending the next exercise. All very simple, efficient and clean.

So, with the water maker switched off having completed the top up exercise and with nearly full diesel tanks, at the half way point, we are in good shape, particularly as the forecast is to give us stronger winds from a favourable direction. It is just a shame that the weather continues to be cold, overcast and drizzly.

The spray hood is clearly in the autumn of its life as the stitching keeps ‘letting go’ and it is almost a daily job to re-stitch another section to try to keep it together and doing its job. This is particularly important as the stronger winds mean a livelier sea and we are currently taking a few ‘over the top’.

Fed up with being thrown around the ‘Emperor sized bed’ (a quote from Stephen and Bob) and having to sleep with arms and legs in a starfish formation, I have shipped the spare Yankee sail in its bag as a sleeping companion. Although colder and harder than I am used to back home, it makes a very welcome bedfellow!