I began typing at the end of last post, “see Harmon’s blog for pictures”, when I heard a groan from below. “My laptop just died,” Harmon announced. His completed post, finger hovering above the “publish” key, vanished as the screen turned to snow. Confoundingly, he doesn’t blame the water, of which there is a quantity just beyond the gunwale and plenty sloshing about below. “It was just old.”
My strategy for a night of moderate winds from every direction–another low was to pass over our heads between midnight and 4am– was to put out a single headsail, set Mo on an autopilot course straight for the Kodiak entrance, and adjust sail as the wind clocked. It would be a slow but easy night for two tired crew.
We took in the main; I set the genoa; Harmon switched on the autopilot; I pressed the red button. Alarm. “Rudder sensor failure” flashed on the screen. Thrice more we tried. Same result.
So add laptop and autopilot to the butcher’s bill. In the case of the latter, we had taken pains to cap the dorade vents over the main deck, but I had simply forgotten to cap the two aft dorades over the aft deck. The rudder sensor is right below the port of these.
Monte (Monitor windvane) performed admirably as we made a wobbly bee line for Kodiak. Winds did not clock but backed and veered in a way that kept the sail full, and at dawn, when it died away, a dark mass of island lay before us floating over fog.
We motored the last twenty miles, making St Paul’s dock at about noon.
Twenty-one days; 2400 miles by a novel and sure to be much copied route to the north.