We've had a major gear failure . The Hydrovane has torn itself almost completely off the back of the boat and theres no way I can fix it. This time instead of the bolts coming loose - which I had been checking for - they seem to have snapped. The mechanism has twisted round on its side at the back of the boat, Ive removed the rudder and the vane after heaving to and established theres no other damage. However it means I am going to have to steer myself from now on but the question is where to? Suwarrow and Niue are out, Tonga is 900 miles away and Raioatea 400 so I have decided to head for there and when I get close enough I shall use the motor. Its directly upwind of course so progress will be slow and probably wet. Theres about 100 litres of fuel so about 70 hours of motoring but into the wind maybe only 100 miles worth. The weather right now is fine and the wind about 20 knots but supposed to be easing in the next day or so. I shall email Bob and see what the prospects are. Quite a big southerly swell as well. If the weather settles that will be a big help.
So I have a rather challenging few days ahead, I will have to heave to for rest I expect.
I willl have very limited time for email etc so will just post a quick note to the Blog from time to time. I am not hurt or in any real danger and the boat is intact except for the bolt holes which I shall plug.
Present position is 15degrees 42 minutes south 157degrees 20 west.
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