Wednesday, June 14, 2017 Man ‘o War to Allans-Pensacola Cay
Destination Allans-Pensacola Cay. Apparently, these used to be two islands that were joined by a hurricane at some point and they are our last stop in the Bahamas before heading back to U.S. This was a 25- mile sail and started out great with winds around 10 knots and the boat exceeding the winds at 11 knots occasionally. We were a happy crew until it happened. THE AUTOPILOT WENT OUT!! In fact, both autopilots went out. When we ordered the boat, we specifically asked for a redundant system so we would not have to worry about losing autopilot. It is definitely NOT GOOD when autopilot quits working– it means long, tedious hours spent manually at the helm – not a happy prospect when you are looking at sailing 350 miles /48 hours to the U.S. the next day. We spent 4 hours taking turns at the helm today, while Rowland tried to valiantly to troubleshoot the issue. Before he was done, he had been under every bed and in every other mechanical and bilge locker of the boat, looking at all the myriad electronic possibilities, all the while we were underway. Fortunately, for us, Chris Baillet, the HH skipper who helped commission the boat had ‘friended’ me that day on Facebook. Voila, we at least could contact Chris, who is in Portugal, via messenger (God bless messenger) and get his input. We contacted Cay electronics, the original installer, at Chris’ suggestion, and got some pointers there. At the end, Rowland did indeed get the system operational though he wasn’t sure exactly what he did, other than he tapped some component lightly with a hammer and it worked. As Chris says, ‘when all else fails, get a bigger hammer’. Another issue to have checked out while in Savannah. Hooray for Rowland, we all slept better.