15 June. We have just arrived back at Deltaville having had a fabulous couple of weeks in the area. The trip up to see Phil and Lesley in Great Falls, just west of Washington DC, was a superb reunion and lots of fun. That then ran straight into getting BV sorted and stocked up for the Ocean Cruising Cub Chesapeake rally. It’s been non-stop socialising and I think we need a bit of a rest, however, we have our work cut out. BV will be hauled out on Monday for a week where we will tackle annual maintenance jobs. But, we also need to resolve an engine start problem that we have been carrying for the last week. When we try to start the engine from cold it is really sluggish and doesn’t want to spin up. So, over the last week, we’ve been checking all of the electrical connections and supply to the starter motor but have now concluded that the problem is inside the starter motor unit; either the solenoid or the motor itself. We have a new one inbound and hope to receive that on Monday. Once we have that we will either us it as a spare or fit it, depending upon what we find when we pull the old unit off. We also had a problem with the fresh water pump on our way down to Deltaville today. The pressure switch on the water pump failed and, masked by the engine noise, it proceeded to over-pressurised the system causing the pressure relief valve to operate and dump all of the contents of the aft water tank into the bilge! Once that we had found that there was a problem, whilst we motored along, we fitted the spare pump that we carry, and all seems well now. Irritating though, because we are normally very good at switching off the power to the pump when we are at sea to stop exactly that sort of loss of water. Looks like our annual maintenance haul out is happening at just the right time – it’ll be busy though!This map is only updated when we get internet access and so it can be several days old. When we are sailing on a long offshore passage our primary communications will be by HF radio. Using that we are able to let you know the odd position report or two when we feed back meteorological conditions. Under this arrangement, as payback for reporting the actual weather conditions, our position will be displayed at this website. We will try to report reasonably frequently when we are sailing longer distances but it's not a perfect system and so if we don't get reports in then it is definitely not a sign that we are in trouble. You might also see the locations plotted as being on dry land. That's because the latitude and longitude we can submit on this system are only in degrees and minutes - we should be within a mile of the flag on googlemaps at the time of the report. [28 Jan 18 update: link updated to show our track using oceantracking.com]
Another website which may be of interest can be found here. On the 'Live Map', it shows the position of most of the world's shipping which is a little disconcerting when you see how busy some of the shipping lanes are that we are going to be sailing through. When our AIS is on it transmits our position and that too will be shown on the website's map; all very Orwellian! If we're sailing you can find our location on the map using the 'Ships Map', 'Go to Vessel' search box on the top left hand side of the page. If we are in port or out of range you can find a list of the ports Blue Velvet has recently visited (with arrival and departure times) using the search box in the top right hand corner.