You might think that we are a crew of 5, but actually we are 6. The
hardest-working member of the crew is Wendy, our Windpilot
self-steering mechanism. She needed a bit of training to start with,
but from about day 2 onwards she steered the boat for at least 80% of
the time, coping with big seas and strong winds with barely a
complaint in 2500Nm. Yesterday, however, she suffered an injury that
has put her off-duty until St Lucia.
For a few days nows, we've been passing lumps of seaweed. Yesterday,
the lumps became more and more common until we were regularly
ploughing through fields of the stuff. Poor Wendy, innocently waving
her rudder around at anything upto 10-11 knots must have hit one (or
more) of these clumps. A sacrificial shear pin broke as designed
saving major damage, but a push-rod has become bent requiring some
minor land-based surgery. So, it's hand-steering and autopilot for
the last couple of days of the trip.