Sir Robin heads for the equator, pliers in hand

Sir Robin Knox-Johnston should cross the equator today on his Open 60, Saga Insurance, as he continues in the Velux 5 Oceans solo , two-stop race around the world.

 “A mixed day.  I thought we had cracked the auto pilot problem for almost two hours.  I followed instructions  and traced a couple of wires right through the boat, disconnected one of them and the port unit fired up.   I re-wired its ram and set it to work.  Alas 1 hour 40 minutes later it repeated its previous behaviour and had to be switched off.     I don’t understand why it can be OK one minute and then just lose it. 
Same old weather, almost calm interspersed by heavy squalls.  A particularly vicious one created a complete white-out with driving rain.  Not sure what speed it reached as I was dropping the mainsail when it peaked.   It lasted an hour before the wind speed dropped below 25 knots and things became more orderly.    When Lady luck frowns she can be really foul! 
Still the splinted battens survived the kafuffle, which is good news.  
After the 3rd of these heavy squalls the wind did not die away, it stayed at Force 4, so hoping this just might be a new wind I put up a bit more sail and we have been romping SSW.  At this rate we will cross the equator around noon. ”