Sailing schoolboy 10 days out of Cape Town

Sailing schoolboy Mike Perham is heading north of the lonely Kerguelen Islands as he continues east 10 days out of Cape Town. His Open 50 has given him more problems this time with the ballast pump which the plucky 16-year-old has managed to fix.

He has been sailing in high pressure with low boat speeds and also in a south-easterly direction to avoid a storm. His latest missive reads:

‘Last night I went to pump the ballast over from the middle to aft tank and after about 10seconds there was an ear-piercing shriek from the pump. After having a look I couldn’t see anything out of place, so decided to leave further investigation until this morning, as it had gotten dark.

I took the pump off the main engine and it’s mountings and after a good inspection I was pleased to see that the clutch had come loose, which is quite simple to put right. With a bit of tinkering here and there and some wedges to help me tighten it up I had it mounted and back working in no time. Job well done, I thought, and had a good portion of porridge with sultanas to celebrate.

It’s been a little warmer today, a welcome change! One thing I’ve noticed about being down here is just how effective my solar panels have become. There’s two mounted either side of the Fleet 77 and this afternoon they were putting out a good 6-7amps. They’re working better in these cold climates than they were in the tropics, much to my surprise. I always try and conserve power when I can and also run the really power hungry things like my water maker only when the generator is on.

Currently I’m on port gybe and are heading off to my waypoint just north of the Crozet islands. I’ve given them a fair bit of space as there is quite a large area of shallows surrounding them – meaning rough seas.’

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