Well, it didn’t take long for problems to arise. Within an hour, the auto pilot plays funny games. By early morning, it stops completely and we continue to route handsteering manually. Seabelle is well balanced and she sails beautifully on her own, but the tidal current of the English channel pushes us sideways.
As the wind dies, we decide to anchor off Peartree point, between Torquay and Plymouth, until the wind picks up again. It is a lovely spot and we enjoy lunch with a 360 degree view under the protection of our new aluminium hard dodger. After a quick catch up on sleep, I set out to prepare a few meals in advance while Calin takes a look at the auto pilot. He notices a couple of slightly possibly corroded wires and hopefully replacing the connectors of the Raymarine drive should solve the issue. We set out again after sunset, wanting to cover as much distance as possible while the weather is pleasant and the wind in our favour.
The GPS is now giving us grief, losing complete connection for no particular reason, forcing us to reboot the computer to regain position. We’ve identified the issue and await instructions to repair. In the meantime, the sailing is idyllic. The light breeze from behind pushes us gently forward. The starry night turns into a beautiful sunny day. Despite the technological issues, we couldn’t have hoped for a better start.