Well, we can add the autopilot to the list of items that need replacing on Pelican. Sometime this afternoon, our Autohelm 4000 Wheel Pilot died. Yes, it really did die. It has nothing to do with the fact that I'm looking for an excuse to buy the new Raymarine ST70/X30 autopilot combo. What would a guy want with gadgets, anyway??
We tried sailing again earlier when I went on watch. Unfortunately, as is usual on a delivery trip, the wind was on our nose, so we're motorsailing with the main up to Cape May. We're still looking at an arrival of around midnight. The seas calmed down quite a bit for a while, but now they're building again. The weather report says the winds will die down some, and the waves should too, so I'm expecting gale force winds and waves the size of the Empire State Building!
Dinner tonight was sirloin tips in Heinz gravy over rice, served hot. I've never had anything quite so good! When you're hungry and cold, hot food is incredible. Did I mention that a cold front swung over us today? Temperatures are dropping into the upper 30's tonight, and they are well on their way right now. We're all bundled up but the wind likes to bite at open skin. We knew it would be this way. We're lucky it waited until now.
Our current perfect itinerary has us arriving at Annapolis around midnight on Tuesday morning. I'm guessing things will be somewhere between perfect and less than perfect. The engine is still acting a bit weird with random RPM drops. We looked for water in the filters and didn't see anything, so we're not sure what's going on. It's another one for the list of items to get checked out in Annapolis.
My bed is soaking wet again tonight, even after I used one of God's gifts to men - ducktape - to try to seal off all the openings. We took some rather massive waves over the bow today. So much so, that even some of the caulking on our teak decks is pulling out. I'm guessing that if caulking is coming out, even ducktape might not hold up. It's OK though - since we're going "two people on, two people off" for watch changes, that frees up a couple of bunks so I can sleep somewhere dry.
On that note, I'm signing off for the moment to get a few minutes of shuteye before we get to Cape May. I'm back on again at midnight, and hopefully I won't have any more stories to share with you between now and then.