Day 3, Atlantic Crossing, and another Autopilot Glitch

At 7:09AM the trip log was at 254 miles, day’s run of 132 miles. We made 70nm in the last 12 hours, and we have 1,874 miles to go to Martinique. The wind is still 8 to 12 knots from the NE with a NE swell at 1.5 to 2.0m.

A quiet night for all only marred by the autopilot disengaging again around 6AM, again with the “motor stalled” error message. As before, we were able to re-engage the autopilot, this time just 10 minutes later. As conditions at the time were very light, with virtually no load on the autopilot, this eliminates the possibility that the fault is caused by excessive rudder force (we can literally hand steer with one finger). Suspicion is now focussed on the autopilot drive motor, made by Kenlowe in the U.K., part no KLM2189.

By the end of the day the log was at 320 miles, 1,810 miles to go. Made 65 miles in 12 hours since 7AM.

Weather continues fair with a steady 12 to 15 knots and 1.5m seas from behind. Great sailing weather! Forecast is still good.

The Autopilot disengaged again at 4PM. While it is an unnerving trend, everyone is beginning to accept it as the new normal and is now quite happy to take the wheel, hit standby and then re-engage auto a few minutes later. As we do not have the mainsail up there is no real risk involved in a minor deviation from our dead downwind heading for a brief period while we take over from “Brittany Steers”.

I spent a few hours today working on my instrument display prototypes, fine tuning the display brightness, specifically “dark mode”, which is a little too bright on a pitch black night. Looking forward to also adding more data pages, especially a wind instrument.