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31 May 2005 - Day 2 at Sea

At 8pm today there was heavy mist and fog making it hard to see more than 1 or 2 miles. I switched on the navigation light and used the foghorn to warn others about my position – two long blows and tow short ones. I cannot hear another boat approaching so need them to hear me! I was aware that my radar uses a lot of power so switched on the engine to build it up. While sailing past the Scilly Isles I realised my battery was low because the auto helm switched off. The auto helm is self steering equipment that allows me to set a direction for the Quest II and go and do something else instead of steering all the time, for example sleep! Without it I would need to steer all the way to the USA. Immediately after this my satellite navigation system instructed me to shut it down, as it had no power. I rushed to switch on the engine, which would charge my battery, but realise batter too low to soon realised that unfortunatley the battery was too low to start it. After a second attempt which failed I knew that there was no to get it started. I decided that this must be an alternator problem. It was serious as it meant that I would not be able to communicate via email to let everyone know about my position and safety and also sail to the USA because I would have no working navigation equipment! “Bloody Hell” I thought… “What can I do? I decided to check the chart to see if it was possible to sail to Cork Harbour in Ireland to fix the alternator. This would be an extra journey of around 100 miles.

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