Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Something's Rong with the Rudder

The last several days high winds caused us to hunker down.  It gave me a chance to finish installing our Automatic Identification System (AIS).  The AIS broadcasts our boat name, speed, heading, and other info.  It also recieves this info from other boats, projects their path, and warns of a close approach.  We've been able to receive AIS but we weren't transmitting ourselves.  We were surprised how many cruisers have a transmitting AIS.  We were also surprised at how useful the system can be.  At this anchorage there are about a dozen boats spread across a half mile.  A glance at the AIS on our tablet tells us who arrived or departed.  Last night a boat lost power coming through the reef entrance.  Four or five of us dashed across the atoll to stand by in case they needed aid.   Darkness fell right in the middle of the whole operation.  AIS provided a way of identifying each other and ensuring everyone made it back to the anchorage.  
The last two nights the sun has set long before moonrise.  The night sky is stunning. I don't think I have ever seen the Milky Way so clearly.  Upon arrival here I dove down to check the anchor and look over the bottom of the boat.  I always grab each rudder and give it a shake to check for play.  As I approached the starboard rudder I could see something was wrong.  The outer shell of the rudder had split in half, exposing the internal components.  Tomorrow I'm going to assess the condition of the rudder and take photos.  We are lucky to be anchored right next to an Australian boat builder who's offered to help with repairs.

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