Saturday, February 14, 2009

Henry is Steering

Most of Dave's spare time in the last couple of days has been focused on getting our Monitor Wind Vane set up to steer Soggy Paws.

Though "Janet", our CPT autopilot, has been doing a rock solid job at the cost of only a couple of amps, the long term plan has always been to have the Monitor steer on long passages with steady winds.

We finally got the Monitor all rigged up (rudder on, windvane on, steering lines and blocks rigged to the steering wheel), engaged it, and it is steering so effortlessly that we looked at each other and said "Is it working?" But Janet is definitely disengaged, and we are still on course after 10 minutes. When you have your sails properly balanced, the Monitor makes such tiny corrections that it's hard to see it working.

Everyone's autopilot MUST be named, as it is such an essential part of the crew. We have named our Monitor "Henry", in honor of Dave's ex-Father-in-Law, Henry Mikelait, who has been avidly following our progress on the internet. Henry Mikelait's own travels around the world have been inspiring Dave for years. Now it's our turn to travel, and we'll have the spirit of Henry Mikelait helping us around the world.

Dave has a little bit of info on our Monitor wind vane and CPT autopilot setups posted on the web at I am sure more will be forthcoming... including new pictures of Henry in action.
At 2/13/2009 8:37 PM (utc) our position was 01°53.44'N 084°00.43'W

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