Thursday, September 3, 2009

Hand steering in a gale

Hand-Steering in a Gale

Perhaps the greatest challenge on this boat is hand-steering in a gale with the wind and waves on the quarter. This means that the wind is blowing at a 20-50 degree angle to the stern on one side. Each wave that comes throws the stern violently to one side, then once it's past, the stern slides back to its original position. Usually the Monitor self-steering gear would keep the stern's motion in check, but the Monitor had failed some hours before. Therefore we had to hand-steer, which is the most stressful job you can find on a boat. We had to anticipate the stern's motion before the wave hit, and move the wheel to compensate. It was no fun at all. I had to literally wrestle the wheel to either side because of the resistance that the water exerted on the rudder. Within minutes, I was exhausted. Hopefully the Monitor will be fixed soon, and we will never have to go through that again.

-- By Orion

Eds Note: The Monitor was successfully repaired while at anchor in Cadiz Bay, where Juno hid from ANOTHER gale that blowing through the Strait of Gibraltar.
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