We had been pumping the bilge every 3 days and were shocked to find 3-4 gallons of water sloshing under the engine. That was a lot more than would be accounted for by the stuffing box being loose, so we set out to investigate. Chris was persuaded to take an anti-nauseant pill since he would have to crawl into the cockpit locker to look at the exhaust system to see if water was backing up through the muffler, as it had done in the boat's past history, and also check the rudder post. With the motion of the boat, it was not going to be fun.
We emptied the cockpit locker, storing all the gear ( anchor, chains, fenders etc. ) in the cockpit and cabin. Chris disappeared below with a flash light. He found the the rudder stuffing box to be loose and the most likely culprit. It was tightened up and when we checked the water level today ( day 11 ), there was a lot less in the bilge, so that's good news.
The sea state was miserable all day long, with 10 foot swells rolling in from the northwest and north. Earlier on, the boom had come crashing down on my head as we put in a 3rd reef in the main in winds up to 20 Knots. I nearly lost my temper as I attempted to cook rice pilaf while being tossed around in the galley. This motion brings out the worst in sailors.
We comforted ourselves by watching an afternoon matinee of "The Borgias". It was a popular series in England and I understood why. The period drama is all about greed, murder, sex and religious scandal - what's not to like?
In the evening we discovered another problem. The fridge was running continuously and draining the batteries. We had turned up the thermostat because after discovering a bit of mould in the open yogurt. But now the fridge had gone berserk and our solar cells would not be able to keep up to demand. We turned down the thermostat and ran the engine to check the muffler and recharge the batteries for the time being. At night we switched it off to defrost and the thermostat is still not working today, so we shall have to run the fridge manually daily. Although we lived without refrigeration for the last 3 years in Mexico, we were really looking forward to eating fresh foods a little longer on this voyage.
On the plus side, we achieved 143 nautical miles in the previous 24 hours, 134 of those in the right direction. Our position at 1430 Zulu was 11 45 N and 122 03 W. We also celebrated the 1000nm mark with a sip of Mexican brandy.