Yesterday was a great sail. The wind was perfect for a nice beam reach and Wandering Dolphin was moving at 6.5 to 7 kts with only a little bit of jib, the full stays'l, and a double reefed main in 20 knots of wind. The kids were starting to get in the groove of things and asking for lunch and Charlie the dog was hiding somewhere below.
Then the Auto Pilot stopped working... I reset it and it worked for a while... then it stopped working again. We were at the point where we could choose either St Croix by dark or back to St Thomas by dark, we turned around and are anchored again in Honeymoon Bay.
I think the gear failures are my LEAST favorite part of "Livin' The Dream." I am still very discouraged. We had a beautiful window south and may not get another one at this time of year that will be safe enough for me to sail with just my kids.
So why did I turn around? We sailed all last year from here to Trinidad and back without an auto pilot but this time I was sailing with just EmilyAnne and the little boys. I couldn't have safely done that hand steering the whole trip.
So what is next? I have no idea. I am hoping that the problem is simply a callibration issue with our new/used control head and the auto pilot... if it's not I guess we will be discussing new auto pilots in a future blog.
Meanwhile, we are happy to be with Rebecca. At least in turning around I was turning back toward her and if we have to stay here for the hurricane season like ducks in a pond wiating for hunters to shoot us, we are all together for the shoot out.