Received new coordinates for Kerguelen ice gate.
Last night had a development. Normally, at 12+ knots, we have a low hum in the keel. At about midnight, suddenly there was a new sound, a very high pitched vibration, very loud, coming also from the keel. Rapid inspection of bulkheads, plus the two huge stainless steel pieces that hold the keel hinge, plus inspection inside the keel compartment, both visual and manual, feeling for cracks, or anything unusual, showed nothing. The keel could cant normally. It was not an electric sound from the motor.
We have 2 half-conical pieces outside the hull which are fairings for the water flow past the hinge of the keel. In the past, we have had a corner, or piece, or nick of one of these come off, and I’m pretty sure that that is what our new sound was. I spoke by satcom w/Brian Harris in Maine, who had taken apart the keel in the 2007 refit. We went through all the options, and he concurred, must be the fairing. In fact, several days before the start, the diver David in LSDO had shown me (in my first dive ever!) a small crack in both the forward and aft fairings, about 1 cm long, and below the joint to the hull. Again, the fairings are not structural. The sound was loud and insistent last night. This morning, the sound was different, not so loud, different pitch, mostly water sound, not the sound of something vibrating, so likely a piece of the fairing has come off. Another complete inspection this morning showed nothing unusual in the structural parts, at least what can be seen.
So I think we’re ok, we’ve just lost part of a fairing. In the process, I did get out the chart to see if pulling into the lee of one of the Tristan de Cunha group of islands might permit a swim and inspection underneath the boat. Inaccessible Island has a protection from the NW. But I don’t think we’ll do that, as I think we know what has happened.