For the past three days, we’ve been hunkered down in our cyclone hole, hiding out the howling winds on the open ocean. We’ve spent most of our time trying to repair one of the engines, which we’ll need once we head out around the last headland that lies between us and Santo Domingo. In the aftermath of the storm, the seas may still be high and the currents may be running against us.
Most of the work is happening in the starboard pontoon, and it involves the engine’s “vital organs,” the inverter and the encoder. Martin, our on-board engineer, has been coordinating the repairs and using the satellite phone to talk things over with the Swiss-German technicians. We’ll have to check all of the electrical connections and do a whole range of tests.
We’ve been taking pretty long shifts inside the pontoon; between the heat and having to crawl on our hands and knees, it’s not much fun. But we’re taking turns helping Martin. The worst is when we have to run a test by turning the propeller shaft by hand. From the most senior to the most junior crew members, we’re all pitching in—myself, Annelore, and Pascal. While we’re working, Martin is on the upper deck with his computer to check that everything’s adjusted correctly.
Meanwhile, the Dominican coast guard sailors check on us on a regular basis, in their boat tossed by the stormy seas. They’re very concerned as to whether everything is going well on board and whether we need anything.
Tomorrow we’ll head out and try to get around the southern tip of the island, running against the wind and waves.
An English version will come as soon.