Song of the Whale - Queen’s Ransom’s Caribbean crossing in support of whales
Queen’s Ransom III is a Najad 520 from Gosport, UK, crossing the Caribbean Sea in 2010
arrival: port: departure:
 Philipsburg, St. Maarten, Netherland's Antilles 19/05/2010
22/05/2010 Oranjestad, Aruba 24/05/2010
26/05/2010 Cartagena, Colombia 28/05/2010
30/05/2010 Colon, Panama 
crew: Ulric Almqvist (S), Sven Edelberg (S), Hans Piest (NL) 
these webpages are modified versions of the corresponding pages of Queen's Ransom III's original BLOG
found at:
Hans ESE5
05/21/2010, Halfway St. Maarten to Aruba

Hans and Ulric on the foredeck preparing the gennaker for hoist

Friday 21 May

Hi there, he's back again, alive and kicking (at least for this moment). It is 6 AM and in the cabin it is 29 centigrade ... pfffh. Four days ago I left Germany in 12 C. Outside, in the cockpit, it is a bit fresher. My journey to St. Maarten was not without poroblems: 4 hrs delay in London made me have to stay over at Bridgetown, Barbados. The next morning (18 May) my flight was delayed with more than one hour. At St. Maarten I had some problems with the immigration, because I had a oneway ticket only and could not prove that I would leave the island again. I forgot to take the address of the marina with me ... After one hour I managed to access my mailbox at work in Duisburg and find the necessary information. I met SVen and Ulric at QRIII, with whom I had an excellent dinner in some french bistro/restaurant named L'Escargot; St. Maarten is about 65% french territory therefore french cuisine is not uncommon here. Now we are on our 2nd day of sailing. The sun is rising. The wind has decreased from the earlier 25 kn to below 20 kn and with that our speed dropped by 1 - 3 knots. If the wind stays like this we will hoist the gennaker today and pick up some more speed.

This morning Ulric the generator wasn't working fine, it was running at too low speed. Our backup system for making electricity and charging the batteries, the main ship's diesel, also wasn't able to load the batteries. Therefore we had to shut off all the elctricity. While Sven was handsteering the vessel Ulric and I were looking at her electricity generator. The problem was a broken screw. This screw is driven in and out of a socket to open and close the throttle thus, to let the generator run at different speed. It is part of a feedback loop to optimize the generator's performance. We temporarily solved the problem by taping (duct tape) the regulator in a fixed position so that the generator runs at the same, but at least sufficient speed to charge our batteries. Besides we found a small leak in one of the fuel lines. To repair this is not possible by ourselves while sailing. Bleeding the engine is too difficult so that we won't take the riskc of empty fuel lines. This is a job for a profi in the weekend in Aruba.

After solving the problemsm with the generator we hoisted the gennaker, which gave us some 1 - 2 knots increase of speed at the cost of altering our cours slightly off Aruba. That we will try to recover in the night when we generally don't sail under gennaker. Yesterday and the day before yesterday I felt a bit seasick, particularly in the evening. I am not completely adapted to the change in temperature, the timeshift between Europe and the Caribbean, and the motion of Queenie, rocking and rolling as ever. Keep eating and keep drinking is the solution. Yesterday Sven prepared a lunch of melon with meat, tomatoes, and salad, which was light and very delicious. In the evening I fried chicken to make ajam pangan. Which was good also, and went well with rice and cucumber/tomato salad. As we go now we will be able to reach Aruba sometime Saturday May 22nd.

\ /
- H P -
/ \