First day of our journey did not go quite as well as planned. We had about 10-14 m/s headwind and after about three hours of beating we discovered that cabin floor was wet. Antti started to look for the cause and found out that rudder shaft stuffing box was leaking. It was not much but still enough so that quick decision was made to head for a nearby harbour where repair facilities were also close. We managed to get a mechanician to look for rudder box the following day. At first, we were quite disappointed, but then we realised it was good to notice the problem early and not somewhere in middle of the North Sea for example.
Apparently, the maintenance of rudder box was neglected for too many years and needed some vaseline to get squeezed in. Larger renovation would have required taking the boat up so we decided to test the rudder at sea on Saturday. It seemed to be ok so we continued towards Houtskär. The sailing weather was pretty nice - we had about 7 m/s wind and only around 12°C but in the beginning it was quite sunny. Later, the clouds appeared and the wind got stronger and we were able to sail to Houtskär in around five hours. Luckily, in the evening the clouds faded and we got a nice sunset at Houtskär.
Here we are now sitting in the boat blogging. Our mobile internet connection is really slow but we are trying to download a couple of photos too. The weather forecast for the next couple of days is not very promising: headwind of about 15 m/s (30kts) and rain. Thus our plans are quite open - we will see what happens tomorrow!
/Antti & Minna
Minna steering in the sunshine
Sunny evening in Houtskär