@ 12:38 GMT
Position: 39º 00.966′ N x 70º 12.340′ W
Course: 323° true
Speed: 7.9 kts
Phil and Coop aboard Cepheus are approximately 145 nautical miles from the finish line in Newport, RI! They are flying the A3 and making between 7 – 8 kts.
Early yesterday morning began with a failure of the auto-pilot on board, which uses a computer to steer the boat. This normally allows the crew to attend to the other items necessary at sea: eating, sleeping, reviewing weather files, planning the route, and addressing any repairs that come up. When the auto-pilot is not working, someone is required to hand steer the boat at all times.
Phil and Coop took hour long turns steering, which can quickly become exhausting. When he wasn’t at the helm, Phil was trouble-shooting the auto-pilot, with the assistance of an on shore technician. He was able to get the computer re-started, but that didn’t fully resolve the problem. Phil decided to replace the hydraulic ram, (part of the steering mechanism), with a spare, which has greatly improved the performance. Since midnight last night, the auto-pilot has been functioning at 100% which has allowed Phil and Coop to catch up on sleep. They must still keep a close eye on the tiller, as a steering failure can result in the boat broaching unexpectedly and possibly causing damage. Cepheus also lost her wind instruments yesterday and the mast head tricolor light but both of those items have been fixed as of this morning.
Phil noted that he and Coop make a great team: “I’ve been able to fix everything and he can sail anything!” Coop believes that Phil could rewire a nuclear submarine, although we don’t expect them to sign on for an undersea voyage any time soon.
They are also keeping a close eye on the predicted trajectory of Tropical Storm Claudette but as of now are expecting to dock before the storm is in their area. Congratulations to Dragon, who crossed the finish line of both legs of this race in first place! We’ll have to wait for all the finishes and corrected times to know who will place on the podium overall and for each class.