The nice breeze that should have pushed us to Alicant will finally fall with the night. We make a stop in Carthagena, and gladly discover this wonderful city and its culture influenced by all the great mediteranean historic cultures !
On our way to Alicante, the wind will be with us, and conditions are good to make measurements abour our hydro generator production. Unfortunately, the blade that was printed by fablab EDP breaks ! Printed in ABS, she should have been stronger than the other ones that are in PLA (PLA and ABS are the most common plastics used in 3D printing). It seems that the different plastic layers are less cohesive with this material tha the one we are used to. Let’s print a new blade !
But the PLA melts at lower temperatures, and this has been a problem since Lisbonne. One of our wind turbine blade didn’t resist to the screwing of the threaded shaft that makes the assembly between the two parts of the blades. After a few failures and a few printed blades, we finally found a solution : using olive oil, we have lubed the threaded shaft enough for it to create its thread trough the plastic blade ! The grease lowers the friction, hence the temperature when we screw it on.
Once in Alicante, we visit and receive the local Fablab team. Being a University fab, they work with a different model at the previous ones : their public are students, and they allow them to realize models for their projects.
We leave in slight breeze conditions, heading to Valencia. Just enough wind to go forward, but a little too much to allow using the engine. Average speeds are not good, but the moral is ! A sequence of nice moorings give us time to pursue our sub marine expeditions, and to enjoy the cliffs of Costa Blanca ! A mooring between a cliff and a little island will be shortened during the night, when the unpredictable winds will reverse ! We take time to enjoy our days, but as soon as wind is blowing, we move forward, whatever the hour.
In Valencia, we meet the fablab team, also connected to the University, as well as the local Hackerspace. Very well equiped for a small fablab, they have one problem : the university forbids them to receive students. An understandable security issue, but a total non-sense after having given a place and machines to those makers ! As everywhere, they have to trap the administration, and find a way to focus on what they are passionated about. They are experts in photogrammetry, this technique that « scan » the real world to make 3D models, hence 3d printable. They will show us a model of the Valencian Cathedral door that we have just visited : the result is impressive !
We benefit from time in this cheap harbour to check the top of the mast. Nice timing ! The rope that holds the genoa was quite used by friction on the genoa furling system. A ring of steel is responsible for it, so we cut it and change it for a shackle.
Our AIS antenna (the ships detection system we prototyped) has to be put higher in the masts, and for a long time we’ve been looking for a trick to fix it easily. Leo will fin dit, and the new system seems to be quite efficient ! We can see the ships at a range of 6 miles, compared to professional system, it’s twice less, but it is still twice more than before !
A new crew member arrives in Valencia : Peter is coming to spend one week of holidays with us. A week that will be full of shifts in the crew. Peter arrives for one week, Leo leaves after two months, Aymeric and Bruna come for one week end, Cassandra comes back for two months, and Laura for a few days ! With that many « youngs » aboard the boat, we obviously adopt the local « fiesta » spirit ! But the winds are not strong : we sleep very late, and get up early to do as much miles as we can ! Naps start early in the day !
Heading to Castellon de la Plana, we will encounter a very strange local weather system : a sea breeze is opposed to the wind of a storm coming from the land. Perfect conditions for the creation of waterspouts ! The spiral clouds help us spot the phenomeneon, and we put the mainsail down in time, just before hitting 45knots gusts, and seeing the formation of a small waterspout far away. Wikipedia will be reassuring : this kind of watersprout is not dangerous, just impressive !