Happy encounter at the end of the world

21. June 2011, Tuesday
9° 57' 43" S, 139° 6' 22" W

If you happen to get your hands on a globe at the next opportunity, then consciously take a look at the opposite side of Europe, the Pacific.
To quote Captain Kirk's log of the Enterprise: endless expanses......
It is obvious that a ship and its equipment is more stressed when crossing this "water desert" in a few weeks than after many years of weekend or holiday sailing in the Mediterranean or the Baltic Sea.
Needless to say, this means a lot of wear and tear!
However, and this makes things a bit more difficult now, there are almost no repair options here, on the many hundred kilometers apart, archipelagos, let alone spare parts or specialists.
One of our most important navigation devices, our autopilot, without which a crew of two could hardly undertake such a journey, suddenly started to “spin” and no longer held a course. Nice crap!
When we found out that an electronics engineer from Austria was crossing the Pacific with his girlfriend and his yacht “YapYum” and would be arriving here soon, we waited to match and hire them.

Since the autopilot only occasionally got out of hand, troubleshooting took days.
Control computers were removed and all the soldering points were resoldered, the fluxgate was checked, the control unit was removed, a small amount of water damage was repaired, etc.
In between test sailing again and again in the hope to have found the error until it occurs again.
That's depressing!!!
With the patience of an angel, as only Austrians with their “subdued” temperament show, Heinz searched, screwed, tested and soldered around on the computer circuit boards of our autopilot.
Finally, almost desperate, he dismantled the motor of the chain drive for the rudder without expecting too much from it... and lo and behold, two small cables for the carbon pins seemed to be jammed and caused massive problems for the steering compass .
After about 10 days of repairs in front of a beautiful beach in the South Pacific, our autopilot ran again without any problems.
Reason enough to tip a cup of beer on the German/Austrian vocational training!
Thank you Heinz, you are worth every dollar!