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S/V Nereida sails around the world

Friday 10am Tahiti/Hawaii time (Fri 2000 GMT) On a broad reach, struggling to make 2.5 kt. Sky completely covered with grey cloud and there's a good 2m swell from SSE with another swell from E.

11:40am Suddenly I realise we've picked up speed - go up on top - grey cloud ahead to port and light rain. Making 5.5kt with apparent wind just abaft the beam - from ESE, so SE true wind. Not a lot and will probably die down soon enough... Already seeing some blue patches to starboard and we're slowing down.

Have been busy in galley, clearing/cleaning and preparing bean and barley soup plus discovered a last onion hidden in the papers in the onion crate that I thought was empty and had brought aft to clean out. So the very last fresh onion has been chopped up to add into the 'hearty soup' I'm making - diced ham and some green beans to be added very soon, once dried white beans have finished cooking in pressure cooker.

11:50am Speed down to 2.5kt again, blades of windgen hardly turning - so wind down to 6-7 kt now.... Struggling to keep on course and make way. Sun beginning to get out.

2pm Took in a good amount of genoa ten minutes ago, looking ahead at a dark grey raincloud with rain falling ... Also changed course to try to pass it upwind, having not long before been rushing along at around 7kt, as another big area of cloud passed overhead, giving us strong wind to sail at speed for a change. This is why I've kept the first reef in, as we pass through this area of frequent rain clouds... We were not over-powered as the first rain cloud passed by - not over-heeled, although reaching 8kt a couple of times... But that had no rain, whereas this next one did have - so I was a bit wary and took in some headsail so as not to be caught out.

As it is, we're down now to around 5kt so, if there are no other threatening dark clouds ahead upwind, it's time to unfurl some of the genoa to speed up again while we can.

2:30pm Another wide band of rain clouds ahead, so will keep genoa part-furled until past them - easy to let out but takes time to get in...

Had a lot of rain under a big area of raincloud with strong wind - furled in genoa a lot more but managed with just the one reef - so wind must have stayed under 30kt although we were well-heeled over as we sped along at around 6 kt or more for quite a time.

After that, winds were light, so progress was very slow again. Kept checking wind direction to see if we could make any more Easting - don't want not to be able to make Oahu/Kauai (Hawaii) because of wind angle not working out in NE Trades.

8:30pm Several good radio sessions this evening, including to Victoria, B.C. Always nice to chat to other cruisers on maritime frequencies but there was also very good propagation to Australia tonight on 20m so had quick chats with several people I know on the amateur ANZA Net on 14183kHz - very enjoyable.

Heard from friends with Internet that the Taiwanese fishing vessels I've been trying to steer clear of are off to the NE and well out of the way - for over a day, probably - good news, so I was able to relax for the time being. There's another group of fishing vessels closer to the Equator, due N of here, so will need to keep an eye on them over the next two days.

Saturday 12.45am Tahiti/Hawaii time (Sat 1045 GMT) Was sitting up late, beyond midnight, having just finished some emails, and went to check on our progress. Suddenly realised we were heeling and accelerating.... A squall!

Jumped up on deck to furl in some genoa, cursing myself for forgetting to do that around sunset, as I'd intended to, for overnight... Went to take in on genoa sheet (control line) but saw I'd not furled enough in - so back to other side of cockpit to furl in more, then back again to tension the sheet. A dark night with the moon behind a lot of thick cloud so not giving its usual helpful light.

Being close-hauled, trying to make as best a course as possible, means that's really important to get right - if we're too close to the wind, the genoa will luff up (flaps madly!), the wind gets behind it, and we'd end up effectively heaving to, if I let it happen, but I keep us going around in a circle (gybing), until I get us back on course. Happens especially easily in very light winds with the usual good 2m swell knocking us about - far too often... very frustrating with the frequent wind shifts giving no warning...

After things calmed down finally, I left the genoa furled in and got to my bunk.

7am Making fair progress in gusty conditions under scattered light clouds with plenty of sunshine. Wind not very strong, maybe around 10kt, and determinedly from ENE, so still not able to make our hoped-for NNE heading, now we've passed the Taiwanese vessels E of here.

Weather outlook is for stronger wind in a couple of days' time but expect to keep ENE wind until then - damn! Not much sign of any good ESE wind before almost reaching the Equator, hopefully 3 days away, but it should then hold ESE until around 7N, when we'll be getting close to the squally, unpredictable ITCZ (Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone).

*****************************************************

While sailing around the world, I'm trying to raise funds to help support the superb life-saving work done by the RNLI (Lifeboats) in Britain each and every day of the year, regardless how bad the weather. In fact, the worse it is, the more likely they are out there, helping someone in distress - whether a swimmer, surfer, small boat or big ship, night or day, summer or winter, and it is a charity - no government funding - so they rely on our help to fund their intensive training and maintain their equipment.

It would be great if you would take a moment to click on the Lifeboats link here (https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Jeanne-Socrates2), if you'd like to show your support for my efforts at sailing solo, nonstop, unassisted around the globe, trying to set a World Record as the oldest person to do so, by donating something towards the great work the RNLI do every day. If a lot of people put in even a small amount, it all adds up... Thanks a lot! If you can help, it will be very much appreciated. Let's see if we can reach my target!

(I hear that some readers might need to talk to their bank BEFORE trying to make a donation to the RNLI since many US banks routinely block foreign transactions unless

they are notified in advance.)

***************************************************

1900GMT (= 9 a.m. LT = Tahiti time) - end of Day 290. We made 101 n.ml. DMG, measured in a straight line between the two 1900GMT positions.

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 290 (by daily DMGs): 23,540 n.ml.

Distances (at 1700GMT): East Cape, N.Z.: 2628 n.ml. to SW; Papeete, Tahiti: 754 n.ml. to S; Honolulu: 1748 n.ml. to NNW

Position, as posted to www.Winlink.org and www.Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV):

TIME: 2019/07/20 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 04-58.88S LONGITUDE: 149-26.80W

COURSE: 347T SPEED: 4.2kt

WIND_SPEED: 10kt WIND_DIR: ENE SWELL_DIR: NE SWELL_HT: 2.0m CLOUDS: 60%

BARO: 1012.6hPa TREND: 2 AIR_TEMP: 30.0C SEA_TEMP: 36.0C

COMMENT: Wind backed still, so can't make preferred NNE

Thursday 10:15am Tahiti/Hawaii time (Thurs 2015 GMT) Heavy rain but no wind just now so only making 0.5-1.5 kt - won't be getting far today at this rate! Quite a large cloud - seems we're in an area of rain today so hopefully we'll get a good wind to move on with, occasionally.
Glad I put back earlier the half of the storm screen I'd taken away a couple of days ago - it's keeping the companionway area dry and I can leave the hatch there open to down below for air.

11:40am That big grey raincloud mass is being left astern and there's broken cloud, some rising high, with big patches of blue sky ahead. Wind is from ESE-SE and we're making 3.4kt.
We were soon making for another grey raincloud ahead - I was happy to see it off our port bow (downwind) as we got closer to the rain - moving well out of our way!
I keep having to watch our course, not to get too close to the wind as it constantly shifts around with any cloud that is nearby.
I need some more sleep - should be OK since I usually get woken if we start accelerating and/or heeling with increased wind - in good time to get on deck to see to whatever needs doing.

3:45pm Under an overcast sky with a thin layer of dull white and grey cloud, making a steady 3.0kt, in seas well down in little wind. The edge of the solid cloud layer can be seen well astern and to starboard - light blue sky with many large white clouds rising dramatically high up - cumulus and/or cumulo-nimbus types. Ahead, a white line of clouds off to the W against a grey background of mixed cloud and overcast.
Had a good sleep, interrupted a couple of times by needing to check on sails and course with genoa flapping noisily as a warning.
Running the generator and watermaker now - batteries getting slightly low. Haven't been needing to run the generator very often with the wind generator working well in the stronger winds - but not much wind now, so good to be able to to up the batteries this alternative way.

5pm Had a lovely deck wash - great to have clean hair for a change!
About to check in to Pacific Seafarers' Net - and then I'll be opening a small tin of wild salmon to celebrate feeling fresh-washed!
Warning from Peter, ZL1PWM, of 6 fishing vessels at 06S between 146W and 149W - which puts me heading to where they are, about 75 miles N of here - not good news!

7:30pm Have been circling in no wind ... very frustrating! Ended up drifting 330T in SE-ESE wind of maximum 4-5kt possibly - at least that's in a straight line and roughly N.

8:55pm Just spoke to MRCC NZ to see if they have any further info on the fishing vessels to the N - Samantha phoned back to confirm details but pointed out that the data was 24hrs old! Heading N-NW is possibly the best option to try to keep out of their area... which I was already doing...

9:45pm Rain! So we picked up speed for a time - up to 5.5kt at one point! Now decreasing - down to 4kt as I write this... and rain has eased. Staying on a course of NNW until I have more info on fishing vessels later tomorrow. Hope they don't move W of where they are just now.

11:25pm Just went circling around again (gybed) after the genoa luffed up with boat speed having dropped to under 1kt and it ended up backed with combination of swell and very light wind - maybe wind was backed due to cloud nearby. Whatever the reason, we gybed and went round in a circle until I was able to get us back on course - but NW this time, not NNW as before... SOG 3-4kt just now..
Very diffiult to do the right thing when you hve only the vaguest of ideas where the wind is coming from! Lots of cloud around - hiding moon, so it's difficult to see exactly what's happening - especially trying to deduce the wind direction in the dark... Windgen blades are hardly turning so wind is below 7kt and windgen is not so reliable for showing wind direction.
Must get some sleep...

Friday 6:15am Tahiti&Hawaii time (Fri 1615 GMT) Raining. Daylight before sunrise. Mostly cloudy, grey sky with hint of orange in clouds to E. On broad reach, making 2.3 kt.

7am Was headed NW still, from overnight, but changed to 350T, since wind seems to be from E just now, and speed went up - now around 3.5kt.
Hair still feeling delightfully clean and shiny - wonderful! Running generator to top up batteries.

8:50am Wind down but we're still making around 3.5kt, on 354T, but slowing down, I think. Sky completely covered with grey cloud, but no rain falling at the moment, and a good 2m swell from ESE.

*****************************************************
While sailing around the world, I'm trying to raise funds to help support the superb life-saving work done by the RNLI (Lifeboats) in Britain each and every day of the year, regardless how bad the weather. In fact, the worse it is, the more likely they are out there, helping someone in distress - whether a swimmer, surfer, small boat or big ship, night or day, summer or winter and it is a charity - no government funding - so they rely on our help to fund their intensive training and maintain their equipment.

It would be great if you would take a moment to click on the Lifeboats link here (https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Jeanne-Socrates2), if you'd like to show your support for my efforts at sailing solo, nonstop, unassisted around the globe, trying to set a World Record as the oldest person to do so, by donating something towards the great work the RNLI do every day. If a lot of people put in even a small amount, it all adds up... Thanks a lot! If you can help, it will be very much appreciated. Let's see if we can reach my target!

(I hear that some readers might need to talk to their bank BEFORE trying to make a donation to the RNLI since many US banks routinely block foreign transactions unless
they are notified in advance.)

 

***************************************************

1900GMT (= 9 a.m. LT = Tahiti time) - end of Day 289. We made 66 n.ml. DMG, measured in a straight line between the two 1900GMT positions. Light winds in between occasional increased wind under rainclouds.

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 289 (by daily DMGs): 23,439 n.ml.

Distances (at 1700GMT): East Cape, N.Z.: 2569 n.ml. to SW; Papeete, Tahiti: 658 n.ml. to S; Honolulu: 1748 n.ml. to NNW

Position, as posted to www.Winlink.org and www.Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV):
TIME: 2019/07/19 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 06-35.65S LONGITUDE: 148-59.17W
COURSE: 353T SPEED: 2.5kt
WIND_SPEED: 8kt WIND_DIR: ESE SWELL_DIR: SSE SWELL_HT: 2.0m CLOUDS: 100%
BARO: 1013hPa TREND: 2 AIR_TEMP: 31.0C SEA_TEMP: 36.0C
COMMENT: Light wind again - slow progress N. Fishing vessels 80ml ahead...

Wednesday 11am LT is Tahiti time (same as Hawaii time) (Wed 2100 GMT) Gusty with so many big clouds around - good wind at times but slow at other times - highly changeable.
Went to release reef but then saw we were heading towards a grey cloud. Wind often dies ahead of a cloud, before coming up strongly when it gets closer, so paused to see what would happen... Really just creeping along - wind has gone...

Ran the small diesel generator earlier and the water maker. Topped up a lot of emptied water bottles - drinking lots in the warmth - cabin getting up to 32C/90F. Running a small fan wherever I am in the cabin - they give a nice cooling breeze but take very little power.
Slowly drying out a lot of clothing and some bedding, although with so much salt in them, they never really feel dry - need a good fresh-water wash. Some have gone mouldy & might have to be replaced on landfall.

12:40pm Just keeping ahead of a large grey rain cloud - rain falling not far off our stern. Making 5.5-6kt in a good wind of 15kt or more - but from ENE, so having to head well W of our preferred course.

No sign of the Chinese fishing vessels, TG!

2:50pm: Wind died again, once we were clear of that rain and cloud. We were making only a NNW course in its backed wind, at very low speed.
Decided it was time to make up for some of last night's lost sleep while the wind settled down away from the cloud.
Woke up to find a veered E-ESE wind, so eased the mainsheet and took up on the preventer. So little wind still that the blades of the Superwind (generator) are not turning - shows there's under 7kt of wind... Creeping along again, although on a better course. No record-breaking big DMG today... and this will mean postponing my hoped-for Equator-crossing party from Sunday/Monday to Tuesday or later...
Time to prepare a simple meal while good daylight - fried potatoes with scrambled egg (dried) and some green beans. Also soaking some dried beans ready for cooking later, for tomorrow's meals.

4:45pm Wind has just filled in a bit from E - windgen is turning, although not very fast, so wind must be close to 10kt. We're making around 4kt now - a lot better than earlier! Some cloud showing ahead but well in the distance - hopefully, no squalls... will need to keep an eye out.
Sun is beginning to get low - dealing with food now, while still plenty of daylight.

6:30pm Finished my meal. Looks as though we're in luck - we're passing under the band of cloud across our NNE path - and found a bit of a gap in the heavier, rainy cloud - so looking good to pass through with no squalls or strong wind. Light has almost gone now but there's enough, despite no moon seen, to see what is ahead - fingers crossed for overnight!
Wind still pleasant at around 10kt from E and seems to be increasing - we're making over 4kt, often getting up nearer to 5kt. Bouncing around in the 2m swell from E.

10:30pm Beautiful moonlit night.
So much for wind increasing - it has, if anything, decreased.... so we're now struggling to make way at 1-2kt and being taken well N of our planned course.
Sleep is very welcome.

Thursday 3am LT/Tahiti time (Thurs 1300 GMT) Moon shining brightly through slightly broken, thin overcast . Genoa started luffing up and, as I tried to adjust course and sail trim in a wind shift, we ended up going around in a circle twice - wind had dropped to below 10kt and backed to ENE-NE so having to head on 350T, resulting in a COG of 344T, at only 1-2kt. .... Rain!! Not a lot but explains why the wind suddenly backed so much to give a problem.... 'cloud effect' working to throw us well off course for the time being..

3:45am Now out from under the raincloud, so maybe we can get back on track - big cloud has passed off to port, headed W. we're going very slowly still, in wind under 10kt - only making around 2.3kt, with COG of 353T, despite boat's bow pointing 000T now.
Back to my bunk for more sleep.. Sky is clear off to starboard and moon is trying to get out from edge of cloud and shining more brightly again...
Proving very difficult to make any more Easting ... and difficult to hold what Easting we have, even. Maybe the wind will veer more towards E or ESE soon, so we can get back to a course of NNE? This is when use of wind-steering is excellent - I'm missing poor old Fred!

5:45am Day breaking - hint of orange light in clouds to E - sunrise not far away... Lots of grey cloud everywhere with one or two small showers seen. Long straight line of rain cloud edge among the clouds seen astern almost from one horizon to the other, with rain falling from it in different places.
Making 1.5kt in wind of about 4-5kt, maybe less... was about to get to to my bunk when genoa luffed up and we went circling around in the light wind from just E of NE... Now back on a heading of 000T but only making a course (COG) of 353T at 2.4kt...

7:15am Suddenly we accelerated to 6kt under edge of light raincloud, mainly off to starboard, on 353T. Didn't last long, but good to see some decent speed for a time!
Lasted no more than 15 minutes. Oh well... back to 2.7-3.2 kt in bright sunshine - we didn't even get any drops of rain!

7:20am Wind has veered a lot - to E - so we're now able to make course (COG) of 014T, although speed only around 2.5kt in about 4-5kt of wind which is likely to die further... Rather faint rainbow showing astern, with grey of raincloud as a backdrop.

8:50am Another big raincloud ahead to starboard - giving good wind so we're up to over 5kt now - have to keep adjusting our course - presently trying to avoid passing through heaviest of rain in centre of cloud... Nice to have some speed but would prefer to avoid the strongest winds likely! Looks as though today will give plenty of cloud and maybe some rain at times - so hoping for better average speed than yesterday if enough clouds around.

 

*****************************************************
While sailing around the world, I'm trying to raise funds to help support the superb life-saving work done by the RNLI (Lifeboats) in Britain each and every day of the year, regardless how bad the weather. In fact, the worse it is, the more likely they are out there, helping someone in distress - whether a swimmer, surfer, small boat or big ship, night or day, summer or winter. They are all volunteers with normal day-jobs who respond immediately to a call and it is a charity - no government funding - so they rely on our help to fund their intensive training and maintain their equipment.

It would be great if you would take a moment to click on the Lifeboats link here (https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Jeanne-Socrates2), if you'd like to show your support for my efforts at sailing solo, nonstop, unassisted around the globe, trying to set a World Record as the oldest person to do so, by donating something towards the great work the RNLI do every day. If a lot of people put in even a small amount, it all adds up... Thanks a lot! If you can help, it will be very much appreciated. Let's see if we can reach my target!

(I hear that some readers might need to talk to their bank BEFORE trying to make a donation to the RNLI since many US banks routinely block foreign transactions unless
they are notified in advance.)

 

***************************************************

1900GMT (= 9 a.m. LT = Tahiti time) - end of Day 288. We made 57 n.ml. DMG, measured in a straight line between the two 1900GMT positions. Very light wind for most of the day.

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 288 (by daily DMGs): 23,373 n.ml.

Distances (at 1700GMT): East Cape, N.Z.: 2526 n.ml. to SW; Papeete, Tahiti: 594 n.ml. to S; Honolulu: 1807 n.ml. to NNW

Position, as posted to www.Winlink.org and www.Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV):
TIME: 2019/07/18 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 07-40.68S LONGITUDE: 148-48.00W
COURSE: 020T SPEED: 5.6kt
WIND_SPEED: 12kt WIND_DIR: E SWELL_DIR: E SWELL_HT: 2.0m CLOUDS: 95%
BARO: 1012.2hPa TREND: 2 AIR_TEMP: 30.0C SEA_TEMP: 36.0C
COMMENT: Cloudy with freq rain - giving better wind and speed when cloud close

Tuesday 10:30am LT/Tahiti time (Tues 2030 GMT) A bright day with a few scattered clouds. Wind still fairly light. Pounding into occasional bigger waves from ENE but less so than overnight.

About to make pancakes before shaking out the 2nd reef, despite the likelihood of rain squalls developing over the day being quite high. I'll tie in the reef again later, if it looks as though squalls are beginning to threaten... and certainly overnight, to be safe.

We're still heading slightly off our previous course, in order to be off the wind a little more and keep better speed.

11am Wind up a bit now - making over 5kt - think I'll leave the reef in for time being...

Getting difficult making radio contact on 20m with New Zealand and Australia at this time of day - far better later on. I'm making excellent contact on 20m with Victoria, B.C., just after my sunset (and California also), which time is not much different from there, and the ANZA Net, around the same time and also on 20m, often also works fine from here to Australia.

3pm Vessel 'XIN7804 6V' of 'unknown' type and 'Not defined' status was just over 2 ml off - despite looking out for it for a long time before and after the time of closest approach, I could not spot it. Presumably a fishing vessel since only making a speed of 0.2kt, on a course 325T, just changed to 244T at 1.2kt... Length 0ft; Beam 0ft !! (MMSI 994010198)

Then there's Xin Shi Ji 65 89% (MMSI: 168801305), L 847ft, B 158ft) 6.4ml off making 0.4kt on 301T and similar vessel Xin Shi Ji 65 93% (MMSI: 168801309). A fourth vessel: XIN7804 7V (MMSI: 994010198 - same ID as first vessel? - legally impossible!!), was making 0.6kt on 003T. All within 5-7 miles, one to starboard, one off port beam and one to port astern.

4pm Xin Shi Ji 65 76% (MMSI: 168801301) just popped up on the AIS dsplay - fine on port bow, 6ml off and also Xin Shi Ji 78 100% (MMSI: 168800893), well off to starboard.

We're in the middle of quite a good-sized fishing fleet. I hope they keep clear - they often drag very long lines astern...

According to the chart, there's a 0.5kt current to SW - the South Sub-Tropical Current.

Pressure has dropped quite a lot over last 6 hrs - by 4 hPa to 1007.5hPa now. Wind seems to be dropping - we're only making 4.3kt now.

8:20pm Tahiti time

Vessel ahead: XIN SHI JI 78 96% at 08 45.318S 148 51.013W MMSI: 168800897 LENGTH 847FT COG: keeps varying SOG 0.2kt CPA 3.307 nm, TCPA 34min

Another one, also ahead: XIN SHI JI 78 80% at 08 47.268S 148 44.536W MMSI: 168800892 LENGTH 847FT COG: 153M SOG 0.3kt

I just altered course to head W of N to avoid them and their possible fishing gear lying in my way.... (my present position: 08 49.561S 148 53W)

Suddenly found a third vessel heading E across our path a short distance off - no way to avoid the vessel or its possible gear astern... Having altered course to NNW, we were making over 5kt in 15kt ESE wind...and heading straight to this third vessel... No help from any of them via VHF radio (clearly no English speaking person on board within VHF range, although twice had a brief response to my call) and couldn't pass ahead of this last vessel... No choice but to stop 'Nereida' by heaving to, to avoid possibility of running over their fishing lines and/or gear... Not just a matter of damage to them or their gear - but 'Nereida' could be badly damaged as a result, also...

Midnight Not being able to talk to the fishing vessels to find out if their fishing gear was out or which direction would be safe for us to head to is causing me a major problem now. I spoke to Taupo Maritime Radio (NZ) who contacted their MRCC (Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre). They gave me the Tahiti JRCC phone number...who finally said that the only safe thing was to stay put until sunrise, when (maybe) the vessels would be pulling in their fishing gear so it might be safe to continue on my way...

I later spoke to NZ MRCC who told me another fishing fleet was 140 ml to our NE! They gave me a Beijing number to call but didn't hold out much hope of a helpful response but a very helpful-sounding, English-speaking person, Zhang, answered and said he'd try to find out about the situation so I could safely continue N past the fishing vessels ahead - I could see the bright lights of a vessel on the horizon not far off.

The big question is whether they have lines out astern overnight and how long those lines are ... so how much clearance will be needed around the vessels to stay safe.. (We can't sail ahead of them because that is too far upwind...)

Problem, even in good daylight, is seeing the baited long lines they might have out that would damage the boat if we try to sail over them.

Waiting to hear back from Zhang - think I need to try to get some sleep in the meantime... We're presently drifting S at 1.5-2kt, having reduced the speed of drift by taking in some genoa.

Tried phoning Zhang to check on situation - "Please phone back in 30 minutes," said another person ... Rang back after 45 minutes... "He's not here - please ring back in 15 minutes....". 3 minutes later , Zhang called me- "Not Chinese - MMSI numbers are wrong - there are no Chinese fishing vessels in your area..."

Spoke to NZ MRCC... two Chinese vessels were nearby just 5 hrs ago - one 10ml to N, other 5 ml to S, both laying lines with AIS transponders - which I'd seen on AIS screen, thinking they were vessels... Back to Zhang in Beijing with the two vessels' MMSI numbers... "Will come back to you," he said... 2am - I'm waiting.... and drifting, hove-to still...

Later: Told by Zhang that one of the vessels was dismantled 5 yrs ago...! (Clearly, another vessel is now using its AIS transponder(s) and had not re-registered it/them...) Pointed out to Zhang that my safety was at risk - I needed to know if lines were out at night and brought in during daytime or vice versa ... He finally got back to me to say he'd spoken to the Capt of the second vessel - "No nets out tonight" to get in my way - so we're finally back underway - at gone 3am...

Unlashed the wheel, gybed round back onto course in 15kt wind from E and unfurled the genoa I'd taken in to lessen our rate of drift while hove to.

Lovely bright moonlit night. Bore away, off the wind a little, to help our speed. Then to my bunk for a little sleep before my interview for a podcast at 6:15am with Eric Guth of QSO Today.. I'll be a bit tired and in need of more sleep after that!

8:30am Interview went fine...will be posted later today.

Good wind at times but up and down in cloudy conditions - big grey cloud astern with rain falling in places. Speed somewhere between 3.2kt and 4.9kt - averaging around 4kt. Choppy seas on top of swell so boat being moved around a lot.

-------------------------------------------------

A Brown Noddy (Anous stolidus) pair came visiting the other day - maybe from one of the Kiribati islands not so far away. Seems Noddies are the oldest type of tern. (Excerpt here is slightly adapted from 'Neotropical Birds'):

Noddies are peculiar terns; first of all they look like a negative image of a tern. Instead of a white bird with a black cap, we have a dark bird with a white cap. The Black Noddy ... the slightly larger Brown Noddy (Anous stolidus) ... . Second of all they have a peculiar name which derives from one of their breeding displays in which the members of the pair nod at each other. Noddies are tropical terns, nesting in colonies on islands, sometimes well offshore. The Brown and Black Noddy nest in the Caribbean Sea and the tropical Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Noddies depend on large predatory fish, such as tunas, to drive bait fish to the surface where they become accessible to the birds. Unlike most terns, noddies do not dive in the water, they pick food off the water’s surface, or they may plunge into the water without fully submersing. Genetic data shows that the noddies are the oldest branch in the tern family tree, explaining why some behaviours, plumage and even morphology are so different from more typical terns.

(Thanks, Peter!)

*****************************************************

While sailing around the world, I'm trying to raise funds to help support the superb life-saving work done by the RNLI (Lifeboats) in Britain each and every day of the year, regardless how bad the weather. In fact, the worse it is, the more likely they are out there, helping someone in distress - whether a swimmer, surfer, small boat or big ship, night or day, summer or winter. They are all volunteers with normal day-jobs who respond immediately to a call and it is a charity - no government funding - so they rely on our help to fund their intensive training and maintain their equipment.

It would be great if you would take a moment to click on the Lifeboats link here (https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Jeanne-Socrates2), if you'd like to show your support for my efforts at sailing solo, nonstop, unassisted around the globe, trying to set a World Record as the oldest person to do so, by donating something towards the great work the RNLI do every day. If a lot of people put in even a small amount, it all adds up... Thanks a lot! If you can help, it will be very much appreciated. Let's see if we can reach my target!

***************************************************

1900GMT (= 9 a.m. LT = Tahiti time) - end of Day 287. We made 64 n.ml. DMG, measured in a straight line between the two 1900GMT positions. Over six hours spent hove-to or slowed down.

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 287 (by daily DMGs): 23,316 n.ml.

Distances (at 1700GMT): East Cape, N.Z.: 2477 n.ml. to SW; Papeete, Tahiti: 538 n.ml. to S; Honolulu: 1862 n.ml. to NNW

Position, as posted to www.Winlink.org and www.Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV):

TIME: 2019/07/17 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 09-36.42S LONGITUDE: 148-57.44W

COURSE: 019T SPEED: 4.9kt

WIND_SPEED: 13kt WIND_DIR: ENE SWELL_DIR: ENE SWELL_HT: 2.0m CLOUDS: 60%

BARO: 1010.6hPa TREND: 1 AIR_TEMP: 31.0C SEA_TEMP: 36.0C

COMMENT: Underway after 6hr stop for Chinese fishing vessels. Raincloud astern.

Monday Midday LT/Tahiti time (Sun 2200 GMT) Seeing big clouds ahead mid-morning, I'd furled in a bit of the genoa in case of strong winds.
As we got closer, I realised there was a major rain shower off to starboard - heavy rain. Thinking to avoid it, I changed course to go well downwind of it - or so I thought. It turned out that the wind then backed a lot under the cloud and we were now simply sailing close to the new wind direction - and the rain very slowly passed ahead of us and off to port - in a W direction... We got very little of it. The wind had increased a lot but, although quite well heeled, we were doing fine - at an excellent speed of 6-7 kt!
We drew away from the cloud amd I went below, thinking we'd got away easily and had finished with the band of rain clouds... Although there was another off to starboard, I thought it would pass astern of us as we headed N.
.... It didn't! I heard heavy rain shortly afterwards and came up to investigate. Wind was increasing rapidly under a big rain cloud and we were heeled so well that the tor-rail (upstand on the seaward side of the decks) was in the water and the stanchions kept splashing in the sea above it... We were making well over 7kt, which was great, but I was feeling very uncomfortable!
I decided I needed to ease the mainsheeet to help stop some of the heeling ... and then, still heeling a lot, went on to take in the 2nd reef in the strong wind... There are times when you just have to get on with what needs to be done! A line got caught and I had to go forward to release it... All ended well and, by the time the rain cloud had almost passed over(!), the reef was in and we were more upright - but still making around 6.5kt.
The good thing about getting wet in the Tropics is that it really doesn't matter!
After that, we truly had finished with that band of rain clouds, although there is still a lot of lighter cloud around. As we moved on away from the clouds, the wind came back to its original ENE direction (veered from its NE-NNE direction under the clouds) and we got back on course.
Now we're making a very pleasant 5-6 kt, close-hauled under sunny but cloudy skies and pounding not too badly into a 2m swell. The second reef will stay in for the time being.

3pm A band of big clouds well ahead - will keep an eye on it as we get closer but probably a few hours away.
Full genoa now, with 2nd reef in main still. Bore away a little more off wind earlier - speed was down (better now) and also, coincidentally, means we can avoid a seamount otherwise on our path. Will take a short nap before we reach those clouds.

4:45pm Happy to find the big clouds around all seem to be light grey or white - no strong rain squalls imminent just now! Having a relaxed sail just now, making around 5.5kt.
Getting my evening meal ready: shrimps with sweetcorn... simple, tasty, quick and easy with no cooking needed. It's warm enough not to need a hot meal.

11pm Bright, full moon lighting up the sky and sea - a lovely night!
Wind a lot less than earlier - only making around 4-4.5kt. Should shake out the 2nd reef but that will have to wait for daylight now, so any squalls ahead can be seen.

Tuesday 7:30am LT/Tahiti time (Tues 1700 GMT) Wind stayed fairly light overnight, with lovely bright moonlight and just a few scattered clouds. Mainly gentle conditions although pounding into occasional bigger wave from ENE. Cabin temperature is 30C/86F so I'm making good use of the small fans dotted around to give a slight breeze where I am.
Decided to wait until after breakfast (pancakes!) before possibly shaking out the second reef since the likelihood of rain squalls developing over the day is quite high and we're making a fair speed just now - around 5kt. Speed was improved by falling off the wind a little - maybe the wind had backed slightly, resulting in being too close to it before.

We're 600 miles due W now of Hiva Oa, in the Marquesas, and passed within 50 miles E of the 6 mile long atoll of Karoraina, part of the Kiribati group of islands, soon after midnight. I hear it is uninhabited and a wild life refuge, full of seabirds. There are only a few very small islands on its coral reef and its maximum height is only 25m above sea level.

 

*****************************************************
While sailing around the world, I'm trying to raise funds to help support the superb life-saving work done by the RNLI (Lifeboats) in Britain each and every day of the year, regardless how bad the weather. In fact, the worse it is, the more likely they are out there, helping someone in distress - whether a swimmer, surfer, small boat or big ship, night or day, summer or winter. They are all volunteers with normal day-jobs who respond immediately to a call and it is a charity - no government funding - so they rely on our help to fund their intensive training and maintain their equipment.

It would be great if you would take a moment to click on the Lifeboats link here (https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Jeanne-Socrates2), if you'd like to show your support for my efforts at sailing solo, nonstop, unassisted around the globe, trying to set a World Record as the oldest person to do so, by donating something towards the great work the RNLI do every day. If a lot of people put in even a small amount, it all adds up... Thanks a lot! If you can help, it will be very much appreciated. Let's see if we can reach my target!
***************************************************

1900GMT (= 9 a.m. LT = Tahiti time) - end of Day 286. We made 116 n.ml. DMG, measured in a straight line between the two 1900GMT positions.

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 286 (by daily DMGs): 23,252 n.ml.

Distances (at 1700GMT): East Cape, N.Z.: 2422 n.ml. to SW; Papeete, Tahiti: 475 n.ml. to S; Honolulu: 1921 n.ml. to NNW

Position, as posted to www.Winlink.org and www.Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV):
TIME: 2019/07/16 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 09-38.95S LONGITUDE: 149-10.06W
COURSE: 015T SPEED: 4.5kt
WIND_SPEED: 12kt WIND_DIR: ENE SWELL_DIR: ENE SWELL_HT: 2.0m SWELL_PER: 5s
CLOUDS: 40% BARO: 1011.7hPa TREND: 2 AIR_TEMP: 30.0C SEA_TEMP: 36.0C
COMMENT: Pleasant sailing... a bit bumpy headed into short-period swel

Sunday 10:30am LT/Tahiti time (Sun 2030 GMT) We've slowed down a lot again - now making just under 4kt in E wind under 10kt. Good to be able to make a more E course in the veered wind - heading NNE now. Bright day with a lot of cloud, so occasionally wind gusts up - but not by much, nor for long. 2m swell from two different directions - ESE and ENE.

Midday Wind up nicely - making around 6kt. Keeping an eye on our angle of heel - might need to furl in genoa if becomes too much. Plenty of clouds around still.
Have been catching up with emails and sorting through a lot of damp paper notes - from knockdown - salt keeps the paper damp despite the warmth now.

9pm Having a great sail! Wind is a bit down from an hour or so ago so we're only making around 5kt now but we're still well on course - NNE. Moon is lighting up the cloud layer, making it seem like dull daytime - twilight.

Monday 1am LT/Tahiti Time (Mon 1100 GMT) Seems the wind has backed a little and eased further - had to come off the wind and we're only making around 3.2 kt on a course of 016T - can't quite make our previous course.
Moon is still high, lighting up the scene, with far fewer clouds around now.

6am Wind up a bit as dawn approaches - first light... Making 5.4kt now on 017T, close to the wind. Band of cloud ahead on horizon but mainly clear overhead just now. Bumpy - heading into swell.

8am Bright sunny day with plenty of scattered cloud around. Wind still from ENE, or slightly more to N, so not quite able to make NNE course without losing speed, so presently making 017T - not so far off NNE.

9am Big rain clouds ahead - a band of them, in fact... Will probably have to change course in backed wind until we're through them... Furled in some genoa in readiness for possible stronger wind - a squall, maybe. Making good speed.

 

*****************************************************
While sailing around the world, I'm trying to raise funds to help support the superb life-saving work done by the RNLI (Lifeboats) in Britain each and every day of the year, regardless how bad the weather. In fact, the worse it is, the more likely they are out there, helping someone in distress - whether a swimmer, surfer, small boat or big ship, night or day, summer or winter. They are all volunteers with normal day-jobs who respond immediately to a call and it is a charity - no government funding - so they rely on our help to fund their intensive training and maintain their equipment.

It would be great if you would take a moment to click on the Lifeboats link here (https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Jeanne-Socrates2), if you'd like to show your support for my efforts at sailing solo, nonstop, unassisted around the globe, trying to set a World Record as the oldest person to do so, by donating something towards the great work the RNLI do every day. If a lot of people put in even a small amount, it all adds up... Thanks a lot! If you can help, it will be very much appreciated. Let's see if we can reach my target!
***************************************************

1900GMT (= 9 a.m. LT = Tahiti time) - end of Day 285. We made 117 n.ml. DMG, measured in a straight line between the two 1900GMT positions.

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 285 (by daily DMGs): 23,136 n.ml.

Distances (at 1700GMT): East Cape, N.Z.: 2313 n.ml. to SW; Papeete, Tahiti: 364 n.ml. to S; Honolulu: 2019 n.ml. to NNW

Position, as posted to www.Winlink.org and www.Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV):
TIME: 2019/07/15 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 11-29.30S LONGITUDE: 149-47.52W
COURSE: 003T SPEED: 6.0kkt
WIND_SPEED: 17kt WIND_DIR: NE SWELL_DIR: NE SWELL_HT: 2.0m CLOUDS: 80%
BARO: 1013hPa TREND: 2 AIR_TEMP: 30.0C SEA_TEMP: 36.0C
COMMENT: Good speed and course to Equator. Band of rainclouds ahead.

Saturday 11am LT/Tahiti time (Sat 2100 GMT) Wind picked up nicely early in the morning - to 10kt or more from ENE - so we were making over 5kt with full sail. Lovely to be sailing well again, in fairly calm seas, since wind hadn't been up long enough for any swell to develop - as it surely will, over the day.

Our Noddy visitor didn't stay much longer after I'd spotted it resting comfortably in the pulpit seat. I didn't see it fly away and I hope it was well rested and survives OK.

10am With some big, gusty clouds around, we were heeling a lot in increased wind, so I put in 1st reef. As I was busy winching, I heard a sudden sound - a whale had surfaced for air close by! Smooth and dark grey/black, with a fairly small, very recurved, swept back, dorsal fin. Neither a grey nor a humpback... smaller than those... and certainly not an Orca.... Minke? Exciting to see it!

11:30am Wind up to 12-15kt at times. Seas are getting up also and, being on a close reach, we're pounding into the waves now which is slowing us down - speed was suddenly less than earlier.. I've taken us a little more off the wind to keep our speed up and wonder if wind has backed a little. Running the generator for a bit to charge batteries and brought my soup in the pressure cooker up to boiling point for a few minutes - don't want it going off with the heat and no refrigeration.

Feeling quite tired after only a little sleep overnight, so will check for squalls and get to sleep for an hour or so.

2:30pm Must have slept for two hours - feeling much better. Went up into cockpit to find the Noddy is resting there - must not be feeling too good to have come back on board. Tried giving it some water but doesn't seem interested - I suspect seabirds normally get their 'drinking water' via the fish they eat.

3:45pm Our speed was down a little so bore away (off the wind) a touch - wind must be slightly more to N of ENE so we're only making NNW at just under 4kt in 9-10kt of wind - as close-hauled as possible without losing too much speed. Our preferred course is NNE and we really don't want to get any more W than can be avoided. I'm always looking ahead and the NE Trades from about 10N on have to be negotiated up to and beyond the Hawaiian Islands so staying as far E as possible on the way up to the Equator is the aim.
Sky has fewer clouds around now and swell has built up more - we're heading into it, of course, since it comes from the wind direction.

10:45pm We've slowed down a lot - now making only 3.5-4kt in lighter wind. Bright moon high overhead.

Sunday 3:30am Near-full moon is getting low in W. We're still sailing slowly in wind of only 6-7kt ... Windgen is just about turning and we've only been making round 3kt, heading just W of due N, close to the wind. Have changed course slightly to come onto due N heading - wind is forecast to be light for several more hours but then should be veering more to E, and eventually ESE, as it strengthens to 15kt over the next two days - I hope that comes about! Swell has lain down in the light wind conditions so we're just rocking slightly from side to side - time for my bunk!

8am Sky mostly covered with broken cloud and wind is still down under 10kt, so same slow progress as overnight, at 4kt or under. Wind seems a bit gusty - came up and our speed increased for a brief time, making me a bit hopeful of a faster passage, but back down now. Direction seems to be more veered, to ESE, so able to change course to 022T/NNE - better.

Sad to report our bird visitor did not survive the night - so has been committed to the deep..... Anyone able to tell me which kind of Noddy this is? Looks so very similat t a Frigate bird - same very pointed, very long, 'elbowed' wings.

 

*****************************************************
While sailing around the world, I'm trying to raise funds to help support the superb life-saving work done by the RNLI (Lifeboats) in Britain each and every day of the year, regardless how bad the weather. In fact, the worse it is, the more likely they are out there, helping someone in distress - whether a swimmer, surfer, small boat or big ship, night or day, summer or winter. They are all volunteers with normal day-jobs who respond immediately to a call and it is a charity - no government funding - so they rely on our help to fund their intensive training and maintain their equipment.

It would be great if you would take a moment to click on the Lifeboats link here (https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Jeanne-Socrates2), if you'd like to show your support for my efforts at sailing solo, nonstop, unassisted around the globe, trying to set a World Record as the oldest person to do so, by donating something towards the great work the RNLI do every day. If a lot of people put in even a small amount, it all adds up... Thanks a lot! If you can help, it will be very much appreciated. Let's see if we can reach my target!
***************************************************

1900GMT (= 9 a.m. LT = Tahiti time) - end of Day 284. We made 92 n.ml. DMG, measured in a straight line between the two 1900GMT positions.

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 284 (by daily DMGs): 23,019 n.ml.

Distances (at 1700GMT): East Cape, N.Z.: 2206 n.ml. to SW; Papeete, Tahiti: 258 n.ml. to S; Honolulu: 2119 n.ml. to NNW

Position, as posted to www.Winlink.org and www.Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV):
TIME: 2019/07/14 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 13-20.10S LONGITUDE: 150-27.88W
COURSE: 022T SPEED: 4.3kt
WIND_SPEED: 10kt WIND_DIR: ESE SWELL_DIR: NE SWELL_HT: 2.0m SWELL_PER: 5s
CLOUDS: 95% BARO: 1015.2hPa TREND: 2 AIR_TEMP: 30.0C SEA_TEMP: 35.0C
COMMENT: Wind a bit gusty under cloud. Making good course NNE.

Friday midday LT/Tahiti time (Fri 2200 GMT) The clear line of cloud that stretched ahead earlier this morning from the NW horizon to the SE - marking the convergence zone where opposing light winds meet and air rises to form cloud (see yesterday's photo) - has moved well off to starboard. It does seem it has crossed over ahead of us since we're now into light 5kt W wind instead of the NE wind of yesterday and overnight
We're now headed NNW at just over 2kt under just the genoa and I must finish the mainsail repairs quickly so it can be hoisted to add to our speed.
Sky cleared overhead a short while ago and cloud is now mainly around the convergence zone with almost clear sky to port.
Wind is supposed to back slowly to SE in time but will stay light, initially, as it does so.
At least now the outlook is good for getting N...!

1:30pm Wind has really died and we're struggling to make 1 kt! Wind is supposed to be filling in by tomorrow - but not now... Another slow day...

5:15pm Sky very cloudy now with just a few breaks. Wind from W at 3-4kt - so not much of it and drifting very slowly - still only at 1kt on average.. Checked in with Pacific Seafarers Net and now getting back on deck to finish mainsail repair. Not much more stitching needed so will be good to finish what I can, so it can be hoisted.
Needing plenty of water with cabin temperature at 32C. Sunset soon.

 

9pm Very calm and peaceful with scene lit by moonlight.
Have birds for company - a pair appeared at sunset as I was finishing sewing of mainsail. Think they are possibly a (White-headed?) Black Noddy? - not sure - maybe someone will be kind enough to ID them for me? I'm calling them a Noddy since they look to me rather like the Black Noddy that once previously visited 'Nereida' at sea - but happy to be sent a correct name since there are probably several types of Noddy
Still sailing very slowly - now heading NW at 1.5-2 kt in wind of still only 3-4kt.

Decided to try to get my hair under control before washing it. With little time normally spent on brushing, it had taken on a bit of a Raster look in places Took quite a time to untangle it gently but, surprisingly, managed not to have to cut hardly any away - just a couple of impossibly-tangled knots. Really looking forward to a shower and hair wash soon.

3:45am Moon has just set - a deep orange ball sinking into the calm sea.
Gybed the genoa - on starboard tack now, with 6-7kt wind from SE quadrant, trying to head N, rather than NW, if possible. Still moving very slowly...
Back to my bunk for more sleep...

7am Full sail - added full main to genoa in 7-8kt of wind from ENE - making 4.2kt course 013T. Not exactly the course or speed I'd prefer but not too bad and a lot better than last few days....
Bright sun is getting warm as it gets higher in an increasingly cloudless sky and our bird visitor is not showing any sign of wanting to fly away from the comfortable perch it found on the pulpit seat. Its wings are very long for its body size (remind me of a frigate bird) and its very small black feet are webbed, like a duck. Bill must be good for getting fish - long, slender and slightly curved.

 

*****************************************************
While sailing around the world, I'm trying to raise funds to help support the superb life-saving work done by the RNLI (Lifeboats) in Britain each and every day of the year, regardless how bad the weather. In fact, the worse it is, the more likely they are out there, helping someone in distress - whether a swimmer, surfer, small boat or big ship, night or day, summer or winter. They are all volunteers with normal day-jobs who respond immediately to a call and it is a charity - no government funding - so they rely on our help to fund their intensive training and maintain their equipment.

It would be great if you would take a moment to click on the Lifeboats link here (https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Jeanne-Socrates2), if you'd like to show your support for my efforts at sailing solo, nonstop, unassisted around the globe, trying to set a World Record as the oldest person to do so, by donating something towards the great work the RNLI do every day. If a lot of people put in even a small amount, it all adds up... Thanks a lot! If you can help, it will be very much appreciated. Let's see if we can reach my target!
***************************************************

1900GMT (= 9 a.m. LT = Tahiti time) - end of Day 283. We made 33 n.ml. DMG, measured in a straight line between the two 1900GMT positions. Wind up from dawn today helped speed for a few hours.

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 283 (by daily DMGs): 22,927 n.ml.

Distances (at 1700GMT): East Cape, N.Z.: 2140 n.ml. to SW; Papeete, Tahiti: 168 n.ml. to S; Honolulu: 2210 n.ml. to NNW

Position, as posted to www.Winlink.org and www.Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV):
TIME: 2019/07/13 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 14-52.17S LONGITUDE: 150-26.54W
COURSE: 015T SPEED: 5.2kt
WIND_SPEED: 10kt WIND_DIR: ENE SWELL_DIR: E SWELL_HT: 1.0m CLOUDS: 10%
BARO: 1012.8hPa TREND: 1 AIR_TEMP: 30.0C SEA_TEMP: 35.0C
COMMENT: Wind up around dawn - full sail now - no longer becalmed!

Day 282 Thurs-Fri 11-12 July 2019 GMT Totally stalled all day - no progress N or NE possible... although some wind with overnight rain gave small NW gain.

Thursday 10:30am LT/Tahiti time (Thurs 2030 GMT) Wind 6kt from NE again - just like this time yesterday but plenty of cloud around today - rain seen falling to starboard and a hint of it on the air here. Rocking gently in very little swell. After a short time drifting due N, we're now drifting NW.
Radio propagation not so good today and we're getting further away - was fine to Polynesia but not good enough to make contact both ways with Fiji - although I could hear them well enough, they could not make out what I was saying.

Another day effectively becalmed - will work on mainsail again - particularly on a repair made at Timaru, just in from the original leech repair - it needs strengthening with more stitching.

Midday Coffee!! Not had any for a long time and decided to use the French press insert in an insulated mug. Worked fairly well and was a good substitute for the out-of-action Bialetti/Italian coffee-maker that succumbed to corrosion a while back. (The steel version was lost a few years ago, unfortunately.) Aluminium and sea air do not mix well - guaranteed corrosion will occur sooner or later. Impossible to unscrew it despite Kroil and major efforts used.
Will be looking forward to fresh milk for my tea and coffee on landfall - this particular brand of dried milk (maybe all 100% dried milk?) is definitely not recommended - despite vacuum-packing! Should have checked it out before stocking up with it and should have bought a good 'creamer' made for coffee, instead. Just does not dissolve well and sometimes makes a paste at bottom of mug - yuck! UHT/long-life milk would have worked fine but I brought a lot less with me this time.

Swell is making boat roll around quite often - tie myself to the boom using my harness and that allows me to get on quite well with the sewing needed, despite being perched quite high up on coach-roof. Patched this particular area back together with sticky sail repair tape yesterday and now I'm sewing the edges at intervals, hoping to keep the patches from coming undone, as was happening to the original ones.
Finishing a (very!) late breakfast (brunch?) before going back on deck - very overcast now - won't need to cover up quite so much. Still a light NE wind - no use for heading N-NNE, as I'd like to. ...And we're not in the Doldrums yet!!

Back on deck - repair work won't get finished if I don't keep at it. Keeping legs/arms/feet covered to be safe from burning...

2:40pm Heard Superwind starting up, turning suddenly - N wind of 7kt, gusting to 10kt, we're drifting WSW . We're right in between two dark grey rainclouds - a little rain but not much, so far. Re-installed storm screen half, just in case... Waiting to continue work on mainsail, clearing up some more, down below...

3pm Completely calm now - rainclouds seem to have dissipated, although remnants are still close by and sun trying to get out.

11pm Managed to get quite a bit done on mainsail today in between showers, although very slow progress with stitching, especially when the fair-sized swell made us really roll around at times.... Was good to strap myself into the boom for some of the work - helped a lot.
Heavy rain just now but no sails up to take advantage of the wind it brought - thinking of unfurling the genoa to try to do just that, although wind usually dies once the rain stops.

Need to get away from this calm patch - if we can't, we could be trapped here for several more days..

Midnight Rain stopped a short while ago but wind still around 10kt from NNE-NE - so full genoa was unfurled and we're now underway - sailing...! Not very fast and main yet to be hoisted (wasn't expecting to hoist it since still being repaired). Headed NW at around 4kt, trying to escape this calm patch, if at all possible. We'll see how well that plan works out...
To sleep now - might have a disturbed night...

4:30am So very difficult to sail close to the wind, especially at night, without a display showing wind direction. The genoa luffed up and then we went around in light wind. I thought maybe we were now in wind from SSW, as in a forecast for our position that I'd seen earlier, instead of NE, so tried gybing around onto port tack... All to no avail... After some time, we're back pretty well on same course, on starboard tack, as before - but slightly more to W - off the wind more, possibly... Now making 295T, instead of the hoped-for 335T which is clearly too close to the present wind which must be roughly NNE, or maybe it has backed slightly, and gone more to N.
Back to my bunk for more sleep... Another couple of hours to sunrise.... Lots of bright stars and a little cloud around, but no moon.

7:20am Bright sunlight now. Wind has now shifted to SW but query, very light - blades of Superwind (wind generator) are not turning at all. Gybed the sail and we're trying to make NNW but difficult holding course in such a light wind.

8am Wind has dropped to 4-5kt - seems we're back to drifting in little wind again. AP cannot hold a course when our speed is under 1kt so we're drifting around in light SW wind. Genoa was not filling, so furled it in and must see to mainsail repair... Need still to stitch in a few places at edges of sail repair tape that was stuck in place yesterday, so it can be hoisted later to help our speed next time we get underway.

Clear line of cloud ahead from NW horizon to SE - convergence zone where opposing light winds meet and air rises to form cloud - see photo. It's supposed to be drifting SE and, at some point in time over next two days (I hope!), we'll end up on its other side and get SE wind finally - to make our getaway N. On reflection, maybe we just crossed over...?

*****************************************************
While sailing around the world, I'm trying to raise funds to help support the superb life-saving work done by the RNLI (Lifeboats) in Britain each and every day of the year, regardless how bad the weather. In fact, the worse it is, the more likely they are out there, helping someone in distress - whether a swimmer, surfer, small boat or big ship, night or day, summer or winter. They are all volunteers with normal day-jobs who respond immediately to a call and it is a charity - no government funding - so they rely on our help to fund their intensive training and maintain their equipment.

It would be great if you would take a moment to click on the Lifeboats link here (https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Jeanne-Socrates2), if you'd like to show your support for my efforts at sailing solo, nonstop, unassisted around the globe, trying to set a World Record as the oldest person to do so, by donating something towards the great work the RNLI do every day. If a lot of people put in even a small amount, it all adds up... Thanks a lot! If you can help, it will be very much appreciated. Let's see if we can reach my target!
***************************************************

1900GMT (= 9 a.m. LT = Tahiti time) - end of Day 282. We made just 25 n.ml. DMG, measured in a straight line between the two 1900GMT positions. More than 16ml overnight in wind after rain helped DMG - drifted in almost no wind rest of day

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 282 (by daily DMGs): 22,894 n.ml.

Distances (at 1700GMT): East Cape, N.Z.: 2125 n.ml. to SW; Papeete, Tahiti: 135 n.ml. to S; Honolulu: 2242 n.ml. to NNW

Position, as posted to www.Winlink.org and www.Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV):
TIME: 2019/07/12 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 15-23.80S LONGITUDE: 150-15.19W
COURSE: 115T SPEED: 0.7kt
WIND_SPEED: 4kt WIND_DIR: NW SWELL_DIR: NE SWELL_HT: 2.0m CLOUDS: 90%
BARO: 1013.5hPa TREND: 2 AIR_TEMP: 30.0C SEA_TEMP: 34.0C
COMMENT: Drifting again after sailing NW under genoa o'night, in wind after rain. Convergence line of cloud just ahead.

Quite a pronounced swell, so very rolly at times. Almost no wind and sea is very glassy-looking, with very smooth, big ripples.
Main has been lowered ready for repair - head of sail is looking rather sorry with several other holes/tears seen - all in need of dealing with and will keep me busy all day, I think.

Wednesday 1:30pm LT/Tahiti time (Wed 2330 GMT) Wind 5-6kt from NE - just died away to nothing again... Hot under clear blue sky. Protected by long cotton trousers, cotton socks, long-sleeved top plus floppy hat, sunscreen and sunglasses - everything is covered except for lower part of my face and my hands - and back of those have sunscreen also!

Came back down for water and to cut fabric for 'tabling'. Have been patching up the mainsail in different places so far today - lots needing attention - tears and holes... Slow progress.

Have taped up along the leech tear on both sides to hold the torn edges of sail cloth together - now need to sew the tabling into place - over both sides and around the leech edge. Often quite rolly still so not a quick and easy job to carry out.

2.25pm No wind - wind generator blades are still. Tabling measured and cut... edges heat sealed... Need to get on deck to sew in place - using double-sided narrow, sticky tape to help hold in position while sewing.

5:25pm Down below to radio for a very quick PacSeaNet check-in and drink of water.
Mainsail repair of leech tear nearly finished - must get back up on deck while there's still daylight - sun is getting low!

6:45pm So very peaceful out here, with no sound at all except occasionally from sea. Feels amazing. Finished sewing 'tabling' material around leech of head of mainsail to repair tear there. Had to use a headlamp - ran out of daylight after a lovely sunset with almost no cloud. Was trying to sew as much as possible while there was still light, so missed taking the sunset photo I'd intended. If tomorrow brings same very light wind from NE, I can do some more sewing - of patches I've added to places elsewhere on the sail - far better with stitching reinforcing the sticky-backed sail repair tape used.

Checked the weather - looks as though light NE wind will continue tomorrow - so further repairs and other jobs likely to be dealt with.

Seeing NE wind of around 8kt just now - unbelievably, that is a headwind for sailing NNE. No point in getting underway since can't make a course anywhere near the direction I'd like to go - possible choices would be ESE or NW, neither of which is attractive.

Thursday 3:30am Very dark night - no moon - with pleny of stars and just a little cloud. Drifting W at 0.5kt - so must be slight E wind? Peaceful. Wind generator blades hardly turning so wind under 6-7kt. AIS scfeen showing Huahine to be lying about 95 miles to SE. Papeete, on Tahiti, is about 115 miles due S. Feeling thirsty - water, then back for more sleep... Rocking gently in swell.

7:25am Light cloud layer overhead and covering most of sky, but edge is not far away - to S and W. Rocking gently in very little swell and almost no wind. What little wind there is seems to be only 3kt from E. Interestingly, our drift has now changed for the last mile to due N, rather than averaging due W since yesterday.
Another day becalmed - will work on mainsail again - a repair made at Timaru, just in from the original leech repair, needs srengthening with more stitching - looking very unhappy.

Had a very deep sleep - I was very tired after very little sleep the night before and then up before dawn to get on with work.

*****************************************************
While sailing around the world, I'm trying to raise funds to help support the superb life-saving work done by the RNLI (Lifeboats) in Britain each and every day of the year, regardless how bad the weather. In fact, the worse it is, the more likely they are out there, helping someone in distress - whether a swimmer, surfer, small boat or big ship, night or day, summer or winter. They are all volunteers with normal day-jobs who respond immediately to a call and it is a charity - no government funding - so they rely on our help to fund their intensive training and maintain their equipment.

It would be great if you would take a moment to click on the Lifeboats link here (https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Jeanne-Socrates2), if you'd like to show your support for my efforts at sailing solo, nonstop, unassisted around the globe, trying to set a World Record as the oldest person to do so, by donating something towards the great work the RNLI do every day. If a lot of people put in even a small amount, it all adds up... Thanks a lot! If you can help, it will be very much appreciated. Let's see if we can reach my target!
***************************************************

1900GMT (= 9 a.m. LT = Tahiti time) - end of Day 281. We made just 10 n.ml. DMG, drifting all day, measured in a straight line between the two 1900GMT positions.

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 281 (by daily DMGs): 22,869 n.ml.

Distances (at 1700GMT): East Cape, N.Z.: 2131 n.ml. to SW; Papeete, Tahiti: 117 n.ml. to S; Honolulu: 2260 n.ml. to NNW

Position, as posted to www.Winlink.org and www.Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV):
TIME: 2019/07/11 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 15-37.16S LONGITUDE: 149-53.22W
COURSE: 310T SPEED: 0.9kt
WIND_SPEED: 6kt WIND_DIR: NE SWELL_DIR: SE SWELL_HT: 1.8m CLOUDS: 60%
BARO: 1015.7hPa TREND: 2 AIR_TEMP: 30.0C SEA_TEMP: 34.0C
COMMENT: Drifting still - 10 ml over y'day. More work on mainsail

Day 280 Tues-Wed 9-10 July 2019 GMT Light wind becomes even lighter overnight - drifting around in no wind by sunrise.

Tuesday 10am LT/Tahiti time (Tues 2000 GMT) Was excellent when we finally got away from the Tahiti wind shadow around midnight, heading N and making well over 6kt in 19kt wind from ESE, with full genoa and one reef in main... It's been a time since enjoying sailing so well in relatively calm seas!

Shook out first reef in light wind earlier - wind is down to 6-7kt from ESE now, so we're only making 3.6 kt. Feeling very warm - cabin temp just hit 30C and seawater temp is 35C. Sunny day with just 10% fluffy white clouds around. Seems we're expecting light wind conditions for a couple of days more so I'll be able to continue clearing up down below and getting on with a few small jobs - including quite a backlog of emails waiting to be replied to.

Still managing to make contact on the Fiji area South Pacific Net - getting further away and better at end of Net than at beginning - propagation improves over even that short time. Have had to give up on contact with NZ/Aus on 40m/7MHz in the mornings, although still managing occasionally on the 20m Tony's Net. Evening contacts are far better - especially to N.America, with Aus/NZ also working well then on 40m.

Warm enough on deck now for a possible deck shower - looking forward to that! Running generator and watermaker in readiness.

4pm A lovely relaxing day with bright sun, a few clouds and a 2m SE swell - all very gentle and I feel as though I'm on holiday! Time to clear up slowly, re-organize things, dry out damp clothing, check on food, .... Lots of breathing space!

Have full sail out so can't go any faster than the wind permits - which, at 6-7kt from SE just now, isn't very fast - around 3kt. I can hear the soothing gurgling of the water on the hull as it passes by.

Just took down one half of my storm screen - gives more air flow to down below and can quickly be put back if needed.

Also dug out two big vacuum-packed beach towels and a few other small towels/face flannels for use in these hot conditions. Use a beach towel on my bunk when it gets hot and need the small flannels when leaning on paper (logbook etc) when I'm hot and sticky - lean on them on top of the page instead, so keeps paper of logbook pages dry.

5am Wednesday (Wed 1500 GMT) Glassy smooth sea surface with stars reflecting in it - Orion upside down, as usual, his head getting low in E sky.

Turned off the autopilot and furled in the genoa - less wear on it than if left to flap around and flog in the 2-3kt of wind and rolling around in the swell.

Back to my bunk for more sleep - will lower mainsail in daylight, if this wind, or lack of it, continues after dawn, as I expect it will. Seems possible that the mainsail repair will be seen to in the morning...

6am Dawn beginning to break - first light - sunrise not too far away... Increasing orange light in the E sky reflected in the deep rippled blue of the ocean...

6:45am Sunrise a short while ago - sky has very few clouds so I'll need to cover up for deck work. Quite a pronounced swell, so rather rolly - at times very much so... Almost no wind and sea very glassy-looking although plenty of big ripples.

Main has been lowered ready for repair - head of sail looking rather sorry with several other holes/tears seen - all in need of dealing with. This will be a busy day.

*****************************************************

While sailing around the world, I'm trying to raise funds to help support the superb life-saving work done by the RNLI (Lifeboats) in Britain each and every day of the year, regardless how bad the weather. In fact, the worse it is, the more likely they are out there, helping someone in distress - whether a swimmer, surfer, small boat or big ship, night or day, summer or winter. They are all volunteers with normal day-jobs who respond immediately to a call and it is a charity - no government funding - so they rely on our help to fund their intensive training and maintain their equipment.

It would be great if you would take a moment to click on the Lifeboats link here (https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Jeanne-Socrates2), if you'd like to show your support for my efforts at sailing solo, nonstop, unassisted around the globe, trying to set a World Record as the oldest person to do so, by donating something towards the great work the RNLI do every day. If a lot of people put in even a small amount, it all adds up... Thanks a lot! If you can help, it will be very much appreciated. Let's see if we can reach my target!

***************************************************

1900GMT (= 9 a.m. LT = Tahiti time) - end of Day 280. We made just 43 n.ml. DMG, measured in a straight line between the two 1900GMT positions. Very light wind a lot of the time, resulting in a lot of drifting at 1-2kt.

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 280 (by daily DMGs): 22,859 n.ml.

Distances (at 1700GMT): East Cape, N.Z.: 2138 n.ml. to SW; Papeete, Tahiti: 114 n.ml. to S; Honolulu: 2264 n.ml. to NNW

Position, as posted to www.Winlink.org and www.Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV):

TIME: 2019/07/10 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 15-38.63S LONGITUDE: 149-42.32W

COURSE: 294T SPEED: 0.9kt

WIND_SPEED: 2kt WIND_DIR: E SWELL_DIR: E SWELL_HT: 1.8m CLOUDS: 10%

BARO: 1015.9hPa TREND: 2 AIR_TEMP: 30.0C SEA_TEMP: 34.0C

COMMENT: Drifting in SE 2kt. Mainsail lowered for repair today.

Monday 3pm LT/Tahiti time (Tues 0100 GMT) Warm and humid but sun mostly hidden under cloud coming off Moorea, so not too much danger of getting burnt while working on deck.

Suddenly noticed quite a large flying fish behind the steering wheel that must have flown on board overnight - bit enough to eat but now rather dried up.
Have repaired a couple of small tears on mainsail where access was easy since where stowed on boom near cockpit; re-did lashing at top of pole holding down, and stopping from turning, the antenna and radar mount; with difficulty, due to corrosion of parts, changed over propane tanks for galley cooker supply (two attempts, since flow stopped very soon after finally managed to connect up first tank, so maybe it was empty); stowed spinnaker pole. ...All the time, keeping us safe from drifting onto the reef not so far away to W.

Also prepared for sail repair - now ready to lower mainsail for access to head of sail where problem lies. We seem to be sailing/drifting NW-N now in a light SSE wind that has not long kicked in, so I'm feeling fairly confident we won't get any closer to the reef - still under 4 miles away to E - not far but drift is in a good direction to stay clear.

3:20pm Rain! Just what I didn't want since I was just about to stick sail repair tape over leech tear in mainsail before covering it all with some fabric 'tabling' using some burgundy-coloured material used normally for the UV-strip on the furling sails. Feeling pretty frustrated with today's events - was taken in direction of reef in virtually no wind and so have spent a lot of time trying to keep us away from it. We frequently ended up going around in a circle with such light wind and so I often had to jumo to the wheel, trying to get us to head SW or W when that looked like the only safe option - but all at very little speed since wind has been so very light, as well as it being highly shifty. I steered to anywhere we could actually hold a course for a time, so long as it took us away from the reef direction!

3:35pm 10-14kt of E wind under rain cloud - so we're making 3kt NNE. Having to keep watch for other boats - sailing yachts and small fishing vessels - several around.

5:30pm Wind died to 4-7kt with seas from E at 1.5m. Probably still in lee of Moorea and also of Tahiti. Sun setting soon, so decided to get underway since not able to do sail repair today - another day...

Feeling tired and hungry so will get a meal while still some daylight and hope to get to sleep early tonight - except need to keep an eye out for local traffic - a lot between the islands - a mix of ferries, fishing vessels and sailing yachts.

9pm Waxing crescent moon high up. A few clouds but mainly a starry sky. Struggling to keep course in just 7-9 kt of ESE wind - in lee of Tahiti and Moorea still. Enjoyed hot beef stew with green beans and sweetcorn - now to bunk - very tired after disturbed sleep last night and up very early this morning.

Tuesday 12:40am (Tues 1040 GMT) We're well out of the Tahiti wind shadow (lee) now - headig N and making well over 6kt in 19kt wind from ESE, with full genoa and one reef in main... Sailing very well.... lovely!

8am Bright blue sky with 9kt E wind, making 4.3 kt just E of N (004T). Speed down in lighter wind after excellent overnight sail - need to shake out first reef before breakfast. Checked in to Polynesia Magellan Net (PolyMagNet) - good to chat to cruisers in and around French Polynesia.

 

*****************************************************
While sailing around the world, I'm trying to raise funds to help support the superb life-saving work done by the RNLI (Lifeboats) in Britain each and every day of the year, regardless how bad the weather. In fact, the worse it is, the more likely they are out there, helping someone in distress - whether a swimmer, surfer, small boat or big ship, night or day, summer or winter. They are all volunteers with normal day-jobs who respond immediately to a call and it is a charity - no government funding - so they rely on our help to fund their intensive training and maintain their equipment.

It would be great if you would take a moment to click on the Lifeboats link here (https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Jeanne-Socrates2), if you'd like to show your support for my efforts at sailing solo, nonstop, unassisted around the globe, trying to set a World Record as the oldest person to do so, by donating something towards the great work the RNLI do every day. If a lot of people put in even a small amount, it all adds up... Thanks a lot! If you can help, it will be very much appreciated. Let's see if we can reach my target!
***************************************************

1900GMT (= 9 a.m. LT = Tahiti time) - end of Day 279. We made 72 n.ml. DMG, measured in a straight line between the two 1900GMT positions. Not too bad - made good speed once underway, especially after midnight, after stopped near Moorea all day for jobs needed.

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 279 (by daily DMGs): 22,816 n.ml.

Distances (at 1900GMT): East Cape, N.Z.: 2105 n.ml. to SW; Papeete, Tahiti: 71 n.ml. to S; Honolulu: 2306 n.ml. to NNW

Position, as posted to www.Winlink.org and www.Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV):
TIME: 2019/07/09 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 16-21.93S LONGITUDE: 149-43.01W
COURSE: 000T SPEED: 4.5kt
WIND_SPEED: 10kt WIND_DIR: ESE SWELL_DIR: ESE SWELL_HT: 1.8m CLOUDS: 10%
BARO: 1015.2hPa TREND: 2 AIR_TEMP: 29.0C SEA_TEMP: 34.0C
COMMENT: Wind getting light - SOG down.Full sail. Bright sun. Calm sailing!

Sunday 11am LT (Sun 2100 GMT) A lot of cloud around still but sun getting out well - cabin temperature is now 27C/80F. Seas still big - but they're expected to die down slowly over today and tomorrow, with the lighter wind. Still getting decks washed by occasional tumbling wave.
Changed course slightly a short while ago - to 011T, to head a bit closer to Moorea in case there's a possibility of making use of its lee for mainsail repair (leech torn near the head, above repaired sections which are looking fine, so far). That depends on timing, since can't easily do the work in darkness (nor in any fair-sized swell) and expect to pass by the island near to, or just before, dawn tomorrow.
About to run generator - really only to run water-maker which runs on 12V and so runs off batteries, but I prefer not to run down the batteries if I can avoid it.
Looking forward to more sleep soon...

5:30pm Sun is getting close to sunset - bright but hazy deep yellow glare of sun behind low cloud in W. Seas are a little less than previously - nearer 3.5m/11ft than the 4-4.5m/14ft of yesterday - and they're not so rough, so a little bit easier to move around now.
Got really busy in galley earlier - eventually finished clearing everything left over from last few rough days. Got going on preparing a meal - and then suddenly remembered - no propane coming to galley burners just now - need to change propane tanks over for gas to supply line to galley - so hurried change of plan... Ended with quick and easy shrimps with mayonnaise, having had to throw overboard a can of tuna I'd opened but quickly realised was no good - so I fed the fishes!
Had a good nap and have just changed into shorts and T-shirt - Yay!! I'm definitely feeling warm now and often turn on the small fan over the chart table - nice to get a slight breeze there with cabin at nearly 28C/82F.

8pm The HF/SSB radio is so good for making contact with people! Tonight I was delighted to be able to chat to friends from two different boats - one of which I'd not seen for 3 years or more but suddenly heard their boat name mentioned by someone else - so we ended up making contact. Another friend sent greetings from California via a boat on a cruisers' Net I'm checking into daily just now, having heard I was here. All would have been impossible without the radio on board - no satphone could have possibly enabled those three unexpected contacts! I'm also chatting daily to amateur radio friends... Am I lonely? Not at all!

10pm Cloud has mostly cleared away to give bright stars everywhere... The moon is shining brightly over the sea - its path of silver light leading to Nereida across the waves.
I've been trying to slow us down while heading more towards Moorea - a contradiction since either we can slow down but not get as close or we can go faster to stand more chance of making our upwind course and getting closer in - difficult both to slow down and still sail close to the wind to a point just NW of Moorea... So I'm not very optimistic that my plan to repair the mainsail leech tear in the lee of Moorea and Tahiti will work out - 50/50 chance at best, maybe. I'll know better come dawn - not just from our position then but also from seeing both the sea state and also the wind direction and strength.
If the sail can't be repaired now, it will have to wait for another time when the wind will have died down along with the seas - in or close to the Doldrums/ITCZ perhaps? That's some distance away.
Time to sleep with alarm set...

11:30pm Really being thrown around by seas - wind has died down a bit but seas take a lot longer...

Monday 6:15am LT/Tahiti time (Mon 1615 GMT) First light before sunrise. We're stopped 9ml SW of NW corner of Moorea and just over 10 ml due W of S end of the island. Wind 4-5kt from ESE - not enough to keep sailing on course... About to furl in genoa and lower mainsail to try to repair tear(s) - sunrise shortly - will cover up my legs and arms from the sun...

6:40am Sunrise over Moorea to E... Drifting and going around in circles with wheel lashed, looking over sail - a couple of more small tears seen on sail stowed on boom near cockpit - easy access to patch them but sail damp at present.

7am Wind has got up again - 8-10kt from ESE. Unfurled genoa and have just got underway again in direction of point well NW of Moorea, hoping for less swell and less wind, so a better lee than here - not very good so far, with quite a good swell running, making it very rolly. Making around 3kt. Fingers crossed...

8:30am Wind didn't last long - died again and we're drifting a bit too close towards to the reef for comfort while only 3-4 ml off. Can't possibly get on with work until I'm sure we're clear of the reef... Creeping at under 1 kt so will take a time...
Maybe I can begin to get other, smaller jobs done in the meantime.
Just not feeling at all comfortable although I think we'll clear it OK if our course stays the same - but just a bit too close for comfort... keep thinking: what if our course while drifting 'not under command' changes more towards the E...?
Can see small fishing boats on AIS outside the reef - mostly moving very little while they fish. A lot of hazy, thin cloud spreading out from Moorea's interior and high mountains but fairly bright. Warm and humid.

 

*****************************************************
While sailing around the world, I'm trying to raise funds to help support the superb life-saving work done by the RNLI (Lifeboats) in Britain each and every day of the year, regardless how bad the weather. In fact, the worse it is, the more likely they are out there, helping someone in distress - whether a swimmer, surfer, small boat or big ship, night or day, summer or winter. They are all volunteers with normal day-jobs who respond immediately to a call and it is a charity - no government funding - so they rely on our help to fund their intensive training and maintain their equipment.

It would be great if you would take a moment to click on the Lifeboats link here (https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Jeanne-Socrates2), if you'd like to show your support for my efforts at sailing solo, nonstop, unassisted around the globe, trying to set a World Record as the oldest person to do so, by donating something towards the great work the RNLI do every day. If a lot of people put in even a small amount, it all adds up... Thanks a lot! If you can help, it will be very much appreciated. Let's see if we can reach my target!
***************************************************

1900GMT (= 9 a.m. LT = Tahiti time) - end of Day 278. We made 96 n.ml. DMG, measured in a straight line between the two 1900GMT positions. Slow for several hours this morning.

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 278 (by daily DMGs): 22,744 n.ml.

Distances (at 1900GMT): East Cape, N.Z.: 2047 n.ml. to SW; Papeete, Tahiti: 23 n.ml. to E; Honolulu: 2372 n.ml. to NNW

Position, as posted to www.Winlink.org and www.Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV):
TIME: 2019/07/08 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 17-32.60S LONGITUDE: 149-59.36W
COURSE: 030T SPEED: 1.5kt
WIND_SPEED: 5kt WIND_DIR: ESE SWELL_DIR: ESE SWELL_HT: 1.5m CLOUDS: 50%
BARO: 1015.6hPa TREND: 2 AIR_TEMP: 28.0C SEA_TEMP: 33.0C
COMMENT: Drifting W of NW pt of Moorea, 4 ml off.

Saturday 1pm LT (Sat 2300 GMT) Bright sunny day with seas and winds still well up. I'm hoping we don't get the 30kt winds forecast earlier today and they stay instead to the E of here, over the Tuamotus, not reaching here. There's a Low forming there with heavy rain and winds from all different directions, depending on where exactly the centre is in relation to the person looking.

About to have some pancakes - another 'Tropics' celebration! Then maybe short 'catch up' sleep.

4pm The pancakes were just great! Not too much Nutella this time and a fair amount of raspberry sauce worked really well - not too rich, not too sweet, but very tasty. It got a bit difficult cooking them heeled over so very often - wave interval is down to every 6 seconds and the faces are very steep so we're really rolling about a lot. So eventually, I furled in a small amount more of the genoa to make the cooking easier. It was nice to be doing 6kt or more, in 25-27kt wind, but we're still making over 5 kt - in less wind, in fact - a lull?

Just as I was finishing cooking the last pancake, I realised the gas had gone out... The propane supply to the galley had run out and the tank needs changing - another job added to the list for when it calms down a bit. In the meantime, I've plenty of canned food that doesn't need cooking - good for warm climates, in fact!

8pm Finished a short while ago with several evening radio Nets - the airwaves get busy with darkness falling and radio propagation changing!

Will have a meal, get some sleep and then come up on 7163 just after midnight tonight - and then get back to sleep...

Sunday 2.45am Missed te 7163 sched - just too tired to make it. Wind has gusted up to 25-30kt - raining... seas big and rough. Wind must have backed more towards ENE so we're having trouble making our course - too close to wind now so came off wind 5 degrees - better, although still a bit close. Making just over 5kt, slightly E of N. Hopefully, we'll get back on course after rain squall passes.. Oops! A big wave crashes over noisily and we lurch and heel over to port as water washes over everywhere on deck...

Nothing more to be done - back to my bunk...

4:15am Dark still. Wind has dropped to under 20kt, and our speed with it, after gusting in showers to near 30kt. We're struggling to keep a course just E of N at around 4kt in what looks to be a backed wind in the showers. Not getting a lot of sleep tonight... Needing to keep checking and making adjustments to avoid luffing up (getting too close to the wind).

8:15am Bright daylight. Wind must have veered just enough so at a better angle now, from ESE again, and we're making our course without a problem - in fact, changed course slightly to 011T to head closer to Moorea in case a possibility of making use of its lee for a mainsail repair - depends on timing, since can't work in darkness too easily! A lot of cloud around now but sun getting out well. Seas still big - hoping they'll die down over today, as wind eases.

Looking forward to more sleep soon...

*****************************************************

While sailing around the world, I'm trying to raise funds to help support the superb life-saving work done by the RNLI (Lifeboats) in Britain each and every day of the year, regardless how bad the weather. In fact, the worse it is, the more likely they are out there, helping someone in distress - whether a swimmer, surfer, small boat or big ship, night or day, summer or winter. They are all volunteers with normal day-jobs who respond immediately to a call and it is a charity - no government funding - so they rely on our help to fund their intensive training and maintain their equipment.

It would be great if you would take a moment to click on the Lifeboats link here (https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Jeanne-Socrates2), if you'd like to show your support for my efforts at sailing solo, nonstop, unassisted around the globe, trying to set a World Record as the oldest person to do so, by donating something towards the great work the RNLI do every day. If a lot of people put in even a small amount, it all adds up... Thanks a lot! If you can help, it will be very much appreciated. Let's see if we can reach my target!

***************************************************

1900GMT (= 9 a.m. LT = Tahiti time) - end of Day 277. We made 112 n.ml. DMG, measured in a straight line between the two 1900GMT positions.

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 277 (by daily DMGs): 22,648 n.ml.

Distances (at 1900GMT): East Cape, N.Z.: 1965 n.ml. to SW; Papeete, Tahiti: 104 n.ml. to NNE; Honolulu: 2455 n.ml. to NNW

Position, as posted to www.Winlink.org and www.Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV):

TIME: 2019/07/07 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 19-04.24S LONGITUDE: 150-29.52W

COURSE: 009T SPEED: 5.0kt

WIND_SPEED:19kt WIND_DIR: ESE SWELL_DIR: E SWELL_HT: 4.0m CLOUDS: 80%

BARO: 1016.1hPa TREND: 1 AIR_TEMP: 26.4C SEA_TEMP: 32.1C

COMMENT: Seas still big but wind eased a bit. Course change now to 011T

Day 276 Fri-Sat 5-6 July 2019 GMT Tropic of Capricorn crossed - we're in the Tropics - but big, rough seas and strong Maramu wind continue.

 

Friday 8am LT (1800 GMT) Took a couple of photos in quick succession, and a video, of the big , impressively rough seas that keep picking us up and throwing us about as they come onto our beam.

 

3pm Every so often, it has calmed down a bit and I wonder if I should unfurl some more genoa - but then it soon gusts up again to near 30kt and I realise that would be a bad idea.

During a short lull in the wind, I got out some nice snacks to celebrate reaching the Tropics - crab pate on crackers, black Kalamata olives and (Saltspring!) feta cheese. All enjoyed seated safely on the leeward settee/bunk ...while the sky clouded over and it rained after a morning of bright sunshine. It's been rough now for so many days, I've lost count... and seas are set to continue tossing us around at just over 4m for another two days at least, with E-SE wind of 25-30 kt, as well.

The best, safest place to be is on or in my bunk - moving around the heeled, ever-lurching boat in these very big,rough seas is difficult, so kept to a minimum.

We passed Rurutu 15 miles off at mid-morning in bright sun and very big seas that regularly broke over the decks and washed over the hard top. I tried to avoid crossing directly over a seamount that was exactly in our path to the SE of the island because they usually generate rough seas in any bad weather - so maybe the seas were that much bigger around there, despite our detour.

We're now on our way towards Tahiti and Moorea - 2-3 days away.

About to have a short nap before Pacific Seafarers Net check-in at 0310Z (5:10pm LT)

Sunset Soon after dark, just caught a glimpse of the setting crescent moon as it peeked out from behind low cloud in the W.
Was thinking, yet again, about unfurling the genoa some more - but then the wind gusted up, so changed my mind... It's been really gusty today - and not obviously due to clouds passing overhead.

Finally discarded the last fleece tops! Even felt warm enough this evening to switch on a small fan at the chart table to cool down a touch. We're in the Tropics for sure now, with sea temperature well up and nearing 30C/86F - a lot higher than air temperature.

11pm It's just possible that the wind might be lessening. Boat speed has been down a lot this evening, although wind has still been gusting up to near 30kt from time to time. Tempted to unfurl just a small amount more genoa. (Later - wind well up again with rain - glad I didn't!)
Have had a nice celebratory evening - relaxed to music, with a ready-prepared meal plus a tiny amount of red wine and some chocolate afterward. Also enjoyed chatting to quite a few different people on ham radio (Canada, Australia, New Zealand and USA) and cruiser Nets in Fiji and French Polynesia.

Really pleased with the main batteries - not only are they now accepting plenty of charge when I run the diesel generator (which I've not needed to do for three days now) but also, with Superwind wind generator's big input in present strong wind, voltage is regularly over 13V - excellent!

Saturday 5am LT (1500 GMT) Wind is still up around 24kt or more, and we're making 4-5 kt under a dark sky - no moon to light up the scene just now. Bouncing around with occasional wave breaking onto starboard side deck - a lot of noise and a lurch to port...

6:45am Daylight - just before sunrise with quite a lot of cloud around, some of it a thin layer. Seas are impressively big at over 4m - a lot of them at 4-5 seconds interval with a few at 8 seconds interval. Most seem to be coming from E, with some smaller ones from ESE-SE, so making for rough seas, moving us around a lot and still occasionally washing the decks as one catches our beam. Wind is from E - still mainly at well over 20kt, gusting to over 25kt. We're heading just E of N (009T) so rather heading into the seas and apparent wind, which slows us down. Sea temperature has risen to just over 30C/86F and cabin/air temp is 23C.

7:15am Sun has got out from behind low clouds. Seas have frequent large foam patches on their surface from where a crest was tumbling and breaking a little - nothing too threatening. Pressure has been slowly dropping over recent days and has now reached 1018hPa - well down on the high of last week.
Unfurled more genoa - finally! Wind is around 20kt mostly and speed has been nearer 4kt than 5kt - now making 4.5kt. If wind stays down will shake out the third reef but will check latest weather forecast first.
Was pleased to see the main halyard is not caught around a mast step, as I thought yesterday - either I was mistaken or it freed itself. Either way, it's good news and a big relief.

 

*****************************************************
While sailing around the world, I'm trying to raise funds to help support the superb life-saving work done by the RNLI (Lifeboats) in Britain each and every day of the year, regardless how bad the weather. In fact, the worse it is, the more likely they are out there, helping someone in distress - whether a swimmer, surfer, small boat or big ship, night or day, summer or winter. They are all volunteers with normal day-jobs who respond immediately to a call and it is a charity - no government funding - so they rely on our help to fund their intensive training and maintain their equipment.

It would be great if you would take a moment to click on the Lifeboats link here (https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Jeanne-Socrates2), if you'd like to show your support for my efforts at sailing solo, nonstop, unassisted around the globe, trying to set a World Record as the oldest person to do so, by donating something towards the great work the RNLI do every day. If a lot of people put in even a small amount, it all adds up... Thanks a lot! If you can help, it will be very much appreciated. Let's see if we can reach my target!
***************************************************

1900GMT (= 9 a.m. LT = Tahiti time) - end of Day 276. We made 111 n.ml. DMG, measured in a straight line between the two 1900GMT positions.

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 276 (by daily DMGs): 22,536 n.ml.

Distances (at 1900GMT): East Cape, N.Z.: 1887 n.ml. to SW; Tahiti: 202 n.ml. to NNE; Honolulu: 2562 n.ml. to NNW

Position, as posted to www.Winlink.org and www.Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV):
TIME: 2019/07/06 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 20-53.56S LONGITUDE: 150-46.28W
COURSE: 009T SPEED: 5.3kt
WIND_SPEED: 24kt WIND_DIR: E SWELL_DIR: E SWELL_HT: 4.2m CLOUDS: 80%
BARO: 1018.9hPa TREND: 0 AIR_TEMP: 24.7C SEA_TEMP: 30.2C
COMMENT: Seas still impressively big and rough. Sunny despite cloud.

Thursday 11:15am LT (Thursday 2115 GMT) Ship's clock now changed two hours forward to Tahiti time from New Zealand time, so our local time (LT) is now ten hours behind GMT/UTC, instead of twelve hours ahead, and we're back into Thursday 4th July - a repeated day! Glad to have been keeping a regular note of GMT time/date - avoids confusion.

Bright, sunny day with plenty of cloud around. Wind has been up a little since sunrise and it got pretty rough again - being well tossed around, just as this time yesterday.

12:30pm Feeling quite tired so going to lie down for a short sleep, having spent quite a time checking weather and our likely course over next week or so, insofaras made possible by forecast winds.

Made another course change - to 016T, towards Iles Australes, passing Rurutu tomorrow, and then on to pass just W of Tahiti and Moorea early next week. Original plan was to pass E of Tahiti but E winds forecast when getting closer make that likely to be untenable, so I'm playing safe by passing W instead, giving a better wind angle and avoiding the problem of possibly getting too close to a lee shore.

3pm Pleasant sailing conditions in bright sunshine with small white clouds scattered around. Swell not too often wetting side decks and gusts occurring less often but wind still well up at 22-25kt, so making good speed, although always heeled over.

10pm Keep thinking I should let out some of the genoa I furled in around sunset, ready for overnight - but then see wind still well up around 24kt so think better of it.

11:25pm Unfurled the headsail (genoa) a small amount more - our speed kept dropping enough that our course suffered. With just a little more boat speed, easier to keep to a course... To my bunk, with alarm set to check on our course - we're approaching the Austral atolls so I need to keep a good eye on where we're headed.

Friday 5am LT (Fri 1500 GMT) Dark night with sky a mix of mainly hazy stars with some cloud, no moon visible. Going well... adjusted our course to come slightly more off the wind - presently from ESE at 20-23kt.

Two tiny specs of red show on the AIS 'night mode' screen where Rurutu and Tubuai lie in relation to us - one is 36ml to NNW, the other is 90 ml to ESE. On course now for a waypoint well off Moorea - several days away still.

7:30am Bright, sunny day with plenty of white cloud around and seas still tossing us around quite often. Heeling to 25 kt, gusting 29kt, ESE wind.

8am Passing small atoll of Rurutu but it's too low and far away to see it.

Decided to take in 3rd reef, with wind gusting to 30kt again - but halyard caught on a mast step near top as sail was dropped... Will need to head up and release halyard more to sort it out - but waiting until finished diverting past a seamount upwind just now - sea depth changes rapidly nearby from well over 6,000m to just 600m in a few miles. With already rough seas, it's likely to become even rougher close to the underwater peak - probably another old volcano.

9am Just realised .... we've officially passed into the Tropics - now being well N of the Tropic of Capricorn since our latitude is now 22d 40'S. Must celebrate that today - party time... if it calms down a bit! With weather forecast showing these conditions not improving until Sunday at earliest, might have to postpone the party for a time but enjoying party snacks of 'special foods' can still go ahead and was delighted to open some mango juice to have with my breakfast this morning - highly appropriate!

*****************************************************

While sailing around the world, I'm trying to raise funds to help support the superb life-saving work done by the RNLI (Lifeboats) in Britain each and every day of the year, regardless how bad the weather. In fact, the worse it is, the more likely they are out there, helping someone in distress - whether a swimmer, surfer, small boat or big ship, night or day, summer or winter. They are all volunteers with normal day-jobs who respond immediately to a call and it is a charity - no government funding - so they rely on our help to fund their intensive training and maintain their equipment.

It would be great if you would take a moment to click on the Lifeboats link here (https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Jeanne-Socrates2), if you'd like to show your support for my efforts at sailing solo, nonstop, unassisted around the globe, trying to set a World Record as the oldest person to do so, by donating something towards the great work the RNLI do every day. If a lot of people put in even a small amount, it all adds up... Thanks a lot! If you can help, it will be very much appreciated. Let's see if we can reach my target!

***************************************************

1900GMT (= 9 a.m. LT = Tahiti time) - end of Day 275. We made 120 n.ml. DMG, measured in a straight line between the two 1900GMT positions. A better day's run again... nice to see!

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 275 (by daily DMGs):22,425 n.ml

Distances (at 1900GMT): East Cape, N.Z.: 1801 n.ml. to SW; Tahiti: 310 n.ml. to NNE; Tubuai (Iles Australes): 90 n.ml. to ESE; Rurutu (Iles Australes):21 n.ml. to NE.

Position, as posted to www.Winlink.org and www.Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV):

TIME: 2019/07/05 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 22-44.49S LONGITUDE: 151-02.48W

COURSE: 352T SPEED: 5.2kt

WIND_SPEED: 23kt WIND_DIR: ESE SWELL_DIR: ESE SWELL_HT: 4.0m CLOUDS: 40%

BARO: 1022.8hPa TREND: 0 AIR_TEMP: 23.0C SEA_TEMP: 28.0C

COMMENT: Diverted to avoid seamount - back on 016T soon

HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY to my US friends!

Thursday 9am NZT (Wed 2100 GMT) The wind was up in a gust to over 20kt but we're now creeping along in wind that has died down to 8-10kt, waiting for it to come back up. Today's forecast is a repeat of the last few days - SE-ESE at 20-25kt - so we're getting yet another 'cloud effect' in the present mainly cloudy conditions, it seems. Very frustrating - we're either under-canvassed in the lulls or just about coping OK in the gusts. Would be really nice to get more consistent winds to give better daily DMGs. Feeling the boat accelerate again as i write this, as we come into another gust and heel to the increase in wind...

Sunset and sunrise are getting increasingly early in the NZT (New Zealand Time) that I've kept to for some time now but it's very convenient being exactly 12hrs different from GMT and nice to be a day ahead! The next time change coming up is to Tahiti (French Polynesia) Time and will mean a 2hr change (to GMT-10hr) and 'losing' a day.

We're presently approaching French Polynesia so tomorrow I'll make the change - we'll be repeating 4th July!! It's one good reason to keep track of Nereida's date in GMT - that way it's clear what the date/time is, so there's no confusion.

3:30pm NZT Sun has just set - not much cloud around except on horizons now and it has been less rough today - feels more comfortable but still have to be careful moving around with the 4m/13ft swell.

5pm Wind up - gusting to 26kt, with possibility of gusting higher - so furled in some genoa to reduce excessive heeling.

A beautiful night - sky is so full of bright stars without the moon to dim them. Spent a time gazing around, listening to the noise of the wind in the rigging and then enjoying the night sky some more before retreating to the relative calm of the cabin. Surprising how much quieter it is down below, even with the hatch open to the cockpit - the storm screen clearly cuts down the noise a lot.

There's a lot of motion from the swell which does its usual job of tossing us around a lot in these increased conditions. Heading into the wind and seas, or being on a beam reach, resulting in beam seas, makes such a big difference compared with running downwind, which would feel quite pleasant by comparison.

Just got hit by a wave which broke over the coachroof and on to the port side deck - the result of big beam seas.... Glad I wasn't in the cockpit just then!

11:30pm Had a good radio session starting at 1030Z on 7163kHz with Jim, WB2REM, and other radio friends either directly over the HF rdio or partly using a cellphone 'patch' to Jim's remote. Lots of 'Happy Holidays!" exchanged.

Sky is dark and full of bright stars - no moon in sight.

Unfurled a bit more genoa - wind seems to be 20kt, maybe just under.

Friday 6am NZT (Thurs 1800 GMT) Wind up a little since sunrise - pretty rough again - being well tossed around. Made a course change last night - to around 030T now. Headed towards Iles Australes, just over a day away - good news since it means we should pass them in good daylight. Not sure I'll be close enough to see anything - they're small, low-lying atolls.

About to change ship's clock from New Zealand time to Tahiti time - 2hrs forward and one day back - so this change of local time puts us back into Fourth July a second time!!

*****************************************************

While sailing around the world, I'm trying to raise funds to help support the superb life-saving work done by the RNLI (Lifeboats) in Britain each and every day of the year, regardless how bad the weather. In fact, the worse it is, the more likely they are out there, helping someone in distress - whether a swimmer, surfer, small boat or big ship, night or day, summer or winter. They are all volunteers with normal day-jobs who respond immediately to a call and it is a charity - no government funding - so they rely on our help to fund their intensive training and maintain their equipment.

It would be great if you would take a moment to click on the Lifeboats link here (https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Jeanne-Socrates2), if you'd like to show your support for my efforts at sailing solo, nonstop, unassisted around the globe, trying to set a World Record as the oldest person to do so, by donating something towards the great work the RNLI do every day. If a lot of people put in even a small amount, it all adds up... Thanks a lot! If you can help, it will be very much appreciated. Let's see if we can reach my target!

***************************************************

1900GMT (= 7 a.m. NZT) - end of Day 274. We made 111 n.ml. DMG, measured in a straight line between the two 1900GMT positions. Better!

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 274 (by daily DMGs):22,305 n.ml

Distances (at 1900GMT): East Cape, N.Z.: 1707 n.ml. to SW; Tahiti: 431 n.ml. to NNE; Tubuai (Iles Australes): 140 n.ml. to NE; Rurutu (Iles Australes):129 n.ml. to NNE.

Position, as posted to www.Winlink.org and www.Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV):

TIME: 2019/07/04 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 24-39.84S LONGITUDE: 151-39.80W

COURSE: 031T SPEED: 5.5kt

WIND_SPEED: 23kt WIND_DIR: ESE SWELL_DIR: ESE SWELL_HT: 4.0m CLOUDS: 30%

BARO: 1025hPa TREND: 0 AIR_TEMP: 21.0C SEA_TEMP: 28.0C

COMMENT: Wind gusted up at sunrise; being tossed around more than overnight

Wednesday 2:30pm NZT (Tues 0230GMT) I felt very fortunate to be able to see most of the major part of the solar eclipse this morning - there was cloud around the sun but, especially close to sunrise, I was able to see a good amount of the sun in darkness - at 5:45am NZT, over 2/3 was covered (top down) and, by 6:30am NZT, the lower right hand portion of the sun was obscured - just under 1/4. Then the sun disappeared behind a long line of grey cloud.

I was about to write about the small white fluffy clouds seen around midday and how nice it was not to have any rain clouds in sight ... and here we are back in a band of rain clouds... Wind is gusting up to 30kt, as it seems to do every time under the clouds (and often away from them) and seas are consistently 4m/13ft and really close together. At just a 5-6 second interval, they get very steep-faced and toss us around so we heel over a lot as we go up and down on them. None of which is made any better by beating into the strong wind and seas, trying to make a NE course in the ESE wind. The Maramu wind is making itself felt and will be around for a few more days yet. If the forecast is correct, conditions might have eased a little in 4 days' time.

Was lovely to catch sight of a pair of birds flying very close together, keeping pace with each other exactly as they wheeled around astern of Nereida - a courtship ritual?

Every so often, the sky clears to a deep clear blue with a bright sun and I really feel we're getting closer to the Tropics... The Tropic of Capricorn is not too far off now - about two and a half days away, near Tubuai, the first of the Austral group of islands. Sea temperature has risen to 25.8C/78F and the air is consistently over 20C/68F now. Pressure is very high, at 1030hPa.

3:30pm Sun is almost ready to set. Seas and wind are well up - 25kt with 30kt gusts - and we're heeled over... then there'll be another lull - down to 20kt. It gets very difficult to move around and function normally when the seas are so rough like this so much of the time.

Thursday 2:15am NZT (Wed 1415GMT) Speed had dropped well down so, with no big clouds around to cause the drop in speed, unfurled a fair amount of genoa to try to speed us up. Had also tried to adjust our course before that, being well downwind of our planned course, but seems we were actually heading fairly close to the wind already so that didn't work - wind has clearly backed a little more so we're now headed closer to Rurutu than to Tubuai. Might have to furl in the genoa again if wind picks up but it seems to have dropped to below 20kt just now.

Southern Cross 'pointers' are low astern, off to starboard, and stars are strewn across the sky - very little cloud to be seen. I spent some time enjoying the night scene in the gentler conditions Back to my bunk....

6am It's very nice to chat daily with cruisers in Polynesia and Fiji/Tonga on their daily radio Nets. They're mostly in places I've cruised to previously so it's good to hear them - brings back happy memories of my time spent where they are now!

6:40am NZT The wind just got up to 25kt (a cloud was close by), after being just under 20kt for a time, so we were suddenly speeding along and heeled over - but the extra genoa I unfurled overnight was not a problem, I was relieved to see. But now, wind has died right down and we're creeping along at 2.5kt, waiting for it to come back up - forecast is for winds of 20-25kt today so what we're experiencing is yet another 'cloud effect', it seems. Very frustrating - we're either under-canvassed in the lulls or just about coping OK in the gusts - resulting in a low daily DMG. Would be really nice to get a more consistent wind so as to get in better daily distances made good.

*****************************************************

While sailing around the world, I'm trying to raise funds to help support the superb life-saving work done by the RNLI (Lifeboats) in Britain each and every day of the year, regardless how bad the weather. In fact, the worse it is, the more likely they are out there, helping someone in distress - whether a swimmer, surfer, small boat or big ship, night or day, summer or winter. They are all volunteers with normal day-jobs who respond immediately to a call and it is a charity - no government funding - so they rely on our help to fund their intensive training and maintain their equipment.

It would be great if you would take a moment to click on the Lifeboats link here (https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Jeanne-Socrates2), if you'd like to show your support for my efforts at sailing solo, nonstop, unassisted around the globe, trying to set a World Record as the oldest person to do so, by donating something towards the great work the RNLI do every day. If a lot of people put in even a small amount, it all adds up... Thanks a lot! If you can help, it will be very much appreciated. Let's see if we can reach my target!

***************************************************

1900GMT (= 7 a.m. NZT) - end of Day 273. We made 82 n.ml. DMG, measured in a straight line between the two 1900GMT positions. Yet another slow day with occasional strong gusts....

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 273 (by daily DMGs):22,194 n.ml

Distances (at 1900GMT): East Cape, N.Z.: 1603 n.ml. to SW; Tahiti: 536 n.ml. to NNE; Tubuai (Iles Australes): 246 n.ml. to NE; Rurutu (Iles Australes):232 n.ml. to NNE.

Position, as posted to www.Winlink.org and www.Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV):

TIME: 2019/07/03 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 26-07.63S LONGITUDE: 152-54.15W

COURSE: 040T SPEED: 4.3kt

WIND_SPEED: 22kt WIND_DIR: ESE SWELL_DIR: ESE SWELL_HT: 4.0m CLOUDS: 80%

BARO: 1028.6hPa TREND: 1 AIR_TEMP: 21.0C SEA_TEMP: 26.0C

COMMENT: Gusty, cloudy day again... Expect wind to 25kt for next few days still

Tuesday 10am NZT (Mon 2200GMT) Finished with morning radio Nets a short time ago - making good contact now with Fiji, Tonga and French Polynesia but getting more difficult to make contact with NZ/Aus Nets.

Sailing close to the wind, as we are, means that we're heeled almost all the time and often pounding into the seas. It's not a very comfortable or fast point of sail! I'm making good use of the hinged steel restraint beside the chart table seat that gives an arm rest there and stops me from falling onto the floor as we heel over!

Seas are quite rough now - swell is coming more from ESE with a shorter interval and with a good-sized wind chop on top. Apparent wind is around 20kt - much more and we'll need to take in another reef...

A lot of cloud around, often quite large, so gusty conditions again, making boat speed vary quite a bit in addition to effect of swell.

Weather forecast is showing this increased wind will hold over next few days - 20-25kt is expected, with bigger swell for a couple of days at least.

I've changed course slightly to come off the wind a touch more - should help with both speed and heeling.

12:30pm After a long time making good speed in strong wind, we've slowed right down again - there's a big cloud close by and it's killed our wind...

2pm We were soon sailing at speed again and very well heeled over. Seeing the wind get up to over 24kt quite often, and with a new weather forecast giving a large area of 30kt winds very close by, I decided it was time for another reef - so we now have the 2nd reef in and we're heeling a lot less ... and I'm feeling a lot more comfortable, as well.

Two birds seen while I was reefing - a dark petrel (Parkinson's?) and another, quite large, with white underbody.

5pm I thought the wind had eased quite a bit but it's actually still 24kt or just under - being well reefed down and the wind being less than 30kt seems to make all the difference. We're making a reasonable speed without being heeled over so much that moving from one side of the cabin to the other feels like climbing Everest with the added danger of being thrown to the opposite side of the cabin with some force. It's dark now and some stars can be seen through the open hatch in between a few clouds. The wind generator (Superwind) is putting around 10A net gain into the batteries (as well as keeping the instruments and AP running)

Seems this strong SE wind, typically in July, is called a 'Maramu' in Polynesia and is caused at this time of year by a big, settled High pressure area to the S - just as we have now. It often blows for up to two weeks and can be very strong - 30kt or more - as I'm seeing!

It's been nice to be able to leave the sliding companionway hatch open most of the time without the worry of cold air coming down into the cabin to cool it down. Even though the occasional wave washes over the fore deck in rough seas and onto the hard top, the hatch area is protected and gets none of that water - except a little from the damaged window which usually drains into the cockpit without getting down below. Only in heavy rain has some water got down below from around the edge of that window and that was some time ago - heavy rain like that does not seem to occur very often.

Wednesday 4:30am NZT (Tues 1630GMT) First hint of light in the sky - dawn beginning. Low cloud on E horizon, mainly clear overhead. Wind up to 30kt - rough conditions as the seas catch us and toss us around - a bit too heeled over at times, despite being well reefed down!

5am Pink edges to many of the grey clouds around. Hoping they don't stop me from seeing the eclipse when the sun appears - hopefully, in between them soon.

Dark petrel seen flying nearby - caught a glimpse of its bill - definitely a light colour.

5:15am Wind has eased - now down a little to 25kt but seas still very rough and we're well heeled. Holding on tightly to stay safe in the companionway - too rough to be watching from the cockpit. Sun seen well between clouds ahead. I'm wearing dark sunglasses and squinting with almost closed eyes - can clearly see top of sun is dark - over 2/3rds is obscured - makes sun into a thick crescent shape, lying on its back. Edges of clouds prove useful for sighting the eclipse, reducing sun's glare but clouds generally are getting in the way.

6:30am Obscured portion of the sun has moved down to right-hand corner - just under 1/4 is dark now.

6:50am A long low line of grey cloud is about to get in the way of further sightings - sun disappears behind the cloud - end of eclipse for me, but not bad - saw a lot, despite clouds, and very lucky to be in the right place at this time - very few others will see it until it gets to Chile for a brief glimpse of it, just before their sunset today.

____________________________________________________

A note from Allen, ZL1AYH, about the eclipse around 1800GMT on 2nd July (see photo of map posted previously showing path of eclipse): Note image added by Web Team

eclipse path

" It will reach Chile but at sunset and the totality is shorter. In fact the Astronomers there are rather excited as it is the first time a total eclipse has ever passed over the (newer) largest telescopes in the world."

*****************************************************

While sailing around the world, I'm trying to raise funds to help support the superb life-saving work done by the RNLI (Lifeboats) in Britain each and every day of the year, regardless how bad the weather. In fact, the worse it is, the more likely they are out there, helping someone in distress - whether a swimmer, surfer, small boat or big ship, night or day, summer or winter. They are all volunteers with normal day-jobs who respond immediately to a call and it is a charity - no government funding - so they rely on our help to fund their intensive training and maintain their equipment.

It would be great if you would take a moment to click on the Lifeboats link here (https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Jeanne-Socrates2), if you'd like to show your support for my efforts at sailing solo, nonstop, unassisted around the globe, trying to set a World Record as the oldest person to do so, by donating something towards the great work the RNLI do every day. If a lot of people put in even a small amount, it all adds up... Thanks a lot! If you can help, it will be very much appreciated. Let's see if we can reach my target!

***************************************************

1900GMT (= 7 a.m. NZT) - end of Day 272. We made 105 n.ml. DMG, measured in a straight line between the two 1900GMT positions.

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 272 (by daily DMGs):22,112 n.ml

Distances (at 1900GMT): East Cape, N.Z.: 1525 n.ml. to SW; Tahiti: 615 n.ml. to NNE; Tubuai (Iles Australes): 327 n.ml. to NE

Position, as posted to www.Winlink.org and www.Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV):

TIME: 2019/07/02 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 27-12.04S LONGITUDE: 153-50.90W

COURSE: 047T SPEED: 4.5kt

WIND_SPEED: 25kt WIND_DIR: ESE SWELL_DIR: ESE SWELL_HT: 4.0m CLOUDS: 25%

BARO: 1030hPa TREND: 1 AIR_TEMP: 20.0C SEA_TEMP: 25.0C

COMMENT: Solar eclipse - 70% obscured. Strong wind/rough seas - Maramu

-----

At 02/07/2019 19:00 (utc) our position was 27°12.04'S 153°50.90'W



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