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Day 70 Tues-Wed 11-12 Dec 2018 Ralaxing sunny break on Wed in between the strong stuff...!

Tuesday 5:45pm Wind has been consistently NW 24-28kt all afternoon and set to continue. Seas pretty big and throwing us around a lot - really have to be prepared and make sure I'm holding on tightly - you can usually feel the wave coming, so just a matter of reacting quickly to the warning.

Had a very nice 'Southern-style Chicken' chunky soup yesterday, with addition of more chicken - so now adding potatoes, sweetcorn and tomatoes - will bulk it up nicely for tonight and maybe tomorrow - needing hot soups/meals a lot now - it's 8.6C/48F, with both sea and cabin the same temperature - so wearing lots and often tucking in to my warm sleeping bag for extra warmth. Also a good place to be in present rough seas - I'm definitely safe in my cosy bunk!

6:15pm Was nice to hear Sid, K7SID, (8155 group) on 14160 just now - propagation is not good to Phoenix AZ from here without a powerful antenna to help - so was good to hear his voice - Season's Greetings to you both, Sid!

11pm Was nice to make a couple of contacts on 7160 tonight from Chile - not too far away... Both (CA3CLF and CA3HSC) were from Santiago, the capital.
Still speeding along at ~6.5kt in wind from NW at 28kt, gusting 30kt, with seas continuing to toss us around - time to get to my bunk again.... but first I'll study the latest gribs (weather files) that I just downloaded.

Wednesday 3:45am LT Woke up just after dawn - wind had suddenly dropped from around 28-29 kt to 15-17kt and backed into W. Boat's motion noticeably less abrupt now with sea crests not whipped up by strong wind. Boat speed has dropped a lot also - from 6.5kt or more to 5-5.2kt, down to 4.5kt at times.
Clock time seems clearly wrong... On checking time zones' info, change of zone to UTC-5 is at longitude 82.5 degrees W and we've not reached there yet (we've presently only just passed 085W so still in N.American Central time, not Eastern time yet). Early dawn must be partly result of being close to mid-summer here and maybe also being not far from time zone change - feels wrong, though!
Early morning sun is shining through breaks in the cloud - no solid grey overcast just now - just 80% cover, showing plenty of blue streaks - nice! A bird is swooping around fast, close by - shearwater, perhaps? Going to be a slow day today, compared with the speed of last night...

8:30am Bright sunshine and blue sky overhead! White cumulus ahead and spreading alto stratus well astern - hope it doesn't sread over too much, too soon... Wind W14kt, on broad reach.
Saw same quite small bird swooping around - all-brown with yellow beak...
Time for breakfast and I'll see if I can identify the bird. No albatross seen this morning, as yet...

1pm Lovely, relaxing, sunny day with an interesting clpudscape - a breather in between the frequently stronger conditions. Seas still quite high (4-5m) - they keep on coming. They're smoother but still roll us around often. Cold air - put some well-loved ski socks on as over-socks to try to keep my feet, and toes in particular, warm. Helps to warm them up in the sleeping bag often.
No birds seen just now - have been studying my bird book - must make more of a note of feet & bill colouring to make a positive ID. Also known ranges of birds is a great help - unlikely to see a tropical-only or N-hemisphere-only bird down here!
Looks as though my all-brown bird might be a White-chinned petrel (they are common all over the Southern Ocean) but I need to see its bill clearly to be sure - has a dark tip. On my previous two long Southern Ocean passages, I've seen more than one at a time - they're quite gregarious birds and I'd often see them resting in groups on the water, 'chatting' to each other...

1900GMT (=1300LT) - end of Day 70. We made 132 n.ml.(DMG) over the 24 hr period, measured in a straight line between the two 1900 GMT positions. Yesterday's strong conditions up to dawn this morning hrlped our daily DMG.

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 70 (by daily DMGs): 7,224 n.ml.

Distance from Cape Horn LH (to ESE): 604 n.ml.

Position & weather report for 1900 GMT posted to Winlink.org and Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign of kc2iov):

TIME: 2018/12/12 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 53-01.72S LONGITUDE: 083-52.96W COURSE: 117T SPEED: 4.5kt
WIND_SPEED: 14kt WIND_DIR: W SWELL_DIR: SW SWELL_HT: 4.5m CLOUDS: 75%
BARO: 992.8hPa TREND: 2 AIR_TEMP: 13.0C SEA_TEMP: 19.0C
COMMENT: Lovely, sunny, relaxing but slow morning!

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