S/V Nereida sails around the world

RTW Day 229: N. Pacific: Strong Wind, Rough Seas, Grey and Rainy

Friday 7th of June

A grey rainy day of strong wind of 30kt or more and rough seas, over 3m, only 4-5 seconds apart. We were sailing close-hauled often dropping into the troughs after mounting the wave crest. Not the most comfortable of days being heeled and pounded by the seas all the time, despite taking the third reef in the mainsail early this morning. The genoa was reduced to a scrap several times when the wind was at its strongest.

The wind was from NE-ENE and so our course, initially NNW, became N over much of the day, at 4-5kt. Cloud layer became broken in the W at sunset.

By 9pm, the wind had dropped a lot and the seas were lying down also, so increased genoa to give a boat speed of 5.0kt rather than 3.5kt.

A Laysan albatross kept us company all day, enjoying the strong wind and rough seas.

It was coldest enough for me to need my fleeces once more, to keep warm.

24hr DMG to 2300GMT: 66n.ml. Strait of Juan de Fuca: 2258n.ml. (050T); Midway Island: 456n.ml. (248T);  San Francisco 2315n.ml (067T)

From: KC2IOV/MM by HF radio. Transcribed by Jim, WB2REM, Port St. Lucie, FL via Ham Radio for posting.

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For my positions and track, see:
www.svnereida.com - 'Travels' - "Where is 'Nereida'?"
and/or:
http://www.exactearth.com/media-centre/recent-ship-tracks/tracking-nereida/
http://www.7163net.com Current Position Reported by Ham Radio with Google Earth Tracking

RTW Day 228: N. Pacific: One Painfully Slow Day Followed By a Stormy One

Thursday 6th June 2013
Yet another painfully slow day - nightfall brought a cold front.
2:30pm  Been relaxing in the cockpit with coffee and music, enjoying the peaceful sailing condtions. All done as an antidote to the feelings of frustration earlier at the thought of my ETA slipping with yet another day of pathetically slow speed (under 3.0kt) and E-ENE course rather than preferred NE. So long as I don't dwell on our speed, today's date and our "miles to finish", I am OK. Have to insert some extra pages into logbook which is nearing its end.

We're sailing just S of edge of cloud layer showing  position of cold front which I am trying avoid.

8pm Sunset - and dark grey cloud rolled over, bringing cold front and cold rainy NE wind - total change in conditions from warm and sunny SW wind.

I found us heading SE. Took a time to sort things out including getting down the pole in a hurry so we could tack the genoa and staysail. Furled in the genoa while sorting things out. Ended up on 330T at 4kt better than heading 120T! Hoping wind will veer more to the E overnight so we head more N. Bumpy as we head into waves.

24hr DMG to 2300GMT: 88n.ml. Strait of Juan de Fuca: 2304n.ml. (049T); Midway Island: 431n.ml. (256T);  San Francisco 2346n.ml (066T)

From: KC2IOV/MM by HF radio. Transcribed by Jim, WB2REM, Port St. Lucie, FL via Ham Radio for posting.

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For my positions and track, see:
www.svnereida.com - 'Travels' - "Where is 'Nereida'?"
and/or:
http://www.exactearth.com/media-centre/recent-ship-tracks/tracking-nereida/
http://www.7163net.com Current Position Reported by Ham Radio with Google Earth Tracking

RTW Day 227: N. Pacific: Glorious Day of Easy Sailing - But Wind Slowly Died

Wednesday 5th June 2013
6am  Broken, grey overcast and damp air. Weather faxes being downloaded.

By 11am, gloriously sunny blue sky with hardly a cloud in sight and good SW wind hitting 4-5kt, heading E on a beam reach. Overnight, the genoa had been taken off the pole and brought over to port and now the staysail was unfurled. We've maximum canvas out but speed is constantly being handicapped by lack of full mainsail.

It's been another day of relaxed, easy sailing in 1-1.5m following seas. From midday on, the wind slowly died back, so that by sunset, at 6:30pm, we were making under 3kt (in decidedly cooler air). Bank of grey cloud low down in the W past sunset.

This morning, a Blacked-footed albatross flew past and a Laysan albatross was seen in the distance.

At 6:15am, now have a regular sked with some other boats.  Had several new radio contacts on 15m and 20m, spent some time reading in the cockpit and kept an eye on weather fax timings. Forecast and current isobaric charts are confirming that keeping just below 30N and heading E have been good moves to keep fair wind, in view of a small Low just to our N. This Low is expected to dissipate and become a trough by tomorrow midday, so we can now begin to head ENE slowly becoming NNE by Friday, when the wind is expected to be from E.

24hr DMG to 2300GMT: 114n.ml. Strait of Juan de Fuca: 2381n.ml. (049T); Midway Island: 343n.ml. (254T);  San Francisco 2432n.ml (066T)

From: KC2IOV/MM by HF radio. Transcribed by Jim, WB2REM, Port St. Lucie, FL via Ham Radio for posting.

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For my positions and track, see:
www.svnereida.com - 'Travels' - "Where is 'Nereida'?"
and/or:
http://www.exactearth.com/media-centre/recent-ship-tracks/tracking-nereida/
http://www.7163net.com Current Position Reported by Ham Radio with Google Earth Tracking

RTW Day 226: N. Pacific: Rolling About - Good Downwind Sailing

Tuesday 4th June 2013
4:30am   A shipped passed close by soon after dawn - the 'Ermoupolis' W-bound for Japan. Passed a half mile ahead after VHF radio contact. AIS alarm had alerted me to its presence when one hour away.

11am    Wind SSW. Boat speed is over 6.0kt now from 3.5kt at dawn with increased wind. Rolling a lot in following seas, with plenty of white horses showing wind strength is F4-5 (15-18kt). Nice to be sailing well for a change, despite strong motion at times. Course is now 060T - S of planned course - weather faxes show probable headwinds if we're too far N in 2 days' time, so we're heading more E.

Early afternoon - Long session with Jim, WB2REM dealing emails and log report. He's spending a lot of time very kindly helping me each day on 15m (and on 20m later).

9:30pm   Made a beef, spinach and onion curry, with mango and lime pickles on the side - a nice change and enough for tomorrow as well.  Soon sailing well downwind.

Sunset was 6:30pm after a warm sunny day with partial thin cloud cover. Making ENE course in SSW wind and sea.  Had several sociable radio contacts over the day.

24hr DMG to 2300GMT: 67n.ml. Strait of Juan de Fuca: 2483n.ml. (089T); Midway Island: 227n.ml. (253T);  San Francisco 2544n.ml (065T)

From: KC2IOV/MM by HF radio. Transcribed by Jim, WB2REM, Port St. Lucie, FL via Ham Radio for posting.

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For my positions and track, see:
www.svnereida.com - 'Travels' - "Where is 'Nereida'?"
and/or:
http://www.exactearth.com/media-centre/recent-ship-tracks/tracking-nereida/
http://www.7163net.com Current Position Reported by Ham Radio with Google Earth Tracking

RTW Day 225: N. Pacific: Another Bright But Slow Slow Day- Wind finally Veered to the SE

Monday 3rd June 2013

Speed: 0.8 kt., CSC 018T, Cloud 10%, Bar 1020

7am   After being forced onto NW course yesterday, due to the NE wind, I was pleased to see the wind finally veering … which it continued to do slowly over the morning. By 0930 winds were SE, later becoming SSE for a time. It has continued to be very light, so our speed has been 1.5-2.0 kt. again, giving a distance of only 38 miles in 24 hours. 
In order to keep the big genoa filled and to prevent it from continually collapsing while we drifted downwind, I spent a time raising the pole and polling out the genoa to starboard so we've been goose-winged from 2pm with the main sail well out to port. A pair of Laysan albatross flew by from time to time to check on my progress.  Of course, every time one of them was really close, my camera was not within reach!

Spent quite a lot of time on the foredeck and in the cockpit trimming the sails as the wind changed, so radio contacts were minimal, but had a long chat with Rob ZL1KY in New Zealand on 15m.

This evening, the winds had backed to the SE and we’re crawling along NE at 2.2 kt. On checking over a set of weather FAX downloads, I was dismayed to find a lot of grey and no sensible print-out - I've had the generator running and clearly it had interfered on frequency… grrr!!!

24hr DMG to 2300GMT: 38n.ml. Strait of Juan de Fuca: 2547n.ml. (048T); Midway Island: 170n.ml. (259T);  San Francisco 2607n.ml (064T)

From: KC2IOV/MM by HF radio. Copied by Don, N7BD, Branson, Mo -  Relayed to Jim, WB2REM, Port St. Lucie, FL for posting. (Note: Weak radio conditions today so some future modifications to the wording of the blog maybe needed).

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For my positions and track, see:
www.svnereida.com - 'Travels' - "Where is 'Nereida'?"
and/or:
http://www.exactearth.com/media-centre/recent-ship-tracks/tracking-nereida/
http://www.7163net.com Current Position Reported by Ham Radio with Google Earth Tracking

RTW Day 224: N. Pacific: Another Slow Sunny Day... AP Stopped Working But Problem Soon Fixed

Sunday 2nd June 2013
10:45am   Had very light contact on 10m (28540kHz) from Mike N7RY. Lovely calm, bright morning: - determined to relax and enjoy it, although only making 2-3kt, N-NW in very light wind.  Sitting reading in cockpit with fresh coffee and camera to hand, hoping to get a shot of the albatross often near by - mainly Laysan with the occasional, quite different, Black-footed - all dark with white band at base of tail ( See Photo Courtesy of: http://teacheratsea.wordpress.com ).

black-footed
2:30pm   Almost no wind - have been drifting W with backed sails at 0.9kt for 2-3 hours. After chatting for a time to several contacts on radio (15m), decided to try to head N again and turn on autopilot (AP) - but wheel was NOT turning.... AP was trying to steer but nothing was happening. So...down to aft cabin to try to sort out the problem, leaving Fred in charge in the meantime - making 1.3kt NW at present.

6:30pm    Sun just set below the horizon as an albatross passed by. Second autopilot motor and ram is now connected up - all working OK but back on wind steering. Actually saw a boat speed of 3.9kt just before sunset but presently making only 2.5kt.  Course keeps varying between N and NW. Problem with AP would seemed to have been caused by a lack of hydraulic fluid - a good amount has leaked out from the pipe connections to and from the motor and the level in the reservoir is way down so it's possible air is now in the system.

Had double portion of lamb fettucine - was famished, so very welcome!
Hoping weather faxes are giving correct forecast so the expected veering of stronger wind takes place by tomorrow. Has been slow going today.

Was delighted to get a call around 5pm on 20m from the flight deck of an American Airlines plane over central Colorado en route to San Diego: Kriss, KA1GJU/AM.

24hr DMG to 2300GMT: 98n.ml. Strait of Juan de Fuca: 2571n.ml. (048T); Midway Island: 268n.ml. (272T); Cabo San Lucas 3452n.ml; San Francisco 2622n.ml

From: KC2IOV/MM by HF radio. Copied by Jim, WB2REM, Port St. Lucie, FL

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For my positions and track, see:
www.svnereida.com - 'Travels' - "Where is 'Nereida'?"
and/or:
http://www.exactearth.com/media-centre/recent-ship-tracks/tracking-nereida/
http://www.7163net.com Current Position Reported by Ham Radio with Google Earth Tracking

RTW Day 223: N. Pacific: Difficult Overnight Passage Through Hawaiian Archipelago in Very Light Wind

Saturday 1st June 2013

Midday   Feels good to see Lisianski Island and the seamount to its W astern of us! Lisianski was due E at 11:30pm in no wind. Lost a lot of sleep last night trying to keep the boat headed N in little or no wind with boat speed of 1-2 kt for a long period of time. Lost steerage and drifted in circles quite often. This morning's weather faxes indicate present ENE wind will continue into tomorrow but will then veer to SE by midnight and to SW over Monday, so I am hoping to be heading NE in stronger winds after this weekend.

It's a bright sunny day with few clouds and a fairly calm sea, with a gentle 5-second swell from the E. Had breakfast in the cockpit and it's calm enough for me to deal with the remaining not-so-fresh fruit and veg (almost all dried or moldy). Laysan Albatross (See Photo) is gliding around in the distance. Our red-footed hotel guest left well after dawn, having slept with its long-necked head tucked under its wing, making it look headless!

Evening    Wind veered earlier and we made course of  011T at 3.5kt - time for a party in bright sun but increasing cloud to celebrate escaping to N of Hawaiian Archipelago. Our course would keep us well E of Pearland Herms Atoll (to ESE of Midway) so we're now clear of all danger.

Opened bottle of bubbly chilled in small portable 12v cool-box and enjoyed music and sea view from cockpit. White-tailed tropic bird seen overhead. Before relaxing, took long mop and water and cleaned solar panel. Boobies had covered it with their 'guano' ! Wind had veered more - we're now making over 5kt on 015T.

laysanalbatross

24hr DMG to 2300GMT: 70n.ml. Strait of Juan de Fuca: 2646n.ml.; Midway Island: 188n.ml. (304T); Kauai: 842n.ml. (105T); Cabo San Lucas 3483n.ml; San Francisco 2677n.ml

From: KC2IOV/MM by HF radio. Copied by Jim, WB2REM, Port St. Lucie, FL

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For my positions and track, see:
www.svnereida.com - 'Travels' - "Where is 'Nereida'?"
and/or:
http://www.exactearth.com/media-centre/recent-ship-tracks/tracking-nereida/
http://www.7163net.com Current Position Reported by Ham Radio with Google Earth Tracking

RTW Day 222: N. Pacific: Albatrosses, Terns and Boobies, as We Get Close to Lisianski Island

Friday 31st May 2013
Had a nice meal last night to celebrate crossing the Tropic of Cancer.

This has been a very slow but pleasant day, full of birdlife under sunny skies with a lengthy, very sociable radio session on 15m from 0030Z onward.

Overnight, three boobies roosted on the stern arch - one red footed (see photo), one all-brown immature and one all-black(including a black breast), except for white under body, light bill and pale green-yellow feet (brown booby?). Surprisingly, with 'lively' seas, they managed not only to hold on (two on solar panels and third on aerial platform) but they also got back after losing their grip later, despite the dark, moonless sky.

Coming up into the cockpit early this morning, I found the immature booby perched on a starboard wench - it didn't seem much bothered as I checked things over and eventually flew off after I'd got some close-up photos.

I've been bird-watching a lot, after cutting the toes off a worn-out sock to place as protection over my left fore-arm which has become photo-sensitive. The skin got damaged when I serviced the main port wench in bright sunshine recently and now reacts very badly to sunlight. (I'm taking a mild course of antibiotics which has definitely helped.)
Frequent sightings of Albatross today: 2-3 Laysan and 1 Black-footed - all dark with white at the base of tail and bill. Every so often, 2-4 terns have flown by noisily and boobies have been seen regularly. One red-footed booby is again roosting overnight on a solar panel.

booby

We're are slowly passing Lisianski tonight and should be clear of it by the morning. Light wind is likely to continue for the next day or two while we get N of Midway Island.

(Lisianski Island is named after Yuri Feodorvich Lisyansky, an officer in the Imperial Russian Navy. Lisianski was the commanding officer of the sloop-of-war, Neva, an exploratory ship which ran aground on the island in 1805. Neva is the name of the dangerous shoal SE of the island.)

24hr DMG to 2300GMT: 82n.ml. Strait of Juan de Fuca: 2681n.ml.; Midway Island: 244n.ml. (315T); Kauai: 810n.ml. (101T); Waypoint W of Lisianski Island 44n.ml (346T); Cabo San Lucas 3480n.ml; San Francisco 2695n.ml

From: KC2IOV/MM by HF radio. Copied by Jim, WB2REM, Port St. Lucie, FL

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For my positions and track, see:
www.svnereida.com - 'Travels' - "Where is 'Nereida'?"
and/or:

RTW Day 221: N. Pacific: Albatross Near By... and Hotel Nereida Has Guests Again

Thursday 30th May 2013

1348GMT - Crossed the Tropic of Cancer at 173:23 W - out of the tropics with speed down at 2.5kt, but on course.

Early morning, under grey cloud, sails were backed in light NE winds. Set Fred to keep the sails very close-hauled, since the wind was highly variable ENE-NE, and that worked well until 11am, with speed mostly around 4.5kt. Then came another larger area of rain cloud ahead of a Cold Front and we several times sailed or drifted W in almost no wind - impossible to stay on course and we lost ground. Finally, after sunset, in company with three boobies roosting on the stern arch, we managed to stay on course albeit at only 2-3kt into the night.

This morning, got the message "chart not available" five times over, so downloaded several weather faxes this evening. Felt slightly reassured by them - there is a hint of ENE wind for 2 or 3 days so we may succeed in passing safely through the reef area ahead by late Saturday. I can't wait to get that extensive hazardous area behind me.  I just hope the wind keeps up and doesn't die again as we're passing through.

I was delighted to see Laysan Albatross fly past this morning and one was around again for some time near sunset. Hoping to see a Waved Albatross, present in large numbers on Midway Island.

24hr DMG to 2300GMT: 100n.ml. Strait of Juan de Fuca: 2718n.ml.; Midway Island: 320n.ml. (322T); Kauai: 776n.ml. (096T); Waypoint W of Lisianski Island 127n.ml

From: KC2IOV/MM by HF radio. Copied by Jim, WB2REM, Port St. Lucie, FL

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For my positions and track, see:
www.svnereida.com - 'Travels' - "Where is 'Nereida'?"
and/or:

RTW Day 220: N. Pacific: Will be Crossing the Tropic of Cancer Soon After Midnight

Wednesday 29th May 2013

Last night speed dropped to just under 4kt and and the same is happening tonight at times.

6:30am - Up for weather fax download. Unfurled full genoa and speed increased to 4.2kt in ENE wind with sun shining through light broken cloud layer.

By mid-morning, sailing at 5.3kt in good conditions. Angled solar panels for midday sun - input went from 7A to 14A.
Thoroughly enjoying reading Dana's "Two Years Before The Mast" - very interesting, especially since it talks about places I've sailed to in California as well as rounding Cape Horn.

Had some good radio contacts today. Monitored 10m (28540 kHz) from 2230Z and then 15m (21280 kHz) from 0000Z. 10m didn't seem to work too well but had several contacts on 15m in early afternoon - Japan, Jamaica, Australia as well as the usual USA stations plus others.

Speed down by mid-afternoon and on into the night. Doubt we'll have decent wind until we're further N. Should we passage through reef on Friday, 200n.ml. to go - if we're not becalmed before then!

Managed to see all three planets after sunset, but clouds on horizon hid atleast one each time. They appeared to be in almost a vertical line with Venus central and Mercury and Jupiter above and below.

Saw a frigate bird high up yesterday - very distinctive, unmistakeable outline. Hoping to see some Pacific Albatross soon - they breed on small islands in the atolls ahead as well as in places on the Hawaiian Islands.

A friend just sent the following links from Latitude 38 & Sail-World.com which might be of interest:

http://www.sail-world.com/cruising/usa/Incredible-Jeanne-crosses-equator---one-more-leg-to-victory/109684

24hr DMG to 2300GMT: 116n.ml. Strait of Juan de Fuca: 2765n.ml.; Midway Island: 415n.ml. (327T); Kauai: 737n.ml. (089T); Hawaii: 965n.ml (097T)

From: KC2IOV/MM by HF radio. Copied by Jim, WB2REM, Port St. Lucie, FL

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For my positions and track, see:
www.svnereida.com - 'Travels' - "Where is 'Nereida'?"
and/or:

RTW Day 219: N. Pacific: Running Backstay Comes Loose

Tuesday 28th May 2013

Started the 6:30am download of satellite photo and weather faxes. Went on deck to adjust course and trim sails - heard an odd sound ... saw running backstay had come loose. Turned out that the shackle holding the block to the metal eye at the end of the stay was broken. Found a similar strong shackle in my spares and replaced it so the backstay was put back in place and tensioned - necessary, since we will be on starboard tack a lot on the way N. It's been a bright day but with lots of cloud and seas quite high. Morning speed was good at 6.4kt. Winds E15kt, abating a little this afternoon - spent quite a time 'tweaking' to maximize speed and course as the wind lessened.

On studying weather faxes, saw the wind over the next few days is set to turn to NE - bad news, since it means best course will be NNW-NW as we pass through the Hawaiian Island chain. Spent some time checking on possible course and looking on the plotter.This evening finally decided
needed to change the waypoint being headed to for one further W with lots of clear water to W and N for manoeuvring as we pass through the channel.

So we're now heading on 344T to a point W of Lisianski Island - under autopilot to maintain accurate course overnight as the wind backs possibly. Having freed off the wind, seas speed went up to 5.5kt from 4.0kt.

Too much cloud in W at sunset again to see planets low down.

24hr DMG to 2300GMT: 155n.ml. Strait of Juan de Fuca: 2837n.ml.; Midway Island: 523n.ml. (332T); Kauai: 738n.ml. (081T); Hawaii: 740n.ml (090T)

From: KC2IOV/MM by HF radio. Copied by Jim, WB2REM, Port St. Lucie, FL

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For my positions and track, see:
www.svnereida.com - 'Travels' - "Where is 'Nereida'?"
and/or:

RTW Day 218: N. Pacific: Excellent Speed in E Wind, But Choppy Seas

Monday 27th May 2013

Constantly keeping an eye on COG (course) and SOG (speed) to optimize both by 'tweaking' - adjusting Fred and/or trimming sails and furling in/out genoa, depending on heel and condition.

Trying to keep heading N, although happy to make some more Easting in case winds force us NNW as we close on Hawaiian Islands' chain reefs and atolls - E.T.A. Thursday, if present speed of 6.5-7kt is maintained. Have noted several safe passages through. Present E wind is very welcome (as oppose to ENE), since this means that, although still close - reaching, we're more off the wind, giving good speed, and banging less into the 2m sea so a smoother ride.

Quite cloudy this afternoon, after bright morning of boisterous sailing in the bigger seas. Tonight, starry overhead, with only a little cloud ahead and in the W.  Big grey clouds at sunset prevented any sighting of the planet trio of Jupiter, Venus and Mercury soon after nightfall, close to the W horizon.

Continuing to find flying fish on side-deck each morning.

24hr DMG to 2300GMT: 126n.ml. Strait of Juan de Fuca: 2960n.ml.; Midway Island: 659n.ml. (339T); Johnston Atoll: 208n.ml. (111T); Hawaii: 962n.ml (081T)

From: KC2IOV/MM by HF radio. Copied by Jim, WB2REM, Port St. Lucie, FL

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For my positions and track, see:
www.svnereida.com - 'Travels' - "Where is 'Nereida'?"
and/or:

RTW Day 217: N. Pacific: Passing 200n.ml W of Johnston Atoll

Sunday 26th May 2013     

Happy Bank Holiday and Memorial Day To U.K. and USA Friends!

Overnight, flying fish on side-deck - small area on its belly glowed in the dark!

9am    Wind veered to E, so able to free off and make N course at better speed.

11:30am   Rain clouds around - no sooner partly-furled in genoa than wind dropped, speed down to 2.5kt, so had to unfurl genoa and trim sail again. Later, back on course in E wind, speed 5.4kt bright sun.

1:30pm A lot of large cumulus around again. Had just finished spending a long time clearing up a major spillage of detergent powder when realized wind was up - we were bouncing around and heeling a lot. Genoa in  .... adjusted course ... so finally turned on autopilot for a short while in gusty and changeable conditions.

Sunset   Large dark grey raincloud downwind - it had missed us! Clouds were clearing away ahead as the sunset light faded. Just above the W horizon, looked for the usual trio of planets to show: bright Venus was below and to the right of Jupiter, but was closer than last night. Mercury was just above Jupiter and also to its right - about twice as far away as Venus, all three forming a clear triangle, not quite equilateral.

24hr DMG to 2300GMT: 107n.ml. Strait of Juan de Fuca: 3063n.ml.; Midway Island: 774n.ml. (343T); Johnston Atoll: 212n.ml. (076T); Hawaii: 1000n.ml (071T)

From: KC2IOV/MM by HF radio. Copied by Jim, WB2REM, Port St. Lucie, FL

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For my positions and track, see:
www.svnereida.com - 'Travels' - "Where is 'Nereida'?"
and/or:

RTW Day 216: N. Pacific: Gentle NE Trade Force Us West

Saturday 25th May 2013

8am   Bright and sunny, I noticed some towering cumulus clouds ahead to windward, with rain clearly falling from its base. Slowly, we drew closer and, for a time, I thought it would pass astern of us - but no. Our course changed with the veered wind and soon heavy rain was rinsing the boat off. I stayed watching from the companionway in case I needed to furl in some genoa as the wind increased but all passed without any great drama - just some increased heel and speed as we skirted the cloud until finally coming out into the sunshine again. Another far smaller rain cloud shortly after gave us more Easting in the veered wind and some more rinsing off but there was no more rain for the rest of the day.

Wind backed and, despite traveller and boom hauled to weather as much as possible, we could no longer make our N course but were forced NNW at 4kt or less over the rest of the day and into the evening.

7pm    Dark. After sunset, Mercury was a faint object to the right of, and slightly higher than, Venus and the line joining them formed the base of an isosceles triangle with Jupiter at its apex. The moon was late rising - not seen near sunset, possibly due to cloud in E.

Satellite photos show it is clear ahead and weather fax shows the wind will be ENE for some days so we are likely to be forced further W.

24hr DMG to 2300GMT: 121n.ml. Strait of Juan de Fuca: 3140n.ml.; Midway Island: 879n.ml. (345T); Johnston Atoll: 252n.ml. (051T); Hawaii: 1024n.ml (071T)

From: KC2IOV/MM by HF radio. Copied by Jim, WB2REM, Port St. Lucie, FL

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For my positions and track, see:
www.svnereida.com - 'Travels' - "Where is 'Nereida'?"
and/or:

RTW Day 215: N. Pacific- White Tropic Bird Comes By

Friday 24th May 2013

5:30am   Unfurled to pull genoa in lighter winds - sun just risen. Day was mainly bright with lots of thin high clouds but afternoon brought total light overcast with sun shining through from time to time.

11am-3pm (& again 10-11:30PM)     Spent a long time on emails. Having to receive and sent via voice relay on my HF radio certainly slows things down and keeps my replies short! Many thanks to Jim, Rick and Tom for their time and help in that. Propagation got difficult on 15 meters today but 20 meters worked well.

3pm    Lovely white - tailed tropic bird, with with white streamers and black feet and eye patches, circled several times.

6pm  Glorious sunset colours were beginning to fade as bright moon rose in E. Golden in W, vivid pink clouds all over the rest of the blue sky - dramatic!  No planet seen tonight - too much cloud.

For second night running, wind veered and increased enough for us to bear away and make better speed - around 6 kt. Later, cloud mainly cleared away and moon shown brightly over a choppy sea.

P.S. I forgot to mention that I've wedged and latched the galley stove to prevent it moving after gimbal support broke on Wednesday.

24hr DMG to 2300GMT: 127n.ml. Strait of Juan de Fuca: 3233n.ml.; Midway Island: 997n.ml. (346T); Johnston Atoll: 339n.ml. (035T); Hawaii: 1067n.ml (065T)

From: KC2IOV/MM by HF radio. Copied by Jim, WB2REM, Port St. Lucie, FL

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For my positions and track, see:
www.svnereida.com - 'Travels' - "Where is 'Nereida'?"
and/or:

RTW Day 214: N. Pacific: Catch Sight of Mercury After The Sun Goes Down

Thursday 23rd May 2013

After sunset tonight Jupiter, Venus and Mercury were all visible in above the W horizon. Came down for food and realized we were heeling a lot. Wind was up and veered. Furled in some genoa, eased mainsheet and adjusted Fred. Speed was over 6.5kt in the better conditions and we were sailing more up the wind and making a good course. Earlier in the day we had been making a very poor speed of 3-4kt, so this evening's speed was welcome. It had been a good sunny day and the solar panels put in plenty of electrons.

Amazingly, when I downloaded weather faxes this morning, the ITCZ had re-formed to the S - it had vanished just long enough to let us through. Early this morning I found 8 flying fish on the side-deck.

24hr DMG to 2300GMT: 110n.ml. Strait of Juan de Fuca: 3332n.ml. ; Midway Island: 1121n.ml. (348T); Johnston Atoll: 448n.ml. (025T); Hawaii: 1123n.ml (059T)

From: KC2IOV/MM by HF radio. Copied by Jim, WB2REM, Port St. Lucie, FL

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For my positions and track, see:
www.svnereida.com - 'Travels' - "Where is 'Nereida'?"
and/or:

RTW Day 213: N. Pacific- Heavy Stove Comes loose ...

Wednesday 22nd May 2013

We're trying to head due N but have had to be very close-hauled to make our course in E-ENE winds. Early this morning, I was delighted to find the winds had veered to just S of E, meaning I could sail more off the wind, which immediately increased our speed from 4.5kt to 6 kt - far better! That lasted until mid-afternoon when I suddenly found us heading NW - winds had dropped and backed - time to sail closer to the wind again - which promptly reduced our speed down to 4-4.5 kt again - pity! So it's slow-going tonight.

Big problem of the day was finding galley stove had come off its gimbal on one side - support is broken. Worry is that is on port tack (we're on starboard tack now), the heavy stove will tend to move inboard, so I've spent most of the day trying to fix it. Presently, it's wedged in place and part-lashed, hoping to prevent any movement.

24hr DMG to 2300GMT: 113n.ml.; Strait of Juan de Fuca: 3416n.ml.;  Midway Island: 1229n.ml. (348T)

From: KC2IOV/MM by HF radio. Copied by Jim, WB2REM, Port St. Lucie, FL

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For my positions and track, see:
www.svnereida.com - 'Travels' - "Where is 'Nereida'?"
and/or:

RTW Day 211-212: N. Pacific- Feeling Happy - ITCZ Vanishes!

Monday 20th May 2013

NE course continued overnight, with speed up to 5.5 kt, but well before dawn, winds  backed and our course was due N for several hours. By 11am, we were heading NW in a NE wind - NOT the direction expected or wanted!  For the rest of the day our NW course continued, but soon after sunset the wind veered and we were again heading N occasionally NNE.

Another sunny day with very little cloud and gentle sailing in fairly calm seas, although occasionally we have been banging into short chop. From 10am I had the radio monitoring 10m (28.540MHz) and had several good contacts with Australia and the USA. Received and sent several emails - system is working very well.

Job of this afternoon was replacing wind steering vane off the stern. Tying everything including myself to the boat for safety lengthened the time taken but finally Fred was looking very smart with the new red covered vane in place.

Looks as though big area of clouds of ITCZ will be reached tomorrow or Wednesday - clear path 300ml to the E of here.

24hr DMG to 2300GMT: 101n.ml. (actual -108n.ml.) Strait of Juan de Fuca: 3585 n.ml. ; Midway Island: 1439 n.ml. (350T)

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Tuesday 21st May 2013

Missed several radio skeds last night - carefully set plotter alarm ... but later turned plotter off to save power ...   :-(

Beautiful clear starry night with hints of first light at 4am.

9am Busy at chart table - noticed course was 030T, instead of due N - winds had veered to ESE and increased - jumped up on deck - two enormous rain clouds ahead - reduced genoa alot in readiness and adjusted Fred to bare away. Seas much bigger and rougher. Heavy rain! By 10am, genoa unfurled in light winds. By 11am, sunny again, course due N, speed 4.5kt - close-hauled and pounding into rough seas - slowing us down.

Had several radio contacts on 10m over the morning but the signal was fading in and out.

1pm Solar input 15A with little clouds.  Weather faxes are showing NO ITCZ ahead - fabulous! Occasional squalls still possible, but weather gods definitely smiling on us just now...

24hr DMG to 2300GMT: 102n.ml. Strait of Juan de Fuca: 3514n.ml. ; Midway Island: 1337n.ml. (350T)

From: KC2IOV/MM by HF radio. Copied by Jim, WB2REM, Port St. Lucie, FL

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For my positions and track, see:
www.svnereida.com - 'Travels' - "Where is 'Nereida'?"
and/or:

RTW Day 210: N. Pacific - Another pleasant day in the S.E. Trade Winds

Sunday 19th May 2013
Another pleasant day of trade winds sailing, ambling along NE in good sunny conditions, in E-SE winds at speeds of 4.5-5.5kt, making good Easting again.
Around midnight, soon after the half moon disappeared in the W, I sensed our changed motion and went on deck to furl in some genoa. A large black cloud was over head, the wind was up and rain was starting. As we heeled in the stronger conditions, with my headlamp out of battery power, I held a torch in my teeth while I winched in the genoa furling line a bit ... and then some more! Rain fell increasingly heavily and I got very wet but our heeling was reduced and boat speed steadied at around 5kt.
By dawn, with boat speed down to 3kt, the genoa was unfurled to full again - that was a solitary rain cloud and no more were seen over the day.

Spent more time looking over Hawaiian Island chain out to beyond Midway Island checking for reefs and seamounts to avoid - shown by skull and cross bones galore on my chart plotter. There are some wine glasses showing the few safe deep passages through.

Afternoon - covered a spare windvane framework, ready to replace present tattered one on Hydrovane.

ITCZ has moved from 4N to 8N - the weather gods are being amazingly kind just now!

24hr DMG to 2300GMT: 94 n.ml. Strait of Juan de Fuca: 3684 n.ml. ; Midway Island: 1522 n.ml. (352T)

From: KC2IOV/MM by HF radio. Copied by Jim, WB2REM, Port St. Lucie, FL

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For my positions and track, see:
www.svnereida.com - 'Travels' - "Where is 'Nereida'?"
and/or:

RTW Day 209: N. Pacific - Wind died, so winch serviced

Saturday 18th May 2013

5:30am   Lovely sunrise. Making 5.5-6kt now and overnight on 050T - help from possible E flowing counter Equatorial current as yesterday. Wind SE, so continuing to make good Easting. Satellite photos show mass of cloud ahead from 4N on, but clear here.

8:00am    Wind just died! Struggling to make 1.5kt and stay on course. Calm conditions, so  ideal for taking apart port sheet winch (big one) to service thoroughly - it's been misbehaving badly of late.

3:00pm   Winch finished - sounding sweet. Pawls were dirty and sticking. As I started on it, noticed two flying fish on the side deck close by. Haven't seen any for some time. Wind slowly came up from midday on and we're now making 5kt heading NE in ESE wind. Very little cloud over the day.

Next project is renewing cover on vane framework for wind steering - will do it and hopefully replace tomorrow.

It is a pleasant refreshing evening with bright half moon over head. Wind died soon after sunset - speed down to 2-3kt, but came up later to 4.5kt.

24hr DMG to 2300GMT: 110 n.ml. Strait of Juan de Fuca: 3778 n.ml. ; Midway Island: 1591 n.ml. (354T)

From: KC2IOV/MM by HF radio. Copied by Jim, WB2REM, Port St. Lucie, FL

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For my positions and track, see:
www.svnereida.com - 'Travels' - "Where is 'Nereida'?"
and/or: