S/V Nereida sails around the world

Day 240 Thurs-Fri 30-31 May 2019 GMT Heading in to Timaru harbour

This will be a brief report... Sufficient to say we're safely tied to a buoy in Timaru Hbr, close to where the two anchored vessels that I passed yesterday will be offloading shortly.

After the nightmare of being so very close to total disaster yesterday morning, when I only just realised in time that we were heading in very light wind onto the totally unlit rocks of a big, long breakwater, not shown on my plotter's chart, and having had very little sleep for two nights running - I've slept for over fifteen hours - from 3pm NZT Friday until 5:30am today - and then turned over for another hour...!

Many thanks to Magnus and his crew on the Timaru Pilot boat who had several people on board from local media who wanted to get us on camera as we headed towards the mooring buoy where I'll be stationed for the next few days getting repairs done after my recent knockdown.

Initially, the wind slowly picked up and we made good progress SW, from where we'd been overnight, toward the main harbour entrance. Thinking ahead to picking up the buoy, and expecting the wind to stay up until around midday, I'd reduced sail, not realising the large distance involved - this is a very big harbour and the entrance was wide open. Pity I hadn't been able to heave to just off it when we passed that way the night before - but those two anchored ships were too close and I was worried we might drift onto them, so went further on.

We headed toward the main channel with buildings on shore a long distance away still and I was constantly questioning Magnus over the VHF radio as to which way I needed to head to reach where the mooring buoys were situated. I'm used to small harbours and this is a big commercial port, dealing with big ships, so everything is that much larger... Not having the plan of the harbour available on my chart plotter was a big unexpected hindrance, despite photos of the harbour area having been sent to me by friends.

When I was fairly close, the Pilot boat came out, along with a tug (I'd been thinking I might have needed that last night!) and we exchanged waves and greetings - all very pleasant. The cameras were unexpected - not sure who told them or how they got there. The Timaru Herald, I was told, was present plus another cameraman taking video.

All good fun... until the wind started to die around 10am - a lot earlier than the midday expected and with the buoy I was heading to within a tantalising few hundred metres - easily visible. I increased sail but it was no good .... The wind finally died away completely, not long after I'd had trouble staying clear of some structures in the harbour close by, with the light wind heading us.

We drifted around in the harbour for an hour or two - I lost track of the time, needing to be on deck by the wheel then - waiting for the wind to pick up helpfully from the N, as Magnus was convinced it would. I was wondering whether my 'unassisted' status would disappear since I had visions of only getting to the buoy with a tow... maybe after drifting onto something in the harbour. But I did manage to stay clear of a few obstacles and finally, sure enough, a light N wind did arrive and ruffled the water surface. I waited a bit longer to make sure it filled in more and had also picked up in the area where the buoy was located. At last, I was able to sail over to the small pick-up buoy and finally cleat off the loop of line to the main buoy - relief once that was done and I could relax and thank Magnus who had stayed close by until I was safely tied up.

As we were sailing up the channel, before increasing sail in the ever-lessening wind, to my disbelief, the port side lazyjack broke and the stowed sail fell down to the deck unhelpfully - yet another job suddenly added to the list while here. That meant that, when dropped, the mainsail ended up all over the deck, making it that much more of an effort to tie it all to the boom later. In doing that, I noticed that where the sail was torn in a few places, the tears had increased - more work to do while here.

Once the mainsail had been stowed, I had a very quick snack and got to my bunk soon after 3pm with no alarms set - sleep was needed badly and I happily snuggled under my double thick duvet in the low temperature - 5C/41F is being forecast for overnight now.

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

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!

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

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 239 (by daily DMGs): 19,963 n.ml. up to last distance calculation (on Day 233) + an unknown amount - but now have plotter available to do it, so will do that one evening, when too dark to work on deck.

Distance covered overnight in previous 24hr - 5n.ml. from that breakwater to this buoy...

Also, distance covered the previous 24hr, from off Oamaru to off Timaru: 41n.ml.

Position report for 1900 GMT, posted to www.Winlink.org and www.Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV):

TIME: 2019/05/31 19:00GMT

LATITUDE: 44-23.37S

LONGITUDE: 171-18.69E

COMMENT: Tied to swinging mooring in Timaru Hbr to get repairs done

Day 239 Wed-Thurs 29-30 May 2019 Heading to Timaru - just avoided near-disaster in the dark

Wednesday 1pm A dark, steel-grey cloud spreading from land to the NW gave warning of yet another big NW gust imminent. The wind had begun to rise from the calm conditions just before and since the SW light wind of this morning's 8am sunrise. There had been quite a big 'blow' just before then so I was busy on deck and able to enjoy it. Had very little sleep overnight, trying to keep us positioned in a mix of fickle winds and lenthy strong squalls, to be ready for the attempt to enter Oamaru from the NE mid-morning. But had to give up the idea of going in there - impossible to get that way in NW-SW wind under sail alone.

Plan B is to head to Timaru, a commercial port 40 miles up the coast - wide open entrance, deep water - no entry problem as with Oamaru. Kevin kindly phoned through to Timaru from Oamaru to let them know I needed to find a buoy there to pick up and I later spoke to the Timaru Pilot, Magnus, who will make sure I would know where to head.

Saw mountains in the distance for a short time, when the clouds lifted - clear fresh snow cover on the peaks - it's winter here!

2pm Need some sleep - getting to my bunk for a few hours as we make our way NE up the coast 8-10 miles off, while the present lighter NW wind after the 'blow' allows it.

3pm Phone call from Quarantine in Dunedin to say all good for Timaru.

5pm Sailing NNE on a nice SE wind of around 12-15kt.

Spoke to Magnus at Timaru Harbour who told me where to find some swinging moorings, near the entrance, and to take one whenever I arrive. Very friendly and helpful, as have been all that I've spoken to - in Wellington (Taupo Maritime Radio and MRCC NZ), Christchurch(Brent Kerr of Customs), Dunedin (Nick Hale of Quarantine), Oamaru Hbr (Kevin Murdoch) and Timaru Hbr (Magnus Karlsson) - many thanks to all of you!

6pm Chatted to Lydia of Radio NZ - interview going out very early probably.

7pm Nice to see us making good speed this evening - up to 6kt - as we head N towards Timaru. Wind seems possibly to be dying down now - forecast is for light winds overnight and into tomorrow, so expecting to be drifting around again. Hoping for no more big squalls overnight - I need my sleep!

8:30pm Our speed is down to 4kt now so over 4 hrs away - wind definitely dying, so likely to be longer. Just hope it stays up enough for us to reach Timaru to stay close enough overnight to enable us to get in tomorrow morning. I'm told there's normally a light NE breeze in the Outer Harbour where the swinging moorings are - !et's hope that happens!

Friday 1 am NZT (Thurs 1300GMT) Wind from NE around 15kt - Timaru only 5 n.ml. away - and two anchored vessel, one cargo and one tanker, anchored 2 ml off - exactly where I'd hoped to heave to - damn!! We've made good speed - I just slowed us down from 4 kt to 2 kt by dropping in 3rd reef and furling in genoa similarly... Must wait until dawn around 8am before sailing in to harbour - 7 hrs to wait. Will heave to beyond the two anchored vessels and will need to keep watch overnight to make sure we keep clear of them...

4am Got worried about position and wind needed to get in to harbour in the morning so started heading gently in the lessening breeze towards the green light I thought was one of the entrance lights. Wind was dying right down so difficult to keep a good course but was doing fine. Smelled a seaweed smell which surprised me, being a good distance off the shore... But a short time later, to my horror, I realised that we were dangerously close to a large, long, rocky, unlit breakwater. I jumped to the wheel and had to hold it full lock to get us away in very little breeze..

I could not believe that such a large structure, invisible in the darkness until close up to it, could be left totally unlit.... It was very difficult getting away since there was very little steerage in such a light wind but, slowly, slowly, the gap between us got bigger, despite the wind forcing us to run almost parallel. I hate to think what my blood pressure and heart rate went up to... And it was extremely lucky I was on deck just then since I thought we were safely a couple of miles or more off the beach.

I was not at all sure for quite some time that we wouldn't end up on the rocks and called on the VHF to let Taupo Radio know what was happening. A fisherman nearby, who knew I was coming in, called me and was very concerned when he realised where I was... "Head out to sea as fast as you can" he told me, sounding very worried.

2pm (Fri 0200 GMT) All's well that ends well - shortly afterwards, it was time for my daily reports but I was busy by then coming in to Timaru harbour - so this posting has been delayed until after my successful tying to a buoy - more in my next post.

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

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!

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

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 239 (by daily DMGs): 19,963 n.ml. up to last distance calculation (on Day 233) + an unknown amount - but now have plotter available to do it! Just need the time.

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

TIME: 2019/05/30 06:54 GMT

LATITUDE: 44-21.10S

LONGITUDE: 171-21.91E

COURSE: NE

SPEED: 2kt

WIND_SPEED: 5kt

WIND_DIR: SE

SWELL_DIR: SE

SWELL_HT: 1.0m

CLOUDS: 10%

BAROMETER: 986.4hPa

TREND: 0

AIR_TEMP: 15.0C

SEA_TEMP: 14.0C

COMMENT:Close to Timaru Hbr, for swinging mooring, to get repairs done. Just avoided rocks of unlit breakwater

Day 238 Tues-Wed 28-29 May 2019 Oamaru entrance made impossible in W wind, after light wind with 30kt gusts overnight

Thanks to Commodore Kevin Murdoch, of the N.Otago Yacht and Powerboat Club in Oamaru Hbr, who has been very helpful about coming in and picking up a buoy (under sail) in the harbour in order to get my repairs done.
So long as I arrive in good daylight, to see well enough to pick up a buoy, that will be fine, so long as depth of water is good, also. They are planning to come out in a boat to show me the safe entry into the small harbour and to point out the buoy not far from the entrance that I will need to pick up.

5pm A second 'blow' around sunset which followed not so long after another even stronger one just as I was preparing to enter the harbour at Oamaru. Both blew up quite suddenly to 30-40kt - had to reef right down and in the first one I heaved to but the second one died down after a shorter time.
Unfortunately, by the time the first had died down, and I'd been blown a good distance away from the harbour, the word was that there would not be enough water to enter - Low Water was imminent - pity!
After some discussion on the options, with Kevin on board a small fishing boat that had come out to guide me in through the tricky entrance shallows, it was agreed that at 10:30pm I'd phone him to check if the wind was suitable to enter the harbour - not too strong but also not too light since I need to be able to steer the boat, of course.

Later: The plan to enter at night was ditched as being too risky - I'm not familiar with the layout, although I do have a photo of it, and it would be difficult to pick up the buoy in the dark. So I headed off, to try to stay N of the harbour, well out to sea overnight to wait for morning and to try again.

Thursday 3am Crescent moon just rising - two 'horns', spots of orange light at first, appear out of the sea, before the rest follows slowly - lying 'on its 'back'...
Have been awake a lot of time overnight, trying to keep boat headed N of Oamaru Hbr since N wind expected - but in light winds, all very difficult.
Gybed around with difficulty in light wind, to try to head back inshore, hoping to get to vicinity of harbour entrance around midday. Only one chance to get in - around High Water. Praying for some more wind to speed us along....

4:30am Going crazy out here, trying to persuade the boat to head towards shore in no wind - every so often, we go around in circles.... Course and speed weren't too bad to begin with but now wind has just died completely, so impossible to get anywhere - we'll not make our time at the harbour entrance unless wind comes up - and that's not forecast to happen - frustrating.....

6:30am Had a 2-hr rest fully-clothed in my foulies & boots...just in case of a sudden strong gust again. Wind up slightly - we're actually now making our course - but far too slow. Need wind to pick up just a bit more to speed us up without it gusting up to 30-40kt again. Over 12 miles and five hours to go to harbour entrance - need to be making just 2.5kt average speed - and we're presently making 2-3 kt ... Fingers crossed we get no more big gusts but just a good wind...

(Later: Big NW gust drove us further out.- having to abort Oamaru - impossible to head that way in NW-SW wind under sail alone. Will need a Plan B.

****************************************************
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!
***************************************************

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 238 (by daily DMGs): 19,963 n.ml. up to last distance calculation (on Day 233) + an unknown amount - but now have plotter available to do it! Just need the time.

Distances (at 1900GMT): Dunedin, South Island, NZ: 59 n.ml. to SW.

Position & weather report for 2000 GMT, posted to www.Winlink.org and www.Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV):
TIME: 2019/05/29 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 45-04.75S LONGITUDE: 171-16.40E
COURSE: 040T SPEED: 2.0kt
WIND_SPEED: 7kt WIND_DIR: NW SWELL_DIR: NW SWELL_HT: 2.0m CLOUDS: 40%
BARO: 988.3hPa TREND: 0 AIR_TEMP: 14.0C SEA_TEMP: 14.0C
COMMENT: Trying to get to Oamaru Hbr - was hoping to enter today

Day 237 Mon-Tues 27-28 May 2019 Plotter is alive...! Heading to Oamaru to complete repairs

Tuesday 8am Generator on, watermaker running and updates being done - still sailing ENE, although trying to head NNE - wind direction not helpful.

Albatross and Cape Petrel came and rested in the water beside the boat as I adjusted sails before - perfect camera shot - but no camera to hand just then ... :-( They looked expectant, as though hoping for me to throw them some food. Lovely to see them so close up.

Trying to head up the coast while getting on with repairs - keep having to interrupt for sail trim or to adjust course. Swell not very much, which is helpful.

Big weather system coming by over weekend - looking into stopping in a harbour up the coast not too far away to finish repairs safely but the N winds forecast will not make heading N very easy.

Midday Just noticed we were heading WSW with wind change - gybed around and we're now heading NNW at 3.5kt Pressure is well down at 990.9hPa - deep Low approaching. Glad I'm not in the Tasman Sea right now!

12:30pm Generator oil is being drained, ready for refilling with fresh - badly needs it.

Have been speaking to Colin, trying to troubleshoot plotter wiring problem. All taking a time but has to be done.

1pm On deck to deal with sails and course... Saw five Cape Petrels resting together in the sea nearby and an albatross near the boat also. Wind has died so they have to work harder when flying - not much gliding possible...

2:25pm Just spoke to the Commodore, Kevin Murdoch, of the N.Otago Yacht and Powerboat Club in Oamaru Hbr about coming in and picking up a buoy (under sail) in the harbour sometime over the next day or so in order to get my repairs done. I've had to gain permission from both NZ Customs and Quarantine to do so. Has meant quite a lot of phoning around but finally has turned out OK - thanks to all concerned. I just have to get there first - presently almost no wind and difficult to keep a course.

Replacing genset oil, then back to plotter/instruments wiring problems.

8:30pm Celebrating another big step forward in my repairs with a small glass of wine - plotter is NOT dead, nor is circuit-breaker! Just needed an expert like Robert Galley in Glencairn, near Simon's Town, S.Africa, to take me through a few steps to test out what was the root cause of the problem - the cockpit instrument circuit turned into the answer. Once taken out of the equation, plotter and circuit-breaker work fine... Now I need to get the cockpit instruments powered up as stand-alones, off the Seatalk bus - I'd like to have wind info especially - in doing that, I'll try to see whether it's an individual display or a wiring run that's giving the problem. Thanks a lot, Robert! I'm feeling so much happier and positive tonight.... Tomorrow, I'll try to track down a possible dud battery. If I can find that and take it out of the battery bank, that should improve the charging situation tremendously.

Heading SSE at moment - light wind from NE is making it difficult to head N as I'd like to. But there's supposed to be a SW wind later tonight so that will allow us to head NE - to Oamaru Hbr to complete our repairs

Wednesday 1am NZT (Tues 1300GMT) Brilliant stars in a very clear sky after rain has cleared away. Southern Cross high up, Milky Way clear to see ... no moon yet.

Wind is up and from SSW, so we're making good speed due N at 5kt after furling in some genoa to slow us down a touch from the 5.5-6kt we were making. Need to get just N of latitude of Oamaru Hbr but do not want to go too far N.

Batteries are getting a good charge from the Superwind in the stronger wind conditions.

2am Wind has died down a bit - to 15 kt, perhaps? Speed down to 4-4.5 kt - we're due E of Oamaru now 20 n.ml. off, so any more northing is a bonus - expecting N wind later, around midday.

4:20am Course change to WSW to head for a point just N of Oamaru Hbr - about 22 ml away. Hoping the forecast N wind comes up later in the morning. Clear, starry sky, with half-moon shining high astern, reflecting in slight waves, and low cloud layer near E and S horizons. Rolling about in the slight well. Back to my bunk...

7am Wind beginning to veer - will go W before ending up from N - none of which is very helpful for heading WNW, as we need, to get to Oamaru.

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

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, 12 hrs on) - end of Day 237. We made very little distance again, over the 24hr period, since mainly trying to get N slowly, NE of Dunedin, in light wind, getting work done and wanting arrival at a point well N of Oaramu hbr entrance around midday..

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 237 (by daily DMGs): 19,963 n.ml. up to last distance calculation (on Day 233) + an unknown amount - but not much! Will be updated next time - now have plotter avaialble to do it!

Distances (at 1900GMT): Oamaru harbur: 20 n.ml.Dunedin, South Island, NZ: 59 n.ml. to SW.

Position & weather report for 2000 GMT, posted to www.Winlink.org and www.Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV):

TIME: 2019/05/28 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 45-01.33S LONGITUDE: 171-28.58E

COURSE: 258T SPEED: 2.0kt

WIND_SPEED: 6kt WIND_DIR: SSE SWELL_DIR: S SWELL_HT: 1.5m CLOUDS: 10%

BARO: 990.9hPa TREND: 2 AIR_TEMP: 14.0C SEA_TEMP: 14.0C

COMMENT: Heading for Oamaru Hbr to complete repairs

Day 236 Sun-Mon 26-27 May 2019 Work on repairing knockdown damage continues...

Day 236 Sun-Mon 26-27 May 2019

8:30am Wind has increased and backed from around dawn - now more from NNW and must be around 15kt so we're making more of a NE course at around 4.5-5kt.

11:30am Been busy with breakfast, sail trim (wind has backed a lot, so now heading N on broad reach), filling a lot of water bottles (kept beside chart table), washing up in galley - using start-up water from water-maker for that - very, very slightly salty so almost like fresh - I can't taste the difference. Starting on instruments - seeing if they're of any use - hoping they might power up one by one...

Cape petrels flying around, as usual... Feeling very chilly, but sun is getting out occasionally, after a very grey cloudy start to the day. Can see coast in far distance - hills green and brown in sunlight.

Midday Wind has backed a lot more - to SW - so now heading N at around 4kt - we were faster before, but wind has died down again - to 10kt, I think. Sun has disappeared - feeling cold.

2pm Genoa furled away - wind has totally died away... Drifting while I work... Rockin' and rollin' in the slight swell. Time for a hot cup of soup to warm the insides...

Cleaned the generator control panel PCB very gently - had been sounding as though it was shorting somewhere - not happy to hear that... Hope it's OK and salt hasn't got onto a vital connection.

Sunset A little wind came up - but was up and down and swinging around -impossible to make way where I wanted to go. Suddenly, I realised that with the mainsail now up, I could heave to - so we're now hove-to .. but wind has died again.

Have been trying to get the plotter problem sorted out today... No fuse blown on course computer and power seems to be getting to end of power cable into plotter - but neither screen is lighting up. Had brought the cockpit display down to connect, expecting it to work - so far, it hasn't - disappointing.

Has been nice to see the wind generator keeping up with autopilot needs - and voltage staying up well.

A pair of Cape petrels and an albatross were circling around this afternoon - when suddenly a fast-moving sealion appeared - there must have been plenty of fish right by us, judging from their behaviour. The coast is 20 miles away now and we're just over 20 n.ml. to NE of Dunedin.

6:30pm Heaved to in light wind - now have mainsail hoisted to make it possible. Drifting NNW at 0.5kt.

Still working on plotter, wiring etc.

Spoke to NZ Customs about possibly anchoring or picking up a buoy while doing repairs - possibly expecting some very strong wind and seas in a few days' time and still have several urgent repairs to do..

Tuesday 5am Could hear the wind and its direction seemed good for heading NE, so got underway on port tack but wind actually not very strong. We're headed ENE at just 2kt, having to sail close to the wind, so not very fast ... Had hoped for better course and speed.

8am Generator on, watermaker running and updates being done - still sailing ENE, although trying to head NNE - wind direction not helpful.

Albatross and Cape Petrel resting in the water beside the boat as I adjusted sails before - perfect camera shot - but no camera to hand just then ... :-(

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

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, 12 hrs on) - end of Day 236. We made very little distance again, over the 24hr period, since mainly drifting around, NE of Dunedin, in light wind, getting work done.

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 236 (by daily DMGs): 19,963 n.ml. up to last distance calculation (on Day 233) + an unknown amount - but not much!

Position & weather report for 2000 GMT, posted to www.Winlink.org and www.Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV):

TIME: 2019/05/27 20:00GMT LATITUDE: 45-24.85S LONGITUDE: 171-25.21E

COURSE: 070T SPEED: 2.0kt

WIND_SPEED: 12kt WIND_DIR: NNW SWELL_DIR: NW SWELL_HT: 1.5m CLOUDS: 95%

BARO: 994.5hPa TREND: -2 AIR_TEMP: 13.0C SEA_TEMP: 14.0C

COMMENT: Getting repairs done following knockdown - still lots to do.

Day 235 Sat-Sun 25-26 May 2019 Mainsail in use, although only small, and wind generator working well.. but instruments down

Sunday 10:20am New blade is now in place on wind generator - and it's putting in charge! Sat on top of the stern arch supports to do it and hugged the pole! Wasn't so bad and didn't take long.... Managed it just as the wind suddenly started to get up, so only just in time.

I had to lash the radar in place firmly to stop the top of that pole and all its antennas etc from moving about. Will need to keep a good eye on the lashing to make sure it keeps doing a good job.

11:15am Grey sky and NNW wind. We're underway, headed NE with mainsail hoisted! Of course, the halyard had got caught around some mast steps near the mast top but didn't take too long to free. Pity about the torn area at the leech lower down, meaning I can't raise the sail beyond third reef - but definitely better than nothing! As soon as I can, I'll add some 'tabling' to the sticky-backed sail-repair tape I've stuck there on both sides as a temporary fix.
Still have no plotter or speed/depth/wind - the circuit-breaker 'pops' every time I try to switch on so I need to find an alternative source of power to get them working again.
A dark-grey-winged albatross was flying around as we moved off and the wind generator is spinning happily and putting in a few amps over and above the autopilot consumption - nice to see!
Time for breakfast... and I must get some sleep soon - really missed out on that with the charging problem happening well before dawn.

Midday, and I think the wind is less now - I definitely miss the Wind display!
Contacted MRCC NZ to update them on situation on board.
Need to replace circuit breaker/switch with a fresh switched/fused power supply.

I have some paper charts but they're not very detailed.
Have been working on replacing the circuit breaker/switch with a fresh switched/fused power supply to the plotter.

Cape petrels flying around frequently, along with the usual lone albatross - always coming close as though inquisitive to see what's going on.

6pm Bad news - think I killed my plotter... :-( ... and possibly the other instruments also, although maybe I can get them going as 'stand-alones' if I can power them up separately, away from the Seatalk bus. In checking how to power the plotter up, I touched a live supply - not a good idea unless you're about to throw it away in the bin anyway - which was not my plan.... Now that I've made up a nice combination of switch and in-line fuse, it turns out, on testing with power supply turned on , that nothing happens - no plotter or any other instrument display... Extremely annoying to think I could have been so careless - otherwise I think the plotter would have been working now.

So glad I found the missing mainsail slide-track stop - meant I could hoist the mainsail and get underway far sooner than expected, although present very light and/or N wind doesn't make for progress NE.

Spoke to Meri who runs Bluff Fishermen's Radio. She asked my for my posn ad COG/SOG details. If she's in contact with a fishing vessel nearby, she'll make sure they know I'm close to them.

8:50pm Light rain and no wind - have furled in genoa while we drift around. Spoke to Tapo Maritime Radio a short while ago and they confirmed no traffic anywhere nearby. They're keeping an eye on 'Nereida' on their AIS screen - nice to know, when I'm drifting in no wind...!
To my bunk for some long-overdue sleep - have had none since well before dawn.

Monday 5am NZT (Sun 5pm GMT) Some wind has arrived from NNW - we're 10 ml SE of Dunedin on the Otago Peninsula.. Unfurled genoa and now making abut 2.5 kt sailing upwind, making a NE course - headed offshore. Wind generator putting in a slight net charge over autopilot (AP) use.
Back to my bunk for a little more sleep.

6:15am Unable to keep NE course - wind must have veered a little - making due E now... Back for half an hour of more sleep...

7am Lovely line of orange light getting under cloud layer in east - stil dark but dawn not far away. Making course slightly to N of E now - wind must have backed a tad.
Busy posting updates and getting weather downloads. Emailing minimal via radio now - please do not expect replies very soon - radio use being kept to absolute minimum to conserve battery power.

 

****************************************************
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, 12 hrs on) - end of Day 235. We made very little distance over the 24hr period, since mainly drifting around, well S of Dunedin, in light wind, getting work done

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 235 (by daily DMGs): 19,963 n.ml. up to last report (Day 233) + an unknown amount - but not much!

Distances (at 1900GMT): Dunedin, South Island, NZ: 20 n.ml. to NNE. (No others easily avilable without plotter working)

Position & weather report for 1900 GMT, posted to www.Winlink.org and www.Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV):

TIME: 2019/05/26 19:03GMT LATITUDE: 45-56.62S LONGITUDE: 171-01.51E
COURSE: 070T SPEED: 2.5kt
WIND_SPEED: 10kt WIND_DIR: NNW SWELL_DIR: SW SWELL_HT: 1.5m CLOUDS: 95%
BARO: 999.9hPa TREND: -2 AIR_TEMP: 14.0C SEA_TEMP: 14.0C
COMMENT: N-NNW wind again, after drifting in no wind most of night - dawn light starting

Day 234 Fri-Sat 24-25 May 2019 Good day'swork - mainail nearly ready for hoisting. Power problem near dawn...

Saturday 9am On port tack, making 053T at around 2kt, heading up the coast, presently 15 miles off, close to the wind which is from WNW at around 10kt - getting on deck now to see if I can achieve something in this wind. Wind likely to get stronger this afternoon and then drop down Sunday morning. Might be forced slightly offshore by wind veering more to N later but should be able to tack back inshore again to get into the area of light wind just S of Dunedin by tomorrow morning. That's the plan, anyway...

12:20pm A quick break from work on mainsail for a drink of water.... Struggling with 4th batten - long and heavy & keeps wanting not to know... Wind 12kt from NW-NNW, making 2-2.5kt on 065T.

2:45pm Yay!! Finished replacing sail slides in mast track - what a battle I had with the lower batten end and the slides nearby... But finally got there by tying all together and only needing to raise the halyard a little. Problem now is the stop below them all is missing... The knockdown jumped it from where I had it conveniently visible so now I have to find it - or make up something else.
Wind has veered into N so will gybe around to head E. We're 20ml off the coast now and inshore is where the lighter wind is. I still have work to do on deck, and the present conditions are perfect.

Found another tear by the leech lower down in the sail, while releasing it in order to persuade the sail to move forward so I could get the sail slides into the mast track. I've stuck it on both sides with sail repair tape but need to reinforce that with material - more 'tabling needed (have some Sunbrella I can use) - so won't raise the full main until I've managed to do that . Fortunately it's easy to get to from the cockpit, although the sail need to be released from the boom in order to do so.

Must get some food - had nothing so far today....

A Royal albatross, a pair of the smaller, familiar, dark-backed albatross and a distinctive black and white Cape Petrel have been circling around as I worked. We had a visitor! A gull came by and had a good look around - but soon left when no food came its way..

5:30 pm Sunset. Have searched but no sign of the stopper for the sail track. Have found a suitable long, thin bolt to hold one in place but need to make the actual stopper - maybe out of a small plastic box or else from thin aluminium (easy to bend) - or maybe using a food can. Will check in my spares... I know the shape I need.

Have reduced the genoa to slow us down further - don't want to get too close inshore. Pity I can't anchor here but don't see anywhere suitable. Might have to gybe out and then back in again overnight.

11:30pm Having started the evening drifting NW-W in N-NNW wind, we're now drifting SW - so time to gybe around and head NE instead - wind is now from NW at 13kt.

Sunday 3:25am NZT (Sat 1525 GMT) Bright moon shining in clear sky overhead, Southern Cross high over our stern, thin cloud layer over E and S horizons, distant lights of Dunedin glowing orange ahead on port bow, 25 miles off.
Wind down to 7-9kt from WNW and we're making 050t at 1.5kt.

6am Just had a major power problem - saw voltage was getting low so started generator - but saw no power going into batteries... When I stopped it, instruments went down - circuit breakers had gone... Couldn't start genset because no power coming in from batteries... Spoke to friend Robert in Sidney, B.C., "Start the main engine," was the advice. Was difficult persuading the engine to start - but it finally did, TG! But then (again) saw no power going in to batteries, although voltage was rising .... too much - clearly not being regulated. Had to stop the engine because battery voltage was way too high - well over 15A. But that meant I could get generator running - ran for two hours...
Contacted Taupo Maritime Radio to let them know my status.

All was looking good - except instruments keep going down (autopilot is OK since a separate circuit). Need to replace circuit breaker/switch with a fresh switched/fused power supply. In meantime, AIS display shows lat/long and COG/SOG - so can use paper charts if I have to and possibly iPad, although not sure about that one.

One good piece of news - I found the missing mainsail slide-track stop while getting out my hand held VHF radio, in order to charge it and test it was working.

Dawn soon - must get a little more sleep if I'm to replace windgen blade this morning - hope the swell stays down. Wind around 3-4 kt, so drifting NE well off the shoreline to the W is fine.

****************************************************
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, 12 hrs on) - end of Day 234. We made very little distance over the 24hr period, since mainly drifting around, well S of Dunedin, in light wind, getting work done

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 234 (by daily DMGs): 19,963 n.ml. up to last report + an unknown amount - but not much!

Distances (at 1900GMT): Dunedin, South Island, NZ: 20 n.ml. to NNE. (No others easily avilable without plotter working)

Position & weather report for 1900 GMT, posted to www.Winlink.org and www.Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV):
TIME: 2019/05/25 19:06GMT LATITUDE: 46-14.77S LONGITUDE: 170-30.68E
COURSE: 042T SPEED: 1.0kt
WIND_SPEED: 5kt WIND_DIR: SW SWELL_DIR: SW SWELL_HT: 1.0m
BARO: 1007.9hPa TREND: 0 AIR_TEMP: 16.0C SEA_TEMP: 14.0C
COMMENT: S of Dunedin, S. Island, NZ., Drifting. Power/charging problem

Day 233 Thurs-Fri 23-24 May 2019 Party time! Rounded South Cape on Stewart Island, New Zealand - fifth Great Cape of Southern Ocean.. Heading N now....

Friday 11:30am NZT Wind still from NW at 19kt and we're making 3.5-4kt, trying to head up the coast, hoping for light enough wind to finish replacing remaining sail-slides into mast track, so I can raise the mainsail - but wind seems to be heading us somewhat so making slow progress NE.
Seas have calmed down a lot so tried to get up to wind generator - top of pole is rather high up and realised when up there that I needed to tie off a blade to stop it rotating and to enable me to reach the damaged one to work on its remains. So had to untie myself and get back down and up again with some cord - managed that, and also managed to remove existing bit of old blade without losing the screws (although have spares) - but all very difficult, perched high up in the slight swell, working up well above my head - that, and the stress of it all, made me very tired. Fixing the new blade into position will definitely need calm conditions if I'm to manage it.
Getting to my bunk now for some much-needed sleep since I can't work on mainsail in present 18kt wind.

While up on the port-side pole, noticed that the top of the other pole, holding several antennas and the radar etc, was rotating slightly - which it shouldn't do. Clearly a problem caused by the knockdown, so I then lashed it to help hold it down in place. Will have to come up with a plan for stopping the slight rotation - several short bolts are now missing from their threaded holes.

4pm Sun getting low over coastline in distance. Fairly low and hilly, rather than mountainous, as I'd expected.
Cleared up in galley and elsewhere. Trying to figure out a 'fix' for the antenna/radar pole movement - not good for it to be able to move as it is - could damage the cables going down to below...
About to run generator and watermaker for an hour.

6:15pm Some remains of sunset colours in W sky over distant coast but otherwise virtually dark. Wind down to 13kt now, so going even more slowly - difficult to make our preferred heading. Hoping for wind to die more by tomorrow so can get work done on mainsail slides. Might have to tack closer inshore if wind veers to N. There's a lovely(!) big area of almost no wind a bit further N which will be gone by Monday - but can't see us reaching it in this NW wind, since use of engine is not allowed in my attempt...!
Cooking some lentils and onion (still plenty of fresh onions left, although some getting a bit gungy). Will add diced ham when done and maybe some curry paste to ring the changes.

6:40pm Wind has backed to WSW - so able to make a far better course, only problem being that it has also died down to 7-10kt. Why couldn't it have done that in daylight?? I wonder how long it will stay WSW... COG is 010T just now, SOG around 2kt! ... Wind swinging around from WSW to W and back - very light..

7pm Posting twice-daily position & weather report to Winlink/Shiptrak and downloading latest weather files - showing NW 9kt but wind actually anywhere from W quadrant and only 4kt.

10pm Wind came up again to 15 kt from NW - as in this evening's weather forecast and over most of the day. We'd gybed around to head inshore a little more, intending to gybe again in a few hours' time. Trying to stay inshore and not getting too far offshore, while staying safe.. Means broken sleep to keep an eye on our position regularly.

Saturday 4am (Fri 1600GMT) Gybed around onto port tack, making 060T at around 3kt, heading back up the coast, close to the NW 19kt wind. Seems to me that the hope of having light wind to work with on deck close to the coast from first light onwards isn't happening... I'll wait to see what the next weather forecast is saying about the chances of light conditions coming up hereabouts.
The moon is shining brightly but hazily through a very thin cloud layer. The light at Nugget Point is flashing twice every 12 seconds to NW, 10 miles off, and a fishing trawler is visible showing its bright white deck lights about 10ml to S.

4:30am Wind has dropped and our speed with it - making around 2.5kt now on 050T. Bsck to my bunk for a bit more sleep....

7am Vivid orange line of light along E horizon, below grey overcast cloud layer - sunrise quite soon...
Wind around 15kt from NW, making course NE at 2.5kt - not seeing the light wind now that I'd been so much hoping for - and have been waiting around here overnight for... looks to have been a total waste of time and effort...! Calm area is just a touch too far to N and can't get there! Weather forecasts were not all agreeing and I really wanted to believe the one that forecast light wind today!

(8:20am Wind down to 12kt -will see if light enough...)

 

****************************************************
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, 12 hrs on) - end of Day 233. We made 39 n.ml. DMG, over the 24hr period, measured in a straight line between the two 1900GMT positions. Deliberately slow, hoping to fix mainsail in place...

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 233 (by daily DMGs):19,963 n.ml.

Distances (at 1900GMT): S.Cape, NZ : 116 n.ml. to SW; nearest South Island, NZ, coastline (Nugget Pt): 13 n.ml. to W; Bluff: 72 n.ml. to WSW; Dunedin: 45 n.ml. to NNE; Hobart (Tasmania, Aus): 991 n.ml. to NW

Position & weather report for 1900 GMT, posted to www.Winlink.org and www.Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV):

TIME: 2019/05/24 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 46-30.81S LONGITUDE: 170-05.95E
COURSE: 047T SPEED: 2.9kt
WIND_SPEED: 16kt WIND_DIR: NW SWELL_DIR: SW SWELL_HT: 2.0m CLOUDS: 99%
BARO: 1013.3hPa TREND: 0 AIR_TEMP: 15.0C SEA_TEMP: 14.0C
COMMENT: Off Nugget Pt, E coast of S. Island, NZ.

Day 232 Wed-Thurs 22-23 May 2019 Party time! Rounded South Cape on Stewart Island, New Zealand - fifth Great Cape of Southern Ocean.. Heading N now....

Thursday Dawn breaking around 8 a.m. Having to keep well clear of several small islands to W of the SW end of Stewart Island on the approach..

A lovely dawn over the islands - several small ones off the main island. The occasional albatross flies close by - lovely to see, as always. Sky becoming clearer as overnight clouds mainly disappear but half-moon is still bright and quite high up.

Spoke to Taupo Maritime Radio, to give my usual twice-daily status report, and also to Meri of Bluff Fishermen's Radio - she does a wonderful job keeping an eye on the fishermen's whereabouts and status, especially in bad weather - of which there's plenty hereabouts... At below 47S, we're well down in the Southern Ocean again.

Course now is SE in a W-WSW wind but will change course to ENE as soon as it's safe to do so. Hoping for a change in wind direction to WNW very soon, to help the change of course.

Spoke to a NZ/Aus Ham Radio Net both to pass on my best wishes and to let them know what is happening - will contact a few more later today.

10:52 a.m. NZT Passing the SW Cape on Stewart Island... Gybed onto port tack just beforehand - the wind had veered just enough to make that feasible. Wind is 16-20kt so speed a bit better - often making ~4kt on a very broad reach.
Gusty conditions under the occasional cloud in shower. A lovely rainbow shone as we were rounding the Cape - an omen of good luck? I could do with some!!
Enjoying a 'special' breakfast of dried fruit, nuts and seeds with delicious mango juice to start with - thinking ahead to the warmer climates coming up soon, further N...
Will celebrate later with a rum punch - mango juice and orange juice with some dark spiced rum (I've a little rum still left from my earlier four 'Dark and Stormy' Great Cape celebratory drinks!)

11:38 am Passing the South Cape on Stewart Island - mostly bright sunshine at times, sun quite low, making a photo of the scene difficult... Then a rain cloud came over the island, hiding the sun - so a photo was possible. This is possibly the last land I'll see until Polynesia, maybe Hawaii, before Canada.

Had a lovely, relaxed sail in the lee of Stewart Island over the rest of the day with plenty of albatrosses coming by at times. The seas had lain right down so it felt a lot smoother than on the approach to the island earlier, and the wind was from W around 16kt or more, making for an easy sail NE, well off the coast but within sight of it.

Downloaded a lot of congratulatory emails and spoke to a few people by satphone (working fine, so long as I kept an eye that its power supply was well-connected).

Totally enjoyed the day, celebrating the 'Fifth Great Cape Rounding'... feels really good and the weather is cooperating fantastically well! Found some delicious olive and sun-dried tomato tapenade (from Saltspring Island) to spread on crackers, opened a small tin of anchovy-stuffed green olives and had them with cashews to go with a long (weak!) G&T as sunset approached, and a glass of red wine with my meal later. Even managed to raise a toast to 'The Fifth Cape' with friends by satphone!
Enjoyed making a few amateur radio contacts on the SSB/HF radio - not something I've been doing of late, in an effort to conserve battery power - but today was a special day so I 'treated' myself and enjoyed the short chats.

8pm Spoke to Taupo Radio - asked them to alert a fishing trawler to the NE of us that we were headed their way overnight, just as a precaution. Also spoke to Meri to confirm which weather areas I should be taking note of in her weather broadcasts. Presently 'Foveaux', but once N of 'The Nuggets' we'll be in sea area 'Chalmers' (near Dunedin) was her answer.

Friday 4am Crossing the E end of Foveaux Strait at the S end of South Island, NZ. Wind has veered more and gusted up - NW now, so needing to adjust sail trim. Sail had woken me up with its unhappy noise but once sheeted in a lot more it was far better and our speed picked right up again - now making 5.8kt or more in 20kt wind. Adjusted course slightly to give more clearance off The Nuggets, around the SE corner of S. Island.

7am Wind has died back now, although still from NW, so only making around 4-4.5kt. Spoke to Meri on Bluff Fishermen's Radio and listened to weather forecasts. Seas have calmed down a lot - giving a gentle rocking of the boat - quite pleasant.

****************************************************
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, 12 hrs on) - end of Day 232. We made 89 n.ml. DMG, over the 24hr period, measured in a straight line between the two 1900GMT positions.

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 232 (by daily DMGs):19,924 n.ml.

Distances (at 1900GMT): S.Cape, NZ : 77 n.ml. to SW; nearest South Island, NZ, coastline (The Brothers Pt): 10 n.ml. to N; Bluff: 43 n.ml. to WNW; Dunedin: 82 n.ml. to NE; Hobart (Tasmania, Aus): 960 n.ml. to NW

Position & weather report for 1900 GMT, posted to www.Winlink.org and www.Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV):
TIME: 2019/05/23 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 46-49.78S LONGITUDE: 169-17.07E
COURSE: 065T SPEED: 4.2kt
WIND_SPEED: 15kt WIND_DIR: NW SWELL_DIR: W SWELL_HT: 2.5m CLOUDS: 60%
BARO: 1018hPa TREND: 0 AIR_TEMP: 15.0C SEA_TEMP: 14.0C
COMMENT: SE of S. Island, NZ., at E entrance Foveaux Strait

Day 231 Tues-Wed 21-22 May 2019 Very nearly there! Almost around the final Great Cape, on Stewart Island, New Zealand!

Midday Wednesday Seas have got quite big again - a good 5-6 m and rolling us around a lot now. Sky looking very grey and rain is looking possible.

Albatrosses are wheeling and soaring in the wind and a white-rumped brown-backed storm petrel is fluttering astern, often dipping into the sea.

Just furled in some more genoa to try to slow us down - difficult in good wind! The wind keeps gusting up and then abating - it's mainly around 20kt, but just gusted up to 28kt for a short time - possibly these grey clouds are making that happen.

Presently hoping to round the final Southern Ocean Cape - on Stewart Island, NZ - tomorrow.... Have been deliberately going slowly to get there soon after dawn - having expended so much time and effort (and anguish!) getting here, I didn't want to pass it by overnight - as would have happened if I'd kept up a good speed yesterday and overnight!!

I've noticed that close by the SW Cape there's a S Cape on Stewart Island. Which is the one referred to as the 'Great Cape', I wonder? I've been thinking the SW Cape was the one to go for - but since they're so close (only 3 miles apart), I'll pass by both tomorrow morning. Until fairly recently, only the three named Capes were referred to as the 'Southern Ocean Great Capes' - Horn, Good Hope and Leeuwin, in S.America, Africa and Australia respectively.

3:15pm Running watermaker now - we'd run completely out of tank water... The gauge must have got stuck since it had been showing half full for a time - until the knockdown jarred it into a correct reading. Hadn't run it at all so far this trip so was worried I'd forget to do something and it wouldn't go well. Read the manual section on starting up with 'pickle'... checked valves were open and that water was diverted from tank to galley sink... checked membrane was de-pressurized... started up generator... crossed fingers very tightly... took a deep breath....switched on pump 1... seemed to be working fine...went on deck to see if water was exiting OK - yes!! Turned pump 1 off and pump 2 on ... water seemed to be coming out again. Difficult to see that in present swell since involves leaning right out over side of boat to look down to just above water level - but the water exiting makes a bit of a splash so seeing that is good enough. I didn't fancy a swim just now...

Had the two pumps running for half an hour to purge the 'pickle' thoroughly out of the system and then pressurized the membrane. After 5-10 minutes, switched product water to the tank. System is making about 40l/hr (10 gall/hr) on one pump (makes slightly more efficient use of power than on two). After running generator for one hour, switched it off - I want to see how long it takes running the watermaker to bring the batteries down... (The Spectra is a 12V system.) At present, I'm seeing 10.3A discharge - that's running instruments, AP and Spectra (on just one pump - turned off pump 2) - so not too bad. Seems, in fact, that if pump 2 was working before, it is not working now... but have a spare, if needed.

5pm Battery voltage has dropped by 0.2V in two hours. Ran watermaker for another hour - I need the water and I want to pressurize the fresh-water system if I can. (Later: Did that, so that's good.) Should have 50l or more in tank now - I'll run the watermaker often when running the generator from now on.

Time for food - it's a grey, cold, damp day and I need something hot...

6:30pm Dark now and raining slightly. Gybed onto port tack. We were having trouble making our course in a WNW wind, and speed was too often around 4kt or more - meaning we'd arrive at Stewart Island in the dark - not in my plan! So I've furled in the genoa to a handkerchief size. Amazingly, we're still often touching 4kt - wind has been around 20-24kt all afternoon. Will gybe again around midnight and head out if still going too fast to make the Cape around dawn or later...

Thursday 1:45am (Wed 1345GMT) Beautiful clear, starry sky with oh-so-bright moon lighting up the sea and making sail-handling no problem.

Gybed around with slightly-increased sail area - making 140T at 3kt in wind from WSW at 22-25kt, gusting 28kt. Waypoint well off S end of Stewart Island, to SW of Cape, is 21 ml away - so ETA there is around 8am NZT - dawn - or soon after. Seas are quite rough - a good 4m with wind waves and plenty of 'white horses' (white foam crests of a F6 wind) on top. Pressure has risen a little to 1017 hPa and air is 15C/59F.

Nearest small islands off Stewart Island are 14 ml way - so I can safely get another short nap with alarm set.

6am Full genoa now to speed us up - we'd dropped well down... Will take about three hours from here to passing Cape. Wind is ~18kt from WSW and moon is shining hazily at times from behind thin cloud cover. Saw the Southern Cross high up in a gap in the clouds.. The moon is bright enough that it lights up the clouds from above to give a good twilight to see by.

Have to keep well clear of small islands to W of SW end of Stewart Island on the approach... Is the wind dying...? I hope not!

There's an E-going tidal current from now until 11 am, just S of the Cape, and from 8am until midday, further to the E.

Feeling decidedly damp and cold in the 15C air - heating up the remains of a chunky soup from last night and added in some potato powder to bulk it up - nice and warming...

We're just a few hours away from rounding the final Southern Ocean Cape - and heading N up the Pacific, at last.... Can't wait to get to warmer seas!

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

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, 12 hrs on) - end of Day 231. We made 74 n.ml. DMG, over the 24hr period, measured in a straight line between the two 1900GMT positions. Slowed down deliberately.

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 231 (by daily DMGs):19,835 n.ml.

Distances (at 1900GMT): SW Cape, NZ: 10 n.ml SE; S Cape: l3 n.ml. to SE; nearest SW NZ coastline (Bluff): 58n.ml.to NE; Dunedin: 164 n.ml. to NE; Hobart (Tasmania, Aus): 881 n.ml. to NW

Position & weather report for 1900 GMT, posted to www.Winlink.org and www.Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV):

TIME: 2019/05/22 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 47-13.74S LONGITUDE: 167-13.95E

COURSE: 123T SPEED: 3.8kt

WIND_SPEED: 16kt WIND_DIR: WSW SWELL_DIR: W SWELL_HT: 4.0m CLOUDS: 95%

BARO: 1019.1hPa TREND: 2 AIR_TEMP: 15.0C SEA_TEMP: 15.0C

COMMENT: W of SW end of Stewart Island, NZ. 10 ml from the Cape

Day 230 Mon-Tues 20-21 May 2019 Heading towards our final Great Cape on Stewart Island, N.Z.

Tuesday 10am The nearest New Zealand South Island coast is 45 n.ml. away to the SE (Resolution Island) and Cape Providence is 58 n.ml. off, to SE also. Puysegur Pt is just SSE of Cape Providence, 11 n.ml. further on and the weather area nearby is named after it... notorious for bad weather!
A grey, damp, cold day again - need to get N into warmer climes!!
Forecast is for more light wind - presently 7kt! - until nightfall, when wind is expected to veer to the NW and eventually to N around midnight, increasing rapidly late afternoon to ~25kt around nightfall and until dawn, reducing to ~20kt over tomorrow daytime. I'm looking forward to making some decent speed overnight onward - we're struggling to make way just now!
A graceful albatross was seen circling around us soon after dawn - same kind as seen yesterday.

12:30pm Getting into the forepeak now to check for possible wind generator blades - seas won't get much lower than they are now, so need to make good use of the lighter conditions to dig around under the bunk there. Fingers crossed...

1:15pm Yay...!!! A complete set of new identical blades... Took a bit of getting to, but clearly it was worth it! Now need calm conditions to get up there and replace the damaged/missing blade.

5pm Interview on ABC Tasmania/Hobart went fine - good sound quality after spending a time 'tweaking' the Aurora system to allow the wired handset to be used - far better sound - thanks again, Colin!
Before that, spent quite a time watching the albatrosses and tiny storm petrels around the boat - great! Intention had been to check cockpit locker, which I did, but couldn't see anything well enough to decide if one of the diesel containers was damaged or not - need calmer conditions to explore more thoroughly.

6:30pm Another chat, this time with BBC Radio Solent in Southampton on Julian Clegg's Breakfast Show (7:25am Tuesday BST). Phone worked fine again - good sound and almost no 'warbling'.
Winds should increase overnight but I'll try to keep speed down - would be nice (and safer) to pass Stewart Island in daylight, if possible. Expecting rain, possibly heavy, as a Cold Front passes over near midnight.

Wednesday 5am NZT (Tues 1700 GMT) Changed course towards Stewart Island in wind backed to WNW, down now at 18kt from NNW-N 22-25kt earlier in the night. Rain earlier, but not so heavy. Still rolling around a lot, as we have been all night.
Have now rounded Cape Providence and Puysegur Point - the SW 'corner' of South Island, New Zealand. The wind has just backed enough to allow a better course to be set - taking us to a waypoint well clear of Stewart Island, due S of its SW Cape, and also keeping us well clear of the North and South Traps - dangerous areas of rocks needing to be avoided to SE of Stewart Island. Wind should back a little further to come from W sometime soon.

Expecting a call around 6:30am NZT for a chat with CBC Victoria (at 11:30am Tuesday PDT) and at 7am NZT /12 noon PDT with CHEK News, also in Victoria, B.C., Canada.

Times are getting rather confusing as we get close to the Date Line - I keep referencing GMT to be sure. NZT is exactly 12 hours on from GMT, BST (British 'summertime') is GMT + 1 hr and PDT (Pacific Time now, in North America) is GMT + 8hr .

****************************************************
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, 12 hrs on) - end of Day 230. We made 84 n.ml. DMG, over the 24hr period, measured in a straight line between the two 1900GMT positions. Slowed down deliberately.

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 230 (by daily DMGs):19,761 n.ml.

Distances (at 1900GMT): SW Cape, NZ: 84 n.ml SSE; nearest SW NZ coastline (Puysegur Point): 42 n.ml.; Hobart: 814 n.ml.

Position & weather report for 1900 GMT, posted to www.Winlink.org and www.Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV):
TIME: 2019/05/21 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 46-31.15S LONGITUDE: 165-44.99E
COURSE: 135T SPEED: 3.0kt
WIND_SPEED: 19kt WIND_DIR: WNW SWELL_DIR: NW SWELL_HT: 4.0m CLOUDS: 100%
BARO: 1012.2hPa TREND: 0 AIR_TEMP: 16.0C SEA_TEMP: 16.0C
COMMENT: 84 n.ml. off SW Cape on Stewart Island, S of S. Island, NZ

Day 229 Sun-Mon 19-20 May 2019 Slow progress, keeping well off the rugged SW coast of S. Island, N.Z.

Monday 8:20am Just gone dawn - but a grey sky. Feeling damp and cold, with air temperature just about reaching 16C/61F. Making around 3-3.5kt, often a lot less, hard on a SW wind which has dropped to 15kt, trying to make sure we clear Cape Providence, 107ml to the SSE. This will be a slow day, with light winds.
About to call Taupo Maritime Radio for my twice-daily sched - to confirm "All is well on board" and give position, COG & SOG.
Will get back to my bunk for some more sleep soon.

1:30pm I was clearly very tired - after not too bad a night's sleep last night, I lay down for a nap around 10am - and woke up just before 1pm! The sun was shining brightly from a blue patch of sky - one of two or three quite big ones among the otherwise grey clouds. We're still rolling around quite often but seas are definitely lying down
We're only making around 2-2.5kt, sometimes getting up to 3kt or just over, in wind that has veered a touch more towards WSW. Slow, as expected today, until the wind veers and increases further. But pressure has risen to 1020hPa, so we're being affected by the High to our N.

5pm Light now beginning to fade - already very dull under grey cloud cover.
Two lovely albatrosses circling us - long, dark, upper wings and dark back, white underbody and white underwings, except for dark tips, white tail with dark end, light grey 'wash' on cheeks and yellow bill. Wings held stiffly out as they glide around.

6pm Went up on deck to do some tidying up while the seas are not too bad - removed ends of lines where JSD bags had been torn away from the stern arch supports, untied retrieval line for JSD from stern cleat - hoping to untangle it from remains of bridle so JSD useable again. Replaced trysail in its bag where it had come partly out. Generally checked around.

Looking at what had happened, it occurred to me that it was a good thing there is a hard top over the companionway now. It seems to me that a cloth awning held in place with the usual tubular supports would have been badly damaged by the water impact that had clearly occurred. In a previous knockdown, 100ml W of Cape Horn on 5 January 2011, the awning had been totally lost - supports and cloth - everything was taken away by the impact, leaving no protection whatsoever over the companionway.

7:30pm Making better speed from time to time - under clouds? Occasionally making 3.5-4kt, instead of the usual 2kt - nice to see some better speed - possibly also helped by the wind having veered more to WSW meaning we're less hard on the wind - always makes for better speed and less heeling.
Spoke to Colin about my Aurora system - working so much better now. Tracker info is being put out frequently and in full and email uploads and downloads are unbelievably speedy.

9:30pm Contacted MRCC NZ for a quick status check - they're watching me via my AIS signal which, with us being so close to the coast, is updated every few minutes.

11pm Back to making just 2kt in wind of 10kt or less from just N of W - but at least our course is good - at due S or a little W of S - want to keep well off the rugged NZ coast hereabouts.
Had an enjoyable session on the satphone linking to the ham radio with Jim, WB2REM, orchestrating. Was nice to make contact with some familiar people as well as several new ones - from Chesapeake to Texas to Tasmania to Canberra - all sending good wishes - thanks to all of you!

5:30am Dark still - just before dawn. Wind has been slowly dying - mainly now only 8kt, but has just gusted to 18kt for a short timewhich makes it easier to maintain our S course - difficult when wind too light.
Coast is just over 50 ml away - Cape Providence (just N of Puysegur Pt - marked on photo of chart).

Tomorrow, I'll be chatting live on BBC Radio Solent with Julian Clegg on his Breakfast Show - that will be live at 7.25am Tuesday BST (11:25pm Monday PDT). Hopefully the satellite link won't make our voices too 'warbly'!
Before that, I'll be chatting to CBC Victoria during the afternooon (Monday), time tba.

****************************************************
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, 12 hrs on) - end of Day 229. We made 50 n.ml. DMG, over the 24hr period, measured in a straight line between the two 1900GMT positions. A very slow day!

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 229 (by daily DMGs):19,677 n.ml.

Distances (at 1900GMT): SW Cape, NZ: 150 n.ml SSE; nearest SW NZ coastline (Resolution Island): 48 n.ml.; Cape Providence: 62 n.ml.; Hobart: 799 n.ml.

Position & weather report for 1900 GMT, posted to www.Winlink.org and www.Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV):
TIME: 2019/05/20 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 45-07.59S LONGITUDE: 165-37.65E
COURSE: 179T SPEED: 1.3kt
WIND_SPEED: 8kt WIND_DIR: WSW SWELL_DIR: SW SWELL_HT: 4.0m CLOUDS: 100%
BARO: 1019.5hPa TREND: 0 AIR_TEMP: 15.0C SEA_TEMP: 16.0C
COMMENT: 48ml off SW NZ coast

Day 228 Sat-Sun 18-19 May 2019 Making for Stewart Island again

Sunday 7am NZT Turned around to try for Stewart Island again, planning to arrive well after the strong weather that's presently in the area S of here until Tuesday. Weather window looking good for Wednesday rounding, or later, but present wind direction is not too good to make it around Puysegur Point, near Cape Providence, two days away.

Wind is forecast to veer later to the SW-W which would enable the change of course needed. If I clearly can't round it safely, I'll have to abort the SW Cape and head N instead. That would soon end up causing a problem since there's a big High developing in the Tasman Sea to the N - pressure here has risen noticeably since midnight, being 1018hPa now.

Sunday midday: Hard on a wind from the SSW, trying to find a happy medium between making a good course and managing a reasonable speed - difficult not to kill our speed completely with being so close-hauled, so often not making a good speed. Don't want us to end up too far E or we'll never round Cape Providence and Puysegur Pt.

Need the mainsail available, to give better speed and upwind pointing, but that still requires some calm weather to insert the remaining sail slides into the mast track. Not quite enough slides are in place yet even to get a triple-reefed sail hoisted. The second batten end's slide posed a big problem and needs all sail ties and reefs released in order to get it into place - definitely not a job to be done in windy conditions.

We're beating into 4-5m seas that occasionally throw us around and we're heeled quite a bit with full genoa. Doing anything down below is difficult with the boat's motion. Wind backed to SSW before dawn this morning, just before we turned around, and has been mostly around 18-21kt with occasional gusts to 24kt.

Getting breakfast turned into another clearing up job. Had to cut away a lot of the potatoes used in my meal last night - found two tiny new ones growing and, becasue they've been well wrapped, roots have grown into the potato flesh - most odd and gives a lot more work. I keep finding things hidden away in or under my wet sleeping bag and pads and loose sheets of paper are so sodden as to be useless.

Want to try to get at the Aurora's cable to investigate a join that could well be causing the problem I'm now facing - might well have got water in there, under the tape covering it.

Feeling quite tired after a very disturbed night, so will try to take a nap soon.

3:20 pm Feeling a bit emotional and very touched... After a sched with Peter, ZL1PWM, for a status and weather update, two VK stations (Australia) came on frequency, one to pass on ideas on balancing the wind generator (would be good to get it back into action) and both wishing me the best and passing on good wishes from a lot of other Australian stations - thanks to all of you, not just in Australia but also in Canada, USA, New Zealand, UK, S.Africa, Mexico, Argentina, also - I deeply appreciate all the supportive thoughts and good wishes that I know are coming my way... :-)

7pm Feeling very happy just now - very many thanks to Colin, VK6CI, for his determined efforts via discussions over the SSB/HF radio to find the cause of my Aurora/satphone system problem - finally successful - the system has been 'tweaked' and is now back up and running fine... but without the wired handset via the Grandstream unit which seems to have been the main cause of the problem (the taped join looked dry). Using my computer for weather/emails and iPhone for voice calls - working well.

10pm Had a very nice meal, followed by a 'treat' of chocolate almonds ... ready for a very good sleep, having had just a one-hour map earlier. Have now downloaded a lot of emails waiting in my Inbox since several days ago and calls & texts to/from Colin confirmed the Aurora system working well - yippee!

Monday 5:30am Dark still - wind is around 17-18kt from SW. The coast is 80 miles off and our present course of 161T will take us 10ml clear of Cape Providence (110 ml off) and Puysegur Pt. Speed is very low at just over 3kt because we're still hard on the wind to ensure we clear the point, but both speed and clearance should improve as the wind veers more to the W today.

Needed to run generator badly with batteries well down - running it for an hour now - consumption has been confirmed at just over 1 l/hr. There's a fair chance I might be able to get the windgen back into action - either finding I have a spare set of blades on board (IF I have, and I just can't remember for sure, they'll be stowed under the forepeak bunk under a lot of other things and inaccessible until the seas are a lot calmer) or balancing the blades using a weight on the stub of the missing blade - possibly with a length of wood if it could be fixed in place firmly, although that idea sounds easier said than done and is very dubious. I shan't know my options either way until it's a lot calmer than the present 4-5m swell with wind waves, which is rolling us around still.

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

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, 12 hrs on) - end of Day 228. We made 79 n.ml. DMG, over the 24hr period, measured in a straight line between the two 1900GMT positions.

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 228 (by daily DMGs):19,627 n.ml.

Distances (at 1900GMT): SW Cape, NZ: 199 n.ml SSE; nearest SW NZ coastline: 90 n.ml.; Hobart: 786 n.ml.

Position & weather report for 1900 GMT, posted to www.Winlink.org and www.Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV):

TIME: 2019/05/19 19:00 LATITUDE: 44-18.91S LONGITUDE: 165-22.39E

COURSE: 161T SPEED: 3.5kt

WIND_SPEED: 18kt WIND_DIR: SW SWELL_DIR: SW SWELL_HT: 4.5m

BARO: 1019.3hPa TREND: 2 AIR_TEMP: 16.0C SEA_TEMP: 16.0C

COMMENT: 80ml off SW NZ coast

Day 227 Fri-Sat 17-18 May 2019 Heading N, to avoid strong weather to the S, bef

Saturday: Hard on the wind, heading N, with not a lot achieved down below because of the 4-5m seas throwing us around all day long. Wind has been W, backing to SW over the day, and mostly around 25kt with frequent gusts to 30kt or more. Earlier squalls occurred during heavy rainfall but there has been no rain since sunset when breaks in the cloud first appeared.

Spent a time trying to catch up on a lot of emails - mainly brief replies, to save on battery power, but thanks to many of you sending messages of support. Best are the very brief ones saying "No reply needed" ! Anyone emailing should make absolutely sure their message does not include a previous email or any other bumpf - vital not to hit the 'send' key without deleting unnecessary stuff first. Batteries are not holding charge very well so I'm having to run the small generator frequently to keep the autopilot going & it's best to reduce radio time needed for emailing by keeping emails brief.

Worked at trying to get Aurora going - still no joy, despite confirming power is getting at least part way. Must check a cable join - might have got water in there, under the tape covering it.

Made a big pot of food - need to keep myself fed!

Sunday 2:20am NZT Bright moon shining from a mainly clear sky with just a very few clouds around. Hard on the wind and banging into the 5m swell with 28kt SW wind. Heading NE but soon to turn around to head SSE back down to Stewart Island, arriving after the strong weather that's presently there and in the area between until Monday.

4:30am Just furled in more genoa to slow us down and changed course to head further W. Now making just under 5kt instead of 5.5-6kt. Had been thinking of turning around to head SSE but wind still over 25kt from SW so will wait a couple of hours more.

Sunday 7am NZT (=1900GMT Saturdy) Turned around to try for Stewart Island again - weather window looking good for Wednesday rounding but present wind direction not too good to make it around Puysiger Point, two days away.. Wind is forecast to veer later to the SW-W which will make possible the change of course needed. If I clearly can't make it safely, will have to abort the SW Cape and head N from here instead. Present wind is 26kt from SSW.

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

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, 12 hrs on) - end of Day 227. We made 107 n.ml. DMG, over the time since pulling in the JSD and getting underway around 2245GMT yesterday, measured in a straight line between the two positions.

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 227 (by daily DMGs):19,548 n.ml.

Distances (at 1900GMT): SW Cape, NZ: 276 n.ml SSE; nearest SW NZ coastline: 155 n.ml.

Position & weather report for 1900 GMT just after knockdown, posted to www.Winlink.org and www.Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV):

TIME: 2019/05/18 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 43-13.70S LONGITUDE: 164-25.78E

COURSE: 340T SPEED: 4.0kt

WIND_SPEED: 25kt WIND_DIR: SSW SWELL_DIR: SW SWELL_HT: 5.0m

CLOUDS: 80% BARO: 1015.1hPa TREND: 0 AIR_TEMP: 15.0C SEA_TEMP: 16.0C

COMMENT: 155 ml off SW NZ coast

-----

At 18/05/2019 19:00 (utc) our position was 4313.70'S 16425.78'E

=====

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Days 225-6 Wed-Fri 15-17 May 2019

Thursday was spent trying to clear up the wet mess, trying to get the Aurora working (to give voice calls and weather info aa well as emailing) and checking on weather, with updated status calls to MRCC NZ and Taupo Maritime Radio and discussions with Peter, ZL1PWM, as to options over next few days, given likely weather expected.

Presently the Aurora is down, despite a lot of time and effort spent on it, so phone calls, tracking, etc, not possible. Frustrating since I got it working fine earlier. Has meant radio having to be used instead - have mostly coincided its use with small generator being run at that time. Presently running the generator every 6hrs for 1/2 hr or more each time.

Still a lot to do in trying to make the place ship-shape - every surface I look at is wet - at 13C air temperature, there's a lot of condensation, plus water from the knockdown. Wet clothes are now hanging everywhere (and not drying) and my log books are wet, along with lots of other papers. At least all books stayed put - I'd added a higher, removable restraint bar after a knockdown 100 mls off Cape Horn in 2011. I keep finding small items in unexpected places.

It was lovely finally to get into a complete set of dry clothes - TG for vacuum-packing them prior to leaving - and lucky that the starboard bunk did not get wet although, like everything else, due to the low temperature, it feels very damp. My lovely thick (dry!) duvet stored away was a blessing and is great to snuggle under for a good sleep. Hot soup and food was very welcome, although the galley is in a mess still.

With the only possible chance to get the JSD back in being overnight or early Friday morning, I got to my bunk i good time - getting the series drogue back in always takes a lot of sustained effort so I knew I'd better try to get a good night's sleep.

5:45am LT Friday 16 May

Woken by violent rolling - good-sized seas but no wind - ...

Tried to get back to sleep but impossible. Perfect for getting in the series drogue - but no moon now and far too dark to see.

Tried re-powering the Aurora (no signal at present) Link light came up but then went down- so still no tracker or wifi connection.

Needed to finish tidying up the chaos in the aft cabin which was in even more of a mess than I'd first realised. The steering quadrant and autopilot arm were exposed and things were piled on top of them so I decided to see to that while dark since it needed to be done if we were to move anywhere later - clearly can't risk having the steering compromised. A wooden shelf forming the base of a chart-book storage area had been torn totally away and items stored below the bunks were everywhere. All the wooden boards forming the bunk bases had been thrown around by the impact and I had to spend quite a time replacing them - really difficult to deal with in the swell and with all the other items that had been displaced getting in the way.

7:15am Aft cabin bunk tops finally all back in place except one which is part way back - a difficult job, but at least the steering quadrant, autopilot and course computer are now protected. The wooden shelf holding charts on the side of the cabin was torn from its fixings, helping to contribute to the general disorder with chart books flung everywhere.

Still dark but getting into my foulies in hope that first light will come soon, so the JSD can be brought in while conditions are good - still no wind and plenty of rolling about. Forecast is for wind to pick up around midday, so need to have finished the job by then

Did succeed in powering up the Aurora - turned into a poor 12V socket connection - now pushed well in and all four lights are showing - good! Will try connecting and see if working OK for emailing.

7:25am 'Failed connection' is Aurora message... Rebooted Grandstream... no joy although power in is OK... rebooted Aurora twice more ... no joy.. Will turn off PC and try again...... Still no joy - left it to get on deck - getting lighter rapidly now.

10:50am Back down below after getting JSD back in and unfurling the genoa - we're underway again... The sun is shining nicely from a blue sky, although it was a good thing I wore my foulies since there were several showers of light rain while I was busy.

Spoke to Taupo Radio to confirm JSD had been retrieved and we're underway.

Getting the JSD in was speeded up by having learned from difficulties I had the last times (deployed twice in the Great Australian Bight a fortnight or so ago). I rigged up a line to keep other lines from getting tangled in with the JSD line coming onto the main sheet winch and I also kept an eye out for spllces whose end knots were dangling and held them up as they went around the winch so they did not get caught in the next wrap below ... Made the whole process much faster but still involved me pullling hard all the time on the end of the single wrap around the winch, ready to pull in like mad (to get just one more cone in, maybe less!) as soon as the line went slack and holding on for dear life when it became taut, so as not to let the line slip back. It took three hours of solid effort, finishing with pulling it in hand over hand from the aft deck when only a small amount was left to be brought in.

A big problem occurred at the beginning because, since it had deployed wrongly (taking the two bags with it as a result of the knockdown), the bridle arms and leader line plus retrieval line were all tangled up and really difficult to deal with - that probably took all of an hour to sort out, until I finally got to the first line of cones.

Before I even got started, I was amazed to find that the jack-line running along the port side deck had been torn from its fixing near the bow and was tangled in with the aft life-lines - the top one of which was undone and its fixing (bottle/rigging screw) missing. It staggers the mind in trying to fathom out how the jack line could have been torn away as it was...

There was also a lot of damage to the wooden toe rail at its aft end and the metal protecting it was pulled away as a result of the bridle arms being wrapped around the arch supports. The bridle end of the drogue is still fimly tangled - I have yet to find out if it can be untangled. Also some of the protecting outer covers of the bridle arms have been torn away. I need to find some sailbags to stow the JSD in - at present the cockpit is littered with line and cones - but it all needs to be led back arud the arch supports so that , if deloyed aain, it wll lead correctly from the stern.

I was feeling really tired afterwards, since I'd been up very early, working in the aft cabin as well and really wanted just to get to sleep - but there was another problem to be dealt with, even if temporarily: the dorade (air vent) fitting had been totally taken away above deck ad the resulting hole in the coachroof needed to be protected to avoid water getting below when seas washed the side deck. For the time being, I have just tied and taped some plastic over the hole, which I'd already added tape over from below previously, but if I can find an appropriate sized of bolt in my spares, it really needs a cover (wood?) to be fitted in place over it - looks feasible given a useful fitting just below that can take a bolt to hold the piece of wood in place, with sealant added for a good water-tight fitting - a job needing to be done very soon.

As I looked out of the windscreen over the companionway, I spotted some more damage - unbelievably, the forward port side window had been displaced and pushed inward and upward by the force of the water impact, the steel of the surround being twisted slightly at the same time. I've tried to cover the gaps with Gorilla tape, for now, but need to try to fill the gaps from the inside with a filler of some kind, to stop too much water coming in.

I finally got to having a hot meal and got to sleep just before 4pm - bliss!! Woke up to my alarm at 8pm... Went back to sleep for over an hour ... Finally called Taupo Radio for the sched I'd missed earlier, to give a status update.

Wind got up this afternoon/evening to 23-25kt - furled in genoa a little tonight, in bright moonlight through thin raincloud, when heeling got too much. It had veered from WSW this morning to W late afternoon and to WNW-NW now. We're hard on the wind, heading NNE, in rain at times, to avoid the strong conditions to the S and hoping to turn around late on Saturday to head back SSE - down to Stewart Island and around, in the light conditions expected early next week.

We're only 90 miles off the SW New Zealand coasline - Breaksea Sound, with Mt Richards further S.

The good news from this morning? The wind display came back agan!!!

Saturday 7am NZT - heavy rain and 23kt wind from W.

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

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!

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

1900 Friday 17th May GMT (= 7 a.m. Sat 18 May NZT) - end of Day 226. We made 149 n.ml. DMG in 3 days - 74ml while drifting, lying to the series drogue since just after the knockdown at 1900GMT on 14th May (7am NZT, 15th May) and another 75 n.ml since retrieving the JSD and getting underway at 10:50am 17 May NZT, measured in straight lines between the relevant positions.

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 226 (by daily DMGs):19,441 n.ml.

Distances (at 1900GMT): SW Cape, Stewart IslandNZ: 178 n.ml SE; nearest land is 85n.ml. away - Resolution Island on SW NZ coast between Dusky Sound and Breaksea Sound; Hobart, Tasmania: 762 n. ml.

Position & weather report for 1900 Fri 17May GMT (7am Sat NZT), posted to www.Winlink.org and www.Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV):

TIME: 2019/05/17 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 44-58.42S LONGITUDE: 164-44.43E

COURSE: 006T SPEED: 4.2kt

WIND_SPEED: 24kt WIND_DIR: W SWELL_DIR: W SWELL_HT: 4.0m CLOUDS: 100%

BARO: 1011.3hPa TREND: 0 AIR_TEMP: 15.0C SEA_TEMP: 14.8C

COMMENT: 90ml off SW NZ coast - Breaksea Sound/Mt Richards 75ml DMG since JSD in

=====

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Days 223-4 Mon-Wed 13-15 May 2019 Excellent progress made in strong conditions - but then knocked down...

Tuesday 6am LT (Mon 1900 GMT) Wind still just under 30kt from WNW with occasional lulls to 23kt. Seas big and conditions quite rough - being thrown around a lot. Adjusted course to keep well-furled genoa filled as wind has backed more towards W - will gybe onto starboard and get back on course.

9:30am Rain clouds are clearing away to give some blue sky but no sunhine yet. Seas still 6m or so and wind often 30kt - from WSW now - but frequently drops to 22-25 kt.

Changed over from genoa to staysail earlier, ready for expected stronger winds but might need to put out some genoa if wind drops much - would be nice to keep up a fair speed so as to round Stewart Island in daylight if at all possible.

A wave just crashed onto our beam - makes quite a noise and we lurch sideways all of a sudden.

Feeling quite chilly at 15C/59F sea and air temperature - wearing plenty of fleece layers ... and my warm hat.

10:40am Sun has got out nicely, although quite a lot of cloud around - but white, not rain clouds. Pressure has risen to 1004hPa.

Having problem posting yesterday's blog via the Iridium connection - so sending now via my reliable SSB/HF radio! System keeps not getting a connection, no matter how often I re-boot it...

1:30pm Sun has disappeared behind a big grey rain cloud. Wind has remained down since earlier this morning- around 23-27kt.

Looks as though wind will be very strong (35-40kt or more, and gusting higher) from tonight and through tomorrow - so I'm getting some sleep now to make sure I don't get overtired when those conditions arrive.

Hoping to arrive at Stewart Island in between two strong systems - would be better to be near land in lighter winds and seas.

4:20pm Had a good nap. Sun getting low and a lot of cloud now. Being thrown around a lot by the big sea and wind is around 30kt.

Prions are swoopng around and saw an albatross land in the water nearby earlier for a rest - they often do so.

7pm Wind over 30kt now - will shortly furl in the small amount of genoa that's presently flying. Wind is forecast to increase to 40kt overnight so no need for anything but the stayaail and will furl that in a touch, also.

Later: Not only furled in the genoa completely, but also furled in quite a lot of the staysail. Wth 40kt winds, gusting higher, expected soon, don't need much sail, especially if speed is to be kept down, as I'd like.

10:20pm Finished radio sched on 7163 - we usually move, as we did tonight, to another frequency, to lose the data noise there - was nice to make contact with Yves in Noumea, capital of New Caledonia, to the North.

In very strong conditions now - wind 40kt, often higher... The seas are constantly throwing the boat around and we're often surfing for a very short while as the waves pass by and take us with them.

Wedesday 5:45am LT (Tues 2245 GMT) Running under small staysail in very rough conditions all through the night - winds around 40kt, often up to 47kt or more, and big seas at 7-8m, often surfing on a wave at around 12kt, as it overtakes us - for only a very short time, fortunately! Winds have backed to W now, from WNW overnight and are likely soon to be from WSW. Frequently hear a thump on the hull as a wave hits the boat.....

(Wed 7pm) ........at which point, I got very wet because we were knocked down by a wave crashing into and over the boat - violently.

Fortunately, I was completely unhurt , although soaking wet from head to feet. Couldn't figure that out at the time but in daylight, later, realised it was because the overhead dorade had been completely taken away by the water action, leaving quite a big hole above me, in the coach roof. The cabin was in wet chaos with a lot of papers, notebooks etc joining lots of tubes etc from the head shelves and locker - one locker door had come off completely and the inside contents thrown across to the galley. I couldn't move for wet stuff littering the floor

What a disaster...!

I was relieved to see the autopilot was still working fine, as were the instruments - except for the wind display - gone completely again - damn! But there was a weird vibration in the boat I couldn't understand... and not long afterwards, the autopilot began to have a problem keeping us on course - in fact, it simply could not and we were now heading NE instead of SE, at 3kt or less, instead of our previous 5-6kt or more.

By now it was getting light so I was able to go up to see what damage there was on deck. Staysail intact, as was all rigging, but one solar panel was missing (so solar power gone from that point on) and the wind generator vibrating madly, making the steel stern arch do the same...

Even worse, the two bags holding the JSD (series drogue) were missing - I soon realised we were, in fact, lyig to the drogue ih big seas an wind still - so not such bad thing except I wasn't sure it was all deployed properly. It had clearly gone out from between the arch port side supports and I worried it might take the arch with it.. I went aft and managed to get the line around the nearby cleat. I saw a line of cones in the water but no bridle in use - so at least some of it was out OK. The staysail needed to be furled in ... and the wheel centred. Seas and wind were impressively high.

I left the wind generator rotating, thinking it was giving power - but then realised that was not happening - so stopped it - and the awful vibrations stopped. Later, I saw that one of the blades was completely missing - vibrations explained...

Soon after that, the second solar panel came free in the strong wind and began swinging around loose as it tried to leave ship - but was held by two securing lines I'd rigged. It was threatening to damage the radar and other equipment, so I had to go aft and release the lines so it could break free - another gift to Neptune.

In between all this, I was trying to clear up the wet mess in the cabin while wondering if i would be able to continue on or have to pull in somewhere for repairs. I contacted Taupo Maritime Radio with a 'Pan Pan' call to inform them of my situation and we agreed a regular radio 'sched' to keep them updated with my status. I had a radio sched with Peter, ZL1PWM, so told him and asked him to keep a sched on 7150 for me later on to let radio friends know what had happened.

Power will now be a problem - radio takes a lot, as does the autopilot, and I'll be dependent on the small generator alone for battery charging from now on. I'll be checking my diesel stored on board to see how much is left and calculate usage likely for the next two or more months.. I'll probably have to hand steer quite a bit now, in order to conserve fuel and radio use will need to be a lot less - maybe just brief emails with very little voice - i'll have to see how that works out.

As a result of Colin's help yesterday, I now know what to try to get the Aurora working when it goes down - so spent a time this afternoon trying to get it working (It had been disconnected, and so stopped, in the knockdown). I finally succeeded when I found a corroded terminal pin needing cleaning. Spoke to both MRCC New Zealand and Taupo Maritime Radio to confirm their telephone numbers, in case needed - and agreed a less time-consuming sched with Taupo Radio - by phone, as needing less power use.

Got out a dry duvet and pillow from the aft cabin - the port bunk is sodden and unuseable but, luckily, the starboard bunk is relatively dry.

Checked the PC - not water-damaged, as feared, so useable - :-)

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

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 (= 6 a.m. LT) - end of Day 223. We made 115 n.ml. DMG, over the 24 hr period, measured in a straight line between the two 1900 GMT positions.

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 223 (by daily DMGs):19,292 n.ml.

Distances (at 1900GMT): SW Cape, NZ: approx 150 n.ml ESE

Position & weather report for 1900 GMT just after knockdown, posted to www.Winlink.org and www.Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV):

TIME: 2019/05/14 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 46-43.00S LONGITUDE: 163-25.00E

COURSE: 106T SPEE WIND_SPEED: 44kt

WIND_DIR: WSW SWELL_DIR: W SWELL_HT: 8.0m CLOUDS: 100%

BARO: 998hPa TREND: -2 AIR_TEMP: 15.0C SEA_TEMP: 15.0C

COMMENT: Soon after knockdown, early on 15th May LT

Day 222 Sun-Mon 12-13 May 2019 Rough seas increase as strong weather system gets closer

Monday 7am LT (Z+11) Yellow and pink colour in eastern sky before sunrise - getting light now. W wind up under raincloud - slight rain as furled in a little genoa - want to keep speed at 5kt or below still. Seas feeling not quite so rough in rather lighter wind than earlier and we're sailing downwind, which always helps, although seas are actually coming onto starboard quarter. Wind dying after rain goes away...

Changed time zone to GMT+11hr - one hour ahead of E. Australia and one hour behind NZ.

2pm Very gusty conditions under cloudy sky and in big 5-6m seas. One moment we're sailing at 4.5kt, the next, we're surfing at well over 6kt on a big wave. Wind is anything from 18-29kt, veered to NW now, so we're still on a broad reach but on port tack.

Have been trying to catch up on emails - had got way behind with so much else occupying my time but now beginning to catch up - apologies to those still waiting - I'll get there soon.

Getting a nap now - not enough overnight.

10pm Wind came up a bit around sunset but for a short while - has continued to vary up and down around 26kt since then. Expecting slowly increased wind overnight into tomorrow

Presently 28kt and we're making 5kt with well-furled genoa to keep speed down.

Hoping to make Stewart Island by Thursday afternoon - would be nice to round in daylight because of the rocks to be avoided to its E - North Trap, South Trap and Boomerang Breaker are well named. Also lots of albatross and other birds to be seen there - was wonderful passing by last time just after dawn and seeing so many flying around...

Tuesday 6am LT (Mon 1900 GMT) Wind still just under 30kt from WNW with occasional lulls to 23kt. Seas big and conditions quite rough - being thrown around a lot. Adjusted course to keep well-furled genoa filled as wind has backed more towards W - will gybe onto starboard and get back on course.

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

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 (= 6 a.m. LT) - end of Day 222. We made 115 n.ml. DMG, over the 24 hr period, measured in a straight line between the two 1900 GMT positions.

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 222 (by daily DMGs):19,177 n.ml.

Distances (at 1900GMT): SW Cape, NZ: 305 n.ml ESE; Cape Leeuwin LH (SW Australia): 2147 n.ml. to NW; SE Cape,Tasmania,LH: 586 n.ml. to WNW; Hobart 585 n.ml. to WNW; Melbourne (Victoria, Australia): 839 n.ml. NW.

Position & weather report for 1900 GMT posted to www.Winlink.org and www.Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV):

TIME: 2019/05/13 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 46-20.09S LONGITUDE: 160-08.93E

COURSE: 106T SPEED: 5.5kt

WIND_SPEED: 28kt WIND_DIR: WNW SWELL_DIR: WNW SWELL_HT: 6.0m

BARO: 1000.7hPa TREND: -2 AIR_TEMP: 15.7C SEA_TEMP: 15.2C

COMMENT: Rough seas...

Day 222 Sun-Mon 12-13 May 2019 Rough seas increase as strong weather system get

Monday 7am LT (Z+11) Yellow and pink colour in eastern sky before sunrise - getting light now. W wind up under raincloud - slight rain as furled in a little genoa - want to keep speed at 5kt or below still. Seas feeling not quite so rough in rather lighter wind than earlier and we're sailing downwind, which always helps, although seas are actually coming onto starboard quarter. Wind dying after rain goea away...

Changed time zone to GMT+11hr - one hour ahead of E. Australia and one hour behind NZ.

2pm Very gusty conditions under cloudy sky and in big 5-6m seas. One moment we're sailing at 4.5kt, the next, we're surfing at well over 6kt on a big wave. Wind is anything from 18-29kt, veered to NW now, so we're still on a broad reach but on port tack.

Have been trying to catch up on emails - had got way behind with so much else occupying my time but now beginning to catch up - apologies to those still waiting - I'll get there soon.

Getting a nap now - not enough overnight.

10pm Wind came up a bit around sunset but for a short while - has continued to vary up and down around 26kt since then. Expecting slowly increased wind overnight into tomorrow

Presently 28kt and we're making 5kt with well-furled genoa to keep speed down.

Hoping to make Stewart Island by Thursday afternoon - would be nice to round in daylight because of the rocks to be avoided to its E - North Trap, South Trap and Boomerang Breaker are well named. Also lots of albatross and other birds to be seen there - was wonderful passing by last time just after dawn and seeing so many flying around...

Tuesday 6am LT (Mon 1900 GMT) Wind still just under 30kt from WNW with occasional lulls to 23kt. Seas big and conditions quite rough - being thrown around a lot. Adjusted course to keep well-furled genoa filled as wind has backed more towards W - will gybe onto starboard and get back on course.

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

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 (= 6 a.m. LT) - end of Day 222. We made 115 n.ml. DMG, over the 24 hr period, measured in a straight line between the two 1900 GMT positions.

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 222 (by daily DMGs):19,177 n.ml.

Distances (at 1900GMT): SW Cape, NZ: 305 n.ml ESE; Cape Leeuwin LH (SW Australia): 2147 n.ml. to NW; SE Cape,Tasmania,LH: 586 n.ml. to WNW; Hobart 585 n.ml. to WNW; Melbourne (Victoria, Australia): 839 n.ml. NW.

Position & weather report for 1900 GMT posted to www.Winlink.org and www.Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV):

TIME: 2019/05/13 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 46-20.09S LONGITUDE: 160-08.93E

COURSE: 106T SPEED: 5.5kt

WIND_SPEED: 28kt WIND_DIR: WNW SWELL_DIR: WNW SWELL_HT: 6.0m

BARO: 1000.7hPa TREND: -2 AIR_TEMP: 15.7C SEA_TEMP: 15.2C

COMMENT: Rough seas...

-----

At 13/05/2019 22:58 (utc) our position was 4622.72'S 16034.30'E

=====

This message was sent from an amateur radio account. If you reply, be mindful that your reply will be subject to inspection by the public. If your reply contains prohibited content (profanity, personal or commercial business information, etc.) it may not reach its destination, and will endanger your correspondent's license. Ask your correspondent if you have any questions.

Day 221 Sat-Sun 11-12 May 2019 Wind finally gets up - making better speed

Sunday 6am Lovely sunny day with some scattered white cumulus. Wind form W-WSW, up a little, so making around 4 kt. Expected to increase to 20kt quite soon.

10am I heard it's Mother's Day in Australia while chatting on radio earlier - I think that's the second or third one I've been told about this year?!

Still plenty of sunshine but slightly increased cloud - about 50% now.

Magnetic variation has now increased to 21*E - the compass is under-reading by that much.

11:30am Wind increased an hour or so ago - now up to 23kt. Trying to keep our speed down to 5kt or just under - ironic! Have had to furl in the genoa to do so and likely to need to unfurl the staysail and furl away the genoa before long... Winds are expected to build up to 30kt, gusting a lot higher, by Monday and then another system is coming along on Tuesday with even stronger winds likely, along with 8m/27ft WSW swells until Thursday.

Seas have built up - often seeing big 4-5m ones in between the lesser ones.

About to get busy wih pressure cooker, making a big stew - ready for the stormy conditions coming up. Always nice to have a meal all ready, bar the heating up.

Having to wear a warm hat - air has been feeling cold, these last few days.

1pm Chopped up potatoes and onions are cooking on stove. Meat, green beans, sweetcorn etc to be added once they're done - won't take long.

Bright sunshine still, with plenty of blue sky between the clouds. Seas rolling us around as we go up and over them and down the other side.

A magnificent Wandering albatross with 'splashes' of white on its dark upper wings, maybe a Royal?, is soaring around astern and a few prions are fluttering and swooping nearby also. The birds love the strong winds - SW 30kt just now. We're making 5kt or more under genoa furled to second reef mark.

5pm Almost dark - sunset was before 4:30pm LT - think I need to change our ship's clock time! Will go forward one hour tomorrow and wait until closer to Stewart Island to change into NZ time. Time zone 'marker' for one hour forward is at 157 30'E and we're quite close to there now (presently at 157W.)

Not many clouds around and a bright half moon high up. Seas are knocking us around a lot and frequent big ones come crashing onto our beam and washing over the side decks, so I made sure I was in my good foulies before going on deck.

Had to unfurl some genoa to speed us up after finding we were only making 2.5-3 kt around sunset on waking up from a nap - I'd felt really tired and just had to catch up on sleep (missed a couple of radio scheds while sleeping). Feeling a lot better for it now.

7pm About to have my 'stew' - has ended up as a hearty chicken soup with lots of additions, using a big can of chicken chunks in gravy added to the onion and potato with extra vegetables (green beans and sweetcorn) and some chick peas added in. Plenty for several days of bad weather. Was about to add chopped tomato but decided it tasted fine as is.

Wind has died back now, to just ~22kt or less, and is expected to stay down, just below 20kt, for quite a time, probably not coming back up again, veered to WNW, until well after dawn and becoming strong overnight tomorrow, when it will be from NW.

Monday 1:25am (Sunday 1525 GMT) Woken up to find wind has veered into W and really dropped down, to a lot less than forecast - 11 kt now, so we're rolling around in the swell and going very slowly - around 3kt or less. Unfurling rest of genoa...

1:45am A beautiful night - sky is full of stars shining brightly and only a few thin wisps of cloud to be seen, Southern Cross is high up, moon has set.

Full genoa is making little difference to our speed - wind is just too light and from astern... SOG still only 3.1kt. Back to my bunk for more sleep.

5am (Monday 1900GT) W wind up slightly - to 15kt - and still veering slowly, so we're making 4.7kt. Seas feeling not quite so rough in rather lighter wind than earlier and we're sailing almost dead downwind, which always helps.

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

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 (= 5 a.m. LT) - end of Day 221. We made 93 n.ml. DMG, over the 24 hr period, measured in a straight line between the two 1900 GMT positions.

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 221 (by daily DMGs):19,062 n.ml.

Distances (at 1900GMT): SW Cape, NZ: 418 n.ml ESE; Cape Leeuwin LH (SW Australia): 2036 n.ml. to NW; SE Cape,Tasmania,LH: 472 n.ml. to WNW; Hobart 471 n.ml. to WNW; Melbourne (Victoria, Australia): 729 n.ml. NW.

Position & weather report for 1900 GMT posted to www.Winlink.org and www.Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV):

TIME: 2019/05/12 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 45-48.85S lONGITUDE: 157-29.45E

COURSE: 109T SPEED: 4.2kt

WIND_SPEED: 18kt WIND_DIR: W SWELL_DIR: W SWELL_HT: 4.0M

BARO: 1014.4hPa TREND: 0 AIR_TEMP: 14.2C SEA_TEMP: 14.4C

COMMENT: Wind veering slowly. Halfway from SE Cape Tasmania to NZ

Day 220 Fri-Sat 10-11 May 2019 Several sail slides positioned in mast track before rain and increased wind arrived

Day 220 Fri-Sat 10-11 May 2019 Several sail slides positioned in mast track before rain and increased wind arrived

Saturday morning started with increasing sun between broken cloud - by mid-morning, it was lovely and sunny, although still quite a bit of cloud around - very pleasant to be on deck.

Pancakes are becoming the standard breakfast now - with some mixed dried fruit and nuts on the side, to accompany them.

Wind from SW and still very light - mostly around 7kt, occasionally up to 10kt in a 'gust'and seas relatively calm at 3m/10ft and fairly well-spaced - so just occasional rolling around but enough to make working on deck a bit difficult at times.

Job of the day has been to try to get as many sail slides into the mast track as I can.

4pm Back down below - a bit damp from fine rain that just came in. Had to stop fighting the sail to get the sail slides far enough for'd to allow me to get them into their track in the mast and fold/tie the sail onto the boom instead, as the wind increased.

Managed to get several slides into the track, tying them together and to the secured head of the sail to keep them from sliding back down while I tried to get the next one into position in the track. A lot of tying and untying of bits of string, especially at the beginning, but now into less of that as more slides are dealt with.

It's becoming much more difficult as the job progresses, with a larger amount of sail needing to be pulled forward somehow to get the slide into position in the track before sliding it up and tying it off securely, ready to raise it with the others, using the halyard. Just now, I'm battling to move the second batten end - it didn't want to budge so I'll possibly need to wait for very light wind (to avoid the loosened sail blowing around) to give a lot more slack on the reef lines in order for it to be moved for'd enough.

Heating up a nice clam chowder that I recently found lurking on a galley shelf - a favourite of mine and ideal for this cold, damp weather, to warm me up.

4:30pm SSW wind at 20kt in rain - light fading early with grey rain clouds everywhere. Speed got up to around 5kt - lovely!

9pm Wind lessened soon after the rain clouds cleared away, surprisingly quickly, and sky is mainly clear with plenty of stars, a bright planet in the E and a waxing half moon shining from high up.

Making around 4kt but wind seems to be lessening. Looking at weather shows it's actually not a bad thing to be going rather slowly - will mean avoiding the strongest winds and gusts in the system coming along as we get closer to Stewart Island.

I'm wondering whether or not I can raise the small amount of mainsail available now. Need to look at it in daylight tomorrow, but it occurred to me that it might be just enough sail effectively to give a trysail equivalent or triple-reefed mainsail - ideal for strong conditions and would definitely be better than nothing, until we're in calm enough conditions again so I can try to get more slides in place. Might need a Cunningham of sorts but maybe not - doubt I can use the third reef luff line as a downhaul without that second batten end in place.

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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!

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1900GMT (= 5 a.m. LT) - end of Day 220. We made 63 n.ml. DMG, over the 24 hr period, measured in a straight line between the two 1900 GMT positions.

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 220 (by daily DMGs):18,969 n.ml.

Distances (at 1900GMT): SW Cape, NZ: 513 n.ml ESE; Cape Leeuwin LH (SW Australia): 1944 n.ml. to NW; SE Cape,Tasmania,LH: 316 n.ml. to WNW; Hobart 377 n.ml. to WNW; Melbourne (Victoria, Australia): 640 n.ml. NW.

Position & weather report for 1900 GMT posted to www.Winlink.org and www.Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV):

TIME: 2019/05/11 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 45-20.17S LONGITUDE: 155-22.76E

COURSE: 109T SPEED: 3.6kt

WIND_SPEED: 11kt WIND_DIR: WSWSWELL_DIR: WSW SWELL_HT: 3.5m CLOUDS: 5%

BARO: 1009.3hPa TREND: 0 AIR_TEMP: 15.0C SEA_TEMP: 15.0C

COMMENT: Starry night sky, few clouds. Wind not as strong as expected.