S/V Nereida sails around the world

RTW Day 97 - to Capes of Good Hope/Agulhas - a boisterous ride in strong wind

Saturday 2th January, 2013

Sunshine most of the day, with some light cloud, and rough seas - fairly steep and quite close, only 4-5 sec apart, so although not so high, they still manage to toss us around a lot. Moving anywhere down below has to be done with great care - even a short distance - "one hand for the boat" becoming 'two hands...' instead! It's a good test of a well-designed galley - if you can work safely there in these conditions, heeling and pitching as we rise up a wave front and drop down into the trough behind, it's layout is good! I tidied & cleaned up, as usual, after breakfast - anything left lying around loose gets thrown across the cabin in the frequent, more violent lurching.

Wind seemed to have eased somewhat just after midday - I unfurled the rest of the stays'l and considered unfurling some genoa (we were only making around 5kt of boat speed). But with increasing wind forecast, decided to wait - good, since wind DID increase- and we were soon back to our usual 6-6.5kt or more - but the current has turned foul (SSW-flowing) so SOG is down on boatspeed - but still over 6kt.

I'm still heading slightly N of E, on a beam reach now, in N-NNW wind, hoping to avoid an area of big swell forecast to come along after the passing of the Cold Front associated with these strong conditions. With our present speed, we might possibly manage to avoid the worst of the strong winds - fingers crossed on that ... !

I'm restricting my reading to mealtimes - nice to relax with a good story while eating, or sipping a drink afterwards.

Have definitely lost contact with the Patgonia Net at 1200GMT (11am local time) - they're over 2,000 ml away now. But night-time contact on same frequency is still fine. Was concerned to hear last night that Sam, on 'Suvretta', was lying to his series drogue in nasty, steep, 3oft seas and 40-45kt wind on the extensive Burdwood Bank, just 40ml SW from Stanley, E.Falkland. When heading NE from Cape Horn, I'd carefully planned my route to stay in the deeper water to the E of the Bank - whose depths shoal to 44m in places - in case of strong weather. But these winds clearly got stronger than Sam was expecting, to make him avoid the Bank. He can't get emails on board and so has no grib weather info to alert him to the building winds which were forecast for his area... It's the same system as I'm expecting to arrive here shortly... but with lesser winds, hopefully, being so much to the E of him. (But I've checked over my series drogue, just to be ready...) His drogue is keeping him safe, despite the seas breaking frequently over his stern - he's getting a few small leaks around his two hatches, he told us., but nothing to worry about. 'Curare' and I wished him 'Happy Birthday!" for today and strongly hoped he'd be in Stanley tonight to celebrate both his birthday and a safe landfall with a few G&Ts!

8.30pm Wind definitely up around 30kt and although we were coping fine (if a little bumpy!), with sun just having set and forecast of possibly stronger wind overnight, decided to heave to so I could relax and sleep for a bit. I'll set an alarm for ealy morning - winds should have eased possibly and I'll get underway again... In meantime, we're drifting SE in 2kt of current!

24hr DMG at 10pm local time (2300GMT ): 140 n.ml.(despite being hove to for over 2hr!) Gough Island: 343 n.ml. (ENE) - 221 n.ml. SSE of Tristan da Cunha, uninhabited except for group of 7 scientists on 6-monthly posting for research (U.K. possession, leased to S.Africa). Cape Agulhas (southernmost Cape of Africa): 1772 n.ml.

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

RTW Day 96 - to Capes of Good Hope/Agulhas - over halfway between S.America and

Friday 25th January, 2013

Sun finally got out and clouds disappeared soon after midday to give lovely warm sunshine for the rest of thday - cabin got up to over 20C!.

New time zone on crossing longitude 22:30 W ... now at GMT- 1 hr

3 Great shearwaters seen near boat early this morning, as I was changing stays'l over to starb'd (off its pole) . At same time, reduced genoa in the stronger and more veered, NW wind. Seas were up also - a good 4m ... A pair of Arctic prions later in the day and the shearwaters again - quite handsome, big birds, brown on top with white rump, black tail and cap and mainly white underparts... soaring a lot.

We're sailing well (made 150ml DMG today!) but it's definitely become more 'boisterous', with waves regularly splashing onto deck.! Later, with even more wind, reduced genoa more - to just a handkerchief now -and we were still making 6.5kt of boat speed!

Near sunset - around 8:15 pm - a line of cloud had appeared in the W... but not spreading fast .. As the sun was setting, the bright moon - two days off being full, was in clear view, later making a silver path over the sea ... beautiful ... along with the brighter stars..

The wind, surprisingly, calmed down a little, with nightfall - but not for long, I'm sure - forecast is for it to increase gradually until tomorrow night and Sunday it's 30kt or more.

Before things got any rougher, decided to cook an early evening meal of onion (fresh) and asparagus(tinned) omelette - tasty!

With bad weather ahead, over the weekend, downloading frequent updated grib files... takes a time, with slow radio connection now. No radio contact with Patagonia Net in morning now - too far... although still OK overnight on same frequency when chat with other boats. Contact with S.A.M.M. Net is improving as distance to S.Africa lessens.

We're now closer to S. Africa than to S. America - we've come over halfway!!

24hr DMG at 10pm local time (2300GMT ): 150 n.ml.(excellent!) Cape Horn 1947 n.ml. away (SW). E. Falkland: 1459 n.ml. (WSW), S. Georgia: 925 n.ml. (SSW). Gough Island: 477 n.ml. (ENE) - 221 n.ml. SSE of Tristan da Cunha, uninhabited except for group of 7 scientists on 6-monthly posting for research (U.K. possession, leased to S.Africa). Cape Agulhas (southernmost Cape of Africa): 1912 n.ml. - closer, now, than Cape Horn!

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

RTW Day 95 - to Capes of Good Hope/Agulhas - afernoon sunshine and blue sky

Thursday 24th January, 2013

Sipping fresh coffee while typing this, with bright, warm sunshine slanting in through hatchway onto chart table - feeling a bit like summer ....unusual!! Will have to 'bank' it - strong weather, by way of an intense, rainy Cold Front, coming up very soon...as in Saturday/Sunday...! (Downloading frequent grib weather files to see latest forecast...) Just made one of my "quick'n'easy" meals - tuna, chick peas mayonnaise...mix together - takes a few minutes to open the cans & mix in a bowl ... simple! We're actually having a great sail just now... Seas are fairly rough, with plenty of white horses, and the fair-sized swell is there in addition go the smaller waves, but being on a broad reach, it's a comfortable point of sail and we just rise up and over the waves, with the occasional stronger rolling motion with the bigger waves.... Still a helpful ENE-NE-flowing current adding to our boat speed.

Good contact with Graham, ZS2ABK, on SAMM Net at 1140 GMT (9:40 am). Also with John, KC6BLQ, on 'Orca' - on passage NW from CapeTown with v. litle wind at present. They weren't intending stopping in St Helena but after I told him how friendly the 'Saints' are and how nice a place it is, they're reconsidering!! Chatted with 'Orca' for too long and missed Patagonia Net but probably wouldn't have made contact anyway if yesterday's experience counts...

...But last night at 0030GMT (10:30pm local time) , made good contact, albeit with a lot of static, on same frequency .... Four boats chatting on radio at that time!! The others were 'Curare' (Canadians Geoff & Linda - in Chilean channels, slowly heading to Port Williams, Chile), 'Suvretta' (Irish Sam - heading to Stanley, Falklands), 'Silas Crosby' (Canadian Steve - he'd unexpectedly made contact with me 3/4hr earlier on 14300kHz when I checked into the MMS Net in USA. We'd been in contact daily for a long time on my previous passage S to the Horn while they were heading from Mexico to Valdivia, Chile)

3pm Wind is WNW a good F5 (~20kt) and seas are 3-3.5m - sailing well on port tack just N of E, with goose-winged stays'l and also some genoa - catching spilled wind from stays'l... Soon after dawn, at 5am, when I was woken by the wind getting up more and went on deck to sort things out, there was a pair of Atlantic petrels and also a storm petrel around - but just a rare glimpse of the petrels since then.

Word on the problem winch via email wasn't helpful - basically, just to keep on trying what I was already doing... which isn't working....

"The Fortune of War' is going well - but I'm coming to the conclusion that reading novels is a dangerous occupation! Get so engrossed, it's easy not to pay the boat its share of attention! Having to 'ration' my reading time and keep one eye on the clock or set an alarm....

8.30 pm I went up to enjoy a rare sight this evening at 6.30pm - a sunset!! Suddenly realised there was a clear sky again, after the usual cloud cover had come over and the lovely sunshine of earlier had gone ... but there was an enormous orange sun, going down behind a low bank of cloud in the W ... a bright, near-full moon up in the E sky .... 5and 'Nereida'sailing along beautifully... We're having a dream sail just now, making excellent progress!! Shortly after, the bank of cloud had spread all over ... but not much later, a clear sky again... Jupiter inTaurus... the moon not far from upside-down Orion, ... the Southern Cross and Pointers high up in the S... All crystal clear despite the moonlight... Wonderful! I keep going to the companionway just to gaze out - and it's not so very cold either .. !! (Cabin temperature got up to 19C this afternoon!)

24hr DMG at 9pm local time (2300GMT ): 148 n.ml.(excellent!) Cape Horn 1822 n.ml. away (SW). E. Falkland: 1459 n.ml. (WSW), S. Georgia: 825 n.ml. (SSW). Gough Island: 626 n.ml. (ENE) - 221 n.ml. SSE of Tristan da Cunha, uninhabited except for group of 7 scientists on 6-monthly posting for research (U.K. possession, leased to S.Africa). Cape Agulhas (southernmost Cape of Africa): 2061 n.ml.

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

RTW Day 94 - to Capes of Good Hope/Agulhas - murky, grey... wind picked up final

Wednesday 23rd January, 2013

12.30 pm
V.poor contact with Graham, ZS2ABK, on SAMM Net at 1140 GMT - John, KC6BLQ, relayed - couldn't copy his boat name, static was so bad on frequency, but they're clearly headed N or NW from S.Africa and presently becalmed! As we were almost - just making way at 2-3 knots with some current helping to get our SOG up to 3.3kt - at least we're still headed in the right direction! At 1200 GMT, I also couldn't make contact with Patagonia Net on 8164 kHz - possibly getting too far now and into the 'skip zone' - all I thought I could hear were very faint voices, right down in the static.

With seas down to around 2-3m and such light wind conditions, expected to continue for today, possily veering to WNW and slowly increasing, I decided I could safely service a winch that has been playing up - only one gear (the easier one, fortunately) has been working. After that, it's checking genset oil and then running the main engine for a short while to circulate oil (not done since beginning of December, so well overdue) - will charge the batteries a little, at the same time.

Cracked open the very first bad egg last night - but next two were fine still, so I cooked a tasty onion omelette. I wondered if the bad egg was all-yolk, it looked odd - like another from same batch which had no white whatsoever - weird!

7pm Wind is WNW and seas are slightly up, but not by much ... fine rain, hint of fog in distance, black-browed albatross circling around... Been very slow today - thought wind was getting up at one point but it soon died away again. Good thing there's a current helping us!

Gybed the mains'l and changed stays'l pole to port while the sun, early aftenoon, was trying to get out. It got warm enough for me to feel totally overheated - just had to remove two top fleece layers (although one is back on now!)

Was unable to deal with the problem winch - impossile to remove the spindle with the winch being jammed solid in one direction, unable to move both ways, and I need that movement to release the spindle so I can raise it. Never had this problem before.... At least it works the one way, so it's still usable....

Changed the genset oil - and managed to get my hands smothered in black oil (why, oh why, did I not put on the thin gloves I'd thought about??!) - luckily I've a tub of industrial hand cleaner paste/soap - brilliant stuff! Greased the genset actuator spindle while I was working right by it.

Engine run for twenty minutes in neutral - charged batteries while circulating oil.

Black-browed albatross has been near on and off for most of the day - as yesterday - think it's adopted us!

About to post this near 2330 GMT -- wind has picked up nicely - making 6 kt and, with fair current, making over 6.5kt SOG - better! Need to check over and trim sails... Wind most likely veered more to NW...

24hr DMG at 9pm local time (2300GMT ): 111 n.ml.(little wind!) Cape Horn 1695 n.ml. away (SW). E. Falkland: 1322 n.ml. (SW), S. Georgia: 729 n.ml. (SSW). Gough Island: 774 n.ml. (ENE) - 221 n.ml. SSE of Tristan da Cunha, uninhabited except for group of 7 scientists on 6-monthly posting for research, U.K. but leased to S.Africa. Cape Agulhas (southernmost Cape of Africa): 2207 n.ml.

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

RTW Day 93 - to Capes of Good Hope/Agulhas - ambling along under grey sky in lit

Tuesday 22nd January, 2013

A short report today ..... very little to write about !

One bird seen in far distance all day long - possibly an Atlantic petrel ...

Seas have lain right down with WSW wind around F3-4 all day long .. only about 3m or more. now (10-12 ft) - small by Southern Ocean standards!! Earlier had a lot of often quite vigorous rolling around with light wind but occasional bigger wave, but far gentler constant rocking motion now.

Emailing only really possible near sunset and after - but then was good. Was sorry to hear of Jean-Pierre Dick's keel problem (Virbac-Paprec 3) - devastating for him, so close to finishing in VG 2nd place...

Caught up on sleep - was surprised to find I needed so much but maybe accumulation of lots of days of not quite enough told eventually - feeling fine now.

It's dark now - local time is 8.30pm and sunset must be getting on for 8pm - haven't seen a proper sunset for some time now - sky has been mainly solid light grey overcast for quite a few days...

Have been looking a lot at weather info - a big 'blow' is due over Fri-Sat and maybe again shortly after, with a deep Low and strong Cold Front forecast, ....so have been looking to see exactly how that's supposed to develop, with sail-plan/heaving to strategy in mind...

There will be gradual veering of increasing wind from present gentle WSW to very strong NNW ahead of Front, rain expected with the Front, and then backing of wind to W-SW following it, with a big swell (6m/20ft) developing - winds expected to be well over 30kt ahead of Front...

Reading quite a bit now, having hardly touched sails over last two days (still goose-winged, heading East downwind),... Onto "The Fortune of War" ... It's a good test of tiredness - eyelids close easily if sleep is needed, despite the good story!!

Will post this while radio connection for emailing is good....

24hr DMG at 9pm local time (2300GMT ): 136 n.ml.(gentler seas and helpful, fair current!) Cape Horn 1602 n.ml. away (SW). E. Falkland: 1220 n.ml. (SW), S. Georgia: 670 n.ml. (S). Gough Island: 845 n.ml. (NE) - 221 n.ml. SSE of Tristan da Cunha, uninhabited except for group of 7 scientists on 6-monthly posting for research, U.K. but leased to S.Africa. Cape Agulhas (southernmost Cape of Africa): 2316 n.ml.

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

RTW Day 92 - to Capes of Good Hope/Agulhas - wind eases, after strong overnight

Monday 21st January, 2013

Struggled with emailing overnight (log report hadn't succeeded first time around so had to re-post it .... grrr!) and no contact with SAMM Net this morning - propagation clearly not helpful! Daytime emailing was far better.

Wind got up to F6-7 overnight and veered to WNW before backing slightly to W in the morning, as forecast. Gybed the mains'l and was able to keep heading E-ENE on port tack, goosewinged, but in fairly rough sea conditions. Had to check on things several times overnight, so definitely needed to catch up on sleep over today!

Very moist, almost foggy, overnight and morning - total grey overcast, all day long and a cold feel to the air and inside the boat... My hot, thick soup was welcome again! After overnight rough seas and the strengthened winds during the morning, conditions eased by late afternoon. By night-time, winds had become much lighter and our speed was down to 4-5 kt, trying to stay on course downwind, in seas still tossing us around frequently.

Failed to copy Graham, ZS2ABK, on the SAMM Net this morning - propagation clearly not being helpful again - could only hear something faintly in the far distance! But 8164kHz, the Patagonia Net, at 1200 GMT (10am local time), was reasonable and tonight , I had excellent contact on the same frequency with 'Curare' (Geoff & Linda) and also, unexpectedly, with Sam on 'Suvretta' - last seen in Ushuaia as I left for the Falklands nearly two years ago! He's just rounded the Horn and is on his way to the Falklands now - but becalmed tonight!

The last of the Vendée Globe racers, 'Team Plastique' (Alessandro Di Benedetto), was 460 ml to our WSW at 7pm GMT tonight - he should pass our latitude overnight, on his way N up the Atlantic.

Few birds seen again today - a solitary black-browed albatross and white-chinned petrel, as yesterday, with a glimpse of an Atlanic petrel early on.

24hr DMG at 9pm local time (2300GMT ): 129 n.ml. Cape Horn 1490 n.ml. away (SW). E. Falkland: 1099 n.ml. (SW), S. Georgia: 615 n.ml. (S). Cape Agulhas (southernmost Cape of Africa) 2450 n.ml.

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

RTW Day 91 - to Capes of Good Hope/Agulhas - wind right down by late afternoon a

Sunday 20th January, 2013

Changed course earlier, after checking in with SAMM Net and Patagonia Net. Noticed how very much colder it was, with a S wind bringing air from the Antarctic (and sea temperature dropped from 13C back down to 12C). Now headed east, or just slightly north of east, on a beam reach in seas of 3-4m, much less than overnight and yesterday.. With the course change, had to take the stays'l off its pole and over to port and then had to adjust its sheet lead. Unfurled a fair amount of genoa to give us better speed, which otherwise was way down.

As I was busy with the sail changes, I noticed a familiar-looking tiny storm petrel darting around nearby, long black feet dangling in the surface- our old friend, maybe? A black-browed albatross has been around all day and a pair of white-chinned petrels visited for a time. When there's no Great albatross around to make it look relatively ordinary in size, the black-browed looks really big - far bigger than the white-chinned petrel, which in turn is far larger than the tiny storm petrel.

6pm Swell has just noticeably increased to over 4m, but with 8-10 second period, so well separated, still from SSW, as is the wind which has died down to F3-4 over the afternoon. It's been a generally pleasant sunny day, warm in the sun under a frequently-blue sky, with the very occasional mass of light grey cloud passing by with sudden increase of wind - but nothing too dramatic.

Spent a relaxing time reading the end of 'Desolation Island', occasionally needing to adjust Fred to keep us on course - especially when the grey clouds came over with veering wind. In the lighter wind, unfurled the full genoa, in addition to the stays'l..but speed has dropped right down .. by sunset, around 7.45pm, we were only making just over 3 kt ,although it did soon after get up to well over 4kt.

Have been trying to get the rudder bar to come back on the instrument display - has been missing again for quite some time,so when using autopilot, it's referencing just our COG, not the rudder position as well... Still works but not quite as well as when rudder sensor is giving info on its position.

Soaked some beans and cooked them with split peas yesterday - so it's ham and pea/bean soup tonight - with the temperature dropping rapidly as darkness fell, it's been very welcome!

24hr DMG at 9pm local time (2300GMT ): 115 n.ml. Cape Horn 1381 n.ml. away (SW). E. Falkland: 982 n.ml. (SW), S. Georgia: 570 n.ml. (S). Cape Agulhas (southernmost Cape of Africa) 2574 n.ml.

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

RTW Day 90 - to Capes of Good Hope/Agulhas - more fast sailing in even more gust

Saturday 19th January, 2013

5am Soon after dawn, gybed mains'l and changed the stays'l pole to starboard to go goose-winged on starboard tack in WSW--SW F4-5 .... wind has backed from WNW of last night. Overnight cloud was breaking up, with a patch of blue sky seen, and later it became a nice, sunny morning although with frequent squally showers passing by. Swell had changed direction and built up late last night but had settled to around 3.5m (12ft) from SW by daylight.

Weather is forecast to be good for next couple of days or so, with wind varying between W-SSW, up and down around 20kt but then a couple of deep Lows will be developing next week to bring strong winds and corresponding seas .

I forgot to mention yesterday that one of the Vendée Globe racers got quite close - "Votre Nom Autour du Monde" (what a mouthful!), skippered by Bertrand de Broc, was less than 100 miles off, as he and 'Initiatives-coeur', skippered by Tanguy De Lamotte, passed by on their way north to the finish in Les Sables-d'Olonne. Only 'Team Plastique' (Alessandro Di Benedetto) is left, about 700 miles to my SW as he passes the Falklands today. Interestingly, it was his official WSSRC 'black recorder box' that I had on board 'Nereida' two years ago to validate my RTW attempt at that time. Since he'd not long successfully completed his own RTW attempt, I thought it must be bringing me luck - but later realised it might have done the opposite since he completed his attempt under jury-rig ...having suffered a broken mast! (Well done him, though, to have completed like that!)

Cloud became more persistent as day wore on... when the sun shone earlier, in good wind, we were putting around 14A into batteries - combination of wind and solar power... Definitely feeling warmer than when eas were 7-9C. The sea is now 13C, so cabin not feeling quite so cold and damp.

We've been making good speed (mostly over 6kt) with some fair current helping, but the seas have increased and we're being tossed around a lot - they're on our quarter now. Standing in the companionway watching the high tops of the waves as they approach our stern, crests well above us, is fascinating - hypnotic, in fact... Good to see how we lift up over them as they pass by - quite a relief at times!!

Appropriately, I'm reading O'Brien's 'Desolation Island' - set partly in the Southern Ocean. His description of the battle in a storm takes place in exactly the latitudes where I am now, surrounded by these far lesser, but still awe-inspiring, seas. We have two albatross circling around just now - he talks of a dozen ... Sign of the times, regrettably.... Too many illegal, uncaring long-liners out here threatening these fabulous birds with extinction because of their fishing method. It only needs a few simple changes to help prevent these birds from being caught in their lines....

Emailing was becoming restricted mainly to overnight for the past few days, when it was rare to make good enough radio contact during the day - but today has been far better.

Another time-zone change imminent! On crossing longitude 37.5W, we move into GMT - 2 hr and my clock will move forward one hour... At around midnight GMT, that will be.

24hr DMG at 8pm local time (2300GMT ): 134 n.ml. Cape Horn 1267 n.ml. away (SW). E. Falkland: 867 n.ml. (WSW), S. Georgia: 502 n.ml. (due S). Cape Agulhas (southernmost Cape of Africa) 2662 n.ml.

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

RTW Day 89 - to Capes of Good Hope/Agulhas - good sailing in gusty conditions

Friday 18th January, 2013

A good day's sailing today, with a hint of sun and a patch of bue sky early on giving way to grey clouds and gusty conditions for the rest of the day.... meaning that at times we went pretty fast in the gusts, but just staying within reasonable bounds! The wind has been WNW all day, varying just alittle -whichmesnt that our course wigled slightly... but I was able to head us due East for quite a time with a nice current giving a boost for a bit - gaining time and distance compared with going the same distance at a lesser latitude further North! There's a Low forecast for later next week that might well make me want to head further N to avoid the worst of it - I'll be keeping an eye on that very soon.

Seas stayed up around 4m or so and so, with the quite rough conditions, in came the birds! They always enjoy the stronger conditions & loved it, swooping around the boat most of the day! A good flock of some 25 handsomely-marked Antarctic prions arrived later this afternoon, with a Royal and a Wandering albatross coming by at different times earier and a few white-chinned petrels present all daylong. (all-dark, except for yellow bill, often with a patch of white at its base - although not in these birds) . Our 'resident' storm petrels weren't to be seen.

I made my regular contact with both Wolfgang on the Patagonia Net and with Graham, ZS2ABK, on the South African Maritime Mobile Net (S.A.M.M. Net) in the morning. Wolfgang is off to the mountains over this weekend - the Andes are so very close everywhere in Chile!

I'm hurrying to finish this and 'post' it while radio contact is OK - it's getting difficult now with very small 'windows' when I can make the radio connection needed to send and receive the emails... which includes my weather info - I just downloaded the latest grib files and weather info so need also to have a good look at those.

The wind has dropped (boatspeed is down to 4.5 kt from the 6kt of earlier) and I can hear the rain coming down now ....no moon tonight!

24hr DMG at 8pm local time (2300GMT ): 136 n.mll. Cape Horn 1136 n.ml. away (SW). E. Falkland: 732 n.ml. (WSW), S. Georgia: 449 n.ml. (SSE). Cape Agulhas (southernmost Cape of Africa) 2770 n.ml.

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

RTW Day 88 - to Capes of Good Hope/Agulhas - some weak sunshine, seas fairly st

Thursday 17th January, 2013

Fairly uneventful day with good downwind sailing - poled out, goosewinged. Weak sun and light, broken clouds after the morning overcast cleared away. actually saw a patch of blue for a time! Seas have increased rather - quite steep now, at 4-5m, but not a problem. F4 wind from WSW becoming W by late afternoon. Got up at dawn to get underway again in the morning... winds had increased a little initially overnight but had calmed down quite nicely by morning - I'd had a good sleep but only for 4 hours, so got back to my bunk aftewards, deciding it was too early for breakfast!

Only a few birds seen - with a great albatross soaring on fixed wings in the distance, while I was setting sail this morning, and just the occasional prion, Atlantic petrelwhite-chinned petrel and storm petrel over the day. It'll be interesting to see just how far they keep us company! (LATER) Just found us in company with a Wandering albatross - was watching the sunset - haven't seen one for ages, having had overcast skies or fog for so many days recently.

As well as speaking to Wolfgang on the Patagonia Net in Chile, I made contact just beforehand with South Africa - the South African Maritime Mobile Net (S.A.M.M. Net), with Graham, ZS2ABK, as Net Control beaming his antenna this way for the duration of my passage to and beyond S. Africa. Was only just able to copy him but that should improve . He relays my weather conditions to the SA Weather Service and gives me their up-to-date forecast for where I am... I end up with weather from several sources!

Put the Eberspacher diesel heater on today to try to dry out several wet jackets . Nice to have warm air in the cabin for a change! Sea temperature is slowly rising - it has just jumped up to 12.3C from 10.5C ths afternoon, compared with a minimum of 6.9C seen 200 ml east of Cape Horn a week ago.

Last night, having finished my ham, bean & veg stew, I tried another dehydrated meal, a Thai Chicken curry -- very nice! Tonight it's to be a Lamb Madras - all ready (not freeze-dried) in a foil pouch - just heat and add to some rice which I'm about to cook - and I've mango and lime pickles to go with.... Also boiled half a dozen fresh eggs yesterday, for lunches - so far, the eggs are still fine - nearly three months on, simply with daily turning!

There's a bright moon now...

24hr DMG at 8pm local time (2300GMT ): 99 n.ml.(hove-to for 7 hrs) Cape Horn 1002 n.ml. away (SW). E. Falkland: 597 n.ml. (WSW), S. Georgia: 429 n.ml. (SE). Cape Agulhas (southernmost Cape of Africa) 2880 n.ml.

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

RTW Day 87 - to Capes of Good Hope/Agulhas - thick fog followed by rain as a Col

Wednesday 16th January, 2013

Fog most of last night and today, with very little wind, until rain brought increasing wind late in the afternoon - ahead of an expected Cold Front... So we finally made some good speed for a bit, after struggling to make 2-3 knots this morning!

Had reply from Rymarine ontests on wind instrument - result not looking too hopeful - might have to have another go at transducer pins- cable connections... Don't fancy that!

Identified a bird that has been around recently - Atlantic petrel - quite large and there were three around today - breed on Gough Island and the Tristan a Cunha group - I'll be passing those by on my way east.

Wind has varied in direction a lot today - have frequently had to adjust Fred to keep us heading on course . I'm trying to make Easting whenever possible - cuts down the distance I have to sail! But I'm really looking to get further north - out of the 'furious fifties' (which I have today: at 49S now) and into the 'roaring forties' - 40-45S would suit nicely, I think.!

Magnetic variation recently reduced right down from 13 degrees East a week ago when I passed S of Cape Horn to zero early on Sunday, SE of the Cape. Now we're into 8 degrees West variation - I have to remember to subtract, not add, to get True readings now! "West is best, East is least" is the old saying to get from Compass to True readings - not very clear, I've always thought, but with use it works!.

Wind got up more after dark - I decided to heave to (again!) with the frontal winds not expected to peak until early tomorrow before dawn - we were already making around 7kt and I felt I might as well sleep while the bad weather passes, ready to get underway again in the morning...

24hr DMG at 8pm local time (2300GMT ): 83 n.ml.(very ittle wind until late afternoon) Cape Horn 905 n.ml. away (SW). E. Falkland: 507 n.ml. (WSW), S. Georgia: 399 n.ml. (SE). Cape Agulhas 2931 n.ml.

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

RTW Day 86 - to Capes of Good Hope/Agulhas - fog, seals, dolphins, ..and another

Tuesday 15th January, 2013

At 9am, wind was still strong, although less than last night, so had breakfast after my Patagonia Net contact and downloaded (weather) grib files. By 11am, wind was definitely down so got underway again, making fair speed in much-reduced swell.

2pm FOG! Cold and damp... Sun had been trying to get out from light cloud cover earlier and I was hoping for a nice sunny day... So much for that!

Saw a seal at the surface - was lying with one flipper out.. I was wondering if I was looking at a piece of floating kelp as we passed it by - and then it suddenly moved with a start, dived down, came back up, head looking my way - first seal I've seen in the deep ocean! Dark on top, white below. Later, I saw another!

Went to change course to put wind more on beam, so also let out genoa - speed far better. Had been looking at chart - Falklands Escarpment, just to north of here, about 30-40 miles, drops down to far greater depths than here - supposedly, a current heads east along it (Bob McD had alerted me to presence of it) - but presumably more in deeper water - so I decided to head more N to get to that edge and then I'll head more East to take advantage of it (If I find it, that is!) Presently have half a knot of E-flowing current anyway.

Looking around while on deck, spotted a machine screw on the starb'd side-deck, near to cockpit. Recognised it as off a boom fitting - but was surprised (and aghast!) to find it had actually come off the rod-kicker attachment to the boom... Lucky that it had fallen on deck and not overboard... On looking at the fitting, found the second screw of the pair was also nearly out - a disaster waiting to happen... just caught in the nick of time. (How many times has that been so on this trip so far? ... Too many!) Will need to keep an eye on them - have used Loctite ut will also add some sealant over their heads to tryto stop them unscrewing again. With the constant motion of the boat, everything that can works loose ....

Birds today: Usual 'resident'storm petrel ('Black-bellied!') - actually mainly white underbody, with dark stripe (often faint or missing) down its middle, difficult to see because it's normally so close to the sea or dashing around so very fast - and then its underneath is often in shadow or hidden. Also 'resident'white-chinned petrel: all-dark except for conspicuous yellow bill and small light area at its base - that varies in size with different birds..

As I was working on removing the wind display above the companionway, I was delighted to catch sight of several dolphins playing around us for a time - haven't seen any for quite a while. I'd decided it was time to investigate the misbehaving (in the main, non-existent!) wind displays. I thought that, by replacing the present 'master' unit with one that I knew had definitely been OK, I would achieve something positive.. Not so! I took several voltage readings on the transducer wires and have sent them, with other comments, to Raymarine UK - we'll see what they have to say!

I'm right on the path taken by the Vendee Globe racers as they head up the Atlantic to finish, so I'm still sending my position to the the Race Management team so the 'tail-enders' rounding the Horn now know to avoid me! In a couple of days, I should be well out of their way.

Wind has really died away now (speed down to just over 3kt!) and it has backed a lot - I'll change Fred's setting and get some sleep...

24hr DMG at 8pm local time (Buenos Aires time!) (2300GMT ): 77 n.ml.(Hove-to overnight) Cape Horn 822 n.ml. away (SW). E. Falkland: 426 n.ml. (WSW), S. Georgia: 412 n.ml. (SE). Cape Agulhas 2992n.ml.

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

RTW Day 85 - to Capes of Good Hope/Agulhas -

Monday 14th January, 2013

11am Regular job of clearing up in the galley - have to wipe everything dry after washing - in the cold , damp air they just don't dry if left and when we're rolling about in the present big seas, it's best if they're stowed away anyway. Good to have a 'bumstrap' to hold me safely while working in the galley - keeps me secure when the boat is moving about so much if I lean out against it. Motion now is more than earlier this morning when the seas seemed to have lain down a fair bit.

2.30pm Lovely sunshine after very grey clouds first thing this morning - still a lot of rolling... Solitary Cape Petrel is back, also a storm petrel (Black-bellied!) and a prion..

Enjoyed a couple of mandarins - was delighted to find both were fine - the previous three I tried last week had gone completely.

6pm Dull, overcast sky, slight rain, wind up slightly and veered to WNW. Changed course more to E.

10pm Hove to... Wind increased significantly as darkness was falling, with heavy rain, ...making over 7kt and surfing with each wave.... just not feeling comfortable ... Night coming on, so decided to stop so I could relax overnight... Heard from Bill, KI4MMZ, later: Cold Front passing over here now...Reason for strong wind & rain - I wasn't expecting that although I did wonder when wind went NW as it often does before a front!!

24hr DMG at 8pm 'new' local time (Buenos Aires time!) (2300GMT ): 129 n.ml. Cape Horn 745 n.ml. away (SW). E. Falkland: 352 n.ml. (WSW), S. Georgia: 440 n.ml. (SE).

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

RTW Day 84 to Capes of Good Hope/Agulhas - a little less wind but BIG seas...

Sunday 13th January, 2013

8am Up as usual to report position to Patagonia Net - Wolfgang was clearly concerned about the big seas expected. I reassured him that, yes, they were very big, as forecast, but being well separated and with the wind having eased a bit (below 30kt now), we were coping fine - just being forever knocked about a lot!!

After yesterday's close company of so many wonderful birds, their absence today was the more noticeable - none seen this morning and just a glimpse later on of our 'resident' black-browed albatross and pair of white-chinned petrels, along with our 'resident' storm petrel - I'm convinced these are the same birds that tend to stay fairly close to us - and will probably keep us company for some time more. No great albatross seen today.

As yesterday, a mix of weather - blue sky and lighter wind alternating with a sudden rain squall coming by with increased wind.. We're being quite badly knocked about at times - keep finding objects on the cabin sole that should not be there! It's really cold - we even had some hail at midday! My heated up ham/vegetables/bean stew is very welcome!!

24hr DMG at 8pm 'new' local time (Buenos Aires time!) (2300GMT ): 133 n.ml. Cape Horn 61891 n.ml. away (WSW). E. Falkland: 245 n.ml. (W), S. Georgia: 491 n.ml. (ESE).

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

RTW Day 83 - Cape Horn to Capes of Good Hope/Agulhas - strong winds, BIG seas

Saturday 12th January, 2013

Heaved to overnight while heading past SE of Burdwood Bank, east of Isla de los Estados - wasn't completely convinced it was necessay but no harm in being safe in case winds got up more as forecast -a good night's sleep is always welcome!

8am Up for contact with Wolfgang on Patagonia Net - Geoff on 'Curare' helped with relay (he and Linda are slowly making their way south throgh the Chilean Channels)

The strong current kept taking us NE overnight - by the time I'd decided to sail on in the morning, we'd made 40 miles! Good that it was in roughly the right direction, although I wasn't happy that it was taking us directly over the Nova Scotia Ridge - mountains below the sea that rise steeply from 4,000m below sea-level to just 200-300m below... an area to be avoided in bad weather!ded

In fact, by morning, the current was taking us more NNE and I saw that we could still make a course to our original waypoint, avoiding the Ridge - which is what we did.

Wind seemed not too bad as we set off just before midday but soon increased to easily 30 knots and more - a lot more, it seemed at times - and seas were also big at 5-6m (20ft) ... impressive, mountainous seas!!

In the strong condiions, we had an amazing variety of birds for company until the night:
3 Cape Petrels dipped into the sea constantly nearby and the other birds included several different albatross soaring close by: both Wanderinga nd Royal - enormous! - and black-browed (a mature and a young with brown markings and yellow/grey bill) Also white-chinned and storm petrels.

They were all revelling in the rough, windy conditions... whereas I spent lot of time in the cockpit, to reassure myself that we were coping with the winds and big seas - which I was pleased to see we were! Every so often, the clouds would clear to give blue sky - it actually felt quite warm in the sun under the canopy (dodger) mid-afternoon! It took quite a few hours to get to our waypoint west of the NovaScotia Ridge and then we changed course to the NE - putting the wind and seas astern - it immediately felt calmer and it was a lot quieter.. But we did have a couple of squalls come by with sudden increased wind to get my attemtion.. Th wind has gradually eased towards evening but the seas will take a time to diedown.. We're rocking and rolling again!!

I seem to have a lot of wet gear now - which never dries properly - it's too cold! (I just put the heater on - it was 9C in the cabin, same as the sea temp) My shoes & socks are sodden - one of the many waves splashing over the boat sent a load of water into the cockpit - and over me, filling my shoes .... grrr!! My feet felt frozen very quickly ... it felt good once they were dry again... and socks changed... I should have had my boots on!

There was so much wind that the wind generator started overcharging the batteries - I just caught it in time! Fortunately, the solar panel regulator shows a winking red light if it stops charging the batteries because their voltage is up enough - and it caught my attention immediately.

About to move into time zone GMT - 3 hr .... at 53:30W - not far!

24hr DMG at 7pm local time (Chile time!) (2300GMT ): 107 n.ml. Cape Horn 491 n.ml. away (WSW). E. Falkland: 180 n.ml. (NW), S. Georgia: 559 n.ml. (100T).

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

RTW Day 82 - Cape Horn to Capes of Good Hope/Agulhas - mix of light and stron

Friday 11th January, 2013

8am Patagonia Net Wolfgang has been running the Net for cruisers heading up and down the Chilean Channels (protected waters, mainly, with fabulous scenery, mainly deserted with lots of wildlife, between Puerto Montt in the far N to Puerto Williams (Chile) and Ushuaia (Argentina), both on the Beagle Channel in the S, not too far from Cape Horn.

Sun trying to get out through a light cloud layer - fog & grey skies of last few days gone with strong wind of Low passing to S now. Wind set to increase to around 30 kt possibly.

Heading to a waypoint clearing the SE of the shoal area of Burdwood Bank, east of Isla de los Estados (which is off the SE extremity of Tierra del Fuego).

10:30am Wind got up.. reefed down like mad... fell off wind to make course... 7.2kt... . Went down below,, took of wet foulies... calmer... looked at display - speed under 4 kt -just a long passing squall (cold Front?).... foulies back on ... unfurl more genoa for more speed...adjust course again....!! Bun trying to get out again... Black-browed albatross nearby.

Wind kept on dying ... rocking & rolling about in some very rough seas for a long time before they finally died down with no wind. Damp, cold and grey again - added another warm fleece top and had some hot soup!!

3:30pm Has been raining for some time... struggling to make 3 kt in little wind from astern... Not going very far at this rate!

6pm Rain stopped. Making good speed at last! Wind finally piped up - furled away genoa, beam reach with stays'l and 3-reefed mains'l - making over 7kt with some fair current helping . Seas fairly big but not tossing us around too much or too often..

Midnight Hove to in winds around 30 kt with forecast of possibly higher. Unbelievably, drifting at 3.5 kt NE with zero boat speed!! Will get some sleep and see how thing are in the morning...

24hr DMG at 7pm local time (Chile time!) (2300GMT ): 118 n.ml. Cape Horn 428 n.ml. away (WSW) and my next waypoint, keeping well clear and to SE of the Burdwood Bank, is 103 n.ml. away. Isla de los Estados 314.ml. (W). E. Falkland: 228 n.ml. (NE), S. Georgia: 528 n.ml. (E).

For my positions, see:
www.svnereida.com - 'Travels' - "Where is 'Nereida'?"
----- End of Original Message -----

RTW Day 81 - Cape Horn to Capes of Good Hope/Agulhas - ambling in light, ofte

Thursday 10th January, 2013

I really can't believe I'm still close to Cape Horn - this weather has to change soon - it's way too gentle to be true!! Maybe later tomorrow, as a Front approches off a Low to the S...

Fast-moving Cape petrel circled this morning, joined by a very large Wandering albatross which soared around nearby for a time. Looked like a fairly young one from the brown and white mottling on its back between its dark wings.

I forgot to mention an important job done yesterday morning. I went to unfurl the staysail and it seemed unusually difficult. Realised the lead of the furling line into the staysail furler was wrong (not sure why). Had to unscrew it and move it into its correct position so the lead was good, with far less friction. It was nice to have calm seas for that foredeck job! Also greased the furler while there.

11.30 Ambling along at around 5kt again - west wind has slowly been backing and varying over the morning - not very strong still, although did see faster speed for a bit, earlier....

Decided to re-think my cooking gas strategy with the calm seas of the moment! The plan had been to avoid needing to change tanks in the middle of the strong, stormy Southern Ocean weather (!!) I was expecting..... so I'd changed to the big tank well before nearing Cape Horn... But with that turning out to contain butane, it hasn't worked out in the low air temperature, so this morning I changed back to a smaller propane tank - the galley cooker is back in use and I'm cooking normally... The little camping stove, which uses disposable cartridges, will remain as a back up since gas could yet run out in stormy seas, when changing cylinders could get problematic.... When it's warmer, I can use the butane tank again

1:30pm (Chile summer time, GMT-4, is Atlantic time in Canada) The sun was trying to get through the thin cloud layer near midday and there was the beginning of a hint of warmth - but not for long - it's slightly foggy!

About to cook some ham and eggs with chiplets (miniature chips!) and baked beans...! And making a big broth/stew later - beans & chick peas are in soaking and I'll have tinned ham to add in along with various vegetables (tinned sweet corn, green beans, tomatoes and fresh potatoes and onion)

8pm Thick fog!! Visibilty down to about two boat lengths. 9pm Fog lifted, replaced by rain. The 'James Clark Ross'passed astern on its way to 'off Elephant Island', headed south - towards Antarctic? No response to VHF calls.

Nice to think that there are no more icebergs to worry about until we're well into Atlantic now. There's a big 'tabular' berg ENE 850ml away -has time to drift a good distance by time I get closer ....

24hr DMG at 7pm local time (Chile time!) (2300GMT ): 122 n.ml. Cape Horn 314 n.ml. away (due W) and my next waypoint, keeping well clear and to SE of the Burdwood Bank, is 118 n.ml. away. Isla de los Estados 213 n.ml. (WNW). E. Falkland: 217 n.ml. (NNW), S. Georgia: 691 n.ml. (E).

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

RTW Day 80 - Cape Horn to Capes of Good Hope/Agulhas - Iceberg watch again,

Wednesday 9th January, 2013

Forgot to mention why I got so little sleep overnight into Tues morning... Apart from excitement of the Cape Horn rounding, that was followed by the need to keep an 'iceberg watch' - one was reported as being not too far away and with a S wind over the day, I felt it might have drifted onto our course... (Later turned out it had been deleted - it had disappeared - but I didn't get that info until later on Tuesday!)

Grey, cold and damp all day today, with almost no wind into and throughout the morning.... making around 3 kt downwind...

But still a variety of birds - a lovely Cape petrel, around us often over the day, similarly, a black-browed albatross... a pair of prions ... no shortage of interest every time I go to adjust Fred or trim the sails!! But still no decent photos - a bird comes really close... I dash down to get the camera ... they've either disappeared or moved into the distance .... grrr!!!

I re-organised the small pole lines - changed the leads and brought the pole uplift back to the cockpit so I could hoist it and move it around from there completely - nice! Also checked things on deck while so much calmer and decided to add some more 'Gorilla tape' to the wind generator mount on the pole while it was safe to climb up there in little wind or seas - I don't want that coming adrift again.

Midday, the wind increased slightly - we were making nearly 4kt!! ...and then it was foggy ... with light rain as well, laterl .. No sun all day and sea calmed right down - but oh-so-cooold...brrr!! Put on the cabin heater later in the evening to warm cabin up from its usual 11C - very welcome! Can't afford to do that too often - need to conserve fuel... with little wind and no sun, having to put generator on frequently to top up the batteries.

The next 'iceberg watch' turned out again to be needed overnight ... great! Wind was up more so we were making 5-6 kt. The berg had moved 20 miles SSE to just S of my course between its reported position on Monday to Tuesday - so , with W wind, it could have drifted back onto my course ... I diverted a bit to N and had to keep the radar on overnight for 5 hrs while I kept an eye out from the cockpit mostly.... (TG for my protective screen there!) Size was given as 300m or so - but was it very high? I wasn't certain if 'size' meant length or height but I felt pretty sure it was length. Clearly big enough to want to avoid, either way! I couldn't relax until we'd gone more than 20 miles east of its last reported position - fog came down again ao I just hoped radar would pick it up.... before that, I was able to see the horizon reasonably well in the Southern Ocean semi-darkness of night.

No more bergs until well into Atlantic now (nearest two ahead are grounded on Burdwood Bank, it seems) - but will keep an eye on positions of reported ones daily, just in case...

Back to my bunk for more sleep ... didn't get enough, again, last night!

24hr DMG at 7pm local time (Chile time!) (2300GMT ): 92 n.ml. Iceberg reported ahead to starboard: 20miles away... Cape Horn 204 n.ml. away (W by WNW) and my next waypoint, keeping well clear and to SE of the Burdwood Bank, is 240 n.ml. away. Isla de los Estados 145 n.ml. NW. E. Falkland: 269 n.ml. (NNE), S. Georgia: 804 n.ml. (ENE). Land is no longer showing on my AIS screen - the islands around Cape Horn, are now too far away.

For my positions, see:
www.svnereida.com - 'Travels' - "Where is 'Nereida'?"
----- End of Original Message -----

RTW Day 79 - Cape Horn to Capes of Good Hope/Agulhas - celebrating while ambl

Tuesday 8th January, 2013 - I'm still on a 'high'!!!

4pm: All very relaxed, ambling along in bright sun, downwind in WSW wind of F4-5, possibly around 18-20kt mostly, sometimes less. In the sun, it feels almost warm!! ....and with the sun shining on the tank, the butane is gassing off now. Still enjoying Ann's Christmas cake and Gayle's biscotti - and still lots left!!! In a celebratory mood all day! Can't believe the weather is so benign!

A Wandering albatross flying around us now - such big, yet graceful, birds, mostly soaring on fixed wings, with just the occasional wing beats. A solitary Southern Royal this morning, together with 3 Cape Petrels (handsome black-and-white birds), a tiny, white-rumped storm petrel (trying to make me dizzy again, it circled around so fast!) , a pair of black-browed albatross and a white-chinned petrel .... All around at the same time, early this morning.

Still thinking about the excitement of rounding the Horn last night - it never really gets dark - so much light in the sky... and there was a bright crescent moon hanging above the big streak of daylight over the S horizon well after midnight ...!

6.30pm Nearing sunset... but will not make much difference to light in sky for several hours! Cooked a cheese omelette while the sun was still heating the butane tank a short while ago. Three black-browed albatross circling the boat... Still very relaxed sailing, although VERY rolly and often getting knocked about quite violently by the occasional bigger wave. Waiting for the wind to veer a little bit more so I can gybe onto port tack - nearly there but not quite...

I'll need to catch up on sleep - didn't get too much last night!

24hr DMG at 7pm local time (Chile time!) (2300GMT ): 140 n.ml. Cape Horn 129 n.ml. away (WNW) and my next waypoint, keeping well clear and to SE of the Burdwood Bank, is 331 n.ml. away. Isla de los Estados 135 n.ml. nearly due N W. Falkland: 314 n.ml. (023T), E. Falkland: 327 n.ml. (031T), S. Georgia: 893 n.ml. (due E). Land is no longer showing on my AIS screen - the islands around Cape Horn, are now too far away.

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

Day 78 towards AND AROUND! ..Cape Horn - YES.....!!!!! (at 11:27:44 pm LT)

Monday 7th January, 2013

At 11:27:44 pm (local Chile time), we passed the longitude of the Cape Horn LH and started changing course for the start of our Atlantic crossing...!!!!! I announced it to the Pacific Seafarers' Net, on the radio just then, who shared the excitement with me!! (Someone blew a trumpet!) In the south, a streak of clear sky showing daylight above the horizon, grey clouds everywhere else in the not-so-dark(!) sky, a big swell, but sea not as rough as earlier. With the wind from S-SSW, I eased the sheets for our new course of 076T - we made 6.5kt and rolled in the seas... Life felt good!

It's absolutly unbelievable that today is precisely two years on from my first rounding of Cape Horn, two days after the horrible experience of my knockdown on 5th January 2011..!! I really have had a difficulty with seeing the coincidence of the dates, having passed well S of that knockdown position just two days' ago...!!

The rest of today:

9:45am Woke up at 7am, having left us drifting around sometime after 3am in disgust, with almost no wind and even the AP unable to keep us on course, with no boatspeed for steerage. Found us heading SW at nearly 4 kt... oops!! Hurriedly came up on deck to sort us out - difficult initially, not knowing quite where the wind was coming from! Eventually got us roughly on course, after several times finding us hove-to and having to gybe around each time (not enough boatspeed to allow us to tack!) to try to get us as close on the ESE wind as possible on starb'd tack.

Found our best course was only 070T at 2.5-3kt, but being on windsteering would help. With wind expected to veer more to S, I hoped our course would improve - which it slowly did, following the wind around... Pulled the traveller up to windward to help our speed and by 9.30am we were making 086T at over 4kt. Not quite our preferred course of 100T but that will probably come -and we could possibly take a 'short cut' over the edge of the continental shelf I've been avoiding, if the wind doesn't get up too strongly.

Later, the wind increased and we were making easily 7 knots in 5m seas... with one or more black-browed albatross for company a lot of the dark grey, cloudy day. I eventually furled in some genoa towards nightfall, not so much because I needed to but just to be safe in case the wind increased any more - but in fact, soon after, the wind lessened!

9:20pm 12 miles/2hrs away from being due S of Cape Horn and my turning point into the S. Atlantic. I have to admit to sitting here feeling quite excited - I think it's catching! I've had so many emails from friends and other people I've not even met, who are getting excited about me being so close to Cape Horn - and especially looking forward to me getting around safely this time!

It feels so cold now (sea is only 8C and cabin regularly 11C - I put on the heater for a time this evening!), so I've started on my warming cup--a-soups. Made my second dehydrated meal - lamb, veg and mashed potato, as I waited for us to get to our turning point and change of course. I was surprised at its taste and texture - not bad! Followed it with my last mince pie and a big slice of Christmas cake, washed down with a mug of tea.

24hr DMG at 7pm local time (Chile time!) (2300GMT ): 62 n.ml. (slow, with so very little wind a lot of the time) Cape Horn 100 n.ml. away (on 017T) and my waypoint, off the continental shelf, 101 n.ml. S of C. Horn, was 29 n.ml. away. The nearest island, Isla Gonzalo, the S-most of Islas Diego Ramirez, 66 n.ml. away to NNW . W. Falkland: 409 n.ml., E. Falkland: 434 n.ml., S. Georgia: 1028 n.ml. (ENE). Land is only just still showing on my AIS screen - the islands around Cape Horn, just over 100 mls away.

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