S/V Nereida sails around the world

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

Monday 20th May 2013

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

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

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

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

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

.........................................................................................................................

Tuesday 21st May 2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday 18th May 2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

RTW Day 208: Pacific - Into the Northern Hemisphere .... and the N. Pacific

Friday 17th May 2013

At 14:53GMT (2:53am local time) at, 175:56w, we crossed the equator. The time was earlier than expected because the wind veered to the SE, allowing us to fall off a little. This increased our speed and we still maintained a NE course which gave Baker Island a very good clearance. I celebrated with a few sips of a nice Tasmanian single malt whisky and some S. African mango juice but left the main party until midday.It has been another glorious day of sailing in the S.E. Trades and I had my party with music, singing and dancing. I opened a nice bottle of bubbly and had some Brie and pate on crackers.

24hr DMG to 2300GMT: 113 n.ml. Strait of Juan de Fuca: 3887 n.ml

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

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

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

RTW Day 207: South Pacific- Great sailing up to the Line - we will be crossing over night

NOTE FROM JEANNE: My computer malfunctioned on the 10th of May and can not be fixed, so I am without direct email capability for the rest of the trip.  My friends have set up an email-to-radio relay for me with an email address of my radio call sign (KC2IOV) at mv dot com.  Please use this email address for any important messages but understand that everything gets relayed to me over the radio and so the capacity is very limited.  I will reply to email as soon as I can but there may be long delays in replying and some messages may not be replied to until I make landfall at the end of my trip.  But as of this date I am doing well!  Note:  Any Yahoo Group members' replies to my email will not have been received.

Thursday 16th May 2013

Over the day, the course has been 020T, speed has been 4-5kt. Priority at present is avoiding the tiny Baker and Howland Islands ahead just N of the equator. Their positions on my chart-plotter display were confirmed last night by Mark, N1UK - good to know exactly where they are, since I will past them in the dark - they have no light. [We remember Amelia Earhart as we pass them. There is a day beacon on Howland Island named after her. She came down somewhere near by in her little plane in 1937.]

Weather faxes are showing good weather: E winds across the equator until I reach the ITCZ which is at 4-5N. Satellite photos still show it is clear ahead, with no major convection until the ITCZ.

Other priorities are checking the weather continually and looking in detail at the sea bed in the Hawaiian Islands chain out to beyond Midway. We might want to pass through somewhere, so I have noted all the many hazzards - reefs, islands, seamounts....lots of them!

I am writing this singing along to music playing - getting into the equator crossing party mode already - expect to cross the line tonight - 2:30-3:30am(Friday 17th of May) at approximately 176W, passing  30 n.ml.  E of Baker Island.

24hr DMG to 2300GMT: 106 n.ml. Strait of Juan de Fuca: 4000 n.ml.

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

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

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

RTW Day 206: South Pacific - Another Lovely Day of Sailing

Wednesday 15th May 2013
9:30 am   Hot bright sunny! Tony's Net (Aus-NZ) just finished. 30 percent clouds.
11:25 am   On 10 meters for the last one and a half hours - propagation not got enough for US but sufficient for Australia and NZ. Slowed down to 4.5kt, cloud up at 40 percent but so far none of the expected rain clouds or squalls.
1 pm   Satellite pictures downloaded so it is clear ahead - the cloud mass S of the equator has disappeared - 10 percent cloud now - great! I am delighted to be avoiding all of the squalls I was expecting. Our course is also good at NNE with a consistent ESE winds.
3:30 pm   Pacific Seafarers' Net - Randy, KH6RC, passed on messages from Barbara and Ian about my arrival in Victoria.
A lovely evening with good sailing continuing but the wind is definitely dying, the speed is down to 3.8kt. The wind is tending to back more toward the E from ESE giving a more N course. I received a report that my AIS beacon was copied on May 15th by a listening station in Monterey, California in what must have been a miracle of propagation and ideal ionospheric conditions. These signals are VHF and normally line of sight. The previous AIS transmission received at that location  from the Nereida, was when I was southbound on the outward leg and much closer to the coast.
24hr DMG to 2300GMT: 121 n.ml. Strait of Juan de Fuca: 4101 n.ml.
From KC2IOV/MM By HF radio. Copied by Jim, WB2REM Port St. Lucie, FL

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

For my positions and track, see:
www.svnereida.com - 'Travels' - "Where is 'Nereida'?"
and/or:
http://www.exactearth.com/media-centre/recent-ship-tracks/tracking-nereida/

RTW Day 205: South Pacific- A Beautiful Day's Sailing

Tuesday 14th May 2013

7pm   Starry night, very few clouds, crescent moon lighting up the sea, Southern Cross not so high since close to
the equator (4S).

We had a lovely sail today after an extensive early morning rain cloud killed our speed for over two hours.
We passed under two heavy showers-each time the winds first increased, giving us 5 kt speed, and then
died so we made
under two kt. Our overnight course of 030T became 350T. Winds finally picked up and veered,
so then we made 5kt or more, sailing N-NNE
for most of what was a very hot day.

Downloaded satellite IR photos of cloud cover-showed a mass of cloud ahead, both N and S of equator- can
expect strong squals in the active convection there-from possibly late wednesday to late sunday.

The brown noddy flew off this morning, after the rain, having sat in the cockpit just a foot away from my
winching without moving.
So far tonight, she has not come back to roost as I expected.
I like thank Rick, WA1RKT for setting up an email address to be used to relay urgent messages via HF
radio.Non-urgent messages can continue come to me via my website 'Contact' page- to be read on landfall.

24hr DMG to 2300GMT: 97 n.ml. Strait of Juan de Fuca: 4219 n.ml.

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

...........................................................................................................................................
For my positions and track, see:
www.svnereida.com - 'Travels' - "Where is 'Nereida'?"
and/or:
http://www.exactearth.com/media-centre/recent-ship-tracks/tracking-nereida/

RTW Day 204: South Pacific- Hotel Nereida welcomes a guest

Monday 13th May 2013

7am
On deck in strong winds-face to face with brown noddy on port winch.
Reduced genoa-with big grey mass of clouds ahead with grey overcast.

Midday
Clouds thinning, winds down-still NE.
Course has been only 340T since morning.
Brown noddy landed on foredeck as well as is in the cockpit- it had a long black spear like bill for fishing.
Downloading weather faxes.

1pm
Course, finally, due N,  seas 4.3kt.

8pm
Brown noddy has adopted the boat- identified as a female with help of N7RY and VK4DBJ. Just settled into short nap before evening radio sked when heavy rain fell- I saw the boat was turning N-NE – NW-SW!
Realised sails had been backed by sudden change of wind.
Up on deck to get us back on course-shared the cockpit with the brown noddy- not worried by my presence. Bird has now been named Brownie. Had meal in cockpit tonight with Brownie a couple of feet away- no problem.

24hr DMG to 2300GMT: 100 n.ml. Strait of Juan de Fuca: 4309 n.ml.

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

...........................................................................................................................................
For my positions and track, see:
www.svnereida.com - 'Travels' - "Where is 'Nereida'?"
and/or:
http://www.exactearth.com/media-centre/recent-ship-tracks/tracking-nereida/

RTW Day 203: South Pacific- drifting backwards overnight but good winds over day

Sunday 12th May 2013
3am Woken by heavy rain and boat heeling (having slept through all evening radio sked-forgot to set alarm). Sails were aback, boat was going SW at 2-3 knots. Winds soon died and for next 4 hours, despite all my efforts, we drifted SW in little or no winds-we lost 6 miles before a gentle E wind arrived at 7am.
Good sailing over daytime, NNE at 3-5 knots, with skies clearing to leave band of rain and clouds behind by 4pm when a pod of dolphins came by. A noddy tried to land on solar panels near sunset- finally made it to aerial support. Later, as I took in the washing from the preventer beneath the boom at 10pm, I noticed the noddy hovering over head- maybe it had lost its footing as we bumped around in the swell-not possible to land in darkness. Lovely starry night with ESE winds...making NE at 5 knots.
24hr DMG to 2300 GMT: 34 n.ml. (Ugh !!!) Strait of Juan de Fuca: 4408 n.ml.

From KC2IOVmm By HF radio. Copied by Jim, WB2REM

...........................................................................................................................................
For my positions and track, see:
www.svnereida.com - 'Travels' - "Where is 'Nereida'?"
and/or:
http://www.exactearth.com/media-centre/recent-ship-tracks/tracking-nereida/

RTW DAY 202 - COMPUTER DAMAGED - NO EMAILS POSSIBLE (IN OR OUT)

11th May 2013
Bad news of last night-dropped laptop and broke the screen-remote monitor also damaged.
So impossible to send or receive emails. Only possible communication now is by HF radio.
Will continue to post daily positions and occasional log reports with help of friends.
Fortunately have dedicated weather fax machine which is working fine.
Wind today-none until 6pm when we finally moved NE at three knots.
Before that we drifted mainly SW-ended up- 11 miles N. of 11am position.
A few heavy rainfalls over the day. Lovely crescent moon tonight with Venus close by.
24hrs-DMG: 68n.ml
Distance to Strait of Juan de Fuca entrance: 4436n.ml
From KC2IOVmm By HF radio 73 KI4MMZ

Update on Email Failure

Good Morning,

I have heard through the HAM net that Jeanne's second laptop fell and the monitor broke.  This leaves her without a working computer.

Several people are now working on a relay system where Jeanne will dictate the log entries over the radio and I will post them here.  Entries may not be posted everyday.

-jak

Message from Jeanne

May 11, 2013

Hello,

This is Jak Mang writing for Jeanne. I occasionally relay blog posts that do not arrive correctly and post photographs.

I received a radio-telephone patch tonight from Jeanne through a HAM operator in Riverside, California.   It was very difficult to understand Jeanne over the patch.  She has apparently had some equipment problem that will keep her from sending email or blog updates.  This is most likely an issue with her Pactor modem that digitizes text over the SSB or HAM radio frequencies.  She said that she will be attempting to forward updates through some other channels every two or three days. When I asked if there were any other problems, she said things were well, but that she had no wind.

I will pass along messages as I get them. Please rest assured that she is currently having no major difficulties.

-jak

`RTW Day 201: In S.Pacific - pleasant, warm, relaxed day - mostly slow but gen

Friday 10th May 2013

1pm Sitting with coffee getting postion/weather report ready for sending and having had a good detailed look over paper charts for passage on to Equator and N.Pacific. Found a lot of detailed charts I'd forgotten I had - always good! So pleased to have them - charts for present area covering Phoenix Group (in Kiribati), which is ahead, clearly show a Reef (Carondelet) with 'rock awash' very close to my present path not visible on electronic charts until zoomed right in to on top of it.... could be very nasty!! Nearest hazard seems to be Gardner Island / Nikumaroro (a typical S.Pacific atoll) - 392ml away at 2300GMT (Mon/Tues), but that assumes present course is maintained - not a certainty.

Was pleased to find wind had veered into SE early this morning - so we're making some Easting on a good course for the time being, although speed is varying a lot: 3-4.5kt. With no hazards close ahead, this is an ideal time to be under wind steering - making the most of the wind, despite its variation in direction. Weather forecasts seem to be showing that we'll keep some wind, albeit light at times, right up to and across the Equator, although we might be forced to sail NNW again at times - but at least we'll be able to keep heading N and SPCZ is definitely astern now.

3pm Just passing under a wide area of light grey raincloud, stretching across sky from W to E- boat speed was increased to 5.5kt with greater wind on the approach and has now dropped to under 1kt with frequent light rain - nothing too dramatic, but difficult to keep course now with such light wind. Wind has backed a lot - course now 310T instead of 030T,as before. Typical conditions for the far side of a raincloud. No distance records being broken again today...

5.30pm Nearing sunset - dramatic towering, anvil-shaped clouds in the distance, catching the rosy glow... We're ambling along again at around 3kt in fairly calm seas - it's been a very pleasant day.

Evening - took meal (Cumbrian Lamb Hotpot with peas) to cockpit to enjoy in the refreshingly cool night air - with brilliant stars above, as we coasted along at just over 4 knots - lovely!
..............................................................
Tragic Americas Cup news today - unbelievable... My deepest sympathy and condolences to family and friends.
..............................................................
D.M.G. over 24hr to Fri 10th May 2300 GMT : 56 n.ml. - reflecting time spent making just 1-2 kt yesterday afternoon/evening. Sydney: 2194 n.ml. (224T); New Zealand's North Cape: 1562 n.ml. (195T); Vanua Levu (Fiji): 404 n.ml. (187T); W. Samoa:444 n.ml. (124T).

Distance to Strait of Juan de Fuca entrance: 4500 n.ml.
...........................................................................................................................................
For my positions and track, see:
www.svnereida.com - 'Travels' - "Where is 'Nereida'?"
and/or:
http://www.exactearth.com/media-centre/recent-ship-tracks/tracking-nereida/

RTW Day 200b: In S.Pacific - squalls... heavy rain blots out solar eclipse ...

Thursday 9th May 2013 (repeated date!)

Just lost my original posting.... so a quick note version now...

Slept very well overnight - too well! Alarm was set on mobile/cellphone as I started a short nap early in the evening - ran out of battery power, so phone shut down - no alarm rang - missed several evening radio scheds... Woke just before first light, before 5am - but just too late to catch the Space Station - again! We were just passing Macaw Bank off to starboard, with underwater peaks rising to within 18-20m of sea-level. Very few clouds and very little swell - but a threatening dark grey band of cloud on horizon ahead.

By 9am, it had became very squally with lots of grey cloud, some towering, others very dispersed - wind up and down - boat speed over 6kt, then down to 1-2kt or less after a squall or in between clouds..... we were in unstable air of the S.Pacific Convergence Zone (SPCZ) One downpour lasted from 11:15am to 12:30pm - very extensive cloud system - strong wind initially, so genoa furled away, but then very heavy rain - visibility reduced to a couple of boat lengths and boat speed down to 2kt for a time - then down to 0.5-1kt for even longer... difficult to keep course... but boat was extremely well rinsed off! That downpour had not long ended when more lighter rain fell for quite a time.

Eventually rain stopped - had heard an odd banging from time to time I couldn't place - now saw it was the radar scanner banging on the stern arch - its welded support had totally come away. I set to, lashing it further to support its weight & prevent any movement and then released tension on the GPS cable - all took a time - and more rain fell as I was perched up on the steelwork - got totally soaked - but air and rain were warm, TG! Luckily, it was fairly calm until I was almost finished when I noticed we were sailing a bit faster and seas were more.

Before I'd started on the radar problem, I'd noticed something odd about our course - we were heading SW! Once finished, I tried to get us back on course - but the wind had changed direction completely - instead of from ESE was now from NW. Fine, I thought, we'll tack around and head E - but found we were heading SE at best... wind had changed again... Tacked around again - best we could manage was NNW-NW - but better to head N than head S, so have stayed on starboard tack.

As I was starting to sort sails out, I'd noticed a frenzy of feeding close by - thrashing in several places near the surface (dolphins?) and a lot of excited birds over a small circular area - unusual, since I've seen almost no birds recently... a possible skua this morning and nothing yesterday...

This evening, we're still only making 340T - NNW - at 2.5-4.5 kt, with wind varying a lot, mainly light. Have unfurled most of genoa to help our speed - hope I don't regret that later....

D.M.G. over 24hr to Thurs 9th May 2300 GMT : 90 n.ml. Sydney: 2151 n.ml. (224T); New Zealand's North Cape: 1507 n.ml. (195T); Vanua Levu (Fiji): 351 n.ml. (188T); W. Samoa:418 n.ml. (118T).

Distance to Strait of Juan de Fuca entrance (Thurs 9 May 2300 GMT): 4548 n.ml.
...........................................................................................................................................
For my positions and track, see:
www.svnereida.com - 'Travels' - "Where is 'Nereida'?"
and/or:
http://www.exactearth.com/media-centre/recent-ship-tracks/tracking-nereida/

RTW Day 200a: In S.Pacific - across the 180 degree Meridian - Date Line- back

Thursday 9th May 2013 Across the Date Line! Back into Wednesday.... GMT - 12hr, instead of GMT + 12hr

Mid-morning - extensive band of grey raincloud from horizon to horizon ahead - squalls a-plenty - but none too fierce. Have kept small amount of genoa unfurled - keeps us moving rather slowly in between squalls, but also means we're not way-overpowered during the squalls. Keeping nicely to a course avoiding seamounts and banks on and around our route - next one to avoid is Macaw Bank, then on to Gardner Island - part of Phoenix/Kiribati group

By afternoon, rainclouds had disappeared... until evening.... Then suddenly, as rain fell, we were speeding along, heeled over at nearly 7kt - didn't last long, before wind dropped and we were crawling at 3.5kt - but slowly things got back to normal and we were making around 5kt again. It had been a very pleasant afternoon's sail and we crossed the 180 degree Meridian at 5:06pm - into the Western hemisphere - and back a day into Wednesday! Local time is now GMT - 12hr, instead of GMT + 12hr.

I've just been testing out the weatherfax situation, having remembered that some of the Honolulu weatherfaxes were relevant to this area, now we're N of 20S. Both the dedicated weastherfax machine and the laptop are receiving rather blurred faxes - but I'll check again in the morning when propagation might be better. At least the laptop is giving sensible faxes instead of the garbage it had been giving recently - it seems to have self-corrected - maybe due to a hard switching off and re-booting, instead of it always being put into 'sleep' mode?

Without any clouds overhead, it's another beautiful dark starry night. Tomorrow there should be an annular eclipse of the sun around midday - the moon is too far away for a full eclipse - a 'ring of fire' instead... Will have to be careful not to look directly.... Will be up by dawn to look again for that Space Station... around 1654GMT - nearly 5am LT.

D.M.G. over 24hr to Thurs 9th May 1100 NZT : 115 n.ml. Sydney: 2036 n.ml. (225T); New Zealand's North Cape: 1396 n.ml. (194T); Vanua Levu (Fiji): 250 n.ml. (176T); W. Samoa:446 n.ml. (103T).

Distance to Strait of Juan de Fuca entrance (Thurs 9 May 2300Z): 4666 n.ml.
...........................................................................................................................................
For my positions and track, see:
www.svnereida.com - 'Travels' - "Where is 'Nereida'?"
and/or:
http://www.exactearth.com/media-centre/recent-ship-tracks/tracking-nereida/

RTW Days 198&199: In S.Pacific - squally conditions

Tuesday/Wednesday 7/8th May 2013

Tuesday
Rough conditions all day, especially up until changed course to head further N to avoid extensive shoals of a bank ahead which I'd been trying to keep S of. It felt a lot more comfortable once headed more off the wind.
Fairly clear sky around sunset. Had short sleep before evening radio chats - woke to find wet decks and strong wind - heeling, going fast & banging into short chop a lot -- up on deck to furl in more genoa - boat calmed down a bit & felt better...!
Looked for Space Station - had beeen told it would be very bright and visible around 6:54pm - clear sky overhead and clear also in NW where it should have appeared - but nothing seen - disappointing! Must have got timing wrong....

Wednesday
Clear sky early on, but cloud soon spread over to give 90% cover by 10am. Good SE Trades now - 20kt early on, down to 15 kt by mid-morning... making 5.5-6 kt. Heeled constantly, so moving about is rather difficult - often have to 'climb uphill' to reach windward (starboard) side of cabin... and chart table is on windward side so heeling tries to throw me out of my seat - frequently using the hinged arm restraint I had made in Simon's Town to lock myself in place.
A brown booby flew by to check us over: all dark above, dark tail, white underbody with black breast & black edges to underwings, long, pale, pointed bill.
Spent a time digging out milk supplies and stowing in fridge, which is acting as a dry locker on this trip.

12:30 pm Just had rain squall pass over - wind much increased and seas also... boat speed up to well over 6kt.. but heeling a lot as well... furled in remainder of genoa - & soon after wind dropped - so now ambling along at just over 4kt. Don't feel inclined to unfurl genoa again - can see more of the same ahead!
We're on the edge of the S.Pacific Convergence Zone - can expect clouds and squalls until we're through it - in a day or two, maybe.... Having to study chart carefully to note shallow spots and banks and try to avoid them... Lots of them - all around and ahead for quite a way....

7pm Another 'no-sighting' for the Space Sation.. Jim was quite sure it would bev unmistakeable and visible around 6pm tonight.. but nothing...
I'm having some 'chile con carne' for food tonight. getting it ready early - if I don't, I start not bothering - not good for energy levels.
Fred is back in charge again - have been on AP a lot in these squally conditions - but I'm hoping things are calmer now.

Time for a quick nap before evening radio chats - 20m is proving generally far better (clearer, with less noise) than 40m.

Midnight: Lovely starry sky - mainly clear,.... until a cloud comes by - several big squalls overnight - keeping me busy!

D.M.G. over 24hr to 11am LT: (Tues: 75 n.ml.) Wed: 130 n.ml. Sydney: 1925 n.ml. (226T); New Zealand's North Cape: 1285 n.ml. (193T); Vanua Levu (Fiji): 63 n.ml. (162T); W. Samoa:492 n.ml. (090T).

Distance to Strait of Juan de Fuca entrance (Wed 8May 2300Z): 4780 n.ml.
...........................................................................................................................................
For my positions and track, see:
www.svnereida.com - 'Travels' - "Where is 'Nereida'?"
and/or:
http://www.exactearth.com/media-centre/recent-ship-tracks/tracking-nereida/

RTW Day 197: In S.Pacific: NW of Fiji still... wind mostly light, but stead

Monday 6th May 2013

Midday - In the calmer conditions of this morning,I got my shower attachment working, finally, on the sugar scoop (stern steps) -only just managed not to lose any of the 3 tiny ball-bearings while I was working on the boat fitting to see why there was a problem. Will be useful having the deck shower in this bright, warm sunshine and certainly enjoyed it later! Had a late breakfast in the cockpit afterwards, having tried to send off my 11am (2300Z) position report - difficult connection at this time of day - mght have to leave until a few hours' time, when propagation is better.

Evening: All in all, it's been pleasant sailing over the day - not fast, but steady in ESE wind, good sunshine, with relatively calm seas. Had several boobies come by at sunset - big, neavy birds that tried very hard to roost on the solar panels but found nothing to grip on to - so finally gave up, as darkness fell.... I was glad they failed because they could have damaged the structures - quite apart from the mess they make!

Later, a squall came by - I was catching up on some sleep and woke to find the sails backed and the decks wet, with some water down below, by open ports, also. We were sailing SW at 2.5kt - so had to jump to the wheel and get us back on course - would have been nice to have had a working wind instrument at that point in the dark of a moonless night, but was able see the Windex lit up by the tricolour light at the mast top, which was useful, as we gybed around to end up heading NE again. It became quite rough at times - we're beating, close-hauled, and passing the channel between the two big islands of Fiji, so the seas are getting up between the islands, from the S.

D.M.G. over 24hr to 11am LT: 12 n.ml. - again, no surprise! Sydney: 1728 n.ml. (229T); New Zealand's North Cape: 1092 n.ml. (190T); Efate (Vanuatu): 483 n.ml. (261T); Vanua Levu (Fiji): 90 n.ml. (098T); Yasawa Islands, Viti Levu, Fiji): 33n.ml. (120T).

Distance to Strait of Juan de Fuca entrance: 4985 n.ml.
..............................................................................................................................................
For my positions and track, see:
www.svnereida.com - 'Travels' - "Where is 'Nereida'?"
and/or:
http://www.exactearth.com/media-centre/recent-ship-tracks/tracking-nereida/

RTW Day 196: In S.Pacific: Trying to round Fiji still... wind mostly v. lig

Sunday 5th May 2013

A lovely, peaceful morning - refreshing easterly breeze, a very slight S swell and a relaxing breakfast in the cockpit. I'd had a good sleep - when the boat is making 2kt at most and no hard bits are close enough to worry about, even 4-6 hrs is The good news was that overnight we'd got further from the small reef island of Viwa which was now 25ml to the S. We were making a good course and speed for a few hours - SOG actually got up to 4kt! - before wind slowly died so that, by midday, we were back to struggling to make 1-2kt..... But at least we're moving - and mostly in the right direction, instead of being becalmed, as expected, so that's a double bonus. Another day of these light conditions is forecast before SE Trades set in - hopefully. Down below, curtains are drawn against the heat of the sun, hatch is always open and portlights in the head and galley are open to let some air in acoss the main cabin - it gets very warm. I'm wearing a minimal cotton wrap and have towels to hand everywhere - both to sit on and when writing up the log - I have to rest my wrist and arm on a towel placed partly over the logbook if the page is not to be made instantly wet! Solar panels are doing well.

12:30pm Just had to jump to the wheel to get back on a sensible course - with no engine available to help tack through the wind, always have to gybe around when the mains'l gets backed due to wind dropping right down to give boat speed well under 1kt, resulting in lack of decent steerage... Presently fairly close-hauled ... Oh well, .... as I was writing that, we went off course again - just had jump up into the cockpit again to turn the boat around - clearly today is going to be busy with that happening frequently. I keep the Raymarine plotter on in this situation - the long coloured heading and COG vectors are really useful to show me, at a glance, what's going on .... oops, off course again - speed 0.9kt....... grrr! Certainly getting some good leg exercise today! I'd hoped to catch up a bit on my enormous backlog of emails - that might not get very far, at this rate.

Saw a big, heavy-looking, all-dark bird this morning - really 'flappy' wings, ... went for a fish at the surface - wondered if possibly a skua - seemed to have lighter 'flashes' on each underwing, but not on top (as seen on the Antarctic Skua, SW of Tasmania).

Evening ... a beautiful dark, silent, starry night - the Milky Way looking like a band of cloud across the sky - but it's all stars! No sound of wind in the rigginmg - or of any sound at all, in fact... The sea was so calm that its surface looked glassy and the brightest stars and Saturn were reflecting to give paths of light to the boat. The wind had eventually died away so much by late afternoon that I couldn't get us back on course even gybing, but with boat speed at zero, or nearly so, it really didn't matter, so I was able to relax a bit and get on with jobs I'd hoped to get done earlier in the day - like free a shower fitting that was jammed tight and needed thorough cleaning up once I'd got it undone, have my evening meal (having had no lunch) and clear up in the galley... All followed by a few radio chats in between trying to catch up on those overdue email replies - slow progress there...

As I was furling in the staysail in near-darkness, after sunset, I was surprised by a booby suddenly taking off from the after-deck. I'd seen it earlier, circling a couple of times, checking out the mast top for roosting possibilities, but hadn't realised it had landed there to stay overnight. They normally land higher up, either in rigging, or preferably at the mast top - where they can do a lot of damage to fittings.

D.M.G. over 24hr to 11am LT: 29 n.ml. - no surprise! Sydney: 1718 n.ml. (229T); New Zealand's North Cape: 1080 n.ml. (190T); New Caledonia: 622 n.ml. (239T); Efate (Vanuatu): 477 n.ml. (262T); Vanua Levu (Fiji): 93 n.ml. (091T); Nathula Island (Yasawa Group, Viti Levu, Fiji): 32n.ml. (108T).

By the way, if you have access to 'Yachting Monthly', May issue, there's a feature on my preparations for this nonstop RTW attempt.
..............................................................................................................................................
For my positions and track, see:
www.svnereida.com - 'Travels' - "Where is 'Nereida'?"
and/or:
http://www.exactearth.com/media-centre/recent-ship-tracks/tracking-nereida/

RTW Day 195: In S.Pacific: Trying to round Fiji... wind died and backed to

Saturday 4th May 2013

Midday Wind remained very light overnight and into this morning but we managed to keep to our NE course - until the wind suddenly backed to NNE from SSE at 11am - so previous course became impossible. Didn't want to head towards Fiji and outlying islands and reefs - so we're now drifting NNW under wind steering at around 1kt, occasionally speeding up to just over 2kt! Was surprised to find high outline of an island on the horizon - clearly the outer islands of Viti Levu included some mountainous ones - I'd assumed all were fairly low-lying reef islands.

Later - Wind has dropped to almost nothing so really difficult to keep heading N or NE - but making progress despite the very light and fickle wind ... Keep having to get to the wheel to get us back on track.... and have changed tack several times today.

Bright sun all day with mainly little or no cloud overhead I had meals in the cockpit - this morning's breakfast in the shade and tonight's food in the cool night air, with lovely bright stars above - but no moon - too early. One tern and two boobies seen today. In the calm conditions, was easier to sort through paper charts, finding ones for Pacific onward and stowing ones finished with.

Morning 20m sched was a bit noisy but a later one was excellent with no noise or static crashes on frequency whereas 40m was noisy again tonight. Nice chats with several contacts.

D.M.G. over 24hr to 11am LT: 72 n.ml. Sydney: 1691 n.ml. (229T); New Zealand's North Cape: 1053 n.ml. (190T); New Caledonia: 622 n.ml. (239T); Viwa Island and Reef (Fiji): 13 n.ml. (087T); Yasawa Group (Fiji): 27n.ml. (103T); Efate (Vanuatu): 462 n.ml. (265T).
..............................................................................................................................................
For my positions and track, see:
www.svnereida.com - 'Travels' - "Where is 'Nereida'?"
and/or:
http://www.exactearth.com/media-centre/recent-ship-tracks/tracking-nereida/