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Day 10 from Cape Town to Hobart- nice sailing in fair-sized swell...

Last night was beautifully clear and starry again with the expected band of cloud not coming over - 'Milky Way' strewn across the sky, Orion doing his usual headstand & two very bright stars above the W horizon at sunset - must surely be planets? ... Venus..? and Saturn..? Seem yellow, rather than orange or white. Venus is usually so very white. Info welcomed if anyone wants to email me!

Have been thinking and preparing a lot for expected bad weather coming up - Friday night into Saturday, strong winds, backing to SW-WSW at 30-35, gusting 40kt, as an 'active' cold front on a deep depression passes us during Friday. Bad swell coming along to add in to the same strong winds over Saturday... Decided to take down the pole and change course more to the NE for a time, to try to avoid the worst of the swell. Problem then is the following High, which I don't want to get caught in, by ending up too far N - so will have to dive S a.s.a.p., once worst of winds/swell have passed by. Somehow think we'll get caught by light winds of the High whatever I do...

Thoughts of big seas and strong winds definitely concentrate the mind on clearing up - in the galley, especially. I cooked the last aubergine and courgettes, along with fresh onion, garlic and potatoes - even found a tin of red peppers to add in to tinned tomatoes to make more ratatouille, ready for another 'stew' with ham added, thinking ahead to Fri night & Sat... With more additions, should last several days.

Oops...! Sensed the boat beginning to heel more... into foulies, hat, headlamp, ... up on deck, in the dark night... A big cloud passing over and giving very-much increasing wind... Furl in some genoa.. get wetted by spray and fine rain... As things calm down, a short while later, I see plenty of stars around - but not overhead nor ahead...a dark mass there! Speed is down rather, with reduced canvas, but - it's night, so I'll leave the genoa as is, for the time being... We're still making around 5 kt, that's fine.

Been busy today catching up with emails, making up a new logbook and experimenting with frequencies/times for radio email contact - or the lack of it! WL2K contact is difficult here, with no on-air S.African stations and I failed to make any connection after sunset tonight. Good to have Sailmail as well - their African station is fairly reliable,with a good range of available frequencies, so I'm getting daily weather grib files to add in to the occasional weatherfaxes from Cape Naval S.A. Weather Service and weather info from my daily contact with S.A.M.M. Net.

Time to eat and get a nap... 2025 GMT is 11.25 p.m. local time - we've moved over into the next Time Zone! All very confusing for the body clock!

DMG today: 133 n.ml. (always to 1200 GMT)

Written by : Mike

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