Wednesday 9th May 2012
With wind from E-ENE, we've been making slow progress all day, very close-hauled, N of our planned course. ....
Impossible to head NE as I'd intended and not a good idea to get too close to the coast of S. Island, New Zealand. Reason being a Low heading towards us, forecast to give 35-knot winds - if necessary, I planned to heave to but didn't want to do that too close to land with possible strong easterlies - hence the need to stay very close-hauled, even though that meant a slow speed. That has turned out to be a good thing anyway, since tonight, the band of 35-kt winds, moving E, is forecast to be well ahead of us tomorrow and by having sailed parallel to the coast, we should be able to go around the Low with helpful winds...
As I write this, the wind has veered to ESE and is around 16 knots - not much more than the 12-14 knots seen over most of today but I'm expecting to see it increase as that Low gets closer... After the Low has passed,, we could run out of wind... Plenty of variety out here!!
The 25knots we had from 4-7pm yesterday was not followed this morning by further strong winds, as forecast yesterday evening - good news!
I checked the two solar panels' input this afternoon, in very gloomy overcast (as all day long). There are two sets of wires coming down, each fused, and it occurred to me, following a comment from Greg yesterday when discussing the solar panel wiring, that removing each fuse in turn would give a simple way of checking if one set of panels had damaged wiring. In the event, both sets were putting in equal current and since I don't think there's any worry about one set of panels, that implies the other set is also OK - more good news!
I'm continuing to make voice radio contacts several times daily - as well as downloading weatherfaxes from Taupo Radio broadcasts., The weatherfax transmissions are really useful for keeping right up to date, while at sea, with current and expected weather - a real safety feature!
Not surprisingly, DMG today was only 98 n.ml. and probably less tomorrow.