Saturday 7pm Another colourful sunset tonight - very similar colouring and nearby clouds to yesterday's. Sat out in the cockpit to relax and enjoy the scene - wind still light but we were sailing gently and smoothly at 3-4kt and seas were well down - all very pleasant...
Sunday 12.30am AIS alarm went off - a fishing vessel was coming our way at over 12kt and effectively on a collision course. Chinese? Name: Shen Zu 86; MMSI: 12421145; callsign: BZUK2 Closest approach predicted was just a couple of hundred feet - no reply to repeated calls on VHF radio when within range. Brightly lit all along her sides. Had me very worried...
Had no option but to unlash the wheel (Fred was in charge of wind steering at that point), turn on the autopilot and add twenty degrees to our course to be sure of avoiding a collision and keep a straight course. They made no effort to change course or speed. I switched on the navigation lights (in addition to the masthead tricolour) and fore-deck light - that lights up the genoa beautifully and makes us highly visible!
I stayed by the wheel until we'd passed each other a mile apart, but my change of course worked fine. Never mind that we were under sail and they were under power so should have given way to us - with no communication happening, bottom line of the Colision Regs is - avoid a collision!
1:30am Cold Front passing over from dawn onward (only two hours away), so decided to reef down overnight to prevent any unwanted excitement due to bigger gusts than expected - can always shake the reef out again in the light of day.
Saw very bright light low down in the E - a ship? But decided it was a planet maybe...? Kept an eye on it - it was just above the horizon and not moving. Looked just like a bright top light on the mast of a boat very close by - but no dark shape below it - turned on radar just to confirm! Eventually relaxed - but was difficult - so very bright and looked to be so close! Can someone ID the planet? Not Venus because yellow in colour and too bright for Mars, I think - Saturn or Jupiter?
10am Bright sun in clear blue sky with almost no clouds. NW wind well up - around 20kt? Trimmed sails earlier so now making good speed on beam reach with full genoa and two reefs in main: 6.5-7.5kt ... Excellent speed! Time for a late breakfast.
3pm Wonderful sailing just now in bright sun still, very good solid WNW wind - we're making a consistent 7kt or more - often hitting 8kt or just over! This is just like Trade Wind sailing but we're not in the Trades... It's also feeling very warm - 22C air temperature but in the sun it feels more.
Just spoke to Uku on 'One and All' - he has almost no wind now - making only 2kt, so it's frustrating for him - I know the feeling well! I asked if he would clean the boat again but he said he has no need to yet - maybe near the Equator. Propagation was not good - difficult to hesr him over the static on frequency so we just confirmed that "all was well on board" and we'll speak again later today.
1900GMT (=1600LT) - end of Day 102. We made 127 n.ml. DMG over the 24 hr period, measured in a straight line between the two 1900 GMT positions. Fast second 12hr period.
Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 102 (by daily DMGs): 9,742 n.ml.
Distances (at 1900Z): Cape Horn LH: 1490 n.ml. to SW; Montevideo: 954 n.ml to NW; Buenos Aires: 1057 n.ml to NW Rio de Janeiro: 1095 n.ml. to N; Cape Agulhas (SA): 2700 n.ml. to ENE
Position & weather report for 1900 GMT posted to Winlink.org and Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV):
TIME: 2019/01/13 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 40-31.10S LONGITUDE: 037-25.53W COURSE: 062T SPEED: 7.9kt
WIND_SPEED: 22kt WIND_DIR: WNW SWELL_DIR: NW SWELL_HT: 2.5m CLOUDS: 40%
BARO: 1018.7hPa TREND: 0 AIR_TEMP: 22.0C SEA_TEMP: 20.0C
COMMENT: 2 reefs in main and genoa Bright sun. Warm!