Monday 10:20pm Sat in the cockpit for a time, after adjusting sails and Fred - a beautiful evening. A bright half moon sending a path of light across the sea to Nereida - refreshing, cool night air - not feeling cold at all... A few clouds... Calm, peaceful....
We're creeping along at 3kt under full sail and wind is likely to lighten even more.
Time for some sleep before the evening radio scheds.
Tuesday 12:10am Dark sky with no moon - plenty of stars but a bit hazy and some cloud near horizons.
Tried to check in to Pacific Seafarers' Net - very light signal - could hardly copy Jane, NH7TZ, in Kauai - will have to wait until back in Pacific (or nearly so) to resume check-ins. But did make contact with Susanne on 'Nehaj' - difficult copy on 40m but good enough to know she's OK.
4am First light - dawn soon. Saw Jupiter overnight when on deck, adjusting Fred - definitely the planet seen soon after the 'Chinese fishing vessel' incident!
6:30am Totally overcast sky now, very light wind from NNW - trimmed sails for a close reach, trying to make some way - only 2kt.
8:15am Grey cloudy sky still. Wind has picked up from N - we're making 5.5-6.0 kt, close-hauled. Nothing like what is forecast in the gribs - according to them, we're in almost no wind from WNW... That's OK - I'm happy to be making good speed, more-or-less on course!
10:20am A big (3-4m/10-12ft) swell from SW - clearly, there's a big weather system down that way. We're still making 5.5-6 kt in a N wind, heading NE.
One lone white-chinned petrel seen occasionally. All the other birds are nowhere to be seen.
Midday Wind really has died now and backed to WNW - we're struggling to make 2-2.5kt and keeping on course downwind is difficult. We're finally getting the forecast wind - unfortunately! We were lucky to get the wind we did, earlier, and make the speed we did for a few hours. Decided to change course slightly to make the best of the wind - heading NNE and making just over 3kt.
3pm Decided to drop the mainsail - there's no wind, and the full sails were 'slatting' in the swell - not good for the sails. Followed Uku's example - he's frequently dropped his mainsail when becalmed in a High pressure system - so I thought maybe I should try it... A lot of work but better than the sail getting damaged - and a lot quieter. Would have been a lot easier with the starboard lazyjack in place. I basically had to put all reefs in as I lowered it, to help hold the sail in place on the boom, and then add in sail ties.
If I thought we'd be in no wind for just a short time, I wouldn't have bothered but it looks like well over six hoursmore.
I also don't really want to go any further N - the Westerlies are below 40S for most of the time and by going further N, the High pressure area I'm seeing is giving Easterlies and even more very light wind - not helpful for heading towards Africa! The original idea behind heading NE, rather than ENE, was to avoid a nasty Low expected soon - but that's looking less of a problem now and, if necessary, I can always heave to for a short time again.
1900GMT (=1600LT) - end of Day 104. We made 86 n.ml. DMG over the 24 hr period, measured in a straight line between the two 1900 GMT positions.
Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 104 (by daily DMGs): 9,992 n.ml.
Distances (at 1900Z): Cape Horn LH: 1727 n.ml. to SW; Montevideo: 1144 n.ml to W; Buenos Aires: 1250 n.ml to W Rio de Janeiro: 1094 n.ml. to NNW; Cape Agulhas LH (SA): 2517 n.ml. to ENE
Position & weather report for 1900 GMT posted to Winlink.org and Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV):
TIME: 2019/01/15 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 38-24.71S LONGITUDE: 032-47.10W COURSE: 325T SPEED: 0.3kt
WIND_SPEED: 2kt WIND_DIR: N SWELL_DIR: SW SWELL_HT: 1.5m CLOUDS: 5%
BARO: 1017.7hPa TREND: 0 AIR_TEMP: 23.0C SEA_TEMP: 22.0C
COMMENT: Drifting with mainsail lowered and genoa furled in - no wind. Sunny, warm.