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Day 105 Tues-Wed 15-16 Jan 2019 Expecting Low, quickly followed by Cold Front, to come through - strong coditions on both...

Missed changing into a new time zone on Sunday! On passing East of 37*30'W (on 13th Jan), we moved into GMT-2hr so our LT is now one hour forward.

9:30pm Very quiet and peaceful - totally becalmed, with sails lowered still. Slight breeze coming from SE - the direction I'd lke us to be heading in.

Just lashed the wheel to starb'd instead of to port - has headed us more into the wind and slowed our drift from 1.1kt to 0.3kt - both give drift WSW - which is astern just now!

10pm Cargo vessel 'Silvermine', headed E to Singapore, is passing 5.9 n.miles to N of us at 12.1kt - well clear!

Wed 1.45am Underway again in NE wind around 10kt or so... Headed nearly SSE, banging into swell a bit. Wind is forecast to back slowly so course should become more SE, as Low approaches from WNW.

Missed radio sched with being on deck, getting organised - apologies!

7:30am Thin, broken cloud cover and hazy sun. Adjusted Fred and sent position report. Wind has backed some more so making SSE course at 4.5kt. Pounding into waves - swell is from E at 2.5m/8ft and waves are quite close together so rough going.

Back to my bunk for more sleep....

10:30am Wind has backed , as forecast, so our course is now SE.

Magnetic variation has increased to 20W hereabouts - not something to ignore when going between reading the compass and using a chart or giving a course to someone off the boat. There's so often a big difference between 'true' and 'magnetic' values which is the reason why courses (COG) and headings are normally best noted as 'true', rather than 'magnetic' - unless being given to someone at the wheel, handsteering by compass.

Midday Slight change of tactic - trying to head further S for a few hours, until we heave to. The imminent Low will have less winds on its S than on its N side, so if I'm below it when it passes over (which it will soon, for sure) then winds will be that much less. Don't want to go too far S (the reason I was happy to head S slowly earlier), but in about 3-4 hours that won't happen. Following on soon, behind this Low, is a big system, centred to the S, whose Cold Front will pass over this area with strong winds - the further S, the stronger the winds... So heading far enough but not too far S now is good!

I've already tied in the third reef and the genoa is partly furled, ready for the winds to increase further ahead of the Front - we're still making over 5kt SOG but we're ready to heave to as and when that looks to be needed.

Time for coffee and a very late breakfast....maybe I should call it brunch?

3:45pm Getting close to where I planned to heave to. Downloaded latest grib files and thinking to head a bit further S - all a bit of a lottery...! Making 7kt headed SSE with two reefs in genoa and 3 reefs in main.

5pm Hove to - received two separate warnings of gusts to 40-50kt both here and especially if head further S. ..... I thought I was dodging the worst of the oncoming Low by getting below it - but being told that's not so....

Wasn't too happy once I'd heaved to on port tack - we were frequently beam on to the seas and our drift was 2 knots SSE! So finally gybed around to be on stbd tack instead - much better wind angle and drift is only about 0.7kt although direction is SW (I'd hoped to be drifting more N) Looking at the two directions of drift, I'm deducing the wind is from ENE - midway betwee the two drift directions.

Making sure as much as possible is stowed away or can't move.... Seas will probably get up a lot with the strong wind coming, so it will get pretty rough... Also protecting certain important items from getting wet - just in case... :-) Having some food now and keeping fingers firmly crossed...

1900GMT (=1700LT) - end of Day 105. We made 61 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 105 (by daily DMGs): 10,053 n.ml.

Distances (at 1900Z): Cape Horn LH: 1692 n.ml. to SW; Montevideo: 1163 n.ml to W; Buenos Aires: 1270 n.ml to W Rio de Janeiro: 1151 n.ml. to NNW; Cape Agulhas LH (SA): 2490 n.ml. to ENE

Second position & weather report, for soon after 1900 GMT, posted to Winlink.org and Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV):

TIME: 2019/01/16 19:36GMT LATITUDE: 39-24.71S LONGITUDE: 032-28.77W COURSE: 248T SPEED: 0.8kt


BARO: 1015.1hPa TREND: -4 AIR_TEMP: 20.0C SEA_TEMP: 22.0C

COMMENT: Hove to on opposite tack- stbd now - slower drift & better wind angle

Written by : Jeanne Socrates