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Day 106 Wed-Thurs 16-17 Jan 2019 Strong overnight wind - mainsail torn

Thursday 2am After heaving to late afternoon, and then changing tack, prepared boat for strong conditions by securing all loose items and got to sleep.
Woken up at 1am by the quietness - wind had died temporarily! Wind now from NNE... Pressure has dropped right down to 1005hPa.. System has still not passed over but centre close by now.

Lots of static on frequency when tried usual radio 'sched at 0330Z on 7160 - difficult to copy many stations that are normally very loud and clear - unusual! Put it down to Low nearby us and similar bsd weather in Florida and on East coast of USA. South African stations had good reception.

Raining now. Back to bunk while wait for Low to pass over - will probably have to stay hove to until much later today.

5am Nearly completed a full circle with boat drifting! Raining ... First light. Drifting WNW at 0.5kt in N wind 60 degrees to starboard. Rocking around in swell. Wind howling in rigging.

8am Again woken by silence and lack of motion - no rain, no howling of wind in rigging and no swell - but not for long. Wind and swell were back soon after - within half an hour, in fact. Looked out on deck - mainsail was fluttering in one place - a length along the leech edge has torn and separated from the body of the sail between the top two battens. Will need stitching back into place with reinforcing as soon as possible - not sure when, since will need to remove the entire sail from the mast to do the work down below...not simple or easy when at sea... not good news.

Thought the wind, now from WNW, was down - but not so and seas are still very big - 4-5m/15ft - and close together, so steep-faced. Will wait a bit longer before heading E. Still expecting the Cold Front to come through later tonight, with 30kt wind.

2:30pm Underway, headed ESE towards 40S. Expecting wind to back to SW by morning, as Cold Front moves E. Seas still very big but feel so much kindlier when headed downwind.

1900GMT (=1700LT) - end of Day 106. We made 23 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 106 (by daily DMGs): 10,076 n.ml.

Distances (at 1900Z): Cape Horn LH: 1696 n.ml. to SW; Montevideo: 1185 n.ml to W; Buenos Aires: 1290 n.ml to W Rio de Janeiro: 1173 n.ml. to NNW; Cape Agulhas LH (SA): 2470 n.ml. to ENE

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

TIME: 2019/01/17 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 39-37.43S LONGITUDE: 032-04.79W COURSE: 090T SPEED: 5.0kt
BARO: 1000hPa TREND: 2 AIR_TEMP: 22.0C SEA_TEMP: 21.0C
COMMENT: Wind lighter and slowly backing. Seas very big still

Written by : Jeanne Socrates