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Day 109 Sat-Sun 19-20 Jan 2019 Damaged mainsail lowered

Saturday Sunset around 8pm - went to adjust Fred - a pair of storm petrels dancing on the water surface astern of 'Nereida' - using the disturbed water to find food, I suppose... Their feet must continually get wet, they're so close, so much of the time.
Really slow - making 4 kt if we're lucky, in WSW wind...

11:30pm No need for a headlamp when adjusting Fred - the moon is so bright, it's lighting up everything clearly.

Was delighted to find an excellent connection tonight for radio emailing with Ian, VE1YZ , who runs a Winlink station near Halifax, Nova Scotia. The Earth's magnetic field helps the connection - and 'Nereida' is almost due S of his station just now so we're effectively making use of the N-S lines of magnetic force - works brilliantly even though he's so far away!

Getting some sleep before the 'late night shift' at 0300Z on 7160kHz.

Sunday 1:50am Unfurled most of genoa and adjusted Fred for nearly a beam reach - wind has backed into SSW now. Making better speed - had dropped to 3.5kt but now around 5kt. Back to my bunk...

4:45am Course adjusted - wind keeps shifting a little and want to keep heading E. To N is High pressure with light wind, to S is stronger wind - not good for damaged mainsail. Sent off Position and weather report and checked on radio emails while have connection - lose that by morning, until later in day.

6am Had long discussion with Peter on weather outlook - need to keep heading due E for time being so as to avoid stronger winds on edge of Low passing by to S. Will give short window to work on sail before stronger winds of Low come along and then winds will die back down again, giving possibility of sail repair later, in lesser seas also. Another Low coming on 25th so might not have time to do all the repair needed - will have to see how that goes at the time.

10am Bright, sunny day with just a few small white clouds but seas still well up. No birds to be seen. Adjusted Fred to keep E course. Wind dying and veering to WSW - only making 2.5kt now.

1pm still bright and sunny - would be enjoyable, even though we're really slow, if if it were not for the mainsail problem ...
Feeling very frustrated - wind has died down quite a bit but we're rolling around a lot still in big seas so working while standing on deck is difficult and forecast doesn't show swell diminishing much over next few days.... Still have just over a day, before Low with strong winds comes by overnight tomorrow, to try to rinse the torn sail area. Need to remove salt on sail and hope it will dry enough for adhesive to stick later in week. Will try lowering sail soon just to assess the situation for access to torn area for repair and hope to wet it - if not today, then early tomorrow - pity no heavy rain just now!! The Low might bring some very light rain - but likely not enough.

5pm Just finished lowering mainsail - took quite a time, having to be careful with main halyard, not to let it catch on mast steps and tying in sail also took a lot of time in swell. So far have left damaged area untied, to give access, but will need to tie it in when the wind gets up more - wind is only about 10kt now. Gybed onto port tack.

1900GMT (=1700LT) - end of Day 109. We made 81 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 109 (by daily DMGs): 10,379 n.ml.
Distances (at 1900Z): Cape Horn LH: 1910 n.ml. to SW; Montevideo: 1487 n.ml to W; Buenos Aires: 1592 n.ml to W Rio de Janeiro: 1375 n.ml. to NNW; Cape Agulhas LH (SA): 2170 n.ml. to ENE

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

TIME: 2019/01/20 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 39-33.51S LONGITUDE: 025-32.53W COURSE: 082T SPEED: 3.6kt
BARO: 1025.2hPa TREND: 0 AIR_TEMP: 19.0C SEA_TEMP: 20.0C
COMMENT: Mainsail lowered and tied, ready for repair - under headsail (genoa) alone.

Written by : Jeanne Socrates