Thursday 2:30am Wind totally down to almost nothing - just about making 1.1kt - difficult to keep sail filled and to keep going in right direction! Wind is also forecast to veer slowly more to WNW/NW so will need to gybe the genoa onto port tack very soon.
Waiting to make radio contact with a pilot en route from Sao Paolo to Buenas Aires - will be an aeronautical mobile to maritime mobile contact if we make it!
3:05am Well we made contact but not quite as good as we were hoping - will try again at 6am - back to my bunk in the meantime!
8am Foggy, becalmed - SOG 0.3kt COG: all over the place! Everything is dripping wet... Rolling around in swell but water surface is glassy smooth.
Went on deck thinking to gybe around - but soon realised there really is NO wind - so furled in genoa - it was doing nothing but flapping around uselessly. Turned my face around to find where any wind was coming from - the only breeze I felt was when we rolled over in the swell - then I felt an apparent slight breeze on my face for a few moments!!
Made good contact at 6am with a pilot for DHL delivering to varous cities in S. and C. America - they were coming in to Buenas Aires from Sao Paolo - had good propagation on 40m so we had a long chat.
Downloaded latest gribs/weather files and emails and sent in position & weather report. Difficult making contact over radio with shore stations for emailing now - very few 'windows' when it's possible - mostly overnight - and then, even if I'm lucky, downloads are often very slow. At present, the only station of any use is in Nova Scotia, Canada - a long 'skip' up and down the Earth's lines of magnetic force! Thanks to Neil, VE1YZ, for time spent keeping his Winlink station near Halifax working so well.
10:45am Sun seemed to be getting out, with patch of blue sky above, so released sail tie enough to expose torn edge and leech strip in hope they might dry out a bit. Of course, as soon as done, sun disappeared - can feel moisture droplets in the air.
Also a touch of wind from N quadrant so unfurled genoa to get us sailing - had to put some weather helm on the wheel to make our course in such light wind with only a headsail - will need to keep a careful eye on that or we could go badly off course as wind increases. Can see I'm going to get a lot of exercise today - up and down to adjust Fred!
11:30am Albatross and Gt Shearwater both circling around - mostly at a distance but often coming close. Want to get a good view of the albatross - might not be Black-browed but a Yellow-nosed, possibly. Sun still not getting through the (lifted) fog layer. Better wind - making 4kt at times!
1:30pm Slight rain but not for long - fog layer lurking in the near distance.
Checking out any white-chinned petrels that fly close enough - looking for a Spectacled petrel - easy to spot the white 'spectacles' if close enough.
Getting plenty of leg exercise - wind is very shifty so frequent adjustment of Fred needed to stay on course. No helm to weather on wheel now - trying to manage without. Wind down again - only making 2.7kt, at most.
Outlook for a fast passage to and past Africa looking bad. Forecast is showing high pressure on top of us for quite a time over the coming days, so light winds will mainly continue - with some occasional rain also. Reason for heading slightly S of E is to keep in a good wind flow, however, light, rather than facing head winds, by being in right place - to S of the High's centre. If head much further S, chances of very strong wind are increased and also chances of mending sail decreased.
3pm Raining...as forecast, likely from now until morning. Wind up a little - making 4.5 kt.
Just tucked away, as much as possible, the exposed torn edges of mainsail to protect them since clearly no chance of repair today.
5:30pm Fog has come down again and wind has veered to N - adjusted Fred yet again - the wind has constantly shifted around today! Everything wet on deck. Hazy sun showing through the fog and reflecting on the water... Picture in shades of grey....
1900GMT (=1800LT) - end of Day 113. We made 52 n.ml. DMG, with a lot of drifting in no wind overnight, 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 113 (by daily DMGs): 10,760 n.ml.
Distances (at 1900Z): Cape Horn LH: 2172 n.ml. to SW; Montevideo: 1862 n.ml to W; Buenos Aires: 1967 n.ml to W; Rio de Janeiro: 1692 n.ml. to NW; Cape Agulhas LH (SA): 1795 n.ml. to ENE Gough Island: 339n.ml. to ESE
Position & weather report, for 1900 GMT, posted to Winlink.org and Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV):
TIME: 2019/01/24 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 39-43.74S LONGITUDE: 017-23.17W COURSE: 100T SPEED: 3.1kt
WIND_SPEED: 7kt WIND_DIR: N SWELL_DIR: W SWELL_HT: 2.0m CLOUDS: 100%
BARO: 1011.8hPa TREND: - AIR_TEMP: 20.0C SEA_TEMP: 19.0C
COMMENT: Fog has come down again. Wind shifty and light all day