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Day 12: Friday 25th Nov 2016 Strong wind and rough seas build again later.

Thurs 11.30pm LT/ Fri 0730 GMT Just ran the engine for an hour... Still trying to deal with genset cooling water problem - tomorrow should be calm, at least to start off with, so can work on it more then.

Hazy sky - stars not looking so bright as usual. Sea fairly calm. Wind W 7kt, boat SOG 3.6kt. Heading SE for a bit longer but will turn S later tomorrow before the Front arrives. Had a nice asparagus omelette with my usual 'chiplets' (diced fried potatoes) tonight.

Seeing ships on AIS screen more often now - until yesterday had seen none since near Cape Flattery. One is getting a bit close in just under an hour's time, so must stay up to make sure all OK - late to sleep tonight! Called on VHF 16 to check on their intentions. 2.10 am: 'Silver Euplecta' changed course to stay just over a mile off - that felt far more comfortable than when they were coming to within 0-1/4 ml of us! Closest approach in 2 minutes' time.

2.20am Fri LT/ 1020 Fri GMT A gust... and wind backed to SSW-SW, very light (6kt) so varying somewhat between SSW and WSW, ... it was W just before. To my bunk for some sleep while no ships are within 30 ml or more - alarm set...

8.30am Regular sightings, visually and on AIS, of shipping heading to/from LA - busy port. We're 330 ml due W of it now. Wind SSW 9kt, SOG 4-5 kt - varying lot in gusty conditions under grey, overcast sky - hint of blue sky on horizon to E.

2pm Genset problem has turned into seawater cooling circuit problem - there's a big hole in a (soldered?) connection leading from motor towards anti-siphon loop - which must be part of the seawater cooling circuit. Don't see how I can make anything other than a temporary fix with epoxy - not likely to last for long. Along with the gooseneck problem, I've a lot to think about just now...

5pm Seas are getting up as daylight fades - getting quite rough. Took in reefs and reduced genoa ready for the stronger wind expected - overnight, a Front will come through and wind will switch (veer) from SSW/SW to NW.

9pm Wind now over 30kt mostly... Glad all reefs are in and genoa well-reduced... Waiting for wind to veer more - will it be sudden or gradual? I suspect it will be rather quick... If I catch it changing just beforehand, I'll try to gybe in advance.

Sleep will be hard to come by tonight, I think.

Written by : Jeanne Socrates