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Day 129 Fri-Sat 8-9 Feb 2019 Slow progress under mainly grey skies with some rain

Saturday 8am LT is same as in Paris and a lot of Europe! Weather/position report posted to Winlink and emails and fresh weather files downloaded.

Pair of Great Shearwaters swooping around ahead - performimg figures of eight as they soar back and forth on mainly fixed wings. Yellow-nosed albatross pair seen in distance.

Seas at least 3m/10ft - well spaced but causing us to roll about as they pass.

Almost dead downwind sailing in W wind of around 12-15kt. Still have trysail boomed out to starboard (upwind) with genoa to port (downwind).... 'goose-winged' sails for running downwind - swinging about quite often.. Gusty conditions under sky covered in grey clouds - wind very much up and down, so boat speed varying a lot - anything from under 4kt to over 5.5kt.

12:10pm Cloud cover has changed from some broken cumulus a couple of hours ago with patches of blue sky in between to a more solid layer of cloud and just a hint of the sun as a hazy patch of light through the cloud, at times. Only making 3.5 kt now, so wind clearly a touch lighter than earlier but still from the W as are the seas - still often quite big, at easily 3m, so we're frequently rolling around.

2pm Fine, misty rain - brought some good wind with it, so suddenly we got up to 6kt at times - lovely to see a decent speed for a change...! But not for long - speed has dropped right back down again... We're ambling along at 3.5-4 kt and wind has backed to WSW, with sun trying to get through the overcast sky.

3pm The sun finally made it! Clear blue sky overhead - a wide streak from N to S - cloud layer has been left astern, clouds ahead... Nice to have warm sunshine for a time - had to remove a fleece layer... Downside is wind really dying - our SOG is now only 3 kt or less.

Have been cleaning/clearing up in galley - needed it.

7:10pm That sunny period didn't last long - grey clouds came back over soon after - but was nice while it lasted! Now back to slight rain and totally grey, cloudy skies. Getting close to sunset so light is fading.

Having a late mug of tea - was very thirsty, so it's very welcome.

Just had an excellent chat with Vincent, 3DA0VV, in Swaziland (eSwatini nowadays!) - no problem with propagation on 40m between us just now - he's well over 2,000 km away. Also, clear copy on Volker, ZS3Y, in Western Cape, S. Africa. As the sun sets, the radio comes alive!

1900GMT (=2000LT) - end of Day 129. We made 97 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 129 (by daily DMGs): 12,125 n.ml.

Distances (at 1900Z): WP due S of Cape Agulhas: 380 n.ml.; Cape Agulhas LH (S.Africa): 520 n.ml. to ENE; Cape Town Hbr entrance: 508 n.ml. to ENE; Cape Horn LH: 3105 n.ml. to SW; Montevideo: 3161 n.ml to W; Buenos Aires: 3262 n.ml to W; Rio de Janeiro: 2983 n.ml. to WNW.
Position & weather report, for 1900 GMT, posted to Winlink.org and Shiptrak.org (using my little-used US callsign KC2IOV):

TIME: 2019/02/09 18:00GMT LATITUDE: 40-27.30S LONGITUDE: 011-39.15E COURSE: 090T SPEED: 4.1kt
BARO: 1014.6hPa TREND: 2 AIR_TEMP: 17.0C SEA_TEMP: 17.0C
COMMENT: Raining slightly, wind backed a little, trysail over to port

Written by : Jeanne Socrates