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Day 13 - Gale overnight ... then wind abates, but seas still big ..

Sunday 17th April (Palm Sunday)

5.45pm - Sun has set - and moon rose a short while ago! Silver full moon rising as glorious golden/red sun sets on opposite horizon, with fluffy pnk clouds all around .... petrels, shearwaters... and two albatross!... circling around over still-big seas.

Unfurled some genoa to see what effect it would have - not a lot, against pull of drogue!! The drogue is definitely keeping our stern pointing to the waves and stopping us from slewing around as the waves pass beneath us, very occasionally splashing a little water over the stern from a tumbling crest.

With the wind down to below 20 knots, I'd have liked to have got sailing, but the seas from the S are still at 4-5 m. I'd want to head E, but that would put the seas beam on - not a good idea until they've lain down a bit, I feel... Also, another quite deep Low is forecast to come past tomorrow giving more strong winds, very close behind this one, so I'm thinking to leave the drogue out until that one has also passed by - I've jobs to get on with, in the meantime, while things are reasonably calm, although very rolly.

My use of fretsaw blades to support the mended break on the wind steering vane tubing did not meet with approval - not rigid enough, was the comment from John Curry - so I'm going to cut up a piece of sail batten to use instead. And I've not changed the impellor on the engine yet, although I've turned off the intake seacock and opened up to give good access .... I'm not sure where today went, but it has, although I did need to take a nap this afternoon - maybe to make up for a very disturbed and possibly stressful night, with lots more gazing at frequently-downloaded, updated grib files and checking of the state of wind and seas. Certainly it's been difficult even to sit safely at times, let alone move about, with all the rolling about.... but I've also felt very safe with the drogue out, although it's frustrating not to be getting anywhere...we've even gone backwards a bit!!

I've emailed Clive, of Southern Marine in CT, who replaced my engine there last year, to see if he has any useful suggestions. With impellor changed, oil and coolant levels OK, seawater filter clean and no obvious other item looking damaged,I'll start the engine in the morning to see how it goes....

Today's report:

TIME: 2011/04/17 14:00
LATITUDE: 38-18.92S LONGITUDE: 033-17.22W
CLOUDS: 50% BARO: 1015 TREND: 3 SEA_TEMP: 20.0C
COMMENT: Drogue deployed - centre of Low passed over at ~0700Z:1006hPa,37-40kt

A beautiful night ... bright moon, a few cumulus around, lots of stars, gettig much calmer, although still plenty of rolling about...

Written by : Mike

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