Day 13 Sat 26th Nov 2016 A painful but unavoidable decision...

10.45pm Fri PST/6.45am Sat GMT Wind was up over 30kt from SSW a short while ago but now 24kt with higher gusts - so far direction is unchanged. Rough seas - short and steep, so we're being tossed around a lot and have to be careful how I move around...

Wind got up to 33 kt for quite a time afterwards and veered to W. Had to change course twenty degrees or so to keep the wind to starboard and postponed gybing until wind eased later - as it surely must! Nice to have had all reefs tied in earlier.

6am Sat PST/1400 GMT Wind down to 15-17kt - from WNW, so changed back onto course and gybed the main, changing over the preventer (essential in these rough seas to prevent boom from crashing about). Was pleased to find rain had stopped but as I set to work it came down hard - but not for long... Lovely clear starry patch among the general cloud overhead. A flash of lightning on the horizon astern - hope it stays there!

Back to my bunk for some more sleep -beginning to get lighter - dawn not too far away.... Brown booby that had decided to sleep on our port bow pulpit around sunset had taken off during the night - conditions just got too much for it, I presume. (A sign of how far S we've come - they're not seen much further N, being tropical birds.)

6.40am PST just noticed wind up again - gust of 30 kt, then down to 27kt and back up - to 33kt ... SOG 6.6kt - rain started again.... raincloud - reason for strong gust? Expecting quite strong conditions for next few days.

8 - 9 am Was nice to speak to various radio and boat friends on Chubasco Net and later, briefly, on Baja Net - when I suddenly realised that winds had got up to 45 kt under dark grey mass of cloud, SOG 7.6kt. The 40-45kt wind lasted for quite a time, slowly down to 35kt, then fnally 25 kt at around 9am... TSTMS?? Seas built up, of course, as well... A good 4m or so now

Going to be a rough ride to San Diego - 300mls off - with gale force winds forecast for Monday... which is what we already just had now in a big squall!

Why San Diego? I've had to make the painful decision to head in there for repairs needed to the boom connection and genset, among other, more minor, items. Not a comfortable thought while heading towards the Southern Ocean that the genset would probably be out of action for the next 7-8 months (an epoxy repair would almost certainly not last long, always assuming it could be done and would work at all), giving an ongoing battery power issue with not enough fuel (main engine takes more diesel and is less efficient at frequent topping up of wind and solar power inputs), and the boom connecion can only get worse with more rough use and is already badly worn.... Not something I can repair- it needs proper attention.

Feeling very disheartened and sad.... So many people have been so supportive and helpful in so many ways, for which I have been deeply appreciative... Thanks to you all!

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1pm Wind keeps gusting up under or near rainclouds - frequently to over 30kt, occasionally more strongly. Seas are over 4m and higher in the strongest winds.

Mostly the sky is overcast. but occasionally the sun gets out between te clouds and it feels warm - San Diego is in southern California, by the Mexican border, so has a pleasant climate.

Forecast is for more weather like today for the next few days - I just hope for not too many of the over 40kt squalls to come by!

Written by : Jeanne Socrates