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Day 130 Sat-Sun 9-10 Feb 2019 Wind strong overnight but very light during day - snail's pace!

Saturday 11:30pm I was aware that we were heading more N than we should be and was about to go up to adjust Fred when I suddenly realised we were heeling and beginning to speed up - in fact, we were soon racing along at almost 7kt. The wind had backed a lot, so we were well off course - heading NE. I went up on deck, ready to furl in some genoa in the pitch black darkness - my headlamp made a small light to see by... It was raining - this was a typical 'cloud effect' - and would probably (I hoped!) ease in a short while once the squall had passed over. I waited and watched, figuring out what my next steps might have to be.

We didn't seem to be picking up any more speed (good!), so furling in the genoa seemed not to be needed (nice to have some decent speed for a bit and make a bit more distance!) but I needed to sort out a preventer for the (centred) boom and take it over to port.

The wind having backed also meant I needed to adjust Fred for a course somewhat closer to the wind. After a short time, the wind eased and veered not quite back to where it had been before the raincloud came along - we were heading ENE instead of E and making 5.7kt but that might get less - things were a lot calmer.

I adjusted Fred, sorted out the preventer, eased the mainsheet, took up on the preventer... TG for headlamps! All took a time but finally I was ready to head for my bunk - but then saw our speed had increased, not lessened - well over 6kt again... Decided to furl in a touch of genoa - no harm in being ready, just in case of another squall later. Making 6.5kt.... up to 7kt once more. Oh well, furl in a tad more..not too much...then, hopefully, I can get some sleep... I'll have to get up again soon enough to check on our heading - alarm is set... Wind is forecast to back to SSW by morning...

Sunday 7:45am On a beam reach. Wind backed to SSW far more quickly last night than expected and has died quite a lot. Was up on deck twice overnight and each time had to make quite a big adjustment to Fred to get us back on course. Genoa was unfurled completely by 4am (beginning of first light before dawn) but despite that we were back to making only around 3.5-4kt again. Sky is gloomy with a solid grey cloud layer and the air is feeling very moist. Air temperature is 17C and everything I touch feels decidedly damp - including my bedding. 8:10am: Making just over 5kt now - better!

Midday Still feeling damp and chilly - need both my fleece tops plus a jacket. Enjoying a hot coffee now as I finish with emails and study the weather forecast. Will be having a nice hot Cuppa Soup shortly. Same total overcast sky. We're bouncing and swinging around in the swell at not much speed - presently 3.5kt but it varies from 2.5-4 kt. Pressure is rising slowly as we start to skirt around a High pressure area.

5:30pm Was just beginning to enjoy warmth of some bright sunshine - but it disappeared... Wind and swell both dying down - making only 2.3kt - amazed that Fred can keep our course!! Mainsail damp from yesterday's rain still - hoping tomorrow will bring sunshine and calm seas....

Found a tiny tear in sail further down, near to leech - have patched it with some Gorilla tape on both sides - seemed to stick OK, even though I think sail is not 100% dry. Three white-chinned petrels came swooping by as I finished - not seen any other birds today - not enough wind for them..

Feeling very peaceful. Tea-time - having a small slice of Christmas cake with it (actually Dundee - but near enough). Light is beginning to fade.

1900GMT (=2000LT) - end of Day 130. We made 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 130 (by daily DMGs): 12,125+? n.ml.

Distances (at 1900Z): WP due S of Cape Agulhas: 286 n.ml.; Cape Agulhas LH (S.Africa): 445 n.ml. to ENE; Cape Town Hbr entrance: 448 n.ml. to ENE; Cape Horn LH: 3173 n.ml. to SW; Montevideo: 3255 n.ml to W; Buenos Aires: 3356 n.ml to W; Rio de Janeiro: 3080 n.ml. to WNW.

Position & weather report, for 1900 GMT, posted to Winlink.org and Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV):

TIME: 2019/02/10 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 40-22.76S LONGITUDE: 013-47.30E COURSE: 090T SPEED: 2.2KT


BARO: 1019.4hPa TREND: 0 AIR_TEMP: 15.0C SEA_TEMP: 16.0C

COMMENT: In darkness now - sunset an hour or more ago.

Written by : Jeanne Socrates