Day 135 Thurs-Fri 14-15 Feb 2019 Lots of sunshine but very little wind....

Into the next time zone - now GMT + 2hr - same time as in Athens/Helsinki/Pretoria/Cairo etc

Thursday Beautiful clear night - once the moon was lower or had set, the stars were clear to see - the Milky Way looking almost like a long,thin cloud, so many faint stars within it to add to the usual brighter, familiar ones. Very little wind, so drifting along.

Friday 6am Daylight has just brightened up the sky - pink clouds everywhere - and the sun is about to rise above the E horizon but will be hidden by a cloud bank - mostly broken cloud around.

Came up twenty minutes late for the usual 0300Z (5am LT) radio sked so missed most people on frequency - just a couple of S.African stations still around to make contact with and then a couple of W.coast USA stations came on.

Needed to adjust Fred quite a lot to run almost dead downwind to make our course. Gybed the trysail over to go goose-winged but will probably need to gybe the genoa as well if the wind backs any further. We're presently headed just slightly N of E at 2.5kt in a light W wind - pretty calm just now. Back to my bunk after sending off my position and weather report for this morning.

10am LT Gybed around, taking the genoa over.

Went to pick up another flying fish on deck - probably one I missed seeing yesterday since they don't normally end up on board except in rough conditions overnight. Also spotted something by the toe-rail near the bow - a big screw - off the genoa furler. Lucky it ended up still on board and didn't manage to jump overboard as things normally do... bounce...splash..!

10:25am Put some Loctite on the screw when I replaced it just now - it's slightly more proud than it should be, which is worrying, but it is in tightly as far as it will go, so I hope it stays put.

Making all of 2kt under a clear sky now - clouds have moved away and are only on the horizon. Heading ESE, hoping to stay in slightly better wind, even though maybe getting even lighter until at least tonight, maybe longer.

Breakfast now, then we'll see what we can achieve with the mainsail - seas are quite rolly but they might lie down a bit more over the day.

11am Have been trying to download weather files for quite some time this morning. The Iridium satellite system and the Aurora wifi terminal I have on board (courtesy GMN who have kindly also donated the airtime required, along with the GPS tracker) are fabulous - but signals are often dropped and transfer rates are very slow - so, great as it is to have the end result - big weather files - it tests my patience at times.... I usually deal with emails and study the weather over breakfast, if I can - but not just now!

Midday Goose-winged again, heading E at 2-2.5 kt in very light WSW wind.

While on deck, after gybing the trysail and adjusting Fred, I studied the swell... I couldn't understand why we seemed to be rolling around so much, so often. It turns out that the swell is bigger than I'd thought - over 3m, but well apart, and with a second, rather smaller swell from another direction. The net result being a lot of rockin' and rollin' - frustrating since I really thought I'd get somewhere with the repair in the light winds today. On the one hand, the sail is getting dried by the hot sun but, on the other, the overnight dew is so heavy the sail quickly gets very wet again then. Even taking the measurement I need is going to be problematic on the folded, tied down sail.

6pm Making around 1.5kt.... Sun is getting low in a clear blue sky - the only cloud to be seen forms a thin line in the S. The swell has been consistently long and quite big at 3m all day - hasn't reduced as I'd hoped. Had a nap earlier and have just gybed the genoa over to port, to join the trysail which had been goosewinged. Don't like to hear the genoa being noisy with the combination of swell and light wind - must be giving it wear.

Looked at the Gorilla tape used in the repair, it's not 100% stuck well where the leech material is thick and buckled slightly so definitely needs reinforcing and covering with the sail material I have - it's the practicalities of doing what I feel I need to do that has become a big challenge if I'm to have the use of the mainsail again...

A few birds are flying around: a Yellow-nosed albatross, White-chinned petrel, Great shearwater ... and a storm petrel which flies low over the water, around and around 'Nereida' - makes me dizzy trying to follow it!

7:30pm Almost dark - chatting on radio. About to try making contact again with Tapio (GGR on 'Asteria') - in one hour's time, at 1830Z - but I think 20m is not good since, although Tapio is in daylight still (he's N of the Falklands now), I'll be in darkness. Trying on 40m later this evening should work better. We need to change the time of any attempt to make contact on 20m.

1900GMT (=2000LT) - end of Day 135. We made 66 n.ml. DMG over the 24 hr period, measured in a straight line between the two 1900 GMT positions. Not much wind = not much progress!

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 135 (by daily DMGs): 12,674 n.ml.

Distances (at 1900Z): Cape Leeuwin LH (SW Australia): 4175 n.ml. to ENE; SE Cape of Tasmania LH: 4903 n.ml. to ESE; Cape Agulhas LH (S.Africa): 373 n.ml. to N; Cape Town Hbr entrance: 460 n.ml. to N.

Position & weather report, for 1900 GMT, posted to www.Winlink.org and www.Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV):
TIME: 2019/02/15 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 40-21.96S LONGITUDE: 023-34.79E COURSE: 090T SPEED: 2.5kt
WIND_SPEED: 8kt WIND_DIR: WNW SWELL_DIR: W SWELL_HT: 3.5m CLOUDS: 5%
BARO: 1011.7hPa TREND: 0 AIR_TEMP: 20.0C SEA_TEMP: 22.0C
COMMENT: Sunny day but little wind - poor progress made

Written by : Jeanne Socrates