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Day 143 Fri-Sat 22-23 Feb 2019 Yet another day of light wind ...

Saturday 3:50am Down below after several trips to adjust Fred - clearly a S-going current was trying to stop us heading up - but finally got us back on course after a wind shift. Sky is cloudy but moon is getting through the occasional break in the clouds and is so bright anyway that it's giving a twilight effect - easy to see everything on deck without any extra light. Back to my bunk for some more sleep before a 5.30am LT radio session... 11:30am/0830Z Bright day, with sun shining hazily through thin cloud layer. Wind still not very strong - have only been managing around 4.5kt, occasionally getting to 5kt - wind up and down. Full genoa plus staysail and trysail. Trying to make 070T - pretty much on a beam reach. Seas less now, at just over 2m/6.5ft. No birds in sight. Having late breakfast. 2pm Wind has picked up a little - we're mostly making around 5kt, although dropping down often. Propagation to S.African stations is getting more difficult - depending on how good their rig is and how much power they are putting out. Just tried calling Marjoke, ZS5V, near Durban, on 20m - but neither of us could hear the other well enough to chat. It's surprising how far my boat radio system often reaches - having the seawater as the ground makes a tremendous difference and helps a lot, despite the low power output. I run an Icom 801 with an automatic tuner - it invariably works well and is highly reliable, despite the difficult salt-water atmosphere. As with most sailing boats, the backstay doubles as the antenna - mine has the excellent Petersen insulators near each end of the backstay. 6pm Wind is definitely dying down now, as we skirt a High pressure area - we've been making under 4kt for a time, often 3kt or less.... Mileage (DMG) today will not be a good one. Mostly cloudy sky, with a thin grey layer spreading over - sun not showing too often. Have spent a time watching a pair of Antarctic prions circling together and swooping around astern - lovely birds! A pair of yellow-nosed albatross have been nearby as well. 7:30pmLT/1630Z Having some CuppaSoup followed by a freeze-dried meal - not my faourite but since I have quite a few of them, might as well use them - quick and simple to prepare! Light fading fast so best to deal with galley while I can still see without lighting needed. Really slowed down now - 2.5-3kt is the speed (SOG) we're making... Less than walking pace! Looks as though wind won't fill in until tomorrow afternoon. 1900GMT (=2200LT) - end of Day 143. We made 98 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 143 (by daily DMGs): 13,332 n.ml. Distances (at 1900GMT): Cape Leeuwin LH (SW Australia): 3478 n.ml. to ENE; SE Cape of Tasmania LH: 4374 n.ml. to ESE; Cape Agulhas LH (S.Africa): 1014 n.ml. to NW; Cape Town Hbr entrance: 1109 n.ml. to NW. Halfway point: 688 n.ml. Position & weather report, for 1900 GMT, posted to www.Winlink.org and www.Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV): TIME: 2019/02/23 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 40-56.97S LONGITUDE: 040-01.11E COURSE: 076T SPEED: 2.8kt WIND_SPEED: 8kt WIND_DIR: W SWELL_DIR: W SWELL_HT: 2.0m BARO: 1015hPa TREND: 0 AIR_TEMP: 19.0C SEA_TEMP: 21.0C COMMENT: Slow progress in very light wind - drifting!

Written by : Jeanne Socrates