Tuesday 11pm Making around 4.5kt due E. Seas tossing us around like a toy boat - good to be in my warm, soft bunk! Still have the well-furled genoa plus staysail - waiting to see if the N wind gets any stronger - doing fine at the moment.
Wednesday 6am Daylight, around sunrise - light rain, sky covered in light cloud layer. Wind still up - we're making 3.6kt due East. Pressure has dropped 4hPa over last three hours and is now down at 1004 hPa.
8.30am Pressure down to 1003hPa, wind still strong, from N, SOG 3.9kt.
10:30am I've no idea what has changed, other than wind possibly veering slightly E of N, but suddenly, with no change to sail trim or helm, we've been heading more SE - instead of a course of due E (090T), we're making 120T - and nothing I do seems to be able to change it. I'm tearing my hair out here.... That's the last direction we want to head in...
I tried furling in the genoa completely - no change, except less boat speed, of course... So it's not leeway due to the genoa that's causing the problem. Even tried gybing around - we simply headed SW!
11:30am Heard from Peter, ZL1PWM - there's a 2.2 knot current heading 150T now, where we are - no wonder we've been having a problem! With low boat speed, that much current has a big effect on our resulting course. Will unfurl some genoa to try to give better boat speed and wait for wind to shift and current to decrease - as it's supposed to. I'm feeling exhausted with all the worry and effort so will take a short nap. At least it does look as though the wind might be backing a bit - it's possibly more NNW than N now, judging from the boat's changed heading (being under windsteering has definite advantages in favourable wind shifts).
5pm Finally on a decent course at something approaching a reasonable speed. Saw the current seemingly having less of an effect on our course some time ago. Have spent most of the afternoon on deck, trying every different possible thing to get us going better. Finally, centred the wheel and found that worked fine in that our course was unaffected (we're under wind steering, with Fred in charge) but, as hoped, our speed instantly improved.
We're still headed upwind so speed not of the best at 3.5kt - but that's a lot better than the 1-2kt in the wrong direction that I was seeing earlier. Expecting the wind to back more overnight.
Trying still to get further N, out of the strongest winds on the Low passing over on Thurs/Fri. The good news there is it's forecast to be heading SE and the centre should pass S of us.
Just had to change my top - was on deck without a jacket - and a wave swooshed over the side deck, over the hard top and into the cockpit - I got wet...
6:30pm Light fading. Expecting rain - grey clouds astern...
Making 4.5 kt or more - better speed now. Still making NE course.
Getting well behind on email replies - apologies to those concerned - too busy with 'boat stuff' and radio connections not always too good at present.
9.25pm Feeling a whole lot better - wind has backed into W and I woke up from a short nap to find us heading due N - excellent! I've been trying to get us N for the last day or so and the wind is set to back further into WSW possibly, giving us even better options for heading downwind more. We're making around 4kt and I just adjusted Fred to set us NNE.
Will keep adjusting if wind backs further, as and when necessary.
Time for food before my daily report and position/weather noted - chicken in white sauce with green beans and potatoes - sounds good!
10pm Unfurled more genoa - full now. Wind is a lot less than it was - maybe 15kt. Seems to be dying. Pressure beginning to rise from its low of 1001.9hPa.
Another beautiful starry sky, like last night's, now that the earlier rain has cleared away - just a few clouds but mainly clear - diamonds all over the sky - and the occasional one sparkling in the water close by, as we pass through.... Lovely to see. Nice ending to a nightmare of a day earlier...
1900GMT (=2200LT) - end of Day 147. We made just 66 n.ml. DMG over the 24 hr period, measured in a straight line between the two 1900 GMT positions. Heading S for a time was definitely not helpful...
Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 147 (by daily DMGs): 13,646 n.ml.
Distances (at 1900GMT): Cape Leeuwin LH (SW Australia): 3223 n.ml. to ENE; SE Cape of Tasmania LH: 4212 n.ml. to ESE; Cape Agulhas LH (S.Africa): 1295 n.ml. to NW; Cape Town Hbr entrance: 1388 n.ml. to NW; Marion Isl: 582 n.ml SW; Kerguelen Isl: 1109 n.ml. SE; St Paul Isl: 1434 n.ml. E; Halfway point (55 18'E): 404 n.ml.
Position & weather report, for 1900 GMT, posted to www.Winlink.org and www.Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV):
TIME: 2019/02/27 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 39-32.76S LONGITUDE: 046-35.20E COURSE: 052T SPEED: 4.0kt
WIND_SPEED: 20kt WIND_DIR: W SWELL_DIR: WNW SWELL_HT: 3.0m CLOUDS: 100%
BARO: 1003.6hPa TREND: 2 AIR_TEMP: 20.0C SEA_TEMP: 26.0C
COMMENT: Heading NNE now to avoid strong winds coming tomorrow;