THursday 2am Wind up again - furled in plenty of genoa - expecting wind to 25-30kt over next few hours, possibly. Making around 6kt on roughly 040T course. Sky still mainly clear with a few scattered clouds - stars still bright.
6:35am Sun rose about an hour ago. Making around 5kt under full genoa and staysail plus trysail in W wind, heading NNE.
Getting ready to lower sails later and deploy Jordan Series Drogue (JSD) for when the strong weather system comes in later today. Will do so before winds and seas get very much stronger.
Midday Well, I've checked and prepared as much as I can for the strong weather system coming up.. Wind is very light now, giving boat speed of only around 2kt and swell is not too big so i decided to lower the trysail while conditions are good - but still needed a lot of work to secure it and rolling around in swell never makes it easy to work at the mast and boom. Must have spent well over two hours on deck, in all, also adding extra sail ties and checking the JSD (Jordan series drogue) will be free to run when deployed later today. Its bridle is already in place, shackled to strong points on the stern quarters. Down below, anything heavy is well-stowed - including books.
We're heading just N of NE under a bright, sunny sky - "lull before the storm" indeed!
The wind is so light the wind generator is having difficulty turning and it's feeling warm in the sun.
I'm off for a nap while it's calm. Expecting wind to begin picking up just before sunset and strong wind to come in fairly quickly after that, as the Low gets closer.
4pm Teatime! Enjoying a mug of tea while I wait...
Still sunny, although increasing cloud from the W - the direction from which the storm is coming. Wind suddenly filled in around 2.30pm and seas increased as well, although seems relatively calm just now. Every now and then a big wave hits our hull, washes the side deck and splashes into the cockpit which is now quite wet.
Pressure had risen to 1006 hPa earlier, after the last Low had gone by, but is now dropping again - 1002 hPa now.
It's the waiting for a storm to arrive that I hate! I've done all I can to be safe and ready .. now I'm waiting for the wind to rise a lot more, when I'll furl in the headsails and deploy the JSD to keep us safe in the even stronger winds and seas to come. Seas are forecast to be around 5.5m/17ft for quite a time and very close together - which means steep faces to climb up and down...
A Wandering albatross has been soaring sround this afternoon with its white-faced, chocolate brown, Juvenile offspring. Always feels such a privilege to see them - such magnificent, enormous birds! They enjoy rough weather so they can easily gain uplift off the waves as they glide around on fixed wings, rarely flapping them... Three white-chinned petrels also flying around nearby.
5:30pm Sun beginning to get low. Wind up more and heeling a lot, so furled in a lot more genoa - just a 'handkerchief' now, along with the staysail. Making 4.5 kt despite small amount of sail.
Amazing how the wind's sounds aren't heard so much down below - the howling of the wind in the rigging heard so clearly on deck can't be heard at all - it actually seems quite peaceful down below!
Seas are often sweeping the side deck and splashing into the cockpit - just got wet again - but this time just my hair since I'd donned jacket and overtrousers in readiness.
Pressure down to 1001 hPa but no rain yet - quite a few patches of blue sky.
6:45pm JSD was deployed a short while ago -light is fading now. Pretty windy out there! Around 30kt, probably well over - very noisy. I'd furled in the genoa in advance and with just staysail, we were making 2.5-3.5kt NE. I didn't want to deploy the series drogue in the dark so, with sunset imminent, decided to go for it. Furled in the staysail - made sure several wraps of line around the tightly-furled sail, as with the genoa, so no chance of it being damaged in strong winds (as has happened previously).
With all sails stowed, I deployed the JSD - undid some openings in its bags to allow the flaked line with its 124 small fabric cones to exit more easily and then threw out the length of chain that acts as an end weight. Had to help the line out from the bags and make sure the cones and their splices didn't snag on anything as they ran out but that wasn't difficult and finally the line and its bridle were all out.
We're now lying safely with stern to wind and waves. The rudder has been centred and Fred adjusted for wind dead astern.
Now I just have to wait for the Low to pass by and winds and seas to die down - a day, perhaps.
With sails stowed, it's a bit rolly but we can't broach or pitch-pole with the drogue dead upwind on its bridle and the boat is effectively stopped, making very little way dead downwind. (The wind direction is easily seen from our track.)
Wind generator loves this strong wind - it's putting in 14A now - great!
I put a light under my evening meal on the stove on coming down below - had it prepared in advance - so will settle down to eat that now while I listen to the distant, musical sound of the wind in the rigging. Feeling a lot more relaxed now. Maybe I'll catch up on all those outstanding email replies...
Photos showing JSD deployed from Nereida with bridle in clear view and a Wandering albatross near Nereida this afternoon
1900GMT (=2200LT) - end of Day 148. We made 75 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 148 (by daily DMGs): 13,721 n.ml.
Distances (at 1900GMT): Cape Leeuwin LH (SW Australia): 3175 n.ml. to ENE; SE Cape of Tasmania LH: 4189 n.ml. to ESE; Cape Agulhas LH (S.Africa): 1355 n.ml. to WNW; Cape Town Hbr entrance: 1447 n.ml. to WNW; Marion Isl: 649 n.ml SW; Kerguelen Isl: 1086 n.ml. SE; St Paul Isl: 1379 n.ml. E; Halfway point (55 18'E): 344 n.ml.
Position & weather report, for 1900 GMT, posted to www.Winlink.org and www.Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV):
TIME: 2019/02/28 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 38-49.96S LONGITUDE: 047-53.03E COURSE: 040T SPEED: 2.2kt
WIND_SPEED: 35kt WIND_DIR: NNW SWELL_DIR: NNW SWELL_HT: 4.0m
BARO: 1004.7hPa TREND: 0 SEA_TEMP: 24.0C