Day 150 Fri-Sat 1-2 March 2019 We end up with no wind and JSD finally retrieved

Saturday 6am Wind still too much for retrieval of JSD - back to my bunk for more sleep....

10am Was getting ready for another try at retrieving the series drogue but thought I'd check the latest weather info. Unbelievably, there's a tropical storm, possibly cyclone,forecast to head due S from Madagascar around 6-8th March straight across my projected position on 10th March. To avoid it, I'd need to head E from here now at 8-9 kt minimum (impossible!). So I'll have to go really slowly for the next week and maybe need to deploy the JSD again - either as the system hits us, if we keep on going, or to the W of its S-going path (at 40S 60E perhaps) before it gets too close on the 10th, to await its passing while staying away from its really strong winds and big seas....

I don't see any way to avoid it other than by going really slowly...

more snail's pace crawling....

(High pressure area on the way E soon might help that slow speed anyway!) But even keeping down to an average 4kt is going too fast. I'm feeling thoroughly fed up just now! I'll have to just keep heading E and see how the forecasts for the storm develop - maybe the weather models will have got it wrong...

11.am Just checked out the wind - seems to be around 20kt still so, in view of my comments above, might as well wait for wind (and seas) to ease more in a few hours' time, if forecast is correct. Still very rolly in 4m seas. Sounds like the time for a nice pot of coffee! Midday Big, grey raincloud overhead - waiting for the rain to come while I have coffee. 6pm Grey sky with some dark steel-grey cloUds astern but no rain at present. We're underway - but there's no wind! Even the Windex isn't sure where the wind is coming from - it's getting confused by the boat rolling in the well-spaced swell that's still fairly big. I think I can honestly say I'm totally knackered...! I've taken in the JSD but it took nearly four hours of solid nonstop hard work - it was far more difficult than I expected....

Having some coffee while boiling some water for a quick dehydrated meal and then I'm getting some much-needed sleep (Note - didn't get it just then). Might furl in the genoa and just drift - we're making under 1kt anyway, so drifting won't make much difference. It's a good thing there are three winches along each side of the cockpit coaming. I used all three on the port side. The fabric cones spliced onto the line go around a winch but if more than one turn is used, they get tangled in the other turn and the six splices per cone and sturdy fabric used don't ease their path either. I ended up leading the line from one winch to the next and belaying it with a wrap on the third - although, in fact, I simply held onto the end of the line there to pull it in, bit by bit, as it went slack....

all 124 cones on three hundred feet of it...plus bridle and end-chain separately. It seemed an eternity before I was able manually to pull on the final length of line directly from the stern and bring in the chain acting as an end weight. Throughout, the boat was rolling around a lot, not making it easy to pull in on the line at the right moment. It was a two-handed, laborious job - left hand hand pulling in on the momentarily slack line between winches one and two, while the right hand pulled in immediately on the line wrapped around winch three to take up the slack. There was usually a good wait in between for the line from the stern to go slack as we went up and down in the swell. A few trips to the stern were needed to keep the line running freely in the dedicated fairlead and a careful eye kept on the cones going around the two winches to free them when they caught in the self-tailing guide - which happened quite often. Now I've the job of re-packing the JSD into its bags - I've lead most of it down to the cabin so as not to clutter the cockpit. It has to be flaked carefully so it will run freely when next deployed.

7:20pm Rain just started. Dark. Still effectively no wind... Drifting at 1kt - wish I knew where the wind was! 1900GMT (=2200LT) - end of Day 150. We made 9 n.ml. DMG, over the 24 hr period, measured in a straight line between the two 1900 GMT positions. Mainly lying to JSD (Jordan series drogue) - drifting.

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 150 (by daily DMGs): 13,755 n.ml. Distances (at 1900GMT): Cape Leeuwin LH (SW Australia): 3144 n.ml. to ENE; Melbourne (VIC, Aus): 4260 n.ml. to E; SE Cape of Tasmania LH: 4160 n.ml. to ESE; Cape Agulhas LH (S.Africa): 1386 n.ml. to WNW; Kerguelen Isl: 1055 n.ml. SE; St Paul Isl: 1346 n.ml. E; Halfway point (55 18'E): 314 n.ml. Position & weather report, for 1900 GMT, posted to www.Winlink.org and www.Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV): TIME: 2019/03/02 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 39-00.38S LONGITUDE: 048-32.74E COURSE: 090T SPEED: 0.2kt WIND_SPEED: 6kt WIND_DIR: NW SWELL_DIR: NW SWELL_HT: 4.0m CLOUDS: 100% BARO: 1007.7hPa TREND: 0 AIR_TEMP: 19.0C SEA_TEMP: 23.0C COMMENT: Off JSD - drifting in no wind ...

Written by : Jeanne Socrates