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Day 152 Sun-Mon 3-4 March 2019 Mostly drifting under blue sky; bilge cleared of water, pump fixed; JSD packed; Fred mended

Midnight Wind slowly dying - slow progress at only 2.3-3kt. But in view of cyclone expected ahead, slow is good! Seas still up quite a bit - rolling us around still, quite often. 6:15am Sunrise about an hour ago - quite a few scattered clouds around. Wind not very strong - maybe 8kt from E-ESE - we seem to be going N at 3kt or more just now. Will furl in genoa to slow down. Good-sized swell from S - rolling us around, as usual. Spoke to quite a few people on radio - most unaware of cyclone looming ahead. Turned on small bilge pump - thought it was not working but it seems to be OK - not sure how well it's doing, though. Not seeing any rise overnight in level of water still in bilge. Will have breakfast and set to, trying to remove the remaining water and dry the bilge. Also need to finish packing the series drogue (JSD) since I could well need it again to stay clear of the cyclone forecast to track S ahead of us. 6:45am Furled in genoa to 2nd reef mark - now making 1.5-2.2 kt due N in wind from E-ESE. Rockin' and rollin' a lot in swell. 8:45am Finishing my coffee after clearing up in galley - just had to clear space there and deal with crushing old milk & juice cartons: rinsed out with sea water, flattened & placed in trash can. Cabin is in chaos as consequence of working both on JSD (middle of being packed away) and bilge opening (waiting for last water removal). Now to get the JSD out of the way and packed away. Bilge pump is working away - sounding good and cheerful (unlike me!) but I'm not convinced... Waiting to see if the water level goes down noticeably. Tried to get some more sleep - impossible - too many important jobs to see to. 10am Just downloaded latest weather file - pressure here is 1022hPa - we're exactly in the middle of a High with that same centre pressure, supposedly with SSE wind - but the forecast can't be that accurate. Think I'll furl in the genoa totally and just drift in the light breeze while I work. Swell is annoying - a good 4m/13ft still, so really, really rolly and unhelpful! Dried off and re-stowed the remaining cartons of milk - hope their contents are undamaged. Now for JSD, finally. 12:45 pm JSD all back in place, ready for use again - including a Spectra retrieval line that can bring in the bridle using the winch without the worry of too big a load. Next job - Fred has lost his gear-lever action - will need to wrap wire to keep the lever in place. Otherwise, Fred would be unable to do his job... 2:45pm Feeling a whole lot better... Bilge pump (big one - diaphragm) now working - as I suspected, the problem was a corroded/wet power supply terminal, now cleaned and doing well. Still need to remove some water remaining - will use small 12V electric pump for that. Fred has now been fixed (I hope!) - with lots of wire to stop part moving - otherwise Fred can't steer at all. About to have some food - I'm famished! Been a long day... and it's not yet over. Hoping for wind to fill in soon, so we can move under sail, rather than drift.. Lovely sunny day - bue sky, no clouds. Yellow-nosed albatross came and rested close by - was very interested in my work on deck! Several petrels are flying around - including a tiny storm petrel. 7pm Unfurled genoa, having decided to head SW, rather than drift NW. Speed not much different in present very light wind, at all of 1.5-2kt, but course is southerly rather than northerly - away from very light wind or headwinds of High we'd be in if we stayed around 38S. 9pm Wind is very slowly filling in and backing. We're now able to make a SSE course but I'll need to adjust Fred quite often as the wind backs further to N. Speed low - only just over 2kt in light wind still. 1900GMT (=2200LT) - end of Day 152. We made 16 n.ml. DMG, over the 24 hr period, with overnight & daytime drifting N-NW in no wind and then heading S, measured in a straight line between the two 1900 GMT positions. Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 152 (by daily DMGs): 13,844 n.ml. Distances (at 1900GMT): Cape Leeuwin LH (SW Australia): 3074 n.ml. to ENE; Melbourne (VIC, Aus): 4204 n.ml. to E; SE Cape of Tasmania LH: 4110 n.ml. to ESE; Cape Agulhas LH (S.Africa): 1462 n.ml. to WNW; Kerguelen Isl: 1007 n.ml. SE; St Paul Isl: 1272 n.ml. E; Halfway point (55 18'E): 238 n.ml. Position & weather report, for 1900 GMT, posted to www.Winlink.org and www.Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV): TIME: 2019/03/04 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 38-43.99S LONGITUDE: 050-09.98E COURSE: 151T SPEED: 3.0kt WIND_SPEED: 8kt WIND_DIR: NE CLOUDS: 60% BARO: 1021.4hPa TREND: -1 AIR_TEMP: 19.0C SEA_TEMP: 24.0C COMMENT: Bilge clear, pump working, JSD packed, Fred mended, meal ready

Written by : Jeanne Socrates