Thursday 7am Very peaceful - light wind, seas well down, a lot of cloud but good patches of blue between, sun well above horizon but behind cloud. A Wandering albatross glides by - heavy white body, wings dark on top but white below with thin dark edges and black tips... Disappears by time I've got my camera in hand... Couple of white-chinned petrels swoop around on fixed wings close by - they're big birds, but bear no comparison to the albatross in size.
We're heading SW now, skirting a High pressure ridge, hoping to turn SE soon when wind backs from its present E to NE. Would be nice to be heading in a direction that leads back to my starting point - and not going backwards!
Cyclone Haleh is still heading S-SSW but should be diminishing in strength by Saturday and beginning to turn towards the SE later that day also.
Midday Creeping along in little wind, alhough under a very pleasant sunny sky. Not enough wind for the wind generator to turn, wind is so very light, meaning we're really slow - around 1.5kt. Frustrating, since we need to move on to use the good winds behind Haleh when they come - but we need to be in the right place to get the benefit. Wind is really dying completely just now....
Just spent an age getting the main halyard away from the top mast step it had got itself caught around and then securing it so it wouldn't repeat the trick. Then, finally, as an interim measure, hoisted the trysail again on the main halyard - there are times when it seems to help us along.
Must get a quick (late again!) breakfast - have had nothing today so far...
What I've been wanting to do is to sew some material onto the mainsail around the leach where it's torn - the big problem has been needing relatively calm conditions to do that. Amazing the effect of even a small swell - makes it so very difficult to work on the sail in situ. Looks as though I need to remove almost all the sail slides from their track in the mast to expose the 9ft/2.8m straight run of the length of sail involved, so as to sew the material in place. Would make the job a lot easier if I could get that portion of the sail down onto the deck - i'll see how feasible that is at the time..
3:45pm Have been looking into a radio problem - it's 'clipping' on 20m in particular, althogh other bands seem to be fine. Need to sort out that problem - would hate to lose use of my SSB/HF radio! Could well mean looking for corrosion at all connections, undoing, where possible, cleaning and re-making perhaps. Access to the tuner is not easy but do-able, given time, patience and no big seas.
5:30pm Still creeping along - SSE now - in almost no wind - I reckon a tortoise goes faster.... Wind generator not turning again. Making over 1 knot from time to time....
Starting to work on the sail material for the leach repair but light fading now. Have to learn how to use a hot knife.
I was expecting more wind today than there has been - I hope that overnight and tomorrow there'll be more than just now but outlook is looking pretty grim - a lot of light wind for several days, it seems, with no way to reach the better wind.... My halfway point is looking very much out of reach.
Almost no breaks in the cloud cover just before sunset - but one just where the sun was getting low, so a lovely light, cloud & sea effect.
1900GMT (=2200LT) - end of Day 155. We made 36 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 155 (by daily DMGs): 13,982 n.ml.
Distances (at 1900GMT): Cape Leeuwin LH (SW Australia): 3056 n.ml. to ENE; Melbourne (VIC, Aus): 4171 n.ml. to E; SE Cape of Tasmania LH: 4074 n.ml. to ESE; Cape Agulhas LH (S.Africa): 1467 n.ml. to WNW; Kerguelen Isl: 970 n.ml. to SE; St Paul Isl: 1263 n.ml.to E; Halfway point (55 18'E): 231 n.ml.
Position & weather report, for 1900 GMT, posted to www.Winlink.org and www.Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV):
TIME: 2019/03/07 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 39-39.51S LONGITUDE: 050-16.10E COURSE: 156T SPEED: 1.4kt
WIND_SPEED: 6kt WIND_DIR: ENE SWELL_DIR: ENE SWELL_HT: 2.2m CLOUDS: 98%
BARO: 1021.4hPa TREND: 0 AIR_TEMP: 20.0C SEA_TEMP: 25.0C
COMMENT: Very little progress made today