Day 16 - Gales over - on our way at last!

Wednesday 20th April 2011

8.30am
A beautiful, sunny day! Pressure up to 1024 (and looks set to stay high for several days...), wind dropped right down to S 7-8 kt this morning, swell still up around 3m from SSW, so still a bit rolly. About to retrieve series drogue after three and a half days! Have been drying floor etc and getting breakfast in the meantime...

Midday
Drogue retrieved after one and a half hours - lots of snags to overcome - needs a fairlead of some kind at stern to avoid same problems in future & make retrieval simpler and quicker. Using a retrieval line already attached to bridle end was definitely a good idea - worked well for getting first section in, so retrieving main line with little cones on was made easier. (Line with cones on went around winch easily) Bad news is I found the windsteering rudder had come off the rudder post ... Difficult to believe, since I know I secured the pin in place through both rudder and post with a strong R-clip in Ushuaia.

TIME: 2011/04/20 14:00(UTC)
LATITUDE: 38-41.67S LONGITUDE: 032-55.34W
COURSE: 102T SPEED: 4.7
WIND_SPEED: 4 WIND_DIR: NE
SWELL_DIR: WSW SWELL_HT: 3.0M
CLOUDS: 0% BARO: 1023 TREND: -1
SEA_TEMP: 33.0C

24hr DMG: 19ml. Distance to Cape Town: 2468ml

Relieved to find motor worked - and boat moved! - without a hitch ... Clearly whatever had caused the problem last Saturday was no longer there. 'Nereida' has a good rope/cable cutter just forward of the prop - could well have helped...!

Evening
Been a lovely sunny day - but only 3-5 knots of wind since this morning.... Likely to continue for 2-3 days, possibly... So motoring direct for Cape Town .... and clearing up/drying out down below. No problems with prop or engine since moving off! Oodles of power, hot water and hot air - to dry out carpets etc.

Was nice to see several albatross over the day, keeping the usual Great shearwaters company, with several Spectacled petrels also .... They were enjoying the fair-sized seas, all day long.

Website 'blog' giving problems - so I'm posting, in the meantime, to www.mailasail.com/nereida (Day 15 onward...). Position reports still being posted OK to website, as usual via links on 'Travels' page. Positions should also be on Yotreps at www.pangolin.co.nz , as back-up, as well as on Shiptrak...

Written by : Mike

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