Day 165 Sat-Sun 16-17 March 2019 Good news - we're not taking on water!

Sunday 1 am Raining again! Wind well down - making just 2kt but heading due E.

7:15am Dull, solid grey sky - recent rain, deck wet, strip of blue on N and W horizon. Wind generator blades totally still - not turning at all - almost no wind - maybe 4-5kt at most?? We're going almost due E at 1.3-1.6kt - not going far just now!

Solitary storm petrel seen flying close to the sea surface, no other birds seen just now.

Just finished daily chat to N.America on 7160 - most were good and clear - good contact still.

Back to bunk for couple of hours more sleep - got to bed late yesterday...

Midday Sunny - lovely blue sky - very little cloud now. Pressure up again, to 1026hPa. Wind very light from WNW - making 3kt ENE.

Problem with Fred again - my fixing looks good so looking elsewhere now for resolution - taking hammer to make sure all axles are properly in place. Hope I can sort the problem out - not good if I can't rely on Fred for wind steering - no power needed and main rudder not moving - so less chance of leakage from rudder post seal.

3:30pm Blue sky virtually gone - clouds everywhere - a light shower - nothing much... Quite a good swell again today - quite rolly at times.

Side-tracked from Fred by weather and course considerations... All takes a time to look at carefully and mull over, deciding on best course of action over the day..

Also checked rudder shaft seal and everal other areas for any sign of water - delighted to see all bone dry and clearly no more water has come into the bilge - good news.

4:30pm I'm exhausted! Spent well over half an hour just trying to undo two long plastic so-called 'thumb-screws' - one of which did not want to come unscrewed, even using pliers to grip it tightly and get leverage... Not helped by the fact that it's right off the stern and out of sight behind the wind-steering mechanism (astern of Fred's innards, in fact!).

Unless I leaned right out over the stern steps and around the backside of it to get at it, which eventually I had to do, it was all happening - or not happening, to put it more accurately - by feel ... I hate plastic screws!! They flex and make it difficult to undo them.. If I'd realised how often I would be trying to move them, I'd have coated them with Teflon grease to make the job easier. As it is, they've salt crystals in the threads instead...

I'd clearly tightened them both too much last time, after getting to that part of Fred - this time, as last, to check on the end of an axle which was protruding and did need hammering back into place - another 'lean out and around, over the water' job! The purely cosmetic cover held in place by those plastic screws is NOT going back in place.... I'll not want a repeat of this afternoon's exercise - I'm off to my bunk for a quick recovery snooze...

7:45pm Gybed onto starboard in the last hint of daylight - now making SE at over 4kt.... Pity! That was just a gust... I was beginning to get quite excited... SOG is around 3.5kt.

Mexican meal tonight - heating up Chilorio carne de pavo con frijoles bayos enteros - "todos listos oara comer!" - excelente! A great quick'n'easy meal with the typical zesty taste of Mexico. Greetings to my Mexican friends (and to the cruisers down there) - buen provecho!

I'd hoped to get on with dealing with the mainsail and sail-slides today - but other jobs got in the way.

The swell was quite pronounced, making it quite rolly, most of the day and it has been quite showery this afternoon. Good to rinse some more of that salt off.

1900GMT (=2300LT) - end of Day 165. We made 63 n.ml. DMG, over the 24 hr period, measured in a straight line between the two 1900 GMT positions. Slow progress while trapped in High...

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 165 (by daily DMGs): 14,739 n.ml.

Distances (at 1900GMT): Cape Leeuwin LH (SW Australia): 2317 n.ml. to ENE; Melbourne (VIC, Aus): 3455 n.ml. to E; SE Cape,Tasmania,LH: 3381 n.ml. to ESE; SW Cape, NZ: 3983 n.ml to ESE; Cape Agulhas LH (S.Africa): 2184 n.ml. to WNW; Kerguelen Isl: 381 n.ml. to SE; St Paul Isl: 566 n.ml.to ENE; Halfway point (55 18'E): 480 n.ml. astern!

Position & weather report, for 1900 GMT, posted to www.Winlink.org and www.Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV):

TIME: 2019/03/17 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 42-40.87S LONGITUDE: 066-11.52E COURSE: 120T

SPEED: 3.7k

WIND_SPEED: 12kt WIND_DIR: WNW SWELL_DIR: WNW SWELL_HT: 3.0m

BARO: 1027.3hPa TREND: 0 AIR_TEMP: 20.0C SEA_TEMP: 21.0C

COMMENT: Starboard tack. Slightly better SOG in more wind.Downwind sailing.

Written by : Jeanne Socrates