Day 170 Thurs-Fri 20-21 March 2019 Heading S to avoid cyclone

Friday 1:45am Making 4kt SE in ENE-NE wind - should keep backing further overnight. We'll change course with the change of wind direction.

Just finished updating log, sending weather/position reports to Winlink and posting news update to website with photo of mainsail leech 'tabling' I was busy sewing yesterday. Takes quite a long time - I'm ready for some sleep!

7:30am Thick fog, daylight. Still making SE course at around 3.5kt - steady progress... Good contact at 0200Z with a few E. coast USA stations - think some people haven't caught onto time change from 0230Z. Back to bunk for couple more hours of sleep - hope sun gets out and fog goes later...

1pm Was nice to chat to Julian Clegg on BBC Radio Solent Breakfast Show just now. (The link to the entire Show is https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p071f0p and to just my item at 07:25 GMT is: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1Eq9FRF9nqUtusarq_FicSywlCLXyVYRl)

The telephone chat was made possible as a result of having the Aurora wi-fi terminal on board, courtesy Global Marine Networks, GMN, who sent me the unit and gave me the airtime. Many thanks to them for their generosity since it gives me access to the Iridium satellite network and enables photos to be sent with my blogs as well as enabling big weather files to be downloaded fairly quickly - a definite plus when bad weather threatens.

4pm Nice to see a pair of prions flying around nearby - lovely-looking birds.

It's very murky - not quite foggy but might be again later. It's also getting quite rough now, with the increased wind giving rise to the usual increased seas, but we're making good speed, around 4.5-5kt, so no complaints.

My thoughts are constantly on weather and heading SE to avoid the possible cyclone problem next week. I keep looking at the weather grib files and updating them. With any luck it won't end up as a problem, but we need to get into, and stay in, good Westerlies to make sure of a decent speed in the right direction over the next few days to get ahead of where the system might be when it's down further S. It's presently forecast to move due S, not curving to the SE as they often do.

6:50pm Getting evening meal ready. Daylight almost gone. Very murky, gloomy day today but wind has been good and we're making good progress. Still headed SE at present but will be headed more ESE soon, once wind has backed further - to NNW.

10pm Well, despite forecast of 22-23 kt winds from NNW, we're only making well under 4kt SE in a much lighter wind... Seas are well up so it's become 'bucking bronco' time again. But progress generally today has been a lot better than over last two days.

1900GMT (=2400LT) - end of Day 170. We made 92 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 170 (by daily DMGs):14,940 n.ml.

Distances (at 1900GMT): Cape Leeuwin LH (SW Australia): 2057n.ml. to ENE; Melbourne (VIC, Aus): 3200 n.ml. to E; SE Cape,Tasmania,LH: 3135 n.ml. to ESE; SW Cape, NZ: 3763 n.ml to ESE; Cape Agulhas LH (S.Africa): 2438 n.ml. to WNW; Kerguelen Isl: 345 n.ml. to SSW; St Paul Isl: 370 n.ml.to NE

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

TIME: 2019/03/22 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 43-21.49 LONGITUDE: 072-06.36E COURSE: 123T SPEED: 3.7kt

WIND_SPEED: 12kt WIND_DIR: N SWELL_DIR: NE SWELL_HT: 3.0m CLOUDS: 100%

BARO: 1019hPa TREND: 0 AIR_TEMP: 19.0C SEA_TEMP: 18.0C

COMMENT: Speed has dropped right down now - was over 5kt much of the day

Written by : Jeanne Socrates