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Day 171 Fri-Sat 21-22 March 2019 Heading ESE still to avoid typhoon/cyclone/hurricane coming S in a few days' time

Saturday 7:30am Daylight. Grey overcast sky, fine drizzle and seas up but not tossing us about too much, although heeling quite well. Temperatures much lower now - 17.4C air and 15.4C sea. I can feel the chill on the air!

Wind back up again, so making 5kt on broad reach - downwind sailing, hoping to stay in good winds from W quadrant for next few days and avoid light headwinds of coming High system... Looks as though we'll just stay ahead of system if we can keep up speed of around 5kt - anything more will be a bonus!

Some good radio contacts made on 7160 with US E.coast, Maine to Florida, and inland.

Midday Earlier fog has lifted. Making well over 6kt just now - good to see some speed! Downwind with just the big headsail (genoa) in good wind is not a problem. It's when heading upwind that I need the mainsail to make any decent speed...

Seems the hurricane/cyclone (often called a 'typhoon' in Indian Ocean - three different names!) should arrive well to W of us, reducing to an 'ordinary' Low finally, if we can keep going as planned. Gives a good incentive to find good W winds for better speed downwind and to stay out of those Highs!

Problem is that I need some calm conditions to finish the mainsail sewing - one consequence of having to work on it in situ, on deck, rather than down below. That would have made the sewing so much simpler and quicker but was clearly not an option for me with such a large fully-battened sail.

3:30pm A really rough ride today! A lot of heeling, banging, crashing and being tossed around generally... We were so very heeled over in the strong wind that I decided, nice as it was to be seeing speeds touching 7kt and over, that I needed to furl in some genoa - if only to move around to get some food more easily! We promptly lost a knot of speed with genoa in between reef marks 1 and 2 - but seem now to have regained it. Probably the result of coming off a nearly dead downwind run so we're slightly more on the wind. Maybe also the wind is up even more - I have no instrument to tell me! I just know it's quite strong - in the mid-twenties - and we're making 6.5 kt, sometimes 7kt, as a result, which I'm happy to see.

I was delighted to get an email from Phil, who runs the Winlink VK6KPS station near Perth, telling me it was up and running again, after he'd fixed a problem with the equipment sooner than expected - thanks for that, Phil! So my radio emailing is back working well now (although long emails are, as usuaL, best avoided as using up precious battery power and radio time). Many thanks to Colin, ZS1RS, for the frequent use of his station in Cape Town for the last few weeks.

6:30pm Very murky and dull.... Light fading.

Decided to get tonight's food ready early - another nice Mexican version of chilli con carne - simple preparation - open two packets, into saucepan, heat when hungry ... eat! Buen provecho! Having a hot CuppaSoup in the meantime - really noticing the drop in air temperature.

Expecting a change in wind direction soon, as the Cold Front passes over, and wind backs from NW to W or WSW . Might be a slow transition, rather than the sometimes fast one I've encountered at times. Will need to change tack to starboard from present port tack.

11:45pm Wind has been down for a time now - we were only making 5-5.5kt, but I'm seeing an increase now, taking us to around 6kt and more. It's raining hard so the Front is very close to passing over and giving the wind shift I've been waiting for. I've got my rain gear ready - overtrousers are already on and jacket is waiting to be put on when I need to go on deck.

Time to heat up my food - I've not had anything yet but did get some sleep...

(Sunday 12:45am Wind has died right down now, as expected - only making 3.5kt - time to unfurl the genoa!)

1900GMT (=2400LT) - end of Day 171. We made 124 n.ml. DMG, over the 24 hr period, measured in a straight line between the two 1900 GMT positions. Nice to see three digits!

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 171 (by daily DMGs):15,064 n.ml.

Distances (at 1900GMT): Cape Leeuwin LH (SW Australia): 1938n.ml. to ENE; Melbourne (VIC, Aus): 3077 n.ml. to E; SE Cape,Tasmania,LH: 3014 n.ml. to ESE; SW Cape, NZ: 3651n.ml to ESE; Cape Agulhas LH (S.Africa): 2554 n.ml. to WNW; Kerguelen Isl: 377 n.ml. to SW; St Paul Isl: 333 n.ml.to NNE

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

TIME: 2019/03/23 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 43-54.35S LONGITUDE: 074-51.13E COURSE: 098T SPEED: 6.0kt


BARO: 1011.2hPa TREND: -2 AIR_TEMP: 18.0C SEA_TEMP: 16.0C

COMMENT: Raining. Seas not quite so rough as earlier. Front imminent.

Written by : Jeanne Socrates