Day 172 Sat-Sun 22-23 March 2019 Mix of no wind and then far too much this evening...

Sunday 1am/2000GMT Posted yesterday's report. Still raining. Sounding very peaceful without the noise of strong wind and rough seas! Wind has died right down now, as expected with the Front passing over - only making just over 3kt now with occasional 4kt on a wave - down from the earlier 6.5kt or so and wind could well die more... Motion of boat very gentle now. Still waiting for wind to back into W forcing us to gybe onto starboard tack.... might be a time coming.

Enjoying a late meal before getting some more sleep - a wind shift will wake me up, for sure..

4am Wind has clearly shifted to W-WSW but is very, very light so we're effectively drifting at 1.4kt to the NE - but better than drifting NNW as we were before I gybed the headsail and tried to get us back on course. The wind should pick up, if forecasts are be believed, but it may be several hours before it does so...

We've been rolling around like mad in the left-over seas from before the wind died a few hours ago - I found it impossible to sleep for a long time, although I did finally drop off.

Nothing to do just now but get back to my bunk for some more sleep, if possible, and wait for the increased wind to help us onto a better course.

5:20am In fact, I went back on deck to try to get us headed better - raining hard so back down very wet to hang up foulies. Lashed the wheel to starboard a bit, to offset the headsail taking us to port - we're now heading ESE - but we could end up turning in a circle - we'll see soon enough! Back to my bunk - hope the wind picks up sooner than later - we're making 1.2kt...

7:30am Some blue patches have appeared in the sky - rain clearing away maybe? Wet decks, seas well down on yesterday, COG 124T, SOG ~1.4kt. Pleased to report that we didn't go around in a circle! Still no sign of the wind filling in. Had a brief raio sched on 7160 but contesters made things difficult for the US end although no problem for me - good to hear Montreal and Prince Edward Island coming in clearly. Back to my bunk for some more sleep while it's calm.

2pm Finished clearing up in galley - a necessary, frequent job that can't be ignored for long.

Still waiting for that wind to fill in... Making 3.4kt or less, ESE, seas from SW are still big and there seems to be another swell from E which mixes in with it so confused seas result at times.

Was quite sunny earlier but increasing cloud is giving little sunshine. Temperature is around 19C/66F and sea temperature is down at 16C/61F - making main cabin feel very cool since no heating used - keeping diesel for generator use.

4:15pm Tea-time! Sunny day still, as sun starts getting lower - almost no clouds around. Several petrels and a Yellow-nosed albatross pair - nice to see those since not so often seen. The white-chinned petrels seem to be my daily companions now.

Tried to let Fred take charge earlier and was fine for a time but when we were knocked slightly off course by a wave, he couldn't get us back again, as he normally does without a problem. The rudder seems to be moving independently of the vane - which it shouldn't. Looked at the three easily-seen axle nds and hey seem fine so will need to check the fourth one with awkward access astern of the unit. In the meantime, it's back onto the autopilot.

5:15pm A big bank of grey cloud was looming over the W horizon - and has just spread over the entire sky - gone is the clear blue, replaced by a mass of grey clouds - likely not to be a nice sunset seen today! Maybe it will bring better wind with it? We've been slowly creeping up in speed this afternoon - to 4kt or more - but don't seem to be going much faster under the cloud. It will come - just have to give it more time - but I'm getting impatient!

Making a thick soup of split green peas and chopped onions, with chopped ham to be added later, while there's still daylight - ready for the next round of rough weather, whenever it comes...

7:30pm That came a lot sooner than I expected... The grey cloud bank was hiding a nasty surprise come nightfall - some rain, with a strong wind of around 40-50kt, almost certainly gusting more. I don't know exactly, except that it was shrieking madly, the sea was very angry-looking, with foam flying, and we were heeled over far too much...toe rail in the sea often. It's died down now to 26-30kt.. I just had no choice but to get up into the cockpit and try to furl in the full genoa - difficult in such strong wind but little by little it had to come and eventually I got it down to a small enough size that we were heeling a lot less - cut our 7kt speed down as well, but that wasn't of concern. I had to keep reminding myself that 'Nereida' was a good sturdy boat and we were doing fine, despite the strong conditions....

I noticed, from the direction of the wind generator, that the wind had backed a lot so we were able to turn more downwind and run before it, which always helps. I was happier running ESE than the SSE we were heading in initially.

Of course I got a drenching several times - I'd just put on my over-trousers on realising it was raining and the wind had started increasing - but it then increased so very rapidly that I just had to get out there and didn't have time to put on a good rain-jacket - so I've been busy drying off and changing out of my wet top layers.

It's now 8:25pm, it feels a lot calmer and we're making 5.5-5.8 kt in 24-28 kt wind - my wind instrument has suddenly decided to work again - amazing! - wish I'd seen what it was reading earlier. I hope it's reliably telling me the correct wind direction and speed. If it is, the wind has finally backed to the S, from having veered to WNW just before the system came through. This is the second time that strong winds have seen it start working again - most odd!

Pressure has just started rising from the 1007hPa of this afternoon and early evening. I'm more than ready for some of that hot, thick soup - and a warm cosy bunk sounds nice also.

1900GMT (=2400LT) - end of Day 172. We made 71 n.ml. DMG, over the 24 hr period, measured in a straight line between the two 1900 GMT positions. No wind overnight, followed by some wind uring day, then too muchwind - but good speed...!

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 172 (by daily DMGs):15,135 n.ml.

Distances (at 1900GMT): Cape Leeuwin LH (SW Australia): 1871 n.ml. to ENE; Melbourne (VIC, Aus): 3006 n.ml. to E; SE Cape,Tasmania,LH: 2945 n.ml. to ESE; SW Cape, NZ: 3586n.ml to ESE; Cape Agulhas LH (S.Africa): 2620 n.ml. to WNW; Kerguelen Isl: 408 n.ml. to SW; St Paul Isl: 331 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: 2019/03/24 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 44-11.03S LONGITUDE: 076-26.29E COURSE: 098T SPEED: 5.5 kt

WIND_SPEED: 25kt WIND_DIR: WSW SWELL_DIR: W SWELL_HT: 4.0m CLOUDS: 100%

BARO: 1010.5 TREND: 0 AIR_TEMP: 16.0C SEA_TEMP: 16.0C

COMMENT: Big winds earlier with rain - 40-50+ kt for some time + seas+heeled lots! Well-reefed down now.

Written by : Jeanne Socrates