Day 173 Sun-Mon 23-24 March 2019 Feeling chilly and damp; starting to head NE again

Monday 1:25am Had a good sleep but got up to make daily 1900Z position & weather report and news updates - now posted.

Wind down to 18-22kt from SW. Seas not too bad - occasional tossing around.. About to go on deck to unfurl genoa - speed up and down a lot - mainly down... around 4-5 kt... slow. Then back to bunk for more sleep - dark night now...

2am Bright moon shining from gaps in clouds, along with a few bright stars. Unfurled full genoa -saw speed get up to near 6kt but wind slowly easing so now seeing mostly 4.5-5.3 kt. Feeling cold in wind and damp night air of 16C. Was glad I had my jacket on when wave splashed into cockpit, my hair is still damp from earlier dowsing. Back to my warm bunk...

8am Broken cloud, making about 5kt, wind down at around 15kt (wind instrument seems to have gone down again!), seas still up quite a bit, so being tossed around... Getting back to bunk for more sleep after sched on 7160. Spoke to Dom, E51DOM, on Bouvet Island DX Expedition - on board boat headed down, presently at 49S 59E, two more days to landfall, rough conditions.

11:30am Feeling so very chilly now - 15.7C/60F in the main cabin - I need to put on another layer! Hot food and drinks are very welcome and the thought of a salad is not so appealing at present.

Grey clouds everywhere and seas are still fairly high at 4m/13ft - but not too close although still a lot of motion felt on board as they pass under.

SW wind at 16-18kt, making for 5kt boat peed - not too bad. Wind is forecast to veer slightly to W but stay fairly constant over today and then lessen but stay from W tomorrow as we are overtaken by the High presently W of us... The usual, never-ending sequence!

I'm hoping seas and wind tomorrow will be down enough to allow me to do some mainsail repair - I doubt that will be possible today but will take the chance if it comes. It takes a time to undo the sail ties and other places where tied down, in order to access the repair area and I doubt I can get most of the remaining portion down on deck, to make the sewing that much easier in a seaway - it's above the hard top and sloping wind screen above the companionway, so not so easy to work on.

2:30pm I always get so excited when seeing a Wandering or Royal albatross - and I just saw a beautiful Snowy albatross (a type of Wandering albatross) gliding around! Mostly white everywhere but with distinctive long dark tips to otherwise white upper wings. We're passing S of St Paul and Amsterdam Islands now - only 330 and 380 n.ml. away, respectively - protected nesting sites for the albatross and other seabirds.

Saw a bit of sunshine a short while ago, but has disappeared behind total light grey cloud cover again.

Wind is 20kt, we're broad reaching at 6 kt - excellent! Swinging around a lot in swell, though, so no chance to work on sail - not with that 20kt wind as well.

6:40pm Dark now, with total cloud cover. Wind has been slowly getting less - now 15kt from WSW. We've gybed onto NE course with the idea of heading more N from now on. One problem, after the High pressure cell we're just coming into, is avoiding very strong winds coming up early next week (gales, in fact!). So we need to head NE-ENE, now that the cyclone threat seems diminished, to reduce the impact of the stormy weather coming up. There's another Cold Front coming through beforehand over Thursday/Friday - I hope that won't be as bad as two nights ago!

I've been feeling the cold a lot - and it occurred to me that I should be wearing again my lovely warm Nepalese hat and a warm scarf - both presents from friends for the cold weather - thanks to both. Amazing the difference wearing the hat makes ...and the scarf keeps my neck warm also - lovely!

Time for some more of my lovely thick, hot, green pea and ham soup... and then a nap in my warm bunk. Everything feels damp to the touch at this temperature - bunk included, until I've warmed it up with my body heat.

7:40pm Wind keeps gusting up to well over 20kt from 15-16kt - one moment we're sailing along serenely at around 5-5.5 kt and then we've picked up speed and are suddenly galloping along around 6kt with the gust - typical 'cloud effect', as usual..! Nice to get more Easting!

1900GMT (=2400LT) - end of Day 173. We made 108 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 173 (by daily DMGs):15,243 n.ml.

Distances (at 1900GMT): Cape Leeuwin LH (SW Australia): 1763 n.ml. to ENE; Melbourne (VIC, Aus): 2910 n.ml. to E; SE Cape,Tasmania,LH: 2855 n.ml. to ESE; SW Cape, NZ: 3586n.ml to ESE; Cape Agulhas LH (S.Africa): 2727 n.ml. to WNW; Kerguelen Isl: 500 n.ml. to SW; St Paul Isl: 316 n.ml.to N/NNW

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

TIME: 2019/03/25 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 44-54.71S LONGITUDE: 078-54.46E COURSE: 050T SPEED: 4.8kt

WIND_SPEED: 14kt WIND_DIR: W SWELL_DIR: W SWELL_HT: 3.5m CLOUDS: 100%

BARO: 1017.6hPa TREND: 0 AIR_TEMP: 15.0C SEA_TEMP: 15.0C

COMMENT: Feeling cold - 15C in cabin. 108ml. DMG

Written by : Jeanne Socrates