Day 177 Thurs-Fri 28-29 March 2019 Strong CF passes over and Low forms to S

Friday 1:40am Just posted daily 1900Z reports.

Wind WNW 26kt, being tossed around often, as usual in strong wind and resulting seas. Genoa furled away, so just staysail and trysail now - ready for strong winds and even stronger gusts expected sometime soon and into the daytime - approaching Cold Front is not far away now but, so far, no rain.

Back to my bunk - nothing further to be done to prepare now.

8:25am Rain just started and wind gusted up. Wind display went away for a short time but back again now - unreliable! But it's reading 31kt which seems about right... Wind has backed to W now - will back further soon enough.

8:40am Wind just under 30kt now , still from W, so on a broad reach now, making 5kt. This is just a lull - expect wind to pick up again as it backs more towards SW. Pressure down at 1009.9 hPa. Rain didn't last long, nor was it very heavy.

9am Things seem to have settled down for now ...to around 27-30kt, up and down, from just S of W, and we're making COG 060T at around 5.7kt, higher in gusts.. I'm changing our course as the wind backs, to stay on a broad reach and, when wind is steady from SW and can make ENE again, will gybe around onto starboard tack.

I'm not inclined to go back to my bunk, that can come later, but feel compelled to stay here at the chart table to keep an eye on wind direction so I'm sure I'm ready to act if it should change radically and suddenly, as is very possible. I'm in my foulies, ready to get on deck immediately, if needed. Seas aren't as bad as forecast, so far, but we're rolling a lot, as usual in fair-sized seas, and heeling more in stronger gusts.

10:30am Wind 21-24kt ...could be dying down. When it gusts up to 24kt, boat speed jumps up to 5.7kt from 4.8kt. Will wait a bit longer to unfurl some genoa. Time for breakfast...

11:30am Wind has died down to under 20kt from WSW. Still not sure if this will continue or if it's a lull... Tempted to unfurl some genoa to speed us up - we're making just under 4kt now.

Midday Raining! Wind came up again - now 23kt - so making 5-5.8kt on 040T. Could get gusty under rainclouds, so leaving genoa until conditions more settled. (Gusted to 29kt as I wrote this!)

Pressure has risen sharply to 1012.6hPa - so the Low is on it way off E now. Next in the procession comes a High...

12:45pm Just gusted up to 39kt under raincloud - glad I didn't unfurl the genoa! Wind now SW30kt and we're making 6.3kt. Gusty conditions likely to continue for a time...

1:45pm Wind highly variable 24-34kt - SOG up & down around 6kt.

3:30pm Blue sky overhead and scattered clouds - quite a nice sunny day, in fact. Birds are loving the strong wind and big seas - several petrels and prions soaring around and flying close to the waves...

Gybed onto starboard to get back on ENE course. With wind backing further to SSW eventually, should be good for quite a time. Wind display is giving totally impossible readings - has become erratic and unreliable... Pity! Was good to have it working these last few days.

Seas are impressively big now and quite close, so we're moving around a lot as each passes by.

6pm Unbelievably, a bowl of food went flying from one side of the cabin to the floor on the other side as we suddenly heeled madly one way and then the other - and 95% of its contents stayed in the bowl - what luck! I was at the radio, trying to make contact with Australia and N.America - but ended up chatting to Mohammed from Muscat, A41NN. His signal was so strong, and beamed exactly in my direction, that it drowned the others that I was trying to make contact with and he heard me calling them... A very friendly guy!

Almost dark now and pressure has been steadily rising - now at 1018.5 hPa - the High is getting closer and this Low is moving away. Wind is still often near to, if not at, 30kt, if my erratic display is to be believed, and SOG is 5.7kt just N of E, at present...

The big seas are really making it difficult to move around in safety - I have to judge carefully the moment to make a move and try to hold on to something as I do so.

Midnight Interesting chat with Vince, 3DA0VV, about his life in eSwatini (Swaziland) Recently-planted forest where once were open grasslands.

1am Seas still big and close together. Very dark with moon hidden behind clouds - occasional monshine seen. Wind still quite strong but slowly easing - will unfurl genoa in daylight. Back to my bunk for more sleep.

1900GMT (= 1 a.m.LT) - end of Day 177. We made 112 n.ml. DMG, over the 24 hr period, measured in a straight line between the two 1900 GMT positions. Course was a dog-leg so actually more.

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 177 (by daily DMGs):15,580 n.ml.

Distances (at 1900GMT): Cape Leeuwin LH (SW Australia): 1435 n.ml. to ENE; Melbourne (VIC, Aus): 2639 n.ml. to E; SE Cape,Tasmania,LH: 2614 n.ml. to ESE; SW Cape, NZ: 3326 n.ml to ESE; Cape Agulhas LH (S.Africa): 3060 n.ml. to WNW; Kerguelen Isl: 822 n.ml. to SW; St Paul Isl: 443 n.ml.to NW

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

TIME: 2019/03/29 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 42-00.70S LONGITUDE: 086-07.28E

COURSE: 082T SPEED: 5.3kt

WIND_SPEED: 24kt WIND_DIR: SW SWELL_DIR: SW SWELL_HT: 4.0m

CLOUDS: 100% BARO: 1020.4hPa TREND: 0 AIR_TEMP: 14.0C SEA_TEMP: 16.0C

COMMENT: Seas quite big and close together. Moon behind clouds.

Written by : Jeanne Socrates