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Day 178 Fri-Sat 29-30 March 2019 Big swell all day long - 4-5m high - but winds have moderated

Saturday 8am Grey clouds everywhere with a few tiny blue patches. Wind still up around 25kt - from SSW - and seas still keeping us dancing around, often heeled well over each way rapidly, as a 4m/13ft wave passes under. We're making 5.6kt just N of due E, making good Easting but not too much Northing - don't want to get too far N in the High coming up behind us, to avoid the light headwinds of its Easterlies there. Three white-chinned petrels are soaring around in long figures of eight close by, low down and on fixed wings - no need to flap them in this wind -they're having an easy ride! Midday Still grey and cloudy with unchanged big swell and birds close by. Sun trying to get out from behind clouds. Time to unfurl the genoa in place of the staysail - speed is down to below 5kt too often, although wind display is showing 23kt on a beam reach ... or maybe just slightly from abaft the beam. Feeling very chilly - air outside is only 14C/57F - coming from the cold S due to air circulation around the Low to SE of us. Cabin temperature is 16C - so not much warmer. Pressure has climbed to 1023.9 hPa, as we start skirting the High to our N. 5:50pm Sun very low - close to setting. The grey edges of the broken cloud in the W are tinged with orange-pink. Seas impressively big but period is 8-10 seconds so not too bad, although we're certainly being moved around a lot. They're often on the beam and have maximum impact at that angle. Took some photos but I know they never really convey the size of them adequately. With half the genoa unfurled and added in to the staysail, we're moving along better - our speed had dropped down a lot before then but we're now often seeing well over 6kt. Petrels and prions are swooping around - often see the birds at sunset - as though they regard 'Nereida' as a marker. Chilly enough to need extra layers (also put on a second pair of ski socks!) and my warm hat again - air is 14C and feels a lot colder in the wind, when on deck. Nothing dries and everything feels damp, just now. Having a hot mug of soup - always very welcome! It occurred to me that being underway in good wind on starboard tack is going to prevent me from getting to the mainsail repair - with the boom out over the port side of the boat there's no way I can sew the sail on its port side - and that's where the repair section is... If the wind dies right down, as forecast for Monday, then I'll be able to centre the boom, since the trysail will be achieving nothing, and work on the sail - assuming these big seas have also lain down by then. Fingers crossed on that... 9pm Wind from just W of S and slowly dying down - we're making around 4.5kt. 1900GMT (= 1 a.m.LT) - end of Day 178. We made 109 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 178 (by daily DMGs):15,689 n.ml. Distances (at 1900GMT): Cape Leeuwin LH (SW Australia): 1325 n.ml. to ENE; Melbourne (VIC, Aus): 2539 n.ml. to E; SE Cape,Tasmania,LH: 2521 n.ml. to ESE; SW Cape, NZ: 3246 n.ml to ESE; Cape Agulhas LH (S.Africa): 3169 n.ml. to WNW; Kerguelen Isl: 920 n.ml. to SW; St Paul Isl: 537 n.ml.to WNW Position & weather report, for 1900 GMT, posted to www.Winlink.org and www.Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV): TIME: 2019/03/30 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 41-44.72S LONGITUDE: 088-42.58E COURSE: 090T SPEED: 2.4kt WIND_SPEED: 10kt WIND_DIR: SW SWELL_DIR: SSW SWELL_HT: 4.0m BARO: 1024.2hPa TREND: 0 AIR_TEMP: 14.0C SEA_TEMP: 15.0C COMMENT: Dark. Wind died right down - so speed down

Written by : Jeanne Socrates