Day 184 Thurs-Fri 4-5 April 2019 Quiet, slow day, waiting for wind to back - and die even more...

Friday 1:10pm Dull day with overcast sky. Wind has been slowly dying down through the morning, after making a fairly steady 4.5-5kt overnight, so we're now making 4kt and expecting lighter conditions soon. Wind should become more WSW instead of its present direction just N of W. We'll have to gybe onto starboard tack at some point later today.

We're skirting the S edge of a High which will soon join up with another High to the SW (stretching down to 50S)- to become a combined High that we'll be caught right in the middle of ... :( Not expecting decent wind until that resulting High has moved off to the E on Monday. This coming weekend, it will be very slow going...

4pm Been busy looking over my logbook from earlier trips - confirmed I'm five weeks behind my expected time at this position - a combination of one week avoiding a cyclone together with avoiding stormy weather down to Cape Horn and up towards S.Africa and lack of mainsail slowing down upwind work (not as much of a problem as one would think since, fortunately, sailing is mainly downwind here in Southern Ocean so we've done fine in good wind on the frequent downwind legs. Being often caught in the High pressure cells between the Lows has also been a major problem, losing more days then, but the alternative would be to get caught often in 40-50kt winds if we headed much further S - not an option I'm very keen on... and even then, the Highs often extend to down there so they're not totally avoidable.

I'm hoping to be in the Pacific around beginning of May and crossing the Equator around beginning of June, giving an ETA back in Victoria of 3-4th week of July - a lot later than I'd hoped for when I set out!

5pm Raining slightly. Waiting for wind to back to WSW from present W and then back more. Will need to gybe onto starboard tack when it does. Wind has been getting less over the afternoon - now we're mostly making under 4kt. At 6pm, mostly down to 3.5kt.

Nice to see a few Antarctic prions seen today and yesterday ...along with our usual small group of white-chinned petrel friends!

7pm Starting my sleep routine - dark now, so best to get sleep according to Nature's cycle! Setting alarm to check on wind in a few hours' time, when expected to start shifting.

10:45pm Raining, dark night. Wind finally backed into SW quadrant - genoa was backed so took it over to port side - we're now on starboard tack, headed ESE at around 2-2.5kt - this will be another slow couple of days in very light winds ... Looks as though we shan't be able to change onto port tack until Monday morning - so no sewing of mainsail will be possible for time being unless it becomes really calm on Sunday.

Back to my bunk for a short nap....

1900GMT (= 1 a.m.LT) - end of Day 184. We made 95 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 184 (by daily DMGs):16,215 n.ml.

Distances (at 1900GMT): Cape Leeuwin LH (SW Australia): 804 n.ml. to ENE (715 n.ml. to pt due S); Melbourne (VIC, Aus): 2059 n.ml. to E; SE Cape,Tasmania,LH: 2080 n.ml. to ESE; SW Cape, NZ: 2869 n.ml to ESE; Cape Agulhas LH (S.Africa): 3685 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: 2019/04/05 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 40-08.56S LONGITUDE: 099-53.80E

COURSE: 096T SPEED: 1.5kt

WIND_SPEED: 8kt WIND_DIR: SW SWELL_DIR: WSW SWELL_HT: 3.0m CLOUDS: 100%

BARO: 1021.4hPa TREND: 0 AIR_TEMP: 14.0C SEA_TEMP: 16.0C

COMMENT: Wind dying even more. Struggling to keep a course.

Written by : Jeanne Socrates