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Day 186 Sat-Sun 6-7 April 2019 Drifted in a circle overnight before getting underway in late afternoon, finally

Sunday 7:30am Very peaceful - neither wind noise nor noise from sails! Still drifting with genoa furled in and wind generator blades totally still - not going far just now - drifting due S at 0.7kt.

Slept very badly last night, drifting around and having had to furl in genoa, finally, not helping, so hoping to make up on sleep this afternoon.

Will have quick breakfast and then see what I can get done today - have several small jobs to do before thinking about the mainsail repair. Had been expecting today to be a 'sewing' day but it doesn't look as though the weather and swell conditions will allow that. Rain is expected soon after midday with wind getting up around the same time and swells are quite big.

11am Just unfurled genoa in hope we can make some Easting instead of drifting S - wind is up a little although seems to be from NE-ENE, so it's a headwind. We're making 2.4kt and COG is SE - the best we can make given present wind direction..

Been a busy morning since early breakfast. Sail repair is on hold - slight rain anyway, forecast to increase as wind increases soon. Two big, slow swells - from S and SW - impressive - both at 3-4m.

Replenished galley supplies ready for rough weather expected this week. Maintenance tasks have been overdue... Checked rudder grease gland - still leaking slightly - tightened gland cover and dried area. Ran bilge pump a short time. Topped up hydraulic autopilot fluid - was low. Checked generator oil level - looking fine, but maybe should change the oil very soon. Checked main engine - fresh water coolant reservoir nearly empty - topped up; seawater strainer hose connection - slight, slow leak shown by salt crystals, difficult to tighten hose clamps but will try; water seen below engine - tasted it (yuck!) - not seawater and seems pink - same colour as fresh water coolant colour - so from fresh water cooling circuit? - hope nothing major - not happy about that; engine oil dipstick showed oil low - about to be topped up.... (Later: added half a litre but looks as though that was slightly too much... so oil couldn't have been so very low.)

Not running main engine normally but thought I should check it over and run it in neutral for a short time sometime soon, just to make sure all is OK - will charge batteries while doing that.

Discovered where the machine screw I found the other day on deck came from (lucky it didn't go overboard!) Was from the boom end fitting - tried very hard now to replace it, using plenty of Loctite, but just could not get it to start screwing in. Peeking into the hole, it looks as though the part inside has moved slightly - so the hole is not clear as it should be. Had to leave it to try again in calmer conditions (wind and seas were building) - might need to use hammer on it - a bit of a worry but it's a fairly long insert.... The one on opposite side of the boom end seems fine.

1:20pm Good to be underway again - although a headwind of ENE-NE is hardly ideal. Still murky and damp - almost fine rain on the air - rain will come soon enough, if forecast is correct - certainly looks that way.

We're making 3.5kt now, still heading SE. As the wind backs more to N, we'll be able to make our preferred course of due E - the sooner, the better!

2:40pm Wind seems quite settled and pressure is down below 1020hPa now, as Low approaches. Having a nice mug of hot soup before settling down for a nap - need to make up on sleep.

4:20pm Had a very good sleep! It's grey and raining but there's a small flock of prions around, as well as the usual white-chinned petrels. I saw a pair of storm petrels earlier today, circling the boat, close to the water.

This is what is termed 'boisterous' sailing - we're headed rather close to the wind and we're also meeting seas just forward of the beam which are quite big. So there's quite a bit of heeling, with pitching and tossing thrown in.

We're not making that much speed - around 3.3 kt, in fact, in about 12kt of wind - partly due to going upwind not being a good point of sail for us, without a mainsail - but that should change quite soon, I'm hoping! If we were more off the wind, our speed would increase but I really want to head more E than S - the wind shift more to NNW, which would allow that, can't come soon enough for me...

Enjoying a big bowl of hot bean & barley soup... will finish the rest of the soup later

1:55pm Interrupted sleep to get ready to post reports. No 1800Z radio sched with Vincent, 3DA0VV, tonight - he has thunderstorms (not unusual, at present) in the area where he is, in Swaziland (eSwatini), so missing our usual chat since he has had to disconnect his antenna.

Finally making due E COG, at around 3.5kt, but speed should increase slowly overnight as wind increases and backs more and we end up on less of a close reach, with the wind just abaft the beam.

Wind direction for rest of week should be good, so hoping for good progress towards a point due S of Cape Leeuwin over next few days.

1900GMT (= 2 a.m.LT) - end of Day 186. We made 52 n.ml. DMG, over the 24 hr period, measured in a straight line between the two 1900 GMT positions. Drifting in a circle doesn't make for a good DMG!

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 186 (by daily DMGs):16,296 n.ml.

Distances (at 1900GMT): Cape Leeuwin LH (SW Australia): 755 n.ml. to ENE (631 n.ml. to WP due S); Melbourne (VIC, Aus): 1984 n.ml. to E; SE Cape,Tasmania,LH: 2002 n.ml. to ESE; SW Cape, NZ: 2791 n.ml to ESE; Cape Agulhas LH (S.Africa): 3734 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: 2019/04/07 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 40-45.44S LONGITUDE: 101-24.33E

COURSE: 092T SPEED: 3.6kt


BARO: 1015.3hPa TREND: 0 AIR_TEMP: 16.0C SEA_TEMP: 15.0C

COMMENT: Rain eased off - maybe more later?

Written by : Jeanne Socrates