Day 188 Mon-Tues 8-9 April 2019 Good speed made in rough, strong conditions

Tuesday 2:25am Wind well up now, around 25kt - we're making 6.3 kt and it has got a bit rough - heeling most of the time and pounding into increased seas quite a lot. Time to get back to my bunk for more sleep...

9am Grey sky. Rough seas so rough going in 30kt wind at around 6.7kt - often seeing 7kt. Good to be making decent progress at last - should continue getting reasonable wind for rest of this week - fingers crossed!

Presently 480 miles more to go until pass S of Cape Leeuwin - hoping for next weekend, to celebrate passing third Great Cape....

10:30am Decided to furl in a bit more genoa - from half to one-and-a-half reef marks. Difficult doing it while very well heeled in the big, rough seas, but eventually got there... Heeling was just too much - toe rail was in water most of the time - now less often... Has reduced speed a little but not much - now making around 6.3kt.

Sea washed over me just as I was starting to winch... got totally drenched - but protected by jacket this time, hair apart - unlike last night, in gentler conditions.

Very difficult moving about the cabin in these conditions - having to be very slow and careful, sensing the wave motion before making any move.

Back to my safe, warm bunk now - with start of breakfast - fruit juice, dried apricots & prunes and cereal bars this morning - easy!

1:30pm Wind seems to be up and down now - only making 5kt at times and then we're back up at 6kt or more. Seas are still rough and tossing us about a lot, washing over the decks regularly. (1:50pm - that was a short lull - but there seem to be plenty of them...)

3:20pm Magnetic variation is down to 17W now. Amazing how quickly it's changing. I have to check it every time I go to make a log entry of our True course (plotter gives the Magnetic, not True, bearing of cursor from boat position on screen and I use the boat's current track to check our COG).

Speed 5.7-6.2 kt now - wind definitely a bit less.

7:20pm Wind not quite as strong as earlier - but still in mid-twenties, so making good speed - despite rough seas. Furled in genoa a lot and unfurled staysail - better for really strong winds. Spotted that a (lazy) staysail sheet was caught in a deck fitting - started to go forward (in fading daylight) but got a load of seawater in one shoe as sea came over the toe rail and thought better of it - just felt too dangerous, heeled over in the rough seas on leeward side deck, and decided the problem could wait for calmer conditions and better light.

Finished making big stew earlier - so plenty for next 2-3 days - good thing since getting strong winds tomorrow - forecast is for gusts to 45kt possibly, although mainly WNW wind up to 30kt, backing to SW.

8pm Not feeling as rough but we're making 6.5kt - wind still up but must have backed more to abaft the beam - always feels smoother if going downwind, even slightly.

Time to get to my bunk - feels damp, like everything else, but will soon warm up.

Wed 1:30am LT (1830 Tues GMT) Woke up half an hour ago to find us making only 4.5kt or less... Just been on deck (after donning my foulies!) to unfurl most of the genoa - wind just under 20kt now and likely to remain down overnight and over the morning also. Now making around 4.8-5.5kt . Seas feeling calmer than a lot earlier - but possibly because we're headed more downwind still.

Hazy hint of moon seen through clouds - looks as though it was raining earlier.

Magnetic variation now 15W.

Heating up my stew - looking forward to some now, before getting more sleep after posting reports and blog shortly...

1900GMT (= 2 a.m.LT) - end of Day 188. We made 142 n.ml. DMG, over the 24 hr period, measured in a straight line between the two 1900 GMT positions. Good DMG again - even better than y'day!

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 188 (by daily DMGs):16,541 n.ml.

Distances (at 1900GMT): Cape Leeuwin LH (SW Australia): 538 n.ml. to ENE (380 n.ml. to WP due S); Melbourne (VIC, Aus): 1746 n.ml. to E; SE Cape,Tasmania,LH: 1779 n.ml. to ESE; SW Cape, NZ: 2592 n.ml ESE; Cape Agulhas LH (S.Africa): 3964 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: 2019/04/09 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 40-25.20S LONGITUDE: 106-45.43E

COURSE: 085T SPEED: 5.0kt WIND_SPEED: 18kt

WIND_DIR: NW SWELL_DIR: NW SWELL_HT: 3.0m CLOUDS: 100%

BARO: 1001.2hPa TREND: -2 AIR_TEMP: 15.0C SEA_TEMP: 15.0C

COMMENT: Wind dropped to under 20kt but seas still often big. Hazy moon.

Written by : Jeanne Socrates