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Day 19 towards Cape Horn - Bright sun and good speed in more settled wind

Friday 9th November 2012

After several overnight bands of squally rainclouds, with light winds in between, we've finally settled into a nice, sunny day with some white clouds around and fairly consistent good wind from the north.

There's quite a big swell from the NNW - up to 3m - but fairly well spaced out, so not a big problem - just making life onboard very 'rolly' at times!

Having fresh coffee while I download lots of weather info - trying to decide on routing for ITCZ and on Sth... always a bit of a lottery!

24hr DMG to 1500PST/2300GMT: 124n.ml ; Golden Gate Bridge: 452n.ml; Strait of Juan de Fuca is now 1085n.ml away and our position is 435 ml due W of El Socorro & Rosario on the Baja peninsula in Mexico, S of San Diego,...!

Not much change over the day - the rolling coninues in the heavy swell and the wind gusts from time to time, but is fairly consistent at 15-20kt - the wind display occasionally seems to be giving something like the correct reading. I wondered this afternoon whether the mast top wind transducer might have tangled with the genoa furling gear nearby - I found it impossible to unfurl the last bit of genoa earlier - even with a helping hand on the lower furler, it wouldn't budge... Tomorrow, I'll see if it's any better - in daylight.

I've been busily continuing to look at available weather info - including both text and weatherfaxes. It all takes time to download in order to see what exactly each item covers. I do find it fun to get grib (weather) files covering the entire region from here across the Equator and down towards the Horn - to give an idea of the positions of the High pressure areas, ITCZ and Tradewinds.

For the time being, we're heading S still and getting close to the Trades - already the wind is fairly consistently from the NNW-N and will slowly veer to become the NE Trades, reaching down to around 6-10N where the ITCZ lies (the area of unstable air, often with very squally, towering clouds with really heavy rain and a good chance of lightning, in between totally calm areas ... Can be quite unpleasant and good to get through as fast as possible, if you can!

Tim Sell, of Sausalito, has kindly agreed to send photos he took of me fixing the new cradle and liferaft in place on 'Nereida' in San Francisco Bay while tied to a Sausalito Y.C. buoy (Many thanks to S.Y.C. for agreeing that) - so friend Jak Mang will be posting them here for me (if not today, then very soon) as soon as he gets them - Thank you, Jak and Tim!

Written by : Mike

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