Thursday 8:20am Gybed around in strong conditions - took a time to deal with everything but managed not to allow any sheets (control lines to sails) to get tangled, by keeping tension on them.
Has been rough going all night long - definitely needed the genoa to be safely furled away and run with just the staysail and trysail...
Strong conditions still with frequent gusts and big 6m seas catching us for a bit of surfing at times... Scattered cloud (about 50%) and sunshine. Strong wind - 30kt or so. Making around 6 kt. Pressure rising slowly - now 1004.7hPa.
9am Wind seems to be a bit less - a lull possibly? Getting more cloudy but not rain cloud... Seas impressive but no threatening, tumbling crests, although we are being tossed around a lot at times as they pass under.
Hoping not to be too caught by the light winds of the High pressure cell coming next, once this Low and its Front have passed off to the E. Needed to gybe to keep good wind (from abaft the beam) and not get headwinds, by being to S of the centre of the High.
Quick simple breakfast and then back to my bunk - need to catch up on missed sleep.
12:30pm Surprised - I slept well for a couple of hours. Hazy sunshine at present - some blue sky and plenty of thin cloud. Pressure now 1008.3hPa.
Conditions very rough just now - seas and wind both well up. We're mostly making just 4.5-5 kt, getting thrown around a lot by the big seas and quite well heeled - not very comfortable!
Just made contact on 20m with S.Africa (very poor copy now), USA W coast (getting better as I move further E) and several Australian stations - some coming in well, others not so, depending their power and where in Australia they are and whether or not they have a beam antenna to turn my way for better signal/reception.
4pm Unfurled some genoa - not much but just enough to boost our speed a bit - to about 5kt, rather than 4kt or less. Rain clouds around so might get strong gusts again... Being very cautious! Seas still very big and tossing us around. Wind from WSW - around 20kt or more on the beam. Sun getting low.
7pm Just finished a very sociable radio session, starting on 7163 (normally moving to 7166 for less noise/interference) with contacts to USA and then a lot of Australian contacts - all very friendly and enjoyable!
A lot of comments on my radio signal being very much up and down. That's because the boat is moving and swinging around a lot in the present 6m/20ft seas which makes the mast, and therefore my backstay antenna, move a lot - affecting my received signal tremendously.
Time for some more stew and then I'll get to sleep... Pressure has risen to 1014.3hPa, wind is dropping and our speed with it - I'll unfurl the rest of the genoa in case we can speed up a bit more. Wind is down, as forecast - and will get even less.
8pm Speed up to around 5kt and over, for time being - much better! Crescent moon is hiding behind broken clouds but enough light to see what I was doing, although I could probably do it blindfold if I had to.
Thursday 2am LT (Wed 1900GMT) Wind has dropped right down in High pressure (1016 hPa now) - only making 2-2.5 kt, despite full genoa - wind only 10kt or less - and will continue at that strength for nearly a day ... Another test of my patience! Waiting to gybe again when wind veers to W and then to WNW sometime soon.
1900GMT (= 2 a.m.LT) - end of Day 190. We made 99 n.ml. DMG, over the 24 hr period, measured in a straight line between the two 1900 GMT positions. Almost 100ml - if we hadn't changed course after gybing earlier, would have been 103ml!
Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 190 (by daily DMGs):16,771 n.ml.
Distances (at 1900GMT): Cape Leeuwin LH (SW Australia): 395 n.ml. to NNE (157 n.ml. to WP due S); Melbourne (VIC, Aus): 1523 n.ml. to ENE; SE Cape,Tasmania,LH: 1568 n.ml. to ESE; SW Cape, NZ: 2396 n.ml ESE; Cape Agulhas LH (S.Africa): 4166n.ml. to WNW.
Position & weather report for 1900 GMT posted to www.Winlink.org and www.Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV):
TIME: 2019/04/11 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 40-21.90S LONGITUDE: 111-42.54E
COURSE: 103T SPEED: 2.5kt
WIND_SPEED: 8kt WIND_DIR: WSW SWELL_DIR: WSW SWELL_HT: 5.0m
BARO: 1016.4hPa TREND: 0 AIR_TEMP: 15.0C SEA_TEMP: 15.0C
COMMENT: Slowed right down in High. Still 157ml to go, before passing S of C.Leeuwin.