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Day 199 Fri-Sat 19-20 April 2019 Lying to JSD in big seas as wind eased

Friday 3:40am Just got a lot of water down below -we were 'pooped' when big wave broke over our stern. The cockpit had a lot of water in it which took a time to drain away. The washboard was well sealed around its lower edges, so none got down that way. The water got behind the edges of the storm screen which hangs down from near the aft edge of the hard top and onto the sliding hatch, hence to down below - a known design weakness. I got wet at chart table close to companionway while preparing my reports, but computer and instruments were OK, TG!

I then got even wetter, with water gradually continuing to find its way below from above the hatch, as I tried to fix a clear hanging screen in place beside the chart table area. I'd not thought it necessary to have that in place up to now but it prevented any more water getting onto the chart table as we rocked in the swell and would be there in case we were pooped again - hopefully not!

So the lovely clean, dry clothes I'd put on just the other day were now very wet in places, along with my hair (again!).... I tried to dry off the water lying around near the companionway - paper towels worked quite well but seawater does not dry off well and surfaces become damp in cold conditions ... Luckily, my bedding was mainly unaffected - although that's been feeling always damp anyway in the prevailing cold temperatures (often around 14C in the cabin).

Later in the day, I pumped the bilge - not too much water in there but I was not happy to find a small amount of diesel floating on top of the bilge water - difficult to estimate but maybe 1-2 litres. I checked under the engine - clearly some diesel there. I thought at one point yesterday I'd suddenly noticed a slight smell - with the banging and crashing around in the strong conditions, something must have moved slightly? A bit of a worry... Checked all filters and generally looked around but no sign so far of where the diesel leak is. I need to open up the forward engine access but that involves removing the companionway steps, so not possible at present, especially in this big swell (7-8m/23-26ft) According to the gauge, the main tank is still half full and the diesel is only being used for the small generator if wind and/or sun not giving enough battery charging but, in an emergency, would be good to have the engine working OK.

Spent a lot of time cleaning up around the hatch and in he cabin where the water had got down below - there had clearly been some pages from a newspaper up on top and all the water coming down had 'papier mache' in it - a real mess!

6pm Dark already. Having a freeze-dried meal tonight... Chicken teriyaki - tastes good!

Sunday 3amLT (Sat 1900GMT) Posting this report plus weather position to Winlink and then getting back for a couple of hours more sleep - hoping to start retrieving the series drogue at first light - quite soon - while in the present lighter wind conditions, although swell still well up. Won't be easy but has to be done if I'm to get underway again.

1900GMT (= 3 a.m. LT) - end of Day 199. We made 38 n.ml. DMG, over the 24 hr period, measured in a straight line between the two 1900 GMT positions. Still drifting, lying to JSD in big seas, taking a time to lie down, as wind slowly abated.

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 199 (by daily DMGs):17,567 n.ml.

Distances (at 1900GMT): Cape Leeuwin LH (SW Australia): 730 n.ml. to NNW (586 n.ml. to WP due S of Cape - now passed); Melbourne (VIC, Aus): 782 n.ml. to ENE; SE Cape,Tasmania,LH: 848 n.ml. to ESE; SW Cape, NZ: 1719 n.ml ESE.

(598 n.ml. SE of Albany in W.Australia, 619 n.ml. SW of Adelaide, S.Australia)

Position & weather report for 1900 GMT posted to www.Winlink.org and www.Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV):

TIME: 2019/04/20 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 41-03.06S LONGITUDE: 128-01.71E

COURSE: 032T SPEED: 1.2kt


BARO: 1012.4hPa TREND: 0 AIR_TEMP: 12.0C SEA_TEMP: 14.0C

COMMENT: Lying to JSD - hoping to retrieve at first light, ~2100Z/4amLT

Written by : Jeanne Socrates