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Day 200 Sat-Sun 20-21 April 2019 Back underway; Light-mantled albatross comes close

Happy Easter to all!

Easter Sunday 6:15am All geared up in foulies, ready to start trying to bring in the JSD. Having a couple of dried dates for a quick 'energy fix' before starting what could turn into a long session...

8:30am Back down below - JSD retrieved - not too difficult at all with changed system, using just main sheet winch and two wraps - cones on line passed around and released without any major problem - just under one and a half hours altogether (in 4m seas and 15-20kt wind) - time confirmed by the 1.6ml drift at ~1kt while being brought in.

Had to spend quite a time beforehand, sorting out the tangle of lines in the cockpit on and under the floor washboards which had been displaced by the rough action of the seas on the boat. Found both bridle arms had wrapped themselves around the stern cleats and pulled the stainless steel strips away at that end, the bridle arm wedging itself between the wood of the toe-rail and the metal strip.

Sad to say that poor Fred is terminally damaged - rudder askew and top two connections gone... About to bring in vane and rudder before getting underway.

10:30am Underway again, under autopilot, headed NE - but a few problems.... Poor Fred - damage caused by the JSD, it seems. Rudder is at a crazy angle and, as a result, mechanism is missing two connectors. Couldn't remove rudder in present 4m seas - securing pin too well wired in place and too much motion of boat/seas/rudder to allow it. Will have to wait for calmer conditions coming up in a day or so.

3am LT Monday (1900GMT Sunday) Has been a mainly relaxing, enjoyable day since getting underway, despite problems. (Good to have autopilot with a back-up ram). Had lots of nice chats on radio and a few by phone with plenty of Easter greetings exchanged - also by email. Had a tasty foil-packed ready meal of 'Zesty Chicken Tagine', with additional chick peas to boost the quantity, and chocolate-coated almonds made suitably-shaped stand-ins as mini Easter eggs!

Wind has been under 20kt, from WNW, for most of day. Rain fell soon after we moved on this morning but I only got wet while unfurling the genoa. In present damp conditions on cabin sole, Goretex-lined socks are proving a blessing as the outer layer over two pairs of warm socks.

Need to complete re-packing of JSD so it's ready to deploy again, although hoping to avoid that - heading N to 40S to avoid the 'Anzac Day storm' off Tasmania coming up over Thursday/Friday.

Was thrilled to see a pair of grey albatross with dark head soaring close by the boat this morning as getting JSD in - Light-mantled albatross - looked like a juvenile with a mature (parent?). (Camera nowhere close by - damn!) Never seen before - lovely!

1900GMT (= 3 a.m. LT) - end of Day 200. We made 71 n.ml. DMG, over the 24 hr period, measured in a straight line between the two 1900 GMT positions.

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 200 (by daily DMGs):17,638 n.ml.

Distances (at 1900GMT): Cape Leeuwin LH (SW Australia): 764 n.ml. to NNW (648 n.ml. to WP due S of Cape - now passed); Melbourne (VIC, Aus): 720 n.ml. to ENE; SE Cape,Tasmania,LH: 805 n.ml. to ESE; SW Cape, NZ: 1683 n.ml ESE.

(628 n.ml. SE of Albany in W.Australia, 548 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: 2019/04/21 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 40-23.88S LONGITUDE: 129-18.09E

COURSE: 064T SPEED: 4.2kt


BARO: 1018.4hPa TREND: 0 AIR_TEMP: 15.0C SEA_TEMP: 15.0C

COMMENT: Underway NE in gentle wind.Full genoa + stays'l

Written by : Jeanne Socrates