Thursday 8:30am (2230 GMT Wed) Have been sleeping at chart table overnight, to be ready to re-set autopilot (AP) as and when needed. In fact, the error messages have come up very few times, mostly near the beginning of the night, so I have got a fair amount of sleep.
It still seems the only way to try to resolve the problem is to stop the boat by deploying the JSD again ready for the strong conditions (big 8m/26ft seas expected) so I can try to look at various possible sources of the problem and deal with it without being underway and the AP continually going down.
Had a long radio chat earlier with Tony, VK2RI, and others, about trouble-shooting options for both AP and radio problems - he'd been in contact with Robert in S.Africa who knows my AP system well. Radio problem will have wait for calmer conditions - and AP problem is the more urgent just now, anyway.
Noon - JSD was deployed in building 6m seas and wind already over 30kt. Took upper bag with it as it ran out (straps and/or stitching not strong enough) so lost bag to Neptune... Damn! Had already had a wave splashing over stern with some water getting below - not too much but still a nuisance. Clear hanging screen beside chart table doing a good job protecting the area.
4:45pm Wind around 35kt, seas 7-8m - being thrown around a lot, so difficult moving around the cabin and doing jobs.
Have been trouble-shooting AP problem, with Robert's help over satphone - looked at course computer - seems fine. A problem in big seas is sliding around when waves move the boat around while trying to work - was good to be able to wedge myself in place while dealing with course computer! Disconnected second chart plotter, in cockpit, from Seatalk bus - a possible source of corruption in system.
5am Friday (1900GMT Thurs) Have been watching to see if error messages arrived - a few have done, so next step, in daylight, will be to disconnect other possible sources of corruption in the system data circulating in the Seatalk bus - Depth and Wind displays are next on list of suspect items...
1900GMT (= 5 a.m. LT) - end of Day 204. We made 55 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 204 (by daily DMGs):17,956 n.ml.
Distances (at 1900GMT): Cape Leeuwin LH (SW Australia): 1044 n.ml. to WNW; Melbourne (VIC, Aus): 407 n.ml. to ENE; SE Cape,Tasmania,LH: 548 n.ml. to SE; SW Cape, NZ: 1440 n.ml SE.
(902 n.ml. ESE of Albany in W.Australia, 296 n.ml. SSW 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: 2019/04/25 19:00 LATITUDE: 39-27.74S LONGITUDE: 136-01.77E
COURSE: 035T SPEED: 1.6kt
WIND_SPEED: 30kt WIND_DIR: 215T SWELL_DIR: SW SWELL_HT: 7.0m
BARO: 1016.6hPa TREND: -2 AIR_TEMP: 15.0C SEA_TEMP: 16.0C
COMMENT: Drifting while lying to JSD. Still working on problem with instruments & AP