Sunday 20th May 2012 (GMT)
I found yesterday's report being posted before it was finished...!
By 9pm, weather was deteriorating , as expected. Wind had increased gradually and with it the seas, as usual.
I listened to a radio weather forecast and seemed to hear gale warnings relating to close by - so I contacted Taupo Radio to query - they were very helpful and repeated and clarified the gale warnings for my area - the good news was we were near the edge of the area, so only expecting 30-40knots average winds, not the 40-50 knots forecast for elsewhere!
It was stormy overnight but I managed some sleep, despite keeping going - I nearly hove to several times but wanted to keep going, if possible, to get away from the storm area. Morning was slightly better, and I stood in the companionway watching the rough, 5-6m seas approaching under bright sunny skies with a few light clouds. I spotted a Buller's albatross, keeping company with a pair of white-chinned petrels, probably the same ones that I'd seen yesterday.
Again, I've been downloading weatherfaxes whenever possible to add in to other weather info I'm getting. Things are looking difficult just now with a complex Low to the S, giving strong conditions for another day, probably, and the possibility of another Low forming directly on my path ahead by the end of next week...
The slight improvement in conditions early in the day didn't last and by mid-afternoon, I decided to heave to - just to relax and get some sleep I badly needed. Two hours later, we were on our way again.... Winds have been gusting to just under 40 knots regularly, as big, towering clouds have approached, and seas continue to be big and rough - we're knocked around often so life is not exactly easy or comfortable just now!
Hopefully, by tomorrow night, winds will have eased and life will have become a bit pleasanter and more comfortable. The only good thing about these strong conditions is that we're making 6-8 knots SOG most of the time, surfing occasionally at 9-12 kts also. So despite the rough seas, DMG today was 134 n.ml. (yesterday's was 114 n.ml., in less strong conditions)
Sea temperature has increased to 21C now, so at least the boat is not feeling so very cold as it did when sea temperatures were down around 12C off Stewart Island, S of New Zealnd's S. Island.