Friday 5am LT (Thursday 1900GMT) Wind has piped up nicely and we're making good speed - maximising it for as long as we can and often making 6-7kt with full genoa, so good progress towards the S Capes being made. Would be nice to get safely around the SE Cape of Tasmania before the wind dies right down from SW, as it's forecast to do...
6:40am First light before dawn - rain giving increased wind so we're making good speed. Back to my bunk for sleep ...
7:30am Couldn't stay in my bunk for long - the genoa kept being backed and clearly needed to be gybed onto starboard tack as the wind slowly backed to NW more so had to get up and gybe the sail.
Rain has cleared away - decks are very wet. We had been making around 6kt but wind has dropped with rain clouds moving off so we're making just 4.5-5.5kt now.
A lone albatross swooped around astern as I was gybing the genoa - on dark grey, fixed wings, glidig effortlessly over the steep, close-to, 4m waves. Dark back, white tail, white underwings with black tips and thin black edges. Couldn't see its head too clearly as I clambered back into the cockpit, after having freed the genoa sheet (control line) which had got itself slightly trapped on the foredeck.
Will get some breakfast and make up on lost sleep later this morning.
We're a good 25 miles off the edge of the continental shelf here, so should see lesser seas than further inshore.
11am Bright sunshine again, in between the scattered clouds. The seas are still a good 4m or more and still steep-faced so we're swinging about quite a lot. Making around 5.7kt - hope we keep that up.
Just finished with this morning's radio scheds - nice to chat to the friendly, welcoming people coming up on frequency each morning.
5pm Lots of grey cloud threatening rain. Very gusty NW wind of 15-20kt. Seas are 4m or more and very close - so we're continuing to be tossed around a lot - rough conditions but making good progress - frequently seeing over 6kt and generally making around 5-5.5kt.
Presently rounding SW Cape (27 miles off) and SE Cape is due E, 62 miles off but we're heading SE so WP marking where we pass due S of the Cape is actually 74 miles off.
Spent a lot of time today, trying to resolve satphone problem (back again) - thanks for all your help, Colin!
Arranged for chat with Rachel on ABC Tasmania - to take place live on her Monday afternoon radio programme at 2pm - if phone working OK, as it was this morning...
Time for another batch of pancakes before nightfall - I'm really enjoying them and light is beginning to fade!
Saturday 4:15am LT (Friday 1800 GMT) Feeling a lot calmer than earlier with no sudden lurching of boat in rough seas. Wind has died down a lot and backed into SW, so I've been able to adjust course for due E. WP marking point due S of SE Cape is now just 22 miles off - but speed has dropped to just 3.7 kt in the light wind from astern of about 12kt, so will take at least another 6-7 hours to pass that point - and that's if wind drops no further... At this rate, means we'll pass the Cape by midday local time.
'Seeing' a cargo vessel astern - a rare event! 'Blue Alexandra', on the AIS display, about 24 ml away, making for Lyttelton N.Z. at 12kt, also heading around Tasmania.
5am Starry sky overhead and to the S, but some cloud elsewhere.
Speed slightly better now, at 4.5kt - so maybe we'll manage to pass the SE Cape well before midday? Back to my bunk....
1900GMT (= 5 a.m. LT) - end of Day 212. We made 120 n.ml. DMG, over the 24 hr period, measured in a straight line between the two 1900 GMT positions. Better DMG, reflecting good speed earlier.
Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 212 (by daily DMGs):18,564 n.ml.
Distances (at 1900GMT): Cape Leeuwin LH (SW Australia): 1557 n.ml. to NW
NW; Melbourne (Victoria, Australia): 368 n.ml. NNE; SE Cape,Tasmania,LH: 43 n.ml. to NNE (WP to S: 20 n.ml. due E); SW Cape, NZ: 896 n.ml ESE.
(1419 n.ml. SE of Albany in W.Australia, 667 n.ml. SSE 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: 2019/05/03 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 44-18.00S LONGITUDE: 146-22.37E
COURSE: 090T SPEED: 4.5kt
WIND_SPEED: 15kt WIND_DIR: SW SWELL_DIR: W SWELL_HT: 3.5m CLOUDS: 30%
BARO: 1006.2hPa TREND: 2 AIR_TEMP: 16.0C
COMMENT: Starry sky overhead and to S. Lesser seas.