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Day 217 Tues-Wed 7-8 May 2019 A productive day's work in calm seas

I've been happy to hear that people are enjoying my daily reports - which all take a time to put together each night - especially if any photos are included - as this one has.

So here's a personal plea from me to you....

While sailing around the world, I'm trying to raise funds to help support the superb life-saving work done by the RNLI (Lifeboats) in Britain each and every day of the year, regardless how bad the weather. In fact, the worse it is, the more likely they are out there, helping someone in distress - whether a swimmer, surfer, small boat or big ship, night or day, summer or winter. They are all volunteers with normal day-jobs who respond immediately to a call and it is a charity - no government funding - so they rely on our help to fund their intensive training and maintain their equipment.
<Link here and above and below, added by Jeanne's web person>

It would be great if you would take a moment to click on the Lifeboats link on my website Home page or on QRZ.com (on my VE0JS page), if you'd like to show your support for my efforts at sailing solo, nonstop, unassisted around the globe, trying to set a World Record as the oldest person to do so, by donating something towards the great work the RNLI do every day. If a lot of people put in even a small amount, it all adds up...

Thanks a lot! If you can help, it will be very much appreciated. Let's see if we can reach my target!


Wednesday 6am First light of day - sunrise not far away but a grey, cloudy sky, so won't see it, although a few clouds in E are slightly pink. No fog, so that's good.
Wind very light and from SW - struggling (and mostly failing) to make SE course - need a stronger wind - presently only under 10kt still.
Weather ahead not looking very helpful - light winds now, followed by very strong system coming over weekend with strong gusts expected ... a real mix of conditions.
Much as I have enjoyed passing close to friendly Australia, I really want to get north (to the warmth!) It has taken far longer than expected to make progress over recent weeks - it has been painfully slow, most of the time...

8:30am Bright sunshine - we came out from under the grey clouds - blue sky overhead. Getting breakfast - making pancakes.
Making around 1.5kt - but on course towards Stewart island in light wind - waiting for it to increase as forecast - but might have to wait until later today... On with jobs...

Sunset - A lovely sight - with thin crescent moon hanging high up as well.
A really good, productive day while drifting in little wind - WSW-W 5-7kt for most of today. Very pleasant weather this afternoon - was quite enjoyable being on deck working. A pair of storm petrels were flying around but I had little time to admire them.
Changed over the Speed display with a used spare I found - replacement working fine and not causing any problem for the autopilot as the other one had.
Re-made some wiring connections on the Wind cabling below the mast, in the main cabin. Wind display fine now - good news!
Have spent quite a time on mainsail - finishing remaining stitching. Just have a tiny bit more to finish near the 2nd batten, using sticky-backed sail repair tape, and then I have to replace the sail slides into the mast track.
Another half day of calm weather and the mainsail will be in place, ready for use....

8pm Noticed the autopilot didn't seem to be responding as it ought - the wheel hardly moved as we went off course. Then a 'Motor stalled' message flashed up... Tried to re-set the autopilot but it came up again. Damn! Something wrong... Went to have a look at the steering quadrant where the ram acts to steer the boat, to check if anything simple I could do - but nothing obviously amiss there - the motor was the problem? Switched over to the other ram and motor - seems now to be working fine... Breathed a sigh of relief.. Another problem but another item added to the job lit - not sure much I can do about it but I'll check on that in daylight tomorrow.

Nice radio sched at 9pm with several long chats with people, followed by getting to my bunk.

4am Was awoken by something amiss - the headsail was backed, we were making 1.5kt - the wind had veered? No, we were not quite on course. Rain was starting. I got us back on course and the wind direction was then still fine for the starboard tack we'd been on...
But, at last, the wind was up - to around 20kt, and we were making a fair speed - of around 4kt, under genoa alone - running slightly downwind. I'd put my foulies on as the rain started, before realising I didn't need to change the sail after all. Good to be moving at a better speed, although as rain eased soon after starting, the wind eased also - so our SOG (speed over ground) dropped down to 3.5kt.

Time to prepare my daily reports - weather, position, blog - with photos of today's sunset and my 'work bench' on the boom, trying to finish the mainsail repair there.

1900GMT (= 5 a.m. LT) - end of Day 217. We made 35 n.ml. DMG, over the 24 hr period, measured in a straight line between the two 1900 GMT positions. Mainly drifting at 1-1.5kt in almost no wind over the time.

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 217 (by daily DMGs):18,792 n.ml.

Distances (at 1900GMT): SW Cape, NZ: 690 n.ml ESE; Cape Leeuwin LH (SW Australia): 1772 n.ml. to NW; SE Cape,Tasmania,LH: 204 n.ml. to WNW; Hobart 201 n.ml. to NW; Melbourne (Victoria, Australia): 478 n.ml. NW.

Position & weather report for 1900 GMT posted to www.Winlink.org and www.Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV):
TIME: 2019/05/08 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 44-22.64S LONGITUDE: 151-27.87E
COURSE: 120T SPEED: 4.0kt
BARO: 1003.7hPa TREND: 0 AIR_TEMP: 17.0C SEA_TEMP: 17.0C
COMMENT: Wind came up with rain starting. Eased to 14kt soon after.

Written by : Jeanne Socrates