Monday 21st May 2012 (GMT)
A beautiful double rainbow this afternoon rather summed up my feelings about today!! I felt as though we were finally getting away from the cold Southern Ocean weather with its regular succession of deep, stormy Lows bringing strong winds, rough seas and big swell - but there was a tinge of regret at losing the magnificent birdlife that often surrounded the boat and a deep imprint of the frequent feelings of awe and respect when in the midst of the ocean wilderness, whether stormy or calm .
Seas and wind remained well up overnight and keeping going meant suffering plenty of heeling in big waves as they knocked us around... but our speed was good, so we made 128 n.ml. over the 24hrs to 1pm NZT (0100GMT), despite the rough seas.
Over today, the wind occasionally gusted up to 30-31 kt as big clouds came by to give a squall, but not very often compared with yesterday, and the wind settled down by this evening to a pleasant 19-21 kt from WSW. With the Low expected to form on our path towards Raivavae/Tahiti, I'm heading NNE until it's clear where exactly its centre will be - hopefully, I'll then be able to take advantage of the clockwise rotation of its winds to get further East over the top of it.
The bright sunshine and warmth of today have been a definite improvement on the weather of the last few days and I cooked a good meal tonight in hopeful celebration of some pleasant days ahead. Some fleece layers will definitely be disappearing tomorrow, I think, and I'll be digging out lighter clothing for the days ahead.
Good news on the Czech single-hander Petr on 'Singa' - he told me this evening that he's only 142 n.ml. from Cuvier Island at the entrance to Hauraki Gulf which leads to Auckland - still a way to go in the light S-SE winds expected but he's in the Bay of Plenty, having successfully rounded East Cape last week. He's really looking forward to landfall after a painfully slow passage on his way north from SE of Stewart Island, after several knockdowns (he's averaged just 2 knots for several weeks due to sail and autopilot problems). " I hope my landing will be on Saturday or Sunday this week. I am looking forward on this indeed," he says. He'll have made a nonstop sail from Falmouth, England, around four of the Five Great Capes to reach his present position - and overcome massive problems in doing so - well done, Petr!!