Day 221 Sat-Sun 11-12 May 2019 Wind finally gets up - making better speed

Sunday 6am Lovely sunny day with some scattered white cumulus. Wind form W-WSW, up a little, so making around 4 kt. Expected to increase to 20kt quite soon.

10am I heard it's Mother's Day in Australia while chatting on radio earlier - I think that's the second or third one I've been told about this year?!

Still plenty of sunshine but slightly increased cloud - about 50% now.

Magnetic variation has now increased to 21*E - the compass is under-reading by that much.

11:30am Wind increased an hour or so ago - now up to 23kt. Trying to keep our speed down to 5kt or just under - ironic! Have had to furl in the genoa to do so and likely to need to unfurl the staysail and furl away the genoa before long... Winds are expected to build up to 30kt, gusting a lot higher, by Monday and then another system is coming along on Tuesday with even stronger winds likely, along with 8m/27ft WSW swells until Thursday.

Seas have built up - often seeing big 4-5m ones in between the lesser ones.

About to get busy wih pressure cooker, making a big stew - ready for the stormy conditions coming up. Always nice to have a meal all ready, bar the heating up.

Having to wear a warm hat - air has been feeling cold, these last few days.

1pm Chopped up potatoes and onions are cooking on stove. Meat, green beans, sweetcorn etc to be added once they're done - won't take long.

Bright sunshine still, with plenty of blue sky between the clouds. Seas rolling us around as we go up and over them and down the other side.

A magnificent Wandering albatross with 'splashes' of white on its dark upper wings, maybe a Royal?, is soaring around astern and a few prions are fluttering and swooping nearby also. The birds love the strong winds - SW 30kt just now. We're making 5kt or more under genoa furled to second reef mark.

5pm Almost dark - sunset was before 4:30pm LT - think I need to change our ship's clock time! Will go forward one hour tomorrow and wait until closer to Stewart Island to change into NZ time. Time zone 'marker' for one hour forward is at 157 30'E and we're quite close to there now (presently at 157W.)

Not many clouds around and a bright half moon high up. Seas are knocking us around a lot and frequent big ones come crashing onto our beam and washing over the side decks, so I made sure I was in my good foulies before going on deck.

Had to unfurl some genoa to speed us up after finding we were only making 2.5-3 kt around sunset on waking up from a nap - I'd felt really tired and just had to catch up on sleep (missed a couple of radio scheds while sleeping). Feeling a lot better for it now.

7pm About to have my 'stew' - has ended up as a hearty chicken soup with lots of additions, using a big can of chicken chunks in gravy added to the onion and potato with extra vegetables (green beans and sweetcorn) and some chick peas added in. Plenty for several days of bad weather. Was about to add chopped tomato but decided it tasted fine as is.

Wind has died back now, to just ~22kt or less, and is expected to stay down, just below 20kt, for quite a time, probably not coming back up again, veered to WNW, until well after dawn and becoming strong overnight tomorrow, when it will be from NW.

Monday 1:25am (Sunday 1525 GMT) Woken up to find wind has veered into W and really dropped down, to a lot less than forecast - 11 kt now, so we're rolling around in the swell and going very slowly - around 3kt or less. Unfurling rest of genoa...

1:45am A beautiful night - sky is full of stars shining brightly and only a few thin wisps of cloud to be seen, Southern Cross is high up, moon has set.

Full genoa is making little difference to our speed - wind is just too light and from astern... SOG still only 3.1kt. Back to my bunk for more sleep.

5am (Monday 1900GT) W wind up slightly - to 15kt - and still veering slowly, so we're making 4.7kt. Seas feeling not quite so rough in rather lighter wind than earlier and we're sailing almost dead downwind, which always helps.

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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.

It would be great if you would take a moment to click on the Lifeboats link here (https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Jeanne-Socrates2), 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!

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1900GMT (= 5 a.m. LT) - end of Day 221. We made 93 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 221 (by daily DMGs):19,062 n.ml.

Distances (at 1900GMT): SW Cape, NZ: 418 n.ml ESE; Cape Leeuwin LH (SW Australia): 2036 n.ml. to NW; SE Cape,Tasmania,LH: 472 n.ml. to WNW; Hobart 471 n.ml. to WNW; Melbourne (Victoria, Australia): 729 n.ml. NW.

Position & weather report for 1900 GMT posted to www.Winlink.org and www.Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV):

TIME: 2019/05/12 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 45-48.85S lONGITUDE: 157-29.45E

COURSE: 109T SPEED: 4.2kt

WIND_SPEED: 18kt WIND_DIR: W SWELL_DIR: W SWELL_HT: 4.0M

BARO: 1014.4hPa TREND: 0 AIR_TEMP: 14.2C SEA_TEMP: 14.4C

COMMENT: Wind veering slowly. Halfway from SE Cape Tasmania to NZ

Written by : Jeanne Socrates