Sunday 7am NZT Turned around to try for Stewart Island again, planning to arrive well after the strong weather that's presently in the area S of here until Tuesday. Weather window looking good for Wednesday rounding, or later, but present wind direction is not too good to make it around Puysegur Point, near Cape Providence, two days away.
Wind is forecast to veer later to the SW-W which would enable the change of course needed. If I clearly can't round it safely, I'll have to abort the SW Cape and head N instead. That would soon end up causing a problem since there's a big High developing in the Tasman Sea to the N - pressure here has risen noticeably since midnight, being 1018hPa now.
Sunday midday: Hard on a wind from the SSW, trying to find a happy medium between making a good course and managing a reasonable speed - difficult not to kill our speed completely with being so close-hauled, so often not making a good speed. Don't want us to end up too far E or we'll never round Cape Providence and Puysegur Pt.
Need the mainsail available, to give better speed and upwind pointing, but that still requires some calm weather to insert the remaining sail slides into the mast track. Not quite enough slides are in place yet even to get a triple-reefed sail hoisted. The second batten end's slide posed a big problem and needs all sail ties and reefs released in order to get it into place - definitely not a job to be done in windy conditions.
We're beating into 4-5m seas that occasionally throw us around and we're heeled quite a bit with full genoa. Doing anything down below is difficult with the boat's motion. Wind backed to SSW before dawn this morning, just before we turned around, and has been mostly around 18-21kt with occasional gusts to 24kt.
Getting breakfast turned into another clearing up job. Had to cut away a lot of the potatoes used in my meal last night - found two tiny new ones growing and, becasue they've been well wrapped, roots have grown into the potato flesh - most odd and gives a lot more work. I keep finding things hidden away in or under my wet sleeping bag and pads and loose sheets of paper are so sodden as to be useless.
Want to try to get at the Aurora's cable to investigate a join that could well be causing the problem I'm now facing - might well have got water in there, under the tape covering it.
Feeling quite tired after a very disturbed night, so will try to take a nap soon.
3:20 pm Feeling a bit emotional and very touched... After a sched with Peter, ZL1PWM, for a status and weather update, two VK stations (Australia) came on frequency, one to pass on ideas on balancing the wind generator (would be good to get it back into action) and both wishing me the best and passing on good wishes from a lot of other Australian stations - thanks to all of you, not just in Australia but also in Canada, USA, New Zealand, UK, S.Africa, Mexico, Argentina, also - I deeply appreciate all the supportive thoughts and good wishes that I know are coming my way... :-)
7pm Feeling very happy just now - very many thanks to Colin, VK6CI, for his determined efforts via discussions over the SSB/HF radio to find the cause of my Aurora/satphone system problem - finally successful - the system has been 'tweaked' and is now back up and running fine... but without the wired handset via the Grandstream unit which seems to have been the main cause of the problem (the taped join looked dry). Using my computer for weather/emails and iPhone for voice calls - working well.
10pm Had a very nice meal, followed by a 'treat' of chocolate almonds ... ready for a very good sleep, having had just a one-hour map earlier. Have now downloaded a lot of emails waiting in my Inbox since several days ago and calls & texts to/from Colin confirmed the Aurora system working well - yippee!
Monday 5:30am Dark still - wind is around 17-18kt from SW. The coast is 80 miles off and our present course of 161T will take us 10ml clear of Cape Providence (110 ml off) and Puysegur Pt. Speed is very low at just over 3kt because we're still hard on the wind to ensure we clear the point, but both speed and clearance should improve as the wind veers more to the W today.
Needed to run generator badly with batteries well down - running it for an hour now - consumption has been confirmed at just over 1 l/hr. There's a fair chance I might be able to get the windgen back into action - either finding I have a spare set of blades on board (IF I have, and I just can't remember for sure, they'll be stowed under the forepeak bunk under a lot of other things and inaccessible until the seas are a lot calmer) or balancing the blades using a weight on the stub of the missing blade - possibly with a length of wood if it could be fixed in place firmly, although that idea sounds easier said than done and is very dubious. I shan't know my options either way until it's a lot calmer than the present 4-5m swell with wind waves, which is rolling us around still.
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!
1900GMT (= 7 a.m. NZT, 12 hrs on) - end of Day 228. We made 79 n.ml. DMG, over the 24hr period, measured in a straight line between the two 1900GMT positions.
Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 228 (by daily DMGs):19,627 n.ml.
Distances (at 1900GMT): SW Cape, NZ: 199 n.ml SSE; nearest SW NZ coastline: 90 n.ml.; Hobart: 786 n.ml.
Position & weather report for 1900 GMT, posted to www.Winlink.org and www.Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV):
TIME: 2019/05/19 19:00 LATITUDE: 44-18.91S LONGITUDE: 165-22.39E
COURSE: 161T SPEED: 3.5kt
WIND_SPEED: 18kt WIND_DIR: SW SWELL_DIR: SW SWELL_HT: 4.5m
BARO: 1019.3hPa TREND: 2 AIR_TEMP: 16.0C SEA_TEMP: 16.0C
COMMENT: 80ml off SW NZ coast