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Day 229 Sun-Mon 19-20 May 2019 Slow progress, keeping well off the rugged SW coast of S. Island, N.Z.

Monday 8:20am Just gone dawn - but a grey sky. Feeling damp and cold, with air temperature just about reaching 16C/61F. Making around 3-3.5kt, often a lot less, hard on a SW wind which has dropped to 15kt, trying to make sure we clear Cape Providence, 107ml to the SSE. This will be a slow day, with light winds.
About to call Taupo Maritime Radio for my twice-daily sched - to confirm "All is well on board" and give position, COG & SOG.
Will get back to my bunk for some more sleep soon.

1:30pm I was clearly very tired - after not too bad a night's sleep last night, I lay down for a nap around 10am - and woke up just before 1pm! The sun was shining brightly from a blue patch of sky - one of two or three quite big ones among the otherwise grey clouds. We're still rolling around quite often but seas are definitely lying down
We're only making around 2-2.5kt, sometimes getting up to 3kt or just over, in wind that has veered a touch more towards WSW. Slow, as expected today, until the wind veers and increases further. But pressure has risen to 1020hPa, so we're being affected by the High to our N.

5pm Light now beginning to fade - already very dull under grey cloud cover.
Two lovely albatrosses circling us - long, dark, upper wings and dark back, white underbody and white underwings, except for dark tips, white tail with dark end, light grey 'wash' on cheeks and yellow bill. Wings held stiffly out as they glide around.

6pm Went up on deck to do some tidying up while the seas are not too bad - removed ends of lines where JSD bags had been torn away from the stern arch supports, untied retrieval line for JSD from stern cleat - hoping to untangle it from remains of bridle so JSD useable again. Replaced trysail in its bag where it had come partly out. Generally checked around.

Looking at what had happened, it occurred to me that it was a good thing there is a hard top over the companionway now. It seems to me that a cloth awning held in place with the usual tubular supports would have been badly damaged by the water impact that had clearly occurred. In a previous knockdown, 100ml W of Cape Horn on 5 January 2011, the awning had been totally lost - supports and cloth - everything was taken away by the impact, leaving no protection whatsoever over the companionway.

7:30pm Making better speed from time to time - under clouds? Occasionally making 3.5-4kt, instead of the usual 2kt - nice to see some better speed - possibly also helped by the wind having veered more to WSW meaning we're less hard on the wind - always makes for better speed and less heeling.
Spoke to Colin about my Aurora system - working so much better now. Tracker info is being put out frequently and in full and email uploads and downloads are unbelievably speedy.

9:30pm Contacted MRCC NZ for a quick status check - they're watching me via my AIS signal which, with us being so close to the coast, is updated every few minutes.

11pm Back to making just 2kt in wind of 10kt or less from just N of W - but at least our course is good - at due S or a little W of S - want to keep well off the rugged NZ coast hereabouts.
Had an enjoyable session on the satphone linking to the ham radio with Jim, WB2REM, orchestrating. Was nice to make contact with some familiar people as well as several new ones - from Chesapeake to Texas to Tasmania to Canberra - all sending good wishes - thanks to all of you!

5:30am Dark still - just before dawn. Wind has been slowly dying - mainly now only 8kt, but has just gusted to 18kt for a short timewhich makes it easier to maintain our S course - difficult when wind too light.
Coast is just over 50 ml away - Cape Providence (just N of Puysegur Pt - marked on photo of chart).

Tomorrow, I'll be chatting live on BBC Radio Solent with Julian Clegg on his Breakfast Show - that will be live at 7.25am Tuesday BST (11:25pm Monday PDT). Hopefully the satellite link won't make our voices too 'warbly'!
Before that, I'll be chatting to CBC Victoria during the afternooon (Monday), time tba.

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 229. We made 50 n.ml. DMG, over the 24hr period, measured in a straight line between the two 1900GMT positions. A very slow day!

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 229 (by daily DMGs):19,677 n.ml.

Distances (at 1900GMT): SW Cape, NZ: 150 n.ml SSE; nearest SW NZ coastline (Resolution Island): 48 n.ml.; Cape Providence: 62 n.ml.; Hobart: 799 n.ml.

Position & weather report for 1900 GMT, posted to www.Winlink.org and www.Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV):
TIME: 2019/05/20 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 45-07.59S LONGITUDE: 165-37.65E
COURSE: 179T SPEED: 1.3kt
BARO: 1019.5hPa TREND: 0 AIR_TEMP: 15.0C SEA_TEMP: 16.0C
COMMENT: 48ml off SW NZ coast

Written by : Jeanne Socrates