This will be a brief report... Sufficient to say we're safely tied to a buoy in Timaru Hbr, close to where the two anchored vessels that I passed yesterday will be offloading shortly.
After the nightmare of being so very close to total disaster yesterday morning, when I only just realised in time that we were heading in very light wind onto the totally unlit rocks of a big, long breakwater, not shown on my plotter's chart, and having had very little sleep for two nights running - I've slept for over fifteen hours - from 3pm NZT Friday until 5:30am today - and then turned over for another hour...!
Many thanks to Magnus and his crew on the Timaru Pilot boat who had several people on board from local media who wanted to get us on camera as we headed towards the mooring buoy where I'll be stationed for the next few days getting repairs done after my recent knockdown.
Initially, the wind slowly picked up and we made good progress SW, from where we'd been overnight, toward the main harbour entrance. Thinking ahead to picking up the buoy, and expecting the wind to stay up until around midday, I'd reduced sail, not realising the large distance involved - this is a very big harbour and the entrance was wide open. Pity I hadn't been able to heave to just off it when we passed that way the night before - but those two anchored ships were too close and I was worried we might drift onto them, so went further on.
We headed toward the main channel with buildings on shore a long distance away still and I was constantly questioning Magnus over the VHF radio as to which way I needed to head to reach where the mooring buoys were situated. I'm used to small harbours and this is a big commercial port, dealing with big ships, so everything is that much larger... Not having the plan of the harbour available on my chart plotter was a big unexpected hindrance, despite photos of the harbour area having been sent to me by friends.
When I was fairly close, the Pilot boat came out, along with a tug (I'd been thinking I might have needed that last night!) and we exchanged waves and greetings - all very pleasant. The cameras were unexpected - not sure who told them or how they got there. The Timaru Herald, I was told, was present plus another cameraman taking video.
All good fun... until the wind started to die around 10am - a lot earlier than the midday expected and with the buoy I was heading to within a tantalising few hundred metres - easily visible. I increased sail but it was no good .... The wind finally died away completely, not long after I'd had trouble staying clear of some structures in the harbour close by, with the light wind heading us.
We drifted around in the harbour for an hour or two - I lost track of the time, needing to be on deck by the wheel then - waiting for the wind to pick up helpfully from the N, as Magnus was convinced it would. I was wondering whether my 'unassisted' status would disappear since I had visions of only getting to the buoy with a tow... maybe after drifting onto something in the harbour. But I did manage to stay clear of a few obstacles and finally, sure enough, a light N wind did arrive and ruffled the water surface. I waited a bit longer to make sure it filled in more and had also picked up in the area where the buoy was located. At last, I was able to sail over to the small pick-up buoy and finally cleat off the loop of line to the main buoy - relief once that was done and I could relax and thank Magnus who had stayed close by until I was safely tied up.
As we were sailing up the channel, before increasing sail in the ever-lessening wind, to my disbelief, the port side lazyjack broke and the stowed sail fell down to the deck unhelpfully - yet another job suddenly added to the list while here. That meant that, when dropped, the mainsail ended up all over the deck, making it that much more of an effort to tie it all to the boom later. In doing that, I noticed that where the sail was torn in a few places, the tears had increased - more work to do while here.
Once the mainsail had been stowed, I had a very quick snack and got to my bunk soon after 3pm with no alarms set - sleep was needed badly and I happily snuggled under my double thick duvet in the low temperature - 5C/41F is being forecast for overnight now.
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!
Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 239 (by daily DMGs): 19,963 n.ml. up to last distance calculation (on Day 233) + an unknown amount - but now have plotter available to do it, so will do that one evening, when too dark to work on deck.
Distance covered overnight in previous 24hr - 5n.ml. from that breakwater to this buoy...
Also, distance covered the previous 24hr, from off Oamaru to off Timaru: 41n.ml.
Position report for 1900 GMT, posted to www.Winlink.org and www.Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV):
TIME: 2019/05/31 19:00GMT
COMMENT: Tied to swinging mooring in Timaru Hbr to get repairs done