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Day 249 Sat-Sun 8-9 June 2019 GMT ... Drifting S of Banks Peninsula, E of Timaru

Please note - apologies, but emails are mostly not being replied to now in order to conserve battery power - a lot less power is needed to download them (please make them short) than to send replies to them. Many thanks to so many of you for sending supportive messages - they're much appreciated!

Sunday 8am NZT (Sat 2000 GMT) Sunrise - lovely colours in the E sky, enhanced by the low cloud there - clear everywhere else. Heading E towards the Chatham Islands in slowly increasing 15kt WNW wind. Seas a little less rough than overnight but a noticeably big swell from SW.

10:45am Wind has slowly increased to around 20kt from WNW and seas have got rougher and increased along with it. Decided to leave sail plan as is, since making fair speed and wind might increase further

11:30am Getting to my bunk to make up on lost sleep overnight. Generator has finished and wind generator is now running - I'd forgotten to switch it back on after checking to see if there are any bad batteries in the bank yesterday morning - no wonder the batteries needed charging fairly soon. (Good news from my testing was finding that none of the batteries seem to be very bad - no one battery lost its charge under load more quickly than the others - all showed an equally slow reduction in voltage under load.)
Seas are quite rough still - probably result of NW wind/swell opposing the SW swell from earlier SW wind.
Sun is shining through and between a lot of light cloud - all very pleasant.

5:30pm An albatross flew past as I sat enjoying a lovely sunset over clearly visible mountain peaks behind the coast around Timaru in the W, around 5pm. Mountains and/or high hills of the Banks Peninsula are also visible to the N, 32 ml off - behind there lie the city of Christchurch and the port of Lyttelton, just over 50 miles away, as the crow flies.
Tried to release the third reef earlier - but, although I could not not see any lines caught and the sail and all lines were seemingly free to move, when I tried to winch on the halyard to hoist the sail, it went so far and then became exceedingly difficult to budge - the halyard ended up bar tight, sure sign of a problem.
I can only think the problem lies at the top of the mast. If the wind eases a lot more, as forecast to do overnight and tomorrow (winds expected around 2-4 kt for a time over the day), I'll try dropping the mainsail and try 'working' the mast top sheave. I already tried dropping the sail back down a small amount to relieve the tension in the rope - seemed to hoist more easily afterward to begin with but, again, soon got too tight with further winching and became very difficult to move. I hope there's not a major problem with the pulley block up there. We're presently sailing with less than half the sail area available, but despite that we're making 4-5kt in 15kt wind - but that's slowly getting lighter.

8:30pm Wind down to 10kt and our SOG is down to around 3kt. Looking at the weather ahead, decided to head N of the Chatham Islands now, rather than S of them - prefer not to be on a lee shore in the strong conditions expected when close to there.
About to make some soup and then prepare some pancake mix for tomorrow morning, before settling down for the night.

11:30pm Had to furl in genoa - wind down to around 5kt, so just drifting with no steerage - have lashed the wheel to starboard in hope that we'll go around in a circle, rather than perhaps backwards (due W), or maybe due S or N - no way to end up steering in direction intended, so trying to minimise drift. Getting to my bunk - this is really frustrating!

Monday 5:20am (Sun 1720GMT) Dark. Drifting very slowly at around 0.5kt in 6-7kt wind from mainly NNW, according to wind instrument - but actually from everywhere, or maybe SSW, as we roll a little in the slight swell. Seeing orange glow on NW horizon - Christchurch, behind Banks Peninsula? Turned on generator for 45 mins - was down to 11.88V before starting - needed it. 5mins later, was putting in 101A at 14.0V. After 45mins, was putting in 46A. Batteries are definitely accepting charge a lot better now - pleased to see that.

7:30am Back to my bunk after posting this... as first light, well before dawn, starts. Very peaceful with no wind... Not going very far again, today...


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) - end of Day 249. We made 51 n.ml. DMG, measured in a straight line between the two 1900GMT positions.

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 249 (by daily DMGs): 20,202 n.ml.

Distances (at 1900GMT): Timaru, S.Island, N.Z.: 76 n.ml. to W; Christchurch, N.Z.: 53n.ml. to NNW; Cape Saunders/Dunedin, N.Z.: 132 n.ml. to SSW; Chatham Islands, N.Z.: approx. 435 n.ml. to E.

Position, as posted to www.Winlink.org and www.Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV):
TIME: 2019/06/09 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 44-21.72S LONGITUDE: 173-01.42E
COURSE: 024T SPEED: 0.4kt
BARO: 1009.7hPa TREND: 2 AIR_TEMP: 14.0C SEA_TEMP: 13.0C
COMMENT: wind very light - drifting S of Banks Peninsula

Written by : Jeanne Socrates