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 your supportive messages - much appreciated!
Monday 8am NZT (Sun 2000 GMT) Dawn.... Very peaceful with almost no wind... Drifting very slowly at around 0.5kt in 6-7kt wind from everywhere but must be mainly from SSW since our drift is NNE. Expecting another day of drifting in almost no wind - wind not expected to come up until late tonight.
Enjoyed pancakes with maple syrup for breakfast - calm conditions make cooking that much easier, so got a big 'hearty' soup going, having soaked the beans (navel and pink kidney) overnight.
1pm A lot of sunshine and pressure has jumped up to 1013.7hPa since dawn.
A lot of birds astern of the boat. Large Royal albatross pair, several smaller albatrosses and a flock of gulls, with a pair of Cape Petrels circling as well. No wind for them to soar on, so the birds tend to rest - probably hoping we're a fishing boat and will put out something for them to feed on.
Was pleased to find the mainsail halyard problem was easily fixed. In repairing the starboard lazyjack, I'd overlooked that the halyard was stowed off to one side while out of use, to stop it slapping on the mast or getting caught around a mast step. So it didn't take long to lower the mainsail and sort out that problem. With so little wind, better to have the mainsail lowered anyway to prevent the wear and tear on it if it were flapping around in the variable light gusts. I'd like to unfurl the genoa and release the leech line which is far too tight but I worry that the wind might get up and make dealing with it difficult
A pot of bean and barley has just finished cooking - plenty for several days' meals. Will add diced ham and green beans, along with chopped tomatoes for variety.
4:40pm Sun getting very low and changing to deep orange-yellow as birds fly around for their last chance before dark. Was lovely to see the great Royal albatross pair in with the other albatrosses - they are so noticeably larger and more white-bodied than the others which are often called 'mollymawks'. Also delighted to see a solitary Sooty albatross - distinctively all-dark and very different from the others.
Swell has been very large at times - 5-6m from SW.
Unfurled the genoa and lowered it a little to get at the leech-line cleat. Impossible to reach normally and the leech line has, for a long time now, been far too tight and has torn both the leech cloth around the line, as well as the UV strip. In the end, having found it totally impossible to release the leech line from the cleat, I had to cut it - had been hoping to avoid that.
Wind still too light to sail - 5-6kt from NE now - we're drifting at 0.1-0.3kt due S.. If wind direction stays NE, will make it impossible to head E so will probably end up having to head ESE or SE, since land - Banks Peninsula - is to the N, just 24 miles off now.
8pm Sailing! ... in NNE wind of 12-14kt with full genoa and two reefs in main. Was hoping to shake out 2nd reef but a sail tie is proving very difficult to untie - need daylight to sort out the problem so it will have to stay until then.
Wind display seems to be giving a wrong direction which resulted in us going around in a circle twice until I realised where the wind was and bore off a little to prevent backing the genoa again. We're very close-hauled, trying to head E but with the present wind direction, the best speed we can manage is 3-3.5kt or so but better to go a bit slow than head more S. Speed should improve if the wind backs overnight, as forecast.
Will have some of my fresh thick soup and get to my bunk. Will be up frequently to check on wind direction and shipping. There are quite a few ships travelling up and down the coast here - 'Melbourne Spirit' will be passing astern 7.5 miles off within the hour .
Tuesday 2am NZT (Mon 1400GMT) 19kt of wind from N-NNE - trying to pinch to give a better course, with wind seeming to have backed a little from earlier - difficult with wind display no longer giving direction correctly... Making 104T/ESE at around 3.5-4kt, close-hauled, although boat heading is 090T - a lot of leeway. COG often down to 120T when speed drops. Not feeling too happy with COG (or resulting SOG) but not much choice if want to keep heading E, as we need to. Weather ahead not looking very helpful, with light winds again and even NE-E headwinds coming up over next few days.
Back to my bunk for a bit more sleep.
8:15am NZT (Mon 2015 GMT) Late posting of report (bird photos next time) - instruments shorted so 1900Z alarm set on them didn't go off, as it normally does... Will disconnect cockpit instruments to see if that helps, as it did last time.... Never a dull moment...
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 250. We made about 50 n.ml. DMG, measured in a straight line between the two 1900GMT positions. Drifted around - NNE and then in a circle - most of the time, until got sailing soon after sunset.
Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 250 (by daily DMGs): 20,202 n.ml. + 50-60n.ml.?
Distances (at 1900GMT): Timaru, S.Island, N.Z.: just over 100 n.ml. to W; Christchurch, N.Z.: 80 n.ml. approx. to NW; Chatham Islands, N.Z.: just under approx. 400 n.ml. to E.
Position, as posted to www.Winlink.org and www.Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV):
TIME: 2019/06/10 20:06GMT LATITUDE: 44-30.16S LONGITUDE: 173-59.65E
COURSE: 100T SPEED: 4.4kt
WIND_SPEED: 20kt WIND_DIR: N SWELL_DIR: N SWELL_HT: 4.0m
BARO: 1008.9hPa TREND: -2 AIR_TEMP: 14.0C SEA_TEMP: 13.0C
COMMENT: Instruments gone down (shorted) but AP OK.