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 - much appreciated!
Wednesday 8:30am NZT (Tues 2030GMT) E end of Banks Peninsula, near Lyttelton and Christchurch, 100 miles off, just showing in NW corner of AIS screen - last sighting of NZ S. Island. Next land will possibly be Chatham Islands (NZ) - 350 miles to E of here - before reaching a Polynesian atoll somewhere well to the N.
Sky clear overhead but some thin cloud on horizon - low sun trying to shine through - very watery. Heavy dew - everywhere very wet.
Was forced to change tack at daybreak in very light, shifty wind that finally settled down. Heading NNW now at around 1.5kt in 7kt wind - just holding course. Will be in these light NE winds for rest of today, it seems, although a chance they'll reach over 10kt at times. Will need to run generator more frequently since windgen will not be putting in much power to batteries today.
To my bunk for some more sleep - had a very disturbed night, needing frequent checking on wind and course.
Midday Sun has been trying to stay out, despite increasing cloud - actually felt warm in the companionway, with the sun shining on me! The good news of this morning was the increase in wind strength to just over 10kt, meaning we've been able to make due N, rather than NNW, in the NE wind. The wind might well have veered a little more to ENE also, which has helped our course-making.
So long as we can make somewhere between E and N, I'm fairly happy with our course although, for the two weeks or so, E is preferred to N. That's simply because this is where heading E is feasible, due to the W winds often encountered down here, as opposed to the SE or NE winds found further N - impossible to head E once in those winds.
Just had a call from Stuart Stansfield, of ABC S.Australia Radio in Adelaide, who had been told I'd had a few problems recently, since our last radio chat. Of course, since talking to him when S of Adelaide, I had the knockdown on 15th May NZT, with all the resultant damage and problems that caused, including mainsail damage and instrument and battery problems.
1pm Increasingly grey cloud everywhere. Sun has disappeared and it's feeling chilly, but wind still 10kt or more and our course is just E of N. Have been trying to 'pinch' closer to the wind but that kills our speed completely if too much. Nicer not to be heading W of N though, if at all possible.
4pm Was just 20 mins into a nice nap when sails started flogging - wind had shifted to NNE - had to get on deck and gybe the genoa. Now making around 2 kt ESE in 11kt of wind, close-hauled on port tack.
50 miles due S of Mernoo Bank - a good fishing ground but gets nasty seas in rough weather - very shallow.
Wind has now died back to 8kt .. difficult to hold close reach - only making SE course now. Dull, damp day.
5:30pm Gybed around again onto starboard tack -instead of making SE, we're now making just E of N - a lot better.
Put on generator to charge - so had power to get on HF radio and contact Anza Net on 14183 kHz. Net Control was Tex, VK1TX, and he took a list of anyone wanting to make contact with me a little later - that makes my use of the radio minimal, so better use of battery power.
Spoke to Rick, VE7TK, in Victoria - seems they're getting some warm summer weather today in B.C. - wish I were there, as I should have been by now, to enjoy it!
Later: More radio - this time on 7163 - good to chat to Jim, WB2REM and others. Charged with genaet afterwards. Making good course - still just E of N.
Thursday 5:10am NZT (Wed 1710GMT) Starry sky with a little cloud. Wind up to 13-16kt so makig a decent speed, although still on a close reach - heading NNE now, sometimes at 5kt or more in gusts. NZ's South Island coast line 100 ml off to NW on AIS screen.
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 252. We made 51 n.ml. DMG, measured in a straight line between the two 1900GMT positions. Light wind all day, some 'jiggling', better wind only overnight.
Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 252 (by daily DMGs): 20,347 n.ml.
Distances (at 1900GMT): Timaru, S.Island, N.Z.: 188 n.ml. to WSW; Christchurch, N.Z.: 120 n.ml.. to W; Wellington: 140 n.ml. to N; Chatham Islands, N.Z.: 330 n.ml. to E.
Position, as posted to www.Winlink.org and www.Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV):
TIME: 2019/06/12 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 43-41.00S LONGITUDE: 175-27.36E
COURSE: 027T SPEED: 4.2kt
WIND_SPEED: 16kt WIND_DIR: E SWELL_DIR: NE SWELL_HT: 2.5m
BARO: 1014.6hPa TREND: 0 AIR_TEMP: 14.0C SEA_TEMP: 14.0C
COMMENT: Wind increased & veered, better course.100ml off NZ coast