Tuesday 6:15am NZT (Mon 1815GMT) Peaceful downwind sailing under blue sky with a fair amount of scattered white cloud. Our speed still seems to be around 5.5kt in wind from SW quadrant that I thought was possibly getting lighter but is not - just the misleading 'smooth' effect of sailing downwind. Difficult knowing exact wind speed without an instrument to show it.
10am Checked in with a couple of morning radio Nets - Aus&NZ. Ran generator (still putting in plenty of charge - great to see that) and ran watermaker at same time. Filled water bottles directly, as usual, and rest went into tank.
Midday Sun still shining nicely but feeling cold. Cleared up and now going to have a short sleep. Wind is SSW, expected to back slowly to become S quite soon.
2:30pm Rain in SW wind up to over 20kt and rough 3m, 5sec, seas, both increased under raincloud - swinging around a lot... Furled in some genoa. Showery conditions - plenty of grey clouds around. Wind eased soon after rain stopped - unfurled some genoa to speed up.
5pm Sunset half an hour ago - dark now. I soon realised we were into difficult, unpleasant, gusty conditions - furled genoa partly back in again to allow for the strong gusts when they arrive.
A wave just broke over and into the cockpit - some water getting down below, onto the companionway steps and the cabin sole nearby...
The main problem is caused by the steep, short seas, only 5-6 seconds apart..... Running downwind is normally an enjoyable experience but with these rough seas swinging us around so much, the main is far too often backed. A very unpleasant and uncomfortable feeling when that happens and a good thing the preventer does its job of holding the boom from crashing over to the opposite side of the boat..
Looks as though I'm going to have to suffer these conditions overnight and on well into the morning...and even then, the wind might be abating but the seas will stay well up over most of the day. This will definitely be a case of getting through as best I can.
Having a problem with the 'send' button having disappeared in the XGate email software! Makes it a bit difficult posting emails without it. Hoping to resolve the problem.
Tuesday 5am NZT (on 1700GMT) Bright, but waning, moon shining high overhead in between some scattered large white clouds and a very bright star - planet? - a touch lower but still very high in W. Seas still well up and swinging us around a lot but wind must have backed more into SSW since not threatening to back mainsail any longer - that's a relief! Making a fair speed with double reef in main and very small genoa - will unfurl some more around dawn when I can see better - under 3 hours away. Not surfing on waves as much as earlier - often saw 12kt, or even 15kt once or twice, occasionally then. Now only just over 8kt at times.
Pumped the bilge - needed it, especially after a wave had come into cockpit and some water got down below. ...
Oops ...! Just saw 10.2kt SOG as we were hit hard on starboard beam by a tumbling wave and knocked to port as I was typing this....
Back for some more sleep, leaving computer to finish downloading some weather files... no urgency...
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 258. We made 129 n.ml. DMG, measured in a straight line between the two 1900GMT positions. (Even better than yesterday's 127 n.ml!)
Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 258 (by daily DMGs): 20,824 n.ml
Distances (at 1900GMT): Wellington, N.Island, N.Z.: 500 n.ml. to SW; East Cape, N.Z.: 255 n.ml. to WSW; Christchurch, S.Island, N.Z.: 650 n.ml. to SW; Tahiti: 1814 n.ml. to NE
Position, as posted to www.Winlink.org and www.Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV):
TIME: 2019/06/18 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 36-39.59S LONGITUDE: 176-17.09W
COURSE: 061T SPEED: 5.7kt
WIND_SPEED: 20kt WIND_DIR: S SWELL_DIR: SSW SWELL_HT: 4.0m CLOUDS: 80%
BARO: 1017.6hPa TREND: 0 AIR_TEMP: 16.0C
COMMENT: Showers. Good progress - 129 n.ml.DMG