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Day 26 from Cape Town to Hobart - the 'calm before the storm' ...

Saturday 3rd March 2012

Overnight and morning - wind light, seas fairly calm, ambling along slowly in overcast, drizzly skies, although it had been clear and starry earlier in the night. The Warm Front was passing over, as pressure fell.

Gradually, the cloud broke up to give some nice sunshine by midday and wind had increased from 15 to 20 knots - so we were sailing along very nicely at around 6 knots in seas that weren't too big - for a change (4-5m)! I unfurled as much of the genoa as I dared, to help our speed along earlier in the morning and we've been heading NE to try to evade the worst of the winds and big seas forecast for overnight and tomorrow.

While things are calm and pleasant, I've caught up with all my 'post'! All I need now is to make the connections - Sailmail very difficult still, if not impossible.

Remembered I still had some Gem squash - so enjoyed one for lunch - cut in half and boiled, with a big knob of butter added to each half afterwards- followed by some biltong (dried meat) - a S.African meal!

Winds are expected to increase over today to 30kt (presently 24 kt at 3pm), gusting to around 40kt by midnight and the Cold Front, with even stronger winds backing into the SW, is due tomorrow afternoon (Sunday) sometime - gusting to 50kt possibly, peaking overnight and into Monday morning, with seas peaking over Monday midday... maybe reaching 8-12 m, if forecast is correct... All good Southern Ocean stuff....! Heaving to looks distinctly likely.... I hope I'll be out of the worst of it...

1200GMT/5pmLT Well, the good news is that the latest weather forecast is showing us away from the very strong stuff, so my ploy of heading NE has worked out to that extent - but we're still expecting up to 40kt and seas 7-10m, so rough enough conditions for the next two days or so and heaving to still very much on the cards.... Grey clouds all over now and wind gusting up to 27 knots... Will probably have a series of short naps tonight... so will start very soon.

I made a discovery just now - wine stored in foil packs inside cardboard boxes is not as safe from damage as I'd thought. In checking that all my openings in the cabin sole, accessing bilge storage areas, were safely locked down shut, ready for the bad weather coming, I found one boxed wine totally damaged and most of its contents leaked into the bilge - pity, it was a nice wine...! Not sure why the inner didn't hold it all safely even though the outer box was damaged.

DMG: 116 n.ml. (slow overnight)

Distance to Cape Point: 2920 n.ml.; Cape Leeuwin 1680 n.ml.; Ile St Paul 170 n.ml.; Hobart 3075 n.ml. - so we're pretty well at the halfway point just now.

Cheers for now...

Written by : Mike

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