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Day 266 Tues-Wed 25-26 June 2019 GMT Pleasant day's sail but a continuing plotter/autopilot problem

Wednesday 10am NZT (Tues 2200GMT) Wind backed to SE soon after dawn so we're on a close reach now, making 5kt in wind around 15kt. Earlier grey clouds have given way to a bright sunny day with just a few big puffy white clouds.

Finished with the early morning radio Nets and posting reports, so time for breakfast now.

Plotter continuing to beep often - still waiting to find out which instrument to take out of circuit in order to lose that annoying and frequent noise..

11:20am Blue sky with just a few clouds - 10% perhaps - but air feels cold. Big SSW swell - easily 4-5 m/15ft but very well spaced apart. Also smaller SE swell - giving choppy seas from mix of swell directions.

Just had to re-boot the Aurora terminal - wasn't giving wifi signal as it should have done - OK now.

About to see if I can get some sleep despite the beeping plotter... Feeling too tired to do much clearing up, as I should be.

1:20pm Did manage some sleep, so that's good, but not enough.

Clear blue sky with a few small clouds and bright sun - feels as though the Tropics aren't too far away although cabin temperature is only 20.6C so not exactly getting to Tropical temperatures just yet. Making 4.5-5kt in a SE wind.

Dug out some rubber gloves - now to clear out the water that collected under the head washboards during some rain a few nights ago and has been sloshing around ever since... Have put out a Couple of very wet towels to dry in the cockpit... Maybe, slowly, I can put out some of the still-damp things to dry.

3:30pm Sun getting low now - that's one problem with not changing my clock yet - sunset comes rather early! Sky fairly clear - still with only one-third cloud cover. Swell still noticeable from SW at well over 3m/10ft. Pleasant sailing conditions ... and likely to continue for several days more.

Finished drying off under washboard in head - nice to have that job done and out of the way.

Checked into Pacific Seafarers' Net on 14300kHz a short time before.

More than ready for some food now - just needs heating up - some chilli con carne plus some extra sweetcorn with a mug of soup before and a small chocolate brownie afterwards.

8:30pm Went rushing up on deck on hearing the horrid noise of the boom crashing around and the sails slatting... The wind had totally died but we were still in a 3-4m SW swell - so we were rolling around with very little wind in the sails and the boom trying to swing from side to side. I wondered where the wind was and saw that the wind generator blades were not turning. Realised that the problem was possibly due to a passing rain cloud since the decks were wet... and so the SE wind finally came back and we're underway ENE again but not very fast, with wind only just over 10kt.

11:45pm A long session on 7163 - nice to renew contacts with familiar people but I was happy to get back to my bunk. Managing to sleep and ignore the plotter beeping - it usually goes away after a time...

Spoke to Robert in S.Africa earlier in the evening about the plotter/AP problem - advice given was to wire an AP control head totally independently to course computer in hope that resolves problem... Too complicated to try to troubleshoot existing installation without knowing exact wiring details, so best to take it out of use entirely. Will tackle that first thing tomorrow - in daylight.

Thursday 6am NZT (Wed 1800GMT) Dawn breaking - sun rising below grey clouds on horizon dead ahead. scattered cloud around, sailing well in ESE wind.

Frequently getting error messages on AP and plotter displays - including 'No pilot' on AP display/control head. Urgent job of the day - getting to spare control head and cable and accessing course computer in aft cabin....

7am Heaved to a short while ago in slight rain and increased wind from big cloud - need peace and quiet and no distractions while working on problem..... Have spare control head(s), now need to dig out spare cable to connect up. Will take a time to work on connecting up and we're gently and slowly drifting hove-to in the meantime.


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 266. We made 102 n.ml. DMG, measured in a straight line between the two 1900GMT positions.

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 266 (by daily DMGs): 21,552 n.ml

Distances (at 1900GMT): Wellington, N.Island, N.Z.: 1199 n.ml. to SW; East Cape, N.Z.: 973 n.ml. to SW; Christchurch, S.Island, N.Z.: 1332 n.ml. to SW; Tahiti: 1136 n.ml. to NE

Position, as posted to www.Winlink.org and www.Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV):

TIME: 2019/06/26 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 32-34.42S LONGITUDE: 162-35.09W

COURSE: 273T SPEED: 0.7kt


BARO: 1021hPa TREND: 2 AIR_TEMP: 19.0C

COMMENT: Hove to in SE wind and light rain - need to fix AP / plotter problem

Written by : Jeanne Socrates