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Day 27 from Cape Town to Hobart - waiting for the CF all day - finally comes as

Sunday 4th March 2012

Morning: Plenty of bright sun in between a variety of clouds, both high and low. I'm looking for evidence of the cold front - due to pass over in the next few hours with a wind shift from WNW to WSW. We're making good speed in 25-30kt, but heading NE rather than due E or ESE - too soon to head that way, until the Low and Cold Front have passed by, together with their strong conditions.

1000 GMT/3pm LT Every now & then the wind drops - to under 25kt from 35kt ... & I wait, expectantly... no change in direction follows....grrr!! I keep checking on the wind directiion and barometer... I can't relax until the 'big event' has happened!

1200 GMT/5pm LT Overcast sky, edge of cloud layer visible ahead - still no Front come by... pressure right down at 1002 hPa (from 1015 this time yesterday) Wind 32-38kt but seas not too bad, so keeping going...

A pair of graceful grey and white petrels (Soft-plumaged) and a solitary Indian Yellow-nosed albatross seen most of the day.

1330 GMT/6.30pm LT That long-awaited Cold Front finally arrived!! ........ with torrential rain, dark grey skies and a not-too-fast (TG!) shift to SW from WNW. I thought fog had appeared - but it was just the heavy rain giving very reduced visiblity.

Half-an-hour later, wind had dropped to just under 30kt as darkness fell. We're still heading 050T - will wait until morning before gybing around and heading more E... Big swell has yet to arrive, all through tomorrow (Mon), according to weather info, so no harm staying N out of its worst maybe .... If wind stays down a bit, shouldn't be too bad.

Feeling a lot more relaxed now that's happened ... Always a worry, having had one or two nasty windshifts previously! Clearly was good to have dived N - max winds have been just under 40kt, although consistently around 35kt over the day. But with today's following seas not too big (5m, maybe 6m max) and not too close or rough, we've not had to heave to ..so far...! (Just seen wind is 36-38kt ...it's varying a lot.... not out of the wood yet! ... Later: Back down to 28-30kt!)

DMG: 142 n.ml. - strong wind gives good speed!

Some nice hot soup and catch up on sleep is the order of the day!

P.S. Strictly speaking, we passed into another time zone on moving E from 82d 30'E, which we did this afternoon, soon after 0900GMT ... so Local Time ('Nereida' time) is now GMT + 6hr

Written by : Mike

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