Day 28 towards Cape Horn - hot and sticky ... as we try to dodge the convection

its Sunday18th November 2012

Looked for Southern Cross overnight but too much cloud around to see it.

10am: Adjusting course more to east - big area of ITCZ convection boiling up on our path - so making use of a strong N-flowing current (has been cutting our speed down by 2 kt overnight!) to help head 140T or less in E wind, in hope that will get us east of the clump of clouds, as they move on to the west... Going slowly just now is not such a bad thing! Likely to get the occasional squall anyway ...

Had another visit from the dark booby this morning - but soon flew off.

Midday: Very pleasant on deck just now, in a nice breeze and in the shade of the sails - too hot in the sun to be out for long, earlier!

Still downloading first batch of weatherfaxes - there are quite a few, so I just let them run and check them over for the ones I need later.

Wind is E 10-11kt, boatspeed is over 5kt, SOG is under 4 kt - but that's OK, since I don't want to rush S for the time being - just want to make my course.

Some big clouds around now - but none upwind and, as yet, they're not dark grey, rainy and squally-looking - maybe by later in the day, they will have built up more... With clouds around, likely to find wind gusting up and down a lot.... so staying reefed down - but still making a fair speed.

6pm Sun disappeared a while back - still a few big clouds around - but no dark grey. threatening ones... All in all, a very pleasant day's sailing - still with the strong N-flowing current helping us to make more Easting than we would otherwise!

Midnight!! Just had our first squall - at least, that's how it seemed - wind suddenly veered by 30degrees to SE and increased just as quickly to around 20kt from its previous consistent 12-13kt - but couldn't see any dark cloud around, upwind or down,... just plenty of hazy stars with a few non-starry patches... and wind has stayed at SE 20kt since then - so maybe it's just a sudden wind change that's here to stay... not caused by a big cloud at all? No rain, certainly. Difficult to be sure in the darkness.. But our course is now SSE, not SE. The wind was not forecast to change to SE from E-ENE until we were S of the ITCZ - below 8N - and we're presently still at 12N... Maybe it will back again soon...

24hr DMG at 3pm: 119 n.ml. (slowed overnight and all morning by strong N-flowing current - cut our speed by easily 1.5kt);Golden Gate Bridge 1540n.ml & Strait of Juan de Fuca 2188n.ml away at 3pm & our position was then 782 n ml SW of Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. The Equator was 747ml due S.... and the Galapagos Islands, 1750 ml to the SE!

Written by : Mike

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