Day 280 Tues-Wed 9-10 July 2019 GMT Light wind becomes even lighter overnight - drifting around in no wind by sunrise.
Tuesday 10am LT/Tahiti time (Tues 2000 GMT) Was excellent when we finally got away from the Tahiti wind shadow around midnight, heading N and making well over 6kt in 19kt wind from ESE, with full genoa and one reef in main... It's been a time since enjoying sailing so well in relatively calm seas!
Shook out first reef in light wind earlier - wind is down to 6-7kt from ESE now, so we're only making 3.6 kt. Feeling very warm - cabin temp just hit 30C and seawater temp is 35C. Sunny day with just 10% fluffy white clouds around. Seems we're expecting light wind conditions for a couple of days more so I'll be able to continue clearing up down below and getting on with a few small jobs - including quite a backlog of emails waiting to be replied to.
Still managing to make contact on the Fiji area South Pacific Net - getting further away and better at end of Net than at beginning - propagation improves over even that short time. Have had to give up on contact with NZ/Aus on 40m/7MHz in the mornings, although still managing occasionally on the 20m Tony's Net. Evening contacts are far better - especially to N.America, with Aus/NZ also working well then on 40m.
Warm enough on deck now for a possible deck shower - looking forward to that! Running generator and watermaker in readiness.
4pm A lovely relaxing day with bright sun, a few clouds and a 2m SE swell - all very gentle and I feel as though I'm on holiday! Time to clear up slowly, re-organize things, dry out damp clothing, check on food, .... Lots of breathing space!
Have full sail out so can't go any faster than the wind permits - which, at 6-7kt from SE just now, isn't very fast - around 3kt. I can hear the soothing gurgling of the water on the hull as it passes by.
Just took down one half of my storm screen - gives more air flow to down below and can quickly be put back if needed.
Also dug out two big vacuum-packed beach towels and a few other small towels/face flannels for use in these hot conditions. Use a beach towel on my bunk when it gets hot and need the small flannels when leaning on paper (logbook etc) when I'm hot and sticky - lean on them on top of the page instead, so keeps paper of logbook pages dry.
5am Wednesday (Wed 1500 GMT) Glassy smooth sea surface with stars reflecting in it - Orion upside down, as usual, his head getting low in E sky.
Turned off the autopilot and furled in the genoa - less wear on it than if left to flap around and flog in the 2-3kt of wind and rolling around in the swell.
Back to my bunk for more sleep - will lower mainsail in daylight, if this wind, or lack of it, continues after dawn, as I expect it will. Seems possible that the mainsail repair will be seen to in the morning...
6am Dawn beginning to break - first light - sunrise not too far away... Increasing orange light in the E sky reflected in the deep rippled blue of the ocean...
6:45am Sunrise a short while ago - sky has very few clouds so I'll need to cover up for deck work. Quite a pronounced swell, so rather rolly - at times very much so... Almost no wind and sea very glassy-looking although plenty of big ripples.
Main has been lowered ready for repair - head of sail looking rather sorry with several other holes/tears seen - all in need of dealing with. This will be a busy day.
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 (= 9 a.m. LT = Tahiti time) - end of Day 280. We made just 43 n.ml. DMG, measured in a straight line between the two 1900GMT positions. Very light wind a lot of the time, resulting in a lot of drifting at 1-2kt.
Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 280 (by daily DMGs): 22,859 n.ml.
Distances (at 1700GMT): East Cape, N.Z.: 2138 n.ml. to SW; Papeete, Tahiti: 114 n.ml. to S; Honolulu: 2264 n.ml. to NNW
Position, as posted to www.Winlink.org and www.Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV):
TIME: 2019/07/10 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 15-38.63S LONGITUDE: 149-42.32W
COURSE: 294T SPEED: 0.9kt
WIND_SPEED: 2kt WIND_DIR: E SWELL_DIR: E SWELL_HT: 1.8m CLOUDS: 10%
BARO: 1015.9hPa TREND: 2 AIR_TEMP: 30.0C SEA_TEMP: 34.0C
COMMENT: Drifting in SE 2kt. Mainsail lowered for repair today.