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Day 281 Wed-Thurs 10-11 July 2019 GMT

Quite a pronounced swell, so very rolly at times. Almost no wind and sea is very glassy-looking, with very smooth, big ripples.
Main has been lowered ready for repair - head of sail is looking rather sorry with several other holes/tears seen - all in need of dealing with and will keep me busy all day, I think.

Wednesday 1:30pm LT/Tahiti time (Wed 2330 GMT) Wind 5-6kt from NE - just died away to nothing again... Hot under clear blue sky. Protected by long cotton trousers, cotton socks, long-sleeved top plus floppy hat, sunscreen and sunglasses - everything is covered except for lower part of my face and my hands - and back of those have sunscreen also!

Came back down for water and to cut fabric for 'tabling'. Have been patching up the mainsail in different places so far today - lots needing attention - tears and holes... Slow progress.

Have taped up along the leech tear on both sides to hold the torn edges of sail cloth together - now need to sew the tabling into place - over both sides and around the leech edge. Often quite rolly still so not a quick and easy job to carry out.

2.25pm No wind - wind generator blades are still. Tabling measured and cut... edges heat sealed... Need to get on deck to sew in place - using double-sided narrow, sticky tape to help hold in position while sewing.

5:25pm Down below to radio for a very quick PacSeaNet check-in and drink of water.
Mainsail repair of leech tear nearly finished - must get back up on deck while there's still daylight - sun is getting low!

6:45pm So very peaceful out here, with no sound at all except occasionally from sea. Feels amazing. Finished sewing 'tabling' material around leech of head of mainsail to repair tear there. Had to use a headlamp - ran out of daylight after a lovely sunset with almost no cloud. Was trying to sew as much as possible while there was still light, so missed taking the sunset photo I'd intended. If tomorrow brings same very light wind from NE, I can do some more sewing - of patches I've added to places elsewhere on the sail - far better with stitching reinforcing the sticky-backed sail repair tape used.

Checked the weather - looks as though light NE wind will continue tomorrow - so further repairs and other jobs likely to be dealt with.

Seeing NE wind of around 8kt just now - unbelievably, that is a headwind for sailing NNE. No point in getting underway since can't make a course anywhere near the direction I'd like to go - possible choices would be ESE or NW, neither of which is attractive.

Thursday 3:30am Very dark night - no moon - with pleny of stars and just a little cloud. Drifting W at 0.5kt - so must be slight E wind? Peaceful. Wind generator blades hardly turning so wind under 6-7kt. AIS scfeen showing Huahine to be lying about 95 miles to SE. Papeete, on Tahiti, is about 115 miles due S. Feeling thirsty - water, then back for more sleep... Rocking gently in swell.

7:25am Light cloud layer overhead and covering most of sky, but edge is not far away - to S and W. Rocking gently in very little swell and almost no wind. What little wind there is seems to be only 3kt from E. Interestingly, our drift has now changed for the last mile to due N, rather than averaging due W since yesterday.
Another day becalmed - will work on mainsail again - a repair made at Timaru, just in from the original leech repair, needs srengthening with more stitching - looking very unhappy.

Had a very deep sleep - I was very tired after very little sleep the night before and then up before dawn to get on with work.

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 281. We made just 10 n.ml. DMG, drifting all day, measured in a straight line between the two 1900GMT positions.

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 281 (by daily DMGs): 22,869 n.ml.

Distances (at 1700GMT): East Cape, N.Z.: 2131 n.ml. to SW; Papeete, Tahiti: 117 n.ml. to S; Honolulu: 2260 n.ml. to NNW

Position, as posted to www.Winlink.org and www.Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV):
TIME: 2019/07/11 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 15-37.16S LONGITUDE: 149-53.22W
COURSE: 310T SPEED: 0.9kt
BARO: 1015.7hPa TREND: 2 AIR_TEMP: 30.0C SEA_TEMP: 34.0C
COMMENT: Drifting still - 10 ml over y'day. More work on mainsail

Written by : Jeanne Socrates