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Day 284 Sat-Sun 13-14 July 2019 GMT Quatorze Juillet! Dancing and racing celebrations in French Polynesia... and I celebrate getting underway finally - hope it lasts!

Saturday 11am LT/Tahiti time (Sat 2100 GMT) Wind picked up nicely early in the morning - to 10kt or more from ENE - so we were making over 5kt with full sail. Lovely to be sailing well again, in fairly calm seas, since wind hadn't been up long enough for any swell to develop - as it surely will, over the day.

Our Noddy visitor didn't stay much longer after I'd spotted it resting comfortably in the pulpit seat. I didn't see it fly away and I hope it was well rested and survives OK.

10am With some big, gusty clouds around, we were heeling a lot in increased wind, so I put in 1st reef. As I was busy winching, I heard a sudden sound - a whale had surfaced for air close by! Smooth and dark grey/black, with a fairly small, very recurved, swept back, dorsal fin. Neither a grey nor a humpback... smaller than those... and certainly not an Orca.... Minke? Exciting to see it!

11:30am Wind up to 12-15kt at times. Seas are getting up also and, being on a close reach, we're pounding into the waves now which is slowing us down - speed was suddenly less than earlier.. I've taken us a little more off the wind to keep our speed up and wonder if wind has backed a little. Running the generator for a bit to charge batteries and brought my soup in the pressure cooker up to boiling point for a few minutes - don't want it going off with the heat and no refrigeration.

Feeling quite tired after only a little sleep overnight, so will check for squalls and get to sleep for an hour or so.

2:30pm Must have slept for two hours - feeling much better. Went up into cockpit to find the Noddy is resting there - must not be feeling too good to have come back on board. Tried giving it some water but doesn't seem interested - I suspect seabirds normally get their 'drinking water' via the fish they eat.

3:45pm Our speed was down a little so bore away (off the wind) a touch - wind must be slightly more to N of ENE so we're only making NNW at just under 4kt in 9-10kt of wind - as close-hauled as possible without losing too much speed. Our preferred course is NNE and we really don't want to get any more W than can be avoided. I'm always looking ahead and the NE Trades from about 10N on have to be negotiated up to and beyond the Hawaiian Islands so staying as far E as possible on the way up to the Equator is the aim.
Sky has fewer clouds around now and swell has built up more - we're heading into it, of course, since it comes from the wind direction.

10:45pm We've slowed down a lot - now making only 3.5-4kt in lighter wind. Bright moon high overhead.

Sunday 3:30am Near-full moon is getting low in W. We're still sailing slowly in wind of only 6-7kt ... Windgen is just about turning and we've only been making round 3kt, heading just W of due N, close to the wind. Have changed course slightly to come onto due N heading - wind is forecast to be light for several more hours but then should be veering more to E, and eventually ESE, as it strengthens to 15kt over the next two days - I hope that comes about! Swell has lain down in the light wind conditions so we're just rocking slightly from side to side - time for my bunk!

8am Sky mostly covered with broken cloud and wind is still down under 10kt, so same slow progress as overnight, at 4kt or under. Wind seems a bit gusty - came up and our speed increased for a brief time, making me a bit hopeful of a faster passage, but back down now. Direction seems to be more veered, to ESE, so able to change course to 022T/NNE - better.

Sad to report our bird visitor did not survive the night - so has been committed to the deep..... Anyone able to tell me which kind of Noddy this is? Looks so very similat t a Frigate bird - same very pointed, very long, 'elbowed' wings.

 

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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!
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1900GMT (= 9 a.m. LT = Tahiti time) - end of Day 284. We made 92 n.ml. DMG, measured in a straight line between the two 1900GMT positions.

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 284 (by daily DMGs): 23,019 n.ml.

Distances (at 1700GMT): East Cape, N.Z.: 2206 n.ml. to SW; Papeete, Tahiti: 258 n.ml. to S; Honolulu: 2119 n.ml. to NNW

Position, as posted to www.Winlink.org and www.Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV):
TIME: 2019/07/14 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 13-20.10S LONGITUDE: 150-27.88W
COURSE: 022T SPEED: 4.3kt
WIND_SPEED: 10kt WIND_DIR: ESE SWELL_DIR: NE SWELL_HT: 2.0m SWELL_PER: 5s
CLOUDS: 95% BARO: 1015.2hPa TREND: 2 AIR_TEMP: 30.0C SEA_TEMP: 35.0C
COMMENT: Wind a bit gusty under cloud. Making good course NNE.

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