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Day 289 Thurs-Fri 18-19 July 2019 GMT Another day of slow progress in light winds between stronger wind under rain clouds

Thursday 10:15am Tahiti/Hawaii time (Thurs 2015 GMT) Heavy rain but no wind just now so only making 0.5-1.5 kt - won't be getting far today at this rate! Quite a large cloud - seems we're in an area of rain today so hopefully we'll get a good wind to move on with, occasionally.
Glad I put back earlier the half of the storm screen I'd taken away a couple of days ago - it's keeping the companionway area dry and I can leave the hatch there open to down below for air.

11:40am That big grey raincloud mass is being left astern and there's broken cloud, some rising high, with big patches of blue sky ahead. Wind is from ESE-SE and we're making 3.4kt.
We were soon making for another grey raincloud ahead - I was happy to see it off our port bow (downwind) as we got closer to the rain - moving well out of our way!
I keep having to watch our course, not to get too close to the wind as it constantly shifts around with any cloud that is nearby.
I need some more sleep - should be OK since I usually get woken if we start accelerating and/or heeling with increased wind - in good time to get on deck to see to whatever needs doing.

3:45pm Under an overcast sky with a thin layer of dull white and grey cloud, making a steady 3.0kt, in seas well down in little wind. The edge of the solid cloud layer can be seen well astern and to starboard - light blue sky with many large white clouds rising dramatically high up - cumulus and/or cumulo-nimbus types. Ahead, a white line of clouds off to the W against a grey background of mixed cloud and overcast.
Had a good sleep, interrupted a couple of times by needing to check on sails and course with genoa flapping noisily as a warning.
Running the generator and watermaker now - batteries getting slightly low. Haven't been needing to run the generator very often with the wind generator working well in the stronger winds - but not much wind now, so good to be able to to up the batteries this alternative way.

5pm Had a lovely deck wash - great to have clean hair for a change!
About to check in to Pacific Seafarers' Net - and then I'll be opening a small tin of wild salmon to celebrate feeling fresh-washed!
Warning from Peter, ZL1PWM, of 6 fishing vessels at 06S between 146W and 149W - which puts me heading to where they are, about 75 miles N of here - not good news!

7:30pm Have been circling in no wind ... very frustrating! Ended up drifting 330T in SE-ESE wind of maximum 4-5kt possibly - at least that's in a straight line and roughly N.

8:55pm Just spoke to MRCC NZ to see if they have any further info on the fishing vessels to the N - Samantha phoned back to confirm details but pointed out that the data was 24hrs old! Heading N-NW is possibly the best option to try to keep out of their area... which I was already doing...

9:45pm Rain! So we picked up speed for a time - up to 5.5kt at one point! Now decreasing - down to 4kt as I write this... and rain has eased. Staying on a course of NNW until I have more info on fishing vessels later tomorrow. Hope they don't move W of where they are just now.

11:25pm Just went circling around again (gybed) after the genoa luffed up with boat speed having dropped to under 1kt and it ended up backed with combination of swell and very light wind - maybe wind was backed due to cloud nearby. Whatever the reason, we gybed and went round in a circle until I was able to get us back on course - but NW this time, not NNW as before... SOG 3-4kt just now..
Very diffiult to do the right thing when you hve only the vaguest of ideas where the wind is coming from! Lots of cloud around - hiding moon, so it's difficult to see exactly what's happening - especially trying to deduce the wind direction in the dark... Windgen blades are hardly turning so wind is below 7kt and windgen is not so reliable for showing wind direction.
Must get some sleep...

Friday 6:15am Tahiti&Hawaii time (Fri 1615 GMT) Raining. Daylight before sunrise. Mostly cloudy, grey sky with hint of orange in clouds to E. On broad reach, making 2.3 kt.

7am Was headed NW still, from overnight, but changed to 350T, since wind seems to be from E just now, and speed went up - now around 3.5kt.
Hair still feeling delightfully clean and shiny - wonderful! Running generator to top up batteries.

8:50am Wind down but we're still making around 3.5kt, on 354T, but slowing down, I think. Sky completely covered with grey cloud, but no rain falling at the moment, and a good 2m swell from ESE.

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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 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!

(I hear that some readers might need to talk to their bank BEFORE trying to make a donation to the RNLI since many US banks routinely block foreign transactions unless
they are notified in advance.)

 

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1900GMT (= 9 a.m. LT = Tahiti time) - end of Day 289. We made 66 n.ml. DMG, measured in a straight line between the two 1900GMT positions. Light winds in between occasional increased wind under rainclouds.

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 289 (by daily DMGs): 23,439 n.ml.

Distances (at 1700GMT): East Cape, N.Z.: 2569 n.ml. to SW; Papeete, Tahiti: 658 n.ml. to S; Honolulu: 1748 n.ml. to NNW

Position, as posted to www.Winlink.org and www.Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV):
TIME: 2019/07/19 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 06-35.65S LONGITUDE: 148-59.17W
COURSE: 353T SPEED: 2.5kt
WIND_SPEED: 8kt WIND_DIR: ESE SWELL_DIR: SSE SWELL_HT: 2.0m CLOUDS: 100%
BARO: 1013hPa TREND: 2 AIR_TEMP: 31.0C SEA_TEMP: 36.0C
COMMENT: Light wind again - slow progress N. Fishing vessels 80ml ahead...

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