Saturday 2:30pm Tahiti/Hawaii time (Sun 0030 GMT) Very relaxing, pleasant, slow sailing day today, with mainly just a few light clouds and a band of large white clouds presently astern to port.... plenty of sunshine. Wind not very strong, maybe around 10kt, still from ENE, so still not able to make our preferred NNE heading.
Hoping for stronger wind in a couple of days' time but expect ENE wind in meantime, with no ESE wind expected until we've almost reached the Equator - in 3 days, maybe.
5:45pm Sun getting low, near sunset. Having some of my good, thick soup after having fixed the mainsheet traveller line. I'd not noticed that I'd allowed the line to over-ride on the winch while bringing the traveller to windward ... Fortunately, I knew that when I replaced the line in Timaru recently, I'd made it very long, so I was able to cut it close to one end, after tying the traveller in place, to release it from the winch and re-run the line around the blocks and tie it off at at that end. (Couldn't use my usual running hitch.)
9:30pm Wind definitely up a bit this evening - making better speed... but it's getting more bumpy - pounding into swell, close-hauled, as usual.
Sunday 2:45am Tahiti/Hawaii time (Sun 1245 GMT) Moon high up lighting up the scene - just a few clouds and plenty of the brighter stars visible. A little bit bumpy in fair-sized swell as we make our way just W of due N towards the Equator.
Running the generator for a short time with voltage having dropped - clearly wind not quite strong enough to give both autopilot (AP) and batteries the charge needed to keep them both up.
Making quite a good speed on a close reach - can't make course any further to E of present one.
3:40am Cargo vessel to NW - expected to pass 8ml off in an hour's time - no problem!
4:30am Cargo vessel passing several miles ahead, heading WNW - all good.
7:55am Wind had died down again but is now back up more - we were making 2kt or less half an hour ago, but now 4kt. Also changed course, with wind having veered a little - so now COG is just E of N - good.
Full mainsail - just spent a time (and effort!) raising it and shaking out first reef for better speed - hope I don't regret it! No squalls in sight .... for time being... Will be keeping a careful eye out for them.
8:45am Downloading weatherfax showing satpic of cloud cover over E.Pacific - useful to be able to see it.
Had a very kind email from Jim Corenman of Sailmail, trying to be of help now that the use of Winlink has run into problems due to lack of USA Third Party Agreements with so many other countries being visited by, or close to, cruisers. Their use of Winlink is for everyday emailing to get weather info, post their position and keep in touch with family and friends - so this new problem is a sudden unexpected and unwelcome surprise for many of us.
Suddenly found us heeling and accelerating..... Heavy rain under big, grey cloud - jumped up on deck to deal with squall... heeling like mad with no first reef tied in... damn!!
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.)
1900GMT (= 9 a.m. LT = Tahiti/Hawaii time) - end of Day 291. We made 113 n.ml. DMG, measured in a straight line between the two 1900GMT positions.
Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 291 (by daily DMGs): 23,653 n.ml.
Distances (at 1700GMT): East Cape, N.Z.: 2700 n.ml. to SW; Papeete, Tahiti: 865 n.ml. to S; Honolulu: 1513 n.ml. to NNW
Position, as posted to www.Winlink.org and www.Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV):
TIME: 2019/07/21 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 03-08.44S LONGITUDE: 149-52.32W
COURSE: 009T SPEED: 4.5kt
WIND_SPEED: 10kt WIND_DIR: E SWELL_DIR: E SWELL_HT: 2.0m CLOUDS: 95%
BARO: 1012hPa TREND: 0 AIR_TEMP: 30.0C SEA_TEMP: 35.0C
COMMENT: Wind veered after we came out from under rain cloud