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Day 3 from Hobart - wind up and down under rainclouds

Wednesday 2nd May 2012

Laptop packed up last night - so spent ages sorting out replacement notebook PC - but I have none of my recent emails or new email addresses or contact info - frustrating!

Before that happened, the wind died, the Milky Way came out briefly and beautifully and I thought I should unfurl some genoa - TG I didn't, since from under 5 knots we were soon rushing along at over 7 knots in increased wind! I'd changed course to more downwind earlier, since the Low threatening to give headwinds in a day or two looked not to be developing as expected, but I later saw it back again threatening the same worrying headwinds as before - so I've reverted to a course N of my rhumb-line to the SW Cape of Stewart Island, N.Z.

While sorting out my computer problem, the wind had eased a lot again, so I finally shook out the 3rd reef (I'm very cautious about doing that too soon!) and also tied in the sail near the 1st and 2nd reef points. By then it was dawn, so I went forward to retrieve a missing staysail sheet, to tie it onto the clew, undid a tangle in another slack sheet and unfurled more genoa... before getting to my bunk for much-needed sleep.

Of course, predictably, I was woken some time later by banging and crashing as we heeled in strong winds again - we were making around 8 knots - which is good to see but not when the boat is heeling too much in frequent big waves ... Furled in a lot of genoa until we better balanced & took us off the wind a bit. The situation turned into a 'cloud effect' - a passing raincloud .. Soon, all was a lot calmer and I was able to get back to my bunk.

Eventually, I got the amount of genoa right, so that as the wind came and went with more rainclouds passing nearby, we'd accelerate and then slacken speed for a bit, without needing to forever adjust the sails - although my eye was always on the windspeed as we went faster. "Nereida' happily makes around 7 knots in good wind but I begin to feel a bit uncomfortable when our speed goes well over 8 kt!

Having said that, I spotted a weird ENE-flowing current effect for a while this afternoon. In NNW wind of 22kt, we were making over 9-10 kt for quite a time around midday, with boatspeed of just 6-7 kt!!

Having seen almost no birds for a time, it was nice to catch sight of an immature Wandering albatross - chocoloate brown above, pale beak, with white underwings, edged with black, and, later, a small flock of prions..

Another day's run of 135 n.ml. - good to see but I wonder how long it will last - I'm still expecting to be forced S of our rhumbline course by headwinds all too soon! As I write this, wind is N ~18 kt and we're making 6.8-7 kt SOG (boatspeed ~7.3 kt).

Written by : Mike

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