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Day 302 Wed-Thurs 31stJuly - 1stAug 2019 GMT Mainsail repaired as we drift hove-to - then wind comes up - underway again, finally!

Wednesday 10:30am Tahiti/Hawaii time (Wed 2030 GMT) Bright, sunny and warm already... No wind (windgen blades not turning), drifting WNW while hove-to - just went around in a circle with slight swell knocking us around. Very peaceful, rocking quite often, sometimes a lot more. TC Erick due to pass N of us this afternoon, several hundred miles away - a good distance.
Downloading latest batch of weatherfaxes and checking latest gribs - usual breakfast time occupation.

Once Erick has passed, there'll be a short time with some S winds, and then possibly some E wind or perhaps nothing for a few days until Flossie passes by, also N of our position but not until after the weekend.

It's already a difficult time, waiting & drifting for so long when I should be well on my way N to finishing, so I'm going to have to get on with some useful projects so as not to feel this long time waiting around has been totally wasted.... Galley clear-up and more on mainsail repair are today's projects!

11am Drifting NW, with bow pointing NNW. Occurred to me that I'd best get on with sail repair now, in case Erick passing by to our N later brings rainclouds.

2pm S wind kicked in enough, just after midday, to get sailing - not very fast, since wind was only 10kt or less - often not enough (under 7kt) to get wind generator blades rotating but at least we're moving in the right direction, still a week away. Quite possible that the wind won't last very long . The boom preventer is essential - swell is now a pronounced 2.5-3m from NNE so, without the preventer, the boom would often be swinging around wildly.
I'd just finished with what was urgently needed on the sail repair when I felt increased wind and realised we could get underway again. I delayed shaking out the 2nd reef until I'd patched up quite a good-sized tear that was just within reach from the cockpit.

2:30pm Time for a siesta while another load of weatherfaxes and satpics download - feeling quite tired - probably because raising mainsail is hard work without the electric drill 'cranker' available to help with the winching.

3pm Wind seems to be dying - only making 2-3kt now... Windgen not turning...

4:25pm Windgen still not turning - so wind under 6kt.... making 2.5kt!

6:40pm Last light in sky after sunset - still underway in SSE wind of 5-10kt - making only around 3.5kt SOG... TC Erick now due N of us, a good distance away but giving a good-sized 3m NNE swell...

Decided to celebrate being underway (never mind the speed!) by having a 'sundowner' while enjoying the lovely pink clouds at sunset - in company with a pair petrels...! (Had the last few roasted cashews with my drink - but have lots of almonds left!)
About to make a meal of diced ham plus chick peas and chopped tomatoes with additional tomato purée - trying to ring the changes on the food side, as certain items are finished...

9pm Sitting out in the cool night air in the cockpit, enjoying my late meal of ham, chick peas and tomatoes which is proving tasty and was very easy to prepare.
Watching for meteorites as I eat. Spotted my favourite constellation - the Dolphin (Delphinus) high above, not far from Cygnus, the Swan.
Wind still well down - no windgen motion - so creeping along at about 3kt NW.

10:45pm Wind came up a little with some rain - we were making around 4.5-5 kt for a time, but not for long.

Thursday 4:30am Tahiti/Hawaii time (Thurs 1400GMT) FIRST OF AUGUST _ unbelievable that we're still on passage with another four weeks or so (hoping for less, but doubtful) to our finish...!!!!
Gybed onto starboard tack in light rainshower and in darkness. Wind from SE now and died down a lot after the rain so now making just 4kt instead of earlier 6kt I'd noticed as I went up on deck to organise the gybe in the rain..

5:30am Dawn breaking and wind dying more... down to 3.5kt SOG now. Grey rainclouds off astern and to starboard - dramatic line of them, as they rise high up, with pink streaks of higher cloud behind them, lit up by rising sun - as yet unseen.
There are two good-sized swells running, both around 2.5m or more - one from N (from TC Erick), the other from SE (wind direction) - making for lumpy seas, but they're well-spaced so not causing too much rolling around.

6am Dolphins! I've been on deck for quite a time, enjoying the changing cloudscape and colours with sunrise. Suddenly realised we had company - a group of dolphins - small, very dark grey with very recurved, small dorsal fin, were swimming alongside and around the bow, often in twos and threes. Quite small and rarely jumping - only saw two leaping out of the water in half an hour of watching them.
The sun was finally completely above the horizon at 5:50am and shone brightly from under the long line of grey rainclouds - now thinning and no longer looking so showery .
While it's cooler, think I'll make some pancakes for an early breakfast...

7:40am Adjusted course slightly to come off the wind a tad more - very downwind but we can just make it... Don't want to head too much towards the Big Island of Hawaii since TC Flossie is due to hit there on Monday so I don't want us to get too close to her track.
Pancakes were good - have learned not to use too much Nutella - very sweet, although nice and chocolate-y. Raspberry sauce from Hobart is far less sweet and makes a good, fruity complement.
Will make some coffee while on first of today's projects - galley clear-up - after posting this, then on to poling out the genoa at some point, if not too rolly, and then on to wading through a backlog of emails - some outstanding from several days now...

9am Wind just veered to SSE - adjusted course since difficult to maintain downwind couse in swell.. Windshift maybe due to 'cloud effect' - several large clouds seen close by.

Far North (Queensland) ABC (Cairns) interview went out on air yesterday morning and link will be posted once available.

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 302. We made 74 n.ml. DMG, measured in a straight line between the two 1900GMT positions. Drifting S, hove-to, until after midday Wed.

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 302 (by daily DMGs): 24,826 n.ml.

Distances (at 1700GMT): Cape Flattery LH: 2531 n.ml. to NNE; Honolulu: 734 n.ml. to NNW; East Cape, N.Z.: 3459 n.ml. to SW; Papeete, Tahiti: 1760 n.ml. to S

Position, as posted to www.Winlink.org and www.Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV):
TIME: 2019/08/01 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 11-46.83N LONGITUDE: 149-50.99W
COURSE: 327T SPEED: 4.4kt
BARO: 1011.9hPa TREND: 1 AIR_TEMP: 32.0C SEA_TEMP: 37.0C
COMMENT: Waiting on wind to back to E for course change to NW.

Written by : Jeanne Socrates