Tuesday 1:30pm Tahiti/Hawaii time (Tues 2330GMT) This feels like true Trade Wind tropical sailing! Another lovely sunny day, with cloudless, hot blue sky and good wind... Wind seems to have died down a bit more - and seas a little also - so not quite so uncomfortable as earlier today and yesterday but the consequence is a slower boat speed. We're making around 6-6.5kt instead of around 7kt now, so there won't be the same 160-mile DMG seen tomorrow as today. I was delighted to see that figure - definitely worth the discomfort (for a short time)! (Later: Actually made 154 n.ml 24hr DMG to 1900Z today - not bad!)
Spending a lot of time each day, checking weather information in order to plan what looks like the best route to take, so as to stay in the best wind to get N quickly.
I keep trying to change our course slightly, in hope that wind has veered a little - but keep having to change back as we begin to luff up... (i.e. get too close to the wind, so sails are unhappy and aren't drawing so well)
Having a bit of a struggle at times with my can opener - this is the spare, so I hope I've a back up! Opened shrimps to go with chick peas, mixed in with mayonnaise for lunch. No cooking required...
My left ankle keeps swelling - result of too little exercise, I think, and too much sitting around, so I'm trying to flex and circle my feet frequently throughout the day, as well as raising that ankle high when I'm resting.
7:40pm Just had a good demonstration of how useful the SSB radio is to cruisers and why they should all have one on board. A situation developed on 'Water Music', a 45ft vessel with four people on board, en route to the small island of Niue, in the S.Pacific, two days off still. A water leak developed... sea water... So far, they haven't been able to find its source, although they have managed to clear the bilges of water using three pumps (two electric, one manual) - but more is coming in...
At the beginning of every regular cruisers' SSB radio Net session, there is a call for any emergency or priority traffic. So 'Water Music' were able to get immediate assistance at this evening's 'PolyMagNet' (Net based in French Polynesia) and were quickly put in radio contact with Tahiti JRCC (Joint Rescue Coordination Centre) - taking care of the area where they are now. A lot of boats monitored the communication and some were able to help with a relay when needed.
Not only Papeete JRCC were there to take details and stand by in case the situation deteriorated but also, because a standard emergency radio frequency was being used, which is monitored all the time by search and rescue organisations, a US Coastguard cutter, based in Samoa, came on, to check if they could be of help and also Taupo Maritime Radio in New Zealand came on and confirmed they had noted all the information and the NZ MRCC (Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre) were standing by, in case of need also.
All a joint effort, with immediate communication between different people at that time made possible only due to the use by all concerned of SSB/HF radios. Satellite phones have their place, at times - but they can't replace the SSB radio which allows several people in different places to take part at the same time and contribute - important in an emergency or urgency situation if valuable help is to be given.
Midnight Sailing continues well... Making 7kt SOG (speed over ground) in slightly increased wind! Dark but starry sky with no moon and few clouds.
'Water Music' came up twice more, on the hour, to report their status to Taupo Maritime Radio. They felt the situation was finally under control well enough that they could wait overnight and report in to Taupo Radio and the 8am (Tahiti time) PolyMagNet to give an update as they proceed on to Niue. Hopefully, they'll get some well-needed sleep, with someone on watch overnight, keeping an eye on the bilge water level.
Wednesday 5:10am Tahiti/Hawaii time (Wed 1510 GMT) First light - dawn breaking - sunrise not far off. Making 6.6-6.9kt under a sky with quite a few scattered clouds. Wind still from E at around 15-18kt and we're bouncing around and heeling over in good 2m seas. Sea temperature is slowly decreasing - now at 34.0C from yesterday's 35.0C.
All in all, not much change from yesterday - Trade Wind sailing means long tacks with the same sail plan. Not a lot of work, just now, except that it requires quite a bit of effort getting from one side of the cabin to the other - climbing uphill or lurching downhill, needing the many various hand holds in the cabin to make it happen safely!
7am Wind seems to be getting less - up and down a bit, just now...
Have been checking latest weather info and adjusting course slightly as a result.
Time for some breakfast.... Keeping an eye on our speed - if wind stays down, will release first reef.
Pleased to find my left ankle did not swell up at all yesterday - must keep up with the flexing/rotating movements.
8:30am Gusty conditions under frequent large clouds - boat speed varying a lot ... up and down constantly.
'Water Music' came up on Net to report all under control but they still don't know where the leak is coming from. They should arrive in Niue tomorrow but will keep in touch with Taupo Maritime Radio in the meantime.
Far North (Queensland) ABC (Cairns) interview went out on air last Thursday morning and a link will be posted when 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 ye before sunrise.ar, 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 308. We made 154 n.ml. DMG, measured in a straight line between the two 1900GMT positions. Nice to see another good 24hr DMG.
Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 308 (by daily DMGs): 25,427 n.ml.
Distances (at 1700GMT): Cape Flattery LH: 2054 n.ml. to NNE; Honolulu: 387 n.ml. to W; Papeete, Tahiti: 2333 n.ml. to S; Cabo San Lucas, Mexico: 2273 n.ml. to E; San Francisco GG: 1773 n.ml. to NE.
Position, as posted to www.Winlink.org and www.Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV):
TIME: 2019/08/07 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 21-17.30N LONGITUDE: 150-57.62W
COURSE: 015T SPEED: 5.6kt
WIND_SPEED: 13kt WIND_DIR: E SWELL_DIR: NE SWELL_HT: 1.8m CLOUDS: 45%
BARO: 1017.9hPa TREND: 1 AIR_TEMP: 29.0C SEA_TEMP: 34.0C
COMMENT: Bright sushine, scattered clouds, wind up & down - gusty under clouds