Day 310 Thurs-Fri 8-9 Aug 2019 GMT Out of the Tropics - we pass N of 23 30'N - Tropic of Cancer

Thursday 11am Tahiti/Hawaii time (Thurs 2100 GMT) Wind has died down a lot - we're making under 5 kt now .. Wind must have dropped to 10kt or less.
I suddenly realised that we'd left the Tropics on passing N of 23 30'N (Tropic of Cancer) just before 11am - so it's party time again on board 'Nereida' today, although it's sad to think we'll be into cooler climes soon - I'm enjoying the warmth now!
Earlier thick layer of cloud has been left behind to give mainly clear sky again - with the lighter wind, I need to shake out first reef - slow going just now.
But I also need my breakfast - have had nothing so far today. Always takes quite a time to prepare and post the daily 9am/1900z reports and deal with emails.
Downloading fresh weatherfaxes and satpic - now able to download fewer each day, since we're well N of the cyclone-threatened area - which is a relief in itself!

Found a small flying fish by the starboard sheet winch - one wing still spread out to show the beautiful lacy pattern within it.

Midday Bright, hot sun now. Finally, full main and genoa - a lot of effort! Had to furl in the staysail (which is small anyway) in order to hoist the mainsail - needed the middle port winch its sheet was using. We're on starboard tack so the main sheet winch and secondary winch to port were both in use.
Think I'll mix up some pancake mix as a celebratory item to have after my breakfast cereal (with the usual dried fruit, nuts & seeds)... and have a bigger mango juice than usual. Will only have food I really fancy today! And, if still calm conditions prevail like now, a 'sundowner', for sure - using some of the 'best Victoria gin' gifted to me on leaving - there's still plenty left in its bottle to mix a little with fruit juice, as a substitute for a rum punch. (I must leave plenty for another celebration coming up in just over a weeks' time.)
Making around 5.5kt now on 010T.

5:30pm Warm, sunny, wind up now to around 15kt - going well at 6.7kt on a course of 015T, bouncing gently, no harsh motion, all very pleasant.
Just ran genset and watermaker - I'll have a quick deck shower very soon while it's still warm and the sun is not too low.
Made a mug of tea, which I'm having with one of the few remaining Tim Tams, while preparing today's main meal - chicken chunks in chicken gravy with addition of sliced mushrooms, sweetcorn, condensed mushroom soup (to give ready-made mushroom sauce) with addition of asparagus tips on the side - all very delicious and definitely a celebratory meal - with no cooking!
Found a tin of apricot halves I'd been searching for - will give a nice dessert with some tinned cream and some pieces of chocolate....
Sundowner with some olives and peanuts beforehand, as I enjoy watching the sunset shortly.

9pm Making excellent speed, 7-8kt, under starry sky with bright moon lighting up the scene - lovely sailing in good wind around 12-15kt.

11:15pm Just got down below - had to tie in first reef in a hurry. Dark clouds came over and wind increased to 15-20kt. We were well over-powered with too much canvas and kept rounding up io the wind - AP couldn't cope... mainsail needed to be reduced. Also took in genoa to 1st mark for overnight - we're now making around 7kt which is perfectly fine but we're feeling more in control and not unbalanced.
Four days of lovely sailing without any squalls was clearly one day too many! Not that this was a rainsquall, since no rain, but was definitely due to dark clouds around giving much increased wind under them and close by them.
Feeling a lot less stressed now and ready to get some sleep - we should be fine with the first reef in. I'll probably find we're making even less speed if the clouds pass over to give clear sky.. Wind is already dying down, as is our speed - it's sounding a lot more peaceful and wind generator is not whizzing around so fast- but the first reef will stay in overnight now. Genoa can always be unfurled if I wish.
One unwanted problem to sort out in the morning - in my hurry to take in the first reef, I didn't put the line through a fairlead leading to the winch and, as a result, it has over ridden badly - will need to deal with that come daylight. A rolling hitch will be needed to take the tension out of the line onto the winch- I love that knot, it's so useful and has so often got me out of bad situations!

Midnight Overcast sky giving fine rain - have unfurled some of the genoa - boat speed is right down now in light wind - only making 3kt, sometimes less. Rolling around in swell.

12:30am Unbelievably - we're rolling around in almost no wind now - making about 2.5kt, often less..! Where did the wind go to? Superwind blades are not turning... so definitely less than 6-7kt of wwind.
Looking at gribs (weather files) - seems the nice 'corridor' of good wind might no longer be expected to hold as it was forecast to recently- will have to head N instead of NNE to avoid being becalmed further N in a few days' time.

8:30am Lovely sunny day again... seas down reasonably well, although still a noticeable swell Wind around 12kt just now, so not strong, but we seem to have made fair progress overnight - more than 140 n.ml. over the 24hr period to now - not too bad!
will have breakfast after posting this report and checking weather/emails - and then get to the problem of releasing the first reef line that over-rode on the starboard sheet winch - won't be easy but, hopefully, will eventually come free...

 

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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 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.)
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1900GMT (= 9 a.m. LT = Tahiti/Hawaii time) - end of Day 310. We made 143 n.ml. DMG, measured in a straight line between the two 1900GMT positions.

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 310 (by daily DMGs): 25,705 n.ml.

Distances (at 1700GMT): Cape Flattery LH (Tatoosh Island): 1792 n.ml. to NNE; Honolulu: 522 n.ml. to SW; Papeete, Tahiti: 2600 n.ml. to S; Cabo San Lucas, Mexico: 2170 n.ml. to E; San Francisco GG: 1555 n.ml. to NE.

Position, as posted to www.Winlink.org and www.Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV):
TIME: 2019/08/09 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 25-46.68N LONGITUDE: 149-41.44W
COURSE: 005T SPEED: 6.1kt
WIND_SPEED: 13kt WIND_DIR: SE SWELL_DIR: SE SWELL_HT: 1.8m CLOUDS: 20%
BARO: 1018.7hPa TREND: 1 AIR_TEMP: SEA_TEMP: 34.0C
COMMENT: Cloudy & gusted up overnight - 1st reef in main.
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At 09/08/2019 19:00 (utc) our position was 25°46.68'N 149°41.44'W

Written by : Jeanne Socrates