Saturday 10am Tahiti/Hawaii time (Sat 2000 GMT) Had to change course for short time earlier, as wind veered briefly to SSW from SSE in light rain and under a spreading raincloud. Now back on course, having kept mainsail filled, rather than backed, as it had been threatening to do while sailing 'by the lee'. Still goose-winged, with mainsheet now eased further.
Heard from Niue Y.C. and 'Water Music' - their problem was a split hose draining the cockpit - as soon as they tied to a Niue mooring buoy, water ingress stopped. Pipe now replaced and all well on board.
Speed better, for now, and it's quite sunny, with mainly scattered cloud and another light grey raincloud ahead - will keep an eye on wind direction in case another brief course change is needed in veered wind under the cloud.
Breakfast - calm enough to have the pancakes I didn't get to as part of my celebrations yesterday.
Midday Enjoying a (rare!) coffee and about to cook the pancakes... We're sailing along gently and smoothly still at the slightly better speed of around 4.5kt in about 8-10kt of S-SSE wind. Pressure is slightly up, at 1019hPa, and no grey rainclouds are in sight.
I've been studying the weather charts over ...and over... and over.... and looked at all possible options for a good route towards Cape Flattery. Weather ahead is definitely NOT playing ball, throwing unhelpful Lows and Highs into our path.
Looks as though, for now, best plan is to stay on present course towards WP of 30N 150W for a day, and then head NNW towards a WP of 40N 155W over the following week.
A Low is expected to pass close by to N as we get close, with an associated strong Cold Front, so we might need to heave to let that pass over safely, after which we should eventually be able to sail a final leg ENE towards Strait of Juan de Fuca, hoping to finish before the end of this month... :-)
Looking so far ahead, it's highly likely the forecast will change several times, so the plan is made 'in wet sand at Low water' - as usual! What seems fairly clear is that the original hope of getting back NE faster, on a SW wind 'corridor', is not going to happen and the important thing is not to get trapped in the centre of a developing High, with little or no wind for several days.
Not being able to motor through calms or light headwinds will make for a longer time getting back - that's due to the 'unassisted' tag on my record attempt - the entire voyage has had to take place under sail alone.
(I envied Randall greatly, on his 'Figure of Eight' voyage, when he motored through the calms of the Doldrums to get through faster, while I was stuck with drifting about in glassy seas! Part of the reason for this extended voyage time has been the surprising number of times we've been overtaken by calms, often in between strong Lows.... It's been 'Famine or feast,' by way of highly variable wind strengths - in the Southern Ocean especially...)
2:15pm Enjoying pancakes - with Nutella and raspberry sauce - usual good combination!
Before that, I mended my favourite can-opener. Fortunately, despite it falling apart unexpectedly, I managed to prevent any of the bits falling down into the sink plug-hole (a near thing!) so was able to put it back together, along with plenty of Kroil to ease the rusted/jammed parts - so now it's working fine - as is the 'spare'. My 'back-up' basic can-opener was not a great success, so that prompted me to have a go at de-rusting the better ones, cleaning them up and getting them moving and so back into action again.... All good now.
Checked updated weather info - my choice of route not looking so good, so looked again at the alternative - heading NNE. Seems we'll run out of wind for 1-2 days around 17th August but the route is more direct and otherwise looks to have quite good wind, with a Low coming by to give strong wind after the windless day(s) so I've changed course - we're now heading NNE on a much shorter route.
Midnight Radio chat on 7163 with Jim, WB2REM, initially, then moved to get less noise and ended up with a 'phone patch' using Jim's remote link. Mainly making contact with USA and Australia, but also New Caledonia and Eswatini (Swaziland) - a lot of good wishes received for the final leg of this voyage.
2:25am Chatted for some time over VHF radio to 'BW Oak' - a tanker taking oil from USA to Japan, headed WNW at 15.5kt - Indian Capt and Filipino crew. Very friendly and were about to pass 9ml astern of 'Nereida' in about 15min time.
Later: 'BW Oak' saw our AIS signal from 12ml off, a short while after my call to them - they kindly came back to let me know.
8am Sunny morning with scattered cloud and 1.5m SSE seas. Downloading fresh weatherfaxes and gribs, ready to adjust course slightly in light of updated info. Making around 5.5 kt NNE - slightly gusty under clouds. Often rolling a lot - happens often when goose-winged, headed downwind...
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 312. We made 116 n.ml. DMG, measured in a straight line between the two 1900GMT positions. Better than expected after yesterday's slow speeds.
Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 312 (by daily DMGs): 25,912 n.ml.
Distances (are all Gt Circle, at 1900GMT): Cape Flattery LH (Tatoosh Island): 1611 n.ml. to NNE; Honolulu: 666 n.ml. to SW; Papeete, Tahiti: 2806 n.ml. to S; Cabo San Lucas, Mexico: 2144 n.ml. to E; San Francisco GG: 1429 n.ml. to NE.
Position, as posted to www.Winlink.org and www.Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV):
TIME: 2019/08/11 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 29-13.27N LONGITUDE: 149-17.21W
COURSE: 031T SPEED: 5.5kt
WIND_SPEED: 13kt WIND_DIR: SSE SWELL_DIR: SSE SWELL_HT: 1.5m CLOUDS: 50%
BARO: 1019.7hPa TREND: 1 AIR_TEMP: 30.0C SEA_TEMP: 33.1C
COMMENT: Bright, sunny, warm day... Goose-winged.