Saturday 11:30am Tahiti/Hawaii time (Sat 2130 GMT) Bright sunny day again, with pressure still high at 1029 hPa, but a slight breeze and full sail are moving us nicely at ~4.5kt - we're bouncing gently in a slight swell.
About to have my breakfast, having finally finished with daily reports. Have downloaded emails and will study weather updates to make sure my recent change of course to 036T was a good idea...
Weather is cooperating for once - looks like another day of gentle sailing conditions in warmth and bright sunshine - a great way to celebrate a birthday!
Light conditions are not expected to last much longer, with Low and Cold Front coming in by overnight into Monday but looks as though there's a chance we might be able to avoid the worst of the expected gale.
1:40pm Changed back onto more northerly course, although a slower point of sail. Was nice to have more speed being nearly on a beam reach before but a course of 015T seems to avoid strongest winds (40kt or more) developing on Front overnight Sunday into Monday. I'll probably heave to by sunset as centre of Low will be getting close - it's likely to have very strong gusty winds up to 30kt or more, backing very quickly from S to E to N to W. Once winds go into NW-W, I'll know the Low has passed over (tomorrow morning?) so we can get underway again and head ENE - towards the Strait.
2:30pm 'Motor stall' error message came up on AP - not happy to see that... Reset AP and seems to be working OK for time being....
Seeing more shipping now - cargo vessel 'Maullin' is heading across our path at almost 20kt - will pass 5ml off in 40 minutes' time, bound for Yokohama, Japan.
2:45pm Sprayed arm of AP ram, that acts on steering quadrant, with lubricant in hope that will help avoid more 'Motor Stall' messages. Took advantage of being by rudder post to unscrew grease gland and replenish the grease in there - keep having to pump the bilges fairly often due to a slight leak from there.
Warm enough to have a quick deck shower and hairwash in the sunshine - a birthday present to myself to add in to the extra mango juice I just found stored away - thought I had just two cartons left but found three!
3pm Got 'Motor stall' msg again... reset AP... OK...
3:20pm Feeling beautifully refreshed after my shower - even found a touch of perfume to dab on ...! Now for some pancakes... 'Maullin' just passed across our bow as I was taking my shower - big enough to see clearly on the horizon, despite being 5ml off.
5:30pm Afternoon tea in a beautiful pottery mug (thanks, Louise!) - only brought out on calm, special occasions. Had a big slice of 'birthday cake' with it (tasty, rich Dundee).
Pleasant evening - heated up a special ready-made meal (smoked chicken and chorizo in a foil pouch) with a mango juice & gin sundowner before, accompanied by anchovy-stuffed green olives and peanuts, then apricots and cream for dessert... & lots of chocolate!
Chatted on a few radio Nets - made contact with sailing vessels 'Scoots' and 'Anahata' in Fiji - and later with B.C., Oahu, E.Australia, Florida & several more - HF/SSB radio is great! A few more "Happy Birthdays!" received (to add in to the emailed ones) and, all in all, had a very sociable evening in the continuing light conditions, as we made our way slowly N-NNE.
Thanks to everyone for their good wishes - it will take a time to catch up on a lot of emails now...!
Sunday 4:20am Tahiti/Hawaii time (Sun 1420 GMT) Dawn breaking - first light at 4am, with waning, near-full moon still shining brightly high up in the clear overhead sky until daylight increased too much and a thin cloud layer also came over. Low bank of grey cloud on eastern horizon, turning slightly pink with imminent sunrise as I brought the genoa over to starboard to go goose-winged - it was far happier and more efficient like that, with us sailing downwind. Our speed instantly improved to around 5kt - should have done that a while ago!
Pressure has dropped a lot recently - now down at 1021hPa, from 1024 last night and 1029 a day ago, as Low gets closer.
Back to my bunk for a little more sleep.
7:20am Bright sunny morning. Wind has backed more towards SSE from S and I was about to take genoa back over to port to keep it filled but a slight change of heading was needed to keep us on course, so it was better left where it is for now. I wonder if there's a slight E-flowing current hereabouts.
Breakfast... Feeling cooler - cabin temperature now at 26C from previous 30C.
8:30am Usual morning weatherfax downloads, while preparing reports for posting soon after 9am. Getting photos ready - takes a bit of time to re-size and edit them.
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 319. We made 88 n.ml. DMG, measured in a straight line between the two 1900GMT positions. Surprised it wasn't less.
Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 318 (by daily DMGs): 26,693 n.ml.
Distances (are all Gt Circle, at 1900GMT): Cape Flattery LH (Tatoosh Island): 985 n.ml. to NE (add ~60 n.ml. to Victoria); Honolulu: 1363 n.ml. to SSW; Papeete, Tahiti: 3561 n.ml. to S; San Francisco GG: 1108 n.ml. to E.
Position, as posted to www.Winlink.org and www.Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV):
TIME: 2019/08/18 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 41-42.84N LONGITUDE: 146-03.21W
COURSE: 008T SPEED: 5.5kt
WIND_SPEED: 12kt WIND_DIR: SSE SWELL_DIR: SSE SWELL_HT: 1.5m CLOUDS: 80%
BARO: 1020.4hPa TREND: 0 AIR_TEMP: 28.0C SEA_TEMP: 29.0C
COMMENT: Bright & sunny. Thin cloud layer. Goosewinged.