Day 32 from Cape Town to Hobart - fast morning, relaxed afternoon!

Friday 9th March 2012

I've been checking over my food stores, since Australia has some thorough-going rules about which food items are allowed into the country - I'm trying to use up some of those not allowed in. Found a small tomato puree tin had leaked its contents over a large area - what a mess a small item can make, escpecially when combined with water clearly having got into the same so-called 'dry' locker beside the galley sink... Became very domestic for a time, emptying out and clearing up the mess. At least I now know exactly what's in there!

As I was working hard at winching up the mains'l while shaking out 2nd reef, an all dark, smaller albatross with broad, pale collar came close by - quite distinctive. A juvenile Sooty, it seems: " A few birds have paler scruffy collars," says my birdbook about the juveniles. And a small,white-rumped storm petrel flitted around us for a while - also very close by.

Out with permanent marker pen again - to mark more reef points on halyard and reef lines - as I did yesterday ... It's good to be in rather calmer conditions - easier to get little-but-useful jobs done!

Swell was surprisingly big overnight and this morning, at 4-5 m, although might be calming down a bit now. Pressure has been steady all day at 1022 hPa. Wind was a nice 22-24kt from dawn to mid-morning but is now mostly up and down around 15-17kt - it was seeing boatspeed down at 5 kt or less that galvanised me into shaking out that reef - that's far too slow! Weather is looking good for next few days, with winds mostly 15-20 knots, although we're almost certainly heading into unavoidable calms on Monday... All very relaxing! Greg made nearly 100 mls since yesterday and is now not too far from the 44S he's aiming for. I'm looking at being around 42S, maybe 43S. Of course, the further S one is, the less distance between lines of longitude - but the nastier the weather, being closer to the Lows' centres with their more tightly packed isobars...

Noon (GMT) DMG today: 127 Cape Leeuwin (to ENE): 1100; Hobart (E): 2426

Wind dying... speed right down... Chilly air at 15C... Variety of birds... petrels, yellow-nosed albatross,... grey clouds... boat rolling in swell...

Written by : Mike

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