Day 320 Sun-Mon 18-19 Aug 2019 GMT Expected deep Low arrives - we heave to overnight

Sunday 10am Tahiti/Hawaii time (Sun 2000 GMT) Wind has picked up and we've still full sail so good speed - around 6kt in about 10-12kt wind. Light overcast with sun trying to get through. Less than 1,000 miles 'as the crow flies' to Cape Flattery - but small matter of strong weather coming up shortly.

Pressure has dropped noticeably - now down at 1021hPa, from 1024 last night and 1029 yesterday early morning - the Low is on its way... Ready to reef down as and when necessary.

Usual morning weatherfaxes are still being downloaded and just finished preparing reports for posting. Always takes a bit of time, especially if photos included - have to re-size and edit them.

12:40pm Spent quite a time clearing up in the galley and dealing with items there. Want to close that seacock so I've been using galley sink while it's easy.

Cloudy and showery now - a lot of big grey clouds around.

Wind got up and we've been making good speed - but with no reefs in, feeling 'at risk' so I need to start reefing down. The Low is supposed to be moving quickly so I don't want to be caught out with too much sail.

Already furled in some genoa to make it easier to take over to port and we're feeling a lot more under control just now. We're still making around 5.5-6kt but not swinging around so much. We were making more earlier but that wind was likely to have been up due to rain we just had.

Pressure has continued to drop - now 1018hPa ...and still dropping - sign of Low getting closer so good reason to begin reefing down - might be early but that's better than too late!

1:20pm Of course, now there's patch of blue sky overhead, the sun is trying to get out and the band of rain clouds is well astern - although there are plenty more clouds ahead and to the W. With the first reef now tied in, I've unfurled the genoa and got back on course. When the wind picks up again, I can tie in the 2nd reef if it looks needed and the genoa can always be easily and quickly furled in to reduce sail if wind is getting very strong. Lines are all ready. Just now, we're back to creeping along in wind of perhaps 8-10kt - the wind generator is only just turning gently.

Time for some lunch

2pm Had to gybe the sails - wind from S now, no longer from SSE. Feels pleasantly warm in the sun... but mostly grey clouds everywhere. Back to my lunch...

3:30pm Water on to boil for tea... Making around 4kt in very light S wind still. Ambling, waiting for Low system to arrive - should come within next few hours, meaning I'll need to reef down. It should pass just to S of our position, as it heads E. Pressure now is 1016 hPa.

10:30pm (Lost my previous note from near sunset - I hate that!

I'd wanted to reef down by sunset and then heave to, ready for the Low and its Front to pass by overnight. Pressure has now dropped to 1011 hPa.

As light was fading, I reefed down - furled in some genoa and took in 2nd reef, then 3rd reef - but had a problem doing that and needed to release the line on the winch with a rolling hitch. I managed to finish sorting out 3rd reef in the last of the light and heaved to with genoa furled in - all as a heavy rain squall came through - I got soaked... I started out so much earlier in such relatively benign conditions that I'd not put on my jacket.

By the time all was finished, I'd had a thorough cold fresh shower and needed to change into dry clothes. Found what I needed fairly quickly, fortunately, since I was shivering with cold and happily donned underlayers and fleece top layer, followed by having hot food - all ready in its saucepan, just needing to be heated up.

Monday 5am Tahiti/Hawaii time (Mon 1500 GMT) Daylight... Raining... Bouncing around in the swell but not as violently as last night.. We're drifting SE and wind seems to be from N .. so maybe we can get underway and head E?? Waiting to download latest weatherfiles to check on Low and its progress - to E of here? Making mug of CuppaSoup in the meantime.

5:35am Cargo vessel 'Dorado Leader' looks to be heading directly for us from ESE - too far for VHF contact just now...

6:10am We're making 3-4kt close-hauled. Spoke to 'Dorado Leader' on VHF and said we couldn't go any more upwind - "We will stay clear," came the reply.

All safe by 6:30am - they turned upwind by about twenty degrees to stay clear and passed just over one mile off to our N... They're back on course now towards Japan at ~ 17kt- ETA 28th Aug....

Very poor visibility in heavy rain & fog. Pounding into the seas, making 113T at ~4.5kt.

7:30am Back below after heaving to again in strong conditions - wind very strong now - around 30kt or more, from N. Furled in remains of genoa - totally shredded, and end genoa car has come off the track. I'd been recently seeing some long plastic bits coming loose which I'd been forever sliding back in place - hadn't realised before, but they must be for holding the car onto the track.... Wonder if maybe the loose car led to genoa flogging and hence tearing...?

Was about to heave to anyway, before noticed genoa gone, since we seemed to be heading SE, rather than E as I'd hoped, too much towards centre of Low to our S, in what had become a very much increased N wind. Pressure now is 994.2hPa - has dropped by 6hPa over last 3 hrs - a lot... Must be very close to centre of Low now. Will just have to wait for Low to move on now.

8:20am Pressure still low - 994.0hPa. Waiting now for wind to ease and change direction and pressure to rise, indicating Low has moved away. Will wait to post daily reports after 1900Z/9am LT and then maybe I can get some more sleep.

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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 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.)

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1900GMT (= 9 a.m. LT = Tahiti/Hawaii time) - end of Day 320. We made 43 n.ml. DMG, measured in a straight line between the two 1900GMT positions.

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 318 (by daily DMGs): 26,736 n.ml.

Distances (are all Gt Circle, at 1900GMT): Cape Flattery LH (Tatoosh Island): 954n.ml. to NE (add ~60 n.ml. to Victoria); Honolulu: 1404 n.ml. to SSW; Papeete, Tahiti: 3602 n.ml. to S; San Francisco GG: 1102 n.ml. to E.

Position, as posted to www.Winlink.org and www.Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV):

TIME: 2019/08/19 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 42-24.19N LONGITUDE: 145-49.09W

COURSE: 157T SPEED: 1.9kt

WIND_SPEED: 30kt WIND_DIR: N SWELL_DIR: N SWELL_HT: 3.0m CLOUDS: 100%

BARO: 995hPa TREND: -5 AIR_TEMP: 24.0C SEA_TEMP: 28.0C

COMMENT: Drifting hove-to, waiting for Low to move away

Written by : Jeanne Socrates