Friday Midday Tahiti/Hawaii time (Fri 2200 GMT) Plenty of sunshine this morning through the gaps in the broken light cloud - very welcome after yesterday's grey and murky afternoon! Warming up so about to take off a thick jumper I've been wearing.
Wind should stay around its present 12kt or so over today but expected to get lighter towards tomorrow morning - maybe down to 6kt, from W still, by dawn.
Boat speed is down now - varying, as usual, with swell but generally around 5kt.
Need to let out first reef very soon to speed us up.
1pm Better speed now that first reef has been shaken out - full mainsail plus staysail plus storm jib now - making 5.7kt in about 13kt of W wind - having a lovely sail!
Seas are up quite a lot - a good 3m from W and fairly close. Sky is overcast.
Checking our planned route with fresh gribs just downloaded - a regular routine, with weather info updated frequently. (Using COAMPS grib files for next two days, rather than GFS, now that they're available - should be more accurate.)
5pm Bad news ..... A big fat High is about to develop across our path E to Cape Flattery and Victoria - I spent an age trying different options on course to steer - nothing would avoid N or E headwinds from late tomorrow except heading due N immediately and possibly for several days, to get around and above the High and reach W winds to take us E towards Vancouver Island - and, eventually, S to Victoria. I changed course as soon as I realised the problem. That means a further delay - just when I was thinking we'd finally be arriving within a week... The good news is that hopefully I've realised soon enough to do something useful/positive about it. Heading due N from here looks as though it's feasible with winds forecast for next few days.
Wind and seas increased a lot at one point this afternoon, so reefed down... Had no sooner finished than the wind died..... Grrr!!
Dull grey skies now, with occasional light showers.
Enjoying a taster of a simple chili con carne that I'd prepared ready in the saucepan for heating up later. Meant to have had it yesterday but left it too late to finish preparing it. So much easier dealing with such things in daylight rather than with the boat pitching and tossing in the dark, with just a headlamp for light.
About to cook some pancakes while there's still daylight and we're not being too tossed around.
Had hoped to have a siesta - was feeling quite tired earlier - but have been too busy to lie down so will get to my bunk early tonight.
9:30pm Enjoyed my pancakes - have now finished the fruity raspberry sauce from Hobart that I've been using so will have to turn to honey, maybe with some lemon juice.
Keeping an eye on a cargo vessel headed our way at 10 kt with CPA (closest approach) given as 3 ml in just over one hour's time.
10:30pm Just finished a busy ham radio session on 7160 - several good chats - some people stayed up late to make contact, being Friday night, with no work tomorrow for them. Nice to connect with Perth area.
Cargo vessel 'Gobal Eternity' passed safely astern 3.2 n.ml. off, at 10:40pm, on its way to Japan.
To my bunk. Seas are a lot calmer with light wind at present.
Saturday 6.40am Tahiti/Hawaii time (Sat 1640 GMT) Lovely bright sunshine, clear blue sky overhead - but clearly just a gap since clouds all around on horizon. Time for coffee and breakfast while generator runs and weather info is downloaded and checked over.
Nice to make brief but good contact with two of the 7155 group this morning - - up early enough today to do so but missed several earlier radio scheds - need my sleep!
Just finished sail trimming for downwind in very light wind, after releasing first reef - well overdue. Speed increased a touch - to 3-3.5 kt.
8am Missing the bright sunshine - that was clearly a break in the light grey overcast I'm seeing now. Having a welcome fresh coffee with my breakfast. Plan for the calm conditions of today is to deal with emails again - still a lot unanswered - apologies to those concerned.
Expecting this SW wind to stay very light all day, maybe backing to SSE at some point quite soon...
I'm constantly checking fresh weather files as they become available to see if I can change our course for the better but there's a 'wind hole' in the N. Pacific for the next several days and all we can try to do is to get around it as best we can. It will mean several days of little distance gained, if any, towards Victoria. Today (and tomorrow), it's actually being lost.
Looks as though we can expect E or SE wind shortly, becoming NE near sunset - just what we don't want....!! :-( The hope is that, in just over a day's time, the wind will start to fill in from from SSW, becoming stronger from SW in 2 day's time...
Later: Just took staysail over to port in light SSW wind - nicely 'goose-winged' again and speed (SOG) increased to over 4kt.
Possibility that we might need to change course to NE to get further E f possible. There could well be a Low coming in after the High moves N, giving headwinds towards Cape Flattery - talk about 'threading the needle'! Weather forecasts are constantly changing ....
DTF: Not possible to give one just now! (Over 810 n.ml.??)
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 325. We made 87 n.ml. DMG, measured in a straight line between the two 1900GMT positions.
Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 325 (by daily DMGs): 27,114 n.ml.
Distances (are all Gt Circle, at 1900GMT): Cape Flattery LH (Tatoosh Island): 655 n.ml. to ENE (add ~60 n.ml. to Victoria); Columbia Rivermouth: 690 n.ml. to E; Honolulu: 1736 n.ml. to SSW; Papeete, Tahiti: 3882 n.ml. to S; San Francisco GG: 965 n.ml. to SE.
Position, as posted to www.Winlink.org and www.Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV):
TIME: 2019/08/24 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 46-39.81N LONGITUDE: 140-44.30W
COURSE: 004T SPEED: 4.0kt
WIND_SPEED: 10kt WIND_DIR: SSW SWELL_DIR: SSW SWELL_HT: 2.0m CLOUDS: 100%
BARO: 1018.2hPa TREND: 0 AIR_TEMP: 22.0C SEA_TEMP: 22.0C
COMMENT: Staysail goose-winged.Possible NE course might be needed - checking wx