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Day 36 from Cape Town to Hobart - overcast, murky day - contrast to yesterday!

Tuesday 13th March 2012

Dull day with solid overcast skies. But the seas were down, after the calm of yesterday and the N wind slowly increased overnight until, by 9am LT, it was at 20 knots - and stayed there the rest of the day. Yet another Cold Front is on its way - sometime after midnight, probably... May have winds up to 35 kt but hopefully not - it looks as though it might be fairly mild when it reaches us - unlike the fairly strong conditions it gave Greg overnight last night, making him heave to for a bit.

I enjoyed a nice meal last night of ham and eggs with sauteed potato and onion - fresh eggs are still fine, just keep turning them every now and then, where they sit in their bubble plastic protection in the aft cabin. On today's menu is lentil and onion soup with chunks of ham.

A different bird appeared among the usual petrels today - all-dark with lighter flashes on its underwings - almost certainly a Sooty Shearwater (definitely not an albatross). Kept coming close to the boat and was clearly very curious - or maybe it was hoping to get some 'chum' to feed on? Wondered whether it was thinking of trying to land, at one point!

Solar flare(s) making radio comms. difficult - emails taking noticeably longer to transmit and receive. Graham, ZS2ABK had trouble hearing me on 14316 kHz and I hardly heard him at all to begin with. Had no problem chatting to Greg, VE0MUR, 'Alcidae', on 8297 (marine frequency) afterward. He's now at my latitude although some distance to the W (he was close to 093E today and I'm at 103E) but close enough for good reception. Petr, OK4SNG, on 'Singa', came up around 1000 GMT on 14350 kHz - he's well to the E. I heard him quite clearly but he had too much noise again to hear me well enough to chat - I think he's feeling a bit frustrated, having turned off everything electrical, including his wind generator - and still he has too much noise - those solar flares, probably! Hopefully, over the next few days, things will improve slowly. Jane, NH7TZ, on Kauai, was delighted to be able to make contact during the Pacific Seafarers Net - well enough to get all my details.

It's dark now and I'm going to get some rest - having set the autopilot on to 'wind-vane' mode, so it gives me good warnings of any windshifts as the Front gets closer.

With the light wind of yesterday, we didn't quite make 3 figures on our 24hr run: DMG: 99 n.ml.

Cape Leeuwin 735 n.ml to the NE; Hobart 1989 sailing miles away - under 2000!!

Written by : Mike

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