Day 37 towards Cape Horn - wind veered and slowly died ..... grrr!!

Tuesday 27th November 2012

A lovely, sunny start to today - but slowly the wind veered, forcing us to head SSW on a very close reach, and slowly died, so speed has been well down since late morning and first reef was finally shaken out - under full sail now, trying to keep up some semblance of speed.

The good news this evening is that the wind has backed again -to East -so we're making roughly S, alhough slowly - just over 4kt.

A bright moon is shining from a clear starry sky - gone is the light overcast of most of today. With the wind down, seas have lain down a lot - so I might go up the mast early tomorrow to see to the loose cable and change over wind transducer - if seas are calm enough then.

It was far less rough this afternoon, so I got into the aft cabin to expose the course computer and rudder reference unit and do some more testing of resistance readings with the multimeter. A bit difficult, without double-length 'gorilla-style' arms, since a good distance between the rudder ref unit and computer, but I managed eventually and all seemed fine... until I moved the wire leading into the base of the unit - after which I failed totally to get any readings whatsoever... Frustrating, to say the least...!!! Was I doing something stupid with the multimeter (which seemed to be misbehaving)... or was there now an indication of a problem with the unit's wiring...I don't know...! I might change the multimeter battery and then have another look tomorrow.

Being in the aft cabin gave me the chance to update the paper charts kept handy in the chart table, stowing now-irrelevant ones for N Pacific and getting out ones for S.Pacific, S. America and S.Atlantic. Electronic charts are all very well but often don't show the details at a glance, such as tiny islands, or depths and all-important continental shelf edges, unless you zoom right in - and then it's easy to lose track of where you're looking exactly.... I've had a fright or two on passages north this year, meeting unexpected shoal areas/fishing banks in bad weather, so have been getting out the paper charts for a good overview more often now - as I should have done previously! It's all too easy to become lazy... that's bad seamanship and unsafe....

I also dug out the replacement wind transducer I hope to place at the mast top soon. It's a simple enough replacement job, once up there. I'm hoping the wiring problem is internal to the unit so my problem will be immediately resolved once the new unit in place...Fingers crossed!

Radio connection to Winlink stations is getting difficult now - only at certain times of day are connections possible - and even then they've been getting painfully slow.. Night-time is often best for speed. I get very frustrated when I receive a short message from someone- but with my original email undeleted and maybe a long 'tail-ender' as well ... grrr!!!. Takes a long time then to download...

24hr DMG at 3pm: 144 made good speed up until mid-morning . Cape Horn LH was & our nearest land (9-10 days' sail) was Hiva Oa, in the Iles Marquises of French Polynesia, SW 1211 Mexico (near Acapulco) was 1617 away to NE, with the Galapagos Islands 1684 to the ENE.
For my daily position and track:

See my website's 'Travels' page - go to www.svnereida, open 'Travels', then click on "Where is Nereida?" - courtesy 'exactEarth' using their polar-orbiting satellites - good everywhere, especially nearer the poles, i.e. should be good when in the Southern Ocean. - courtesy "Oceantracker' using geo-stationary satellites with good coverage until level with Valparaiso, Chile, probably.... Then coverage again from 1000ml WSW of Australia, onward to past New Zealand...

Written by : Mike

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