Day 39 from Cape Town to Hobart - third day of pleasant sailing...!

Friday 16th March 2012

Another lovely sunny day of good sailing, in winds around 20knots, until late afternoon, by when grey cloud had covered the sky. We've been making excellent speed, around 7kt consistently, and while the seas have definitely increased over the day, to around 4.5m or so, they've not cut our speed down - so we made a pleasing DMG of 142 n.ml. over the noon-to-noon (GMT) 24hrs.

The disturbing news of today is that another sail batten end has come adrift from its mast track car. I spotted it this evening as I was thinking about taking in the second reef, with possibly- increasing wind forecast for overnight. Another rusty ring has, I presume, gone missing from the pin holding the batten end to the car, allowing the pin to move up and release the two parts. It's the second batten, above the previous one that I fixed, and needs attention as soon as conditions allow me to get to it.... I can't leave it too long, or the sail could end up damaged.

I made a special point of cutting my nails today - several had got broken over the last few days, so it was time for a visit to the manicurist! Think I need to visit the hairdresser also - but that's a more difficult one to organise...

I've been busy with emails to and from Ace Sails over the last few days, trying to organize a replacment Jordan series drogue. There were several options as to the way forward but hopefully now, it's all in hand and one will soon be on its way to Hobart, ready for my onward passage.. Dave Pelissier has, as usual, been very quick and helpful in his responses!

Another day without managing to make contact with Sailmail by radio - those solar flares, presumably, aren't helping. And no contact either with Petr, the Czech single-hander, but a long chat with Greg at lunch-time, discussing options and weather forecasts - there's a nasty swell and srong winds expected next Sunday night into Tuesday and it's difficult to avoid them, although I'm now heading ENE (again!) in an effort to get out of the worst of the conditions. Greg, at least, has his series drogue ready to use (which he's deployed five times recently!) whereas I don't - I can only heave to under sail and I'm not totally convinced as to my safety doing that, so I'm better to try to head out of the way of trouble if I can, even though it adds to my journey time. I've been pleased with our excellent speed yesterday and today, making 141 and 142 n.ml.

I saw another juvenile wandering albatross this morning - underwings were whitish with black edges, rather like the adult, body all-dark, distinctive white face - very eye-catching! Spent several sessions standing in the companionway, enjoying the warmth of the sunshine and watching the birds around - very pleasant!

Present position: 42S, 112E making a course of 065T at around 6-7 knots. At 1200 GMT today, we were 487 n.ml. SSW of Cape Leeuwin (S of Perth) and had a mere 1687 n.ml. to go before getting near to Hobart....

Written by : Mike

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