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Day 42 towards Cape Horn -Rolling hitch to the rescue- yet again!

Sunday 2nd December 2012

Hot, sunny, light winds getting even lighter and veered to SE overnight, possibly SSE, so difficult to keep a good course over the morning but later backed to E, so we're not doing too badly now. Wind does seem to vary a lot

In the pleasantly light conditins, I had several things I'd been waiting to do - but first I tidied up in the aft cabin, after the autopilot work, at the same time looking for wiring which could be used for the wind vane... It takes fine 5-core cable which I'm pretty sure I don't have but I might be able to use other thin wire. If I find I have enough lengths of suitable wire, then I can begin to think about how to use them to connect the wind vane unit, on the stern arch perhaps, to the wind display in the cockpit - it wouldn't be at all easy since I don't have the base connector that the unit plugs in to.... In the meantime, another job that was waiting was to put back the wires and cover at the base of the mast.

Then I got on deck for quite a few different small jobs and by the end of the day, as light was fading after a dramatic sunset amongst a mass of clouds on the horizon, I felt I'd ticked off quite a few important items, among them the long, all-in-one, genoa sheet, tied to the clew in a cow hitch, which I cut close to the clew, where I'd noticed some bad chafe, and then tied the cut half back onto the clew. As I'm writing this, I'm thinking the chafe might have come from when the pole was used... maybe tomorrow I'll 'end-for-end' the sheet and re-tie it. We've been on port tack for a long time now and likely to remain so for a time longer - at least until we leave the SE Trade Wind belt we're in now..

One job which still needs doing is tensioning the headsail halyards - they're not quite tight enough - but as I was getting the lines oganized to do rhat, I noticed that the split pin holding the gooseneck clevis pin in place was looking as though it was working loose - so that job clearly took precedence - wouldn't be good to have the boom part company from the mast...

10pm So much for a gentle night's sail! We've settled down again now- but it certainly wasn't gentle light wind sailing a short while ago - a big cloud came over, of course... I was busy writig this, when I reaized the wind was getting up - went on deck to check and ended up taking in the first reef ... but managed to over-ride a line badly on a winch.... Rolling hitch time! To release a winch to use to take tension off the over-ridden line, I had to furl in the stays'l, but that apart, it all went smoothly. It always amazes me how the hitch holds tight to release tension on the line its's acting on...I'm always half-expecting it to slide, instead of holding. Wind is still up a bit, in fact, so we're making good speed, just over 6kt.

24hr DMG at 3pm: 100 n.ml. (despite full canvas - light winds overnight andthis morning) Cape Horn LH 3479 n.ml.away & our nearest land: Pitcairn Island, 923 n.ml. to the SSW. Easter Island 968 n.ml. away to SSE & the Gambier Islands are 1044 n.ml away to SW. We're presently about 2460 n.ml. W of Lima, Peru.

For my daily position and track:

See my website's 'Travels' page - go to www.svnereida, open 'Travels', then click on "Where is Nereida?"

http://www.exactearth.com/media-centre/recent-ship-tracks/tracking-nereida/ - courtesy 'exactEarth' using their polar-orbiting satellites -, especially good nearer the poles, i.e. should be good when in the Southern Ocean.

Unfotunately, having run out of lithium batteries for the GPS tracker unit, the other website can no longer keep my track up-to-date - it stopped on 17th November...

Written by : Mike

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