Tuesday 7th December 2010 Day 43
A lovely day of very pleasant sailing- I spent quite a time in bright sunshine this afternoon, just relaxing and gazing around, enjoying the sea and cloudscape as we sped along comfortably at 6-7 knots . Photo shows the cloudscape around sunset tonight. A lovely crescent moon hung high above the sunset later.. but within an hour, after darkness had fallen (of course!), the wind increased from 16 to 22kt just as I was about to check-in to the Pacific Seafarers Net. I had to go on deck to reduce and trim the sails ... and was promptly totally drenched by a wave sweeping the decks - had to quickly strip off and drape a towel around me as I belatedly gave my check-in details with dripping hair!! (Who needs to swim in the sea when the sea comes to you?!!) Sea is 28C, air 25-27C.... so not too chilling an experience!
The fridge has stopped working - so I've wrappped my carton of UHT ('fresh') milk, opened this morning, in a wet cloth to keep it cool, so it lasts to tomorrow's breakfast - the old tricks still work when modern technonlogy fails...! Dinner tonight is pork chop with onions and potatoes - again... and probably repeated while I use up fresh stuff before it goes off... I might have to make a big stew and keep thoroughly heating it up each day to keep it.
Last night, Tom, K4XV, kindly pointed his beam antenna my way to try to help with my (usuccessful) Winlink connections - it helped soon after, but for some reason, didn't help so much this morning, when I struggled again with a poor connection... Sailmail (Manihi) is excellent, but time is restricted on that system.
Had a call at 1.30am from Paul at Raymarine UK to check on AP - I agreed to turn it on (was on wind steering, with Fred happily in charge) and left it for the rest of the night and on until early afternoon. We were both pleased when I was able to report, when he phoned again later, that there still no problems!!
Check in to the M.M. Net on 14300 in the early afternoon is still just about OK - although with distance increasing, it's getting more difficult. Bill, KI4MMZ, and Gary, WB6UQA, keep an ear out for me after 2.15pm and generally manage between them - but few people are coming up afterwards on 14305 these days - 'copy' is too light with distance for many now... although Tom, WA6TLL, came up again - and we tried out 21402kHz ... an alternative frequency he's suggesting will work for longer distances, as I get closer to Cape Horn.
I'm feeling slightly at a loss, with time on my hands and no urgent problems to deal with...!!! I'm thinking about other jobs on the long-term joblist that I can turn my attention to now... Maybe I might actually soon get to finishing a book I started in Pt Townsend before leaving there early in October! I definitely need to investigate that fridge, though - a thorough clean is going to be needed very soon....
24hr DMG to this morning: 128 n.ml. - still on the low side but OK. ETA for rounding Cape Horn is looking to be sometime in early January, with Christmas spent during the approach.