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Day 44 towards Cape Horn - A pleasant sailing day in Trades, after overnight squ

Tuesday 4th December 2012

After continuing squalls overnight, things finally settled down and the day has been one of lovely gentle sailing - until just after sunset when we passed through another band of squally rainclouds...

I spent a 'domestic' morning - it's nice when the seas are calmer and we're sailing smoothly - things can be done so much more easily!! Food stores were raided to replace items that had run out in the 'easy-access' places in the galley and also at the chart table (prunes and apricots!) and several bottles of water needed topping up. Some of yesterday's washing was hung up in the main cabin, having dripped overnight in the head. The air is so warm - around 28-30C - that they don't take long to dry. Some rancid butter that had spoiled last night's meal was happily thrown overboard and its container washed carefully & stowed.

Emails were downloaded and urgent ones attended to immediately... At least, the reply was written - I'm having to keep an eye on 'windows of opportunity' for making the radio connections needed to send/receive them. I can no longer take my pick of lots of available stations at any time of day.... Grib (weather) files are showing nothing major to worry about for the time being. I'm trying to find out where to get reliable up-to-date ice info for the Southern Ocean...

Yesterday, I spent a time poring over paper charts of the Horn and Drake's Passage regions, plotting a route that avoided shoals/banks, seamounts and the continental shelf insofaras is possible - a nasty sea area! I transferred that onto the chart plotter today, wondering how it would work out in practice...

After a lunch finishing up some crackers and tasty Boursin cream cheese, I finally investigated in detail the cables I'd fished out from under the aft cabin bunk on Sunday. I think I'd delayed looking at them partly because I doubted there were any of much use - Freudian? But, to my delight, I found that what I'd thought was a 3-core GPS cable was, in fact, a 5-core - just what I needed! ... and 10m in length, not the 5m I'd feared it might be... A good start, made even better by finding another 10m length of Seatalk cable, with plug-in connectors at each end - used for joining displays together, as I'd probably need to. I cheered up immensely, having earlier found a spare Wind display I thought I didn't have!! I felt here was a possible solution to the wind indicator problem - not an easy task still, but at least now looking feasible in theory... I'm very likely to come unstuck with the soldering that's probably required - but tomorrow I'll check in my electrical spares for possible connectors & other bits & bobs... and check distances from the stern arch for a cable run. Another project!! In the meantime, ......... wind today was from the East, mainly Force 4, with a touch of Force 3 around midday, under some cloud...!!!

Had an excellent contact at 2350Z with the Maritime Mobile Net on 14300 kHz - Gary, WB6UBQ, in Santa Monica,was very clear, as he checked my position to post to Shiptrak for me and said my signal was also strong - that's always nice to hear!!

Must get something to eat and get some sleep.... Had planned to make a nice curry earlier - but the sunset squalls put paid to that idea... so it'll be something really simple - yet again... tuna? But first - up on deck to check things out... - we've picked up speed and are heeling a lot more - there must be a big cloud nearby!

24hr DMG at 3pm: 109 n.ml Cape Horn is 3275 n.ml. away & our nearest land is now Easter Island 770 n.ml. away to SSE, with Pitcairn Island, 880 n.ml. to the SW & the Gambier Islands 988 n.ml away to WSW. We're presently about 2420 n.ml. from Lima, Peru, with the nearest Peruvian coast 2293 n.ml. away to ENE, well N of 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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