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Day 46 Sat-Sun 17-18 Nov 2018 Good sunshine with scattered thin cloud. Rolling around, downwind.

Sat midday: 770 miles due W of Easter Island.

One job I came up with was to add up my daily runs (DMG) to keep a running total of distance travelled since 3rd October. I normally have a place at the back of my logbook for that - giving weekly totals also.... Organising and doing that will keep me occupied for a time!

I also have to rule some more columns on the pages of my logbook - should have organised a run of pre-printed sheets before I left but had more important things to think about...

About to check weather files again to see if a course change would be a good thing or not. Heading almost SE at present. (Later: staying on this course - looks good for next dew days)

4pm Lovely sunshine and we're gliding smoothly through the water... so very gently that, at times, I think we've stopped!

Strong sunlight this afternoon - but I'm just not seeing any evidence of it getting into my batteries - so have been looking for the solar panels' earth lead(s). Very glad I did! I've just come away from working in the aft cabin where I found a single earth lead coming from the panels into under the aft bunk - clearly there's a connection inside the boat just below the pole which leads the wires to down below. But the earth and two postive wires were totally tangled up with my autopilot (AP) rams - with the back-up ram in particular. Everything - several other wires as well as the vital hydraulic AP line - was in a mess in that area - just where the steering quadrant and AP rams need room to move freely...

So I found myself a pretty important job - sorting it all out! And I'm really pleased to have happened to have looked there now, when it's relatively calm and I've no urgent need of the electronic autopilot system... That could have turned into a big problem down the line.... Having a cup of tea while I finish tidying up that area before looking at the solar panels' earth lead situation under the pole.

Just tried to make contact on 20m with Sid K7SID, near Phoenix - but not quite able to - I heard him fine but my signal was too weak for him to copy me. Earlier, on 15m, had excellent propagation to Florida and then, a bit later, on 17m. The result being a long chat with Jim, WB2REM, and also Bob, N4PSK.

8.30pm Had usual 'radio 'scheds' tonight - getting into a routine now: Pacific Seafarers' Net check-in at 0310GMT, giving position and weather, followed, after the Net, by chat with Mark on 'Maverick' (GGR) and Susanne on 'Nehaj', followed by going to 7160 - was an unexpected pleasure to hear Fred, W3ZU, there. He used to be a regular relay on PacSeaNet - think I must have first heard him there in 2006!

Later, I tuned in to listen to Ian, VK3MO, giving weather info from Melbourne, Australia, to the GG racers: Tapio, Susie, Uku and both Marks. Peter Mott, ZL1PWM, very generously spends a lot of time getting the weather info ready for the GG racers each day - not something the original racers had the benefit of, for sure! They have two 'scheds' each day and chat to each other after weather info has been relayed individually to each racer by Ian. The SSB radio proving its worth on board, yet again! So many think an Iridium phone or text facility is all they need these days, when underway - but you can't have a group chat or help session except using the SSB/HF radio, when everyone hears what's being said and can chip in if they wish to... And all at zero cost!

9pm PST Wonderfully bright moon - shining like a lantern high up. Clear sky - the brighter stars can also be seen, despite the moonshine. Wind is picking up a little and has also veered a touch. Now 12-13kt, rather than the earlier 9-10kt, so giving better boatspeed - up to 5.5kt at times.

Sun 3.30am PST Dark night - moon has set. Bright stars in clear sky - Sirius dead overhead close to Orion doing his usual Southern hemisphere headstand - funny to see! Went up on deck to adjust Fred - with wind having gone W of N, we were beginning to head ESE so needed to head more downwind. That immediately cut our speed down - from 5.5kt to 4.3kt, but it ended up not too bad, with SOG nearer to 5.0kt and COG SE. Likely to be headed on a broad reach for several days until we reach the Westerlies further S.

6.45am I just angled the solar panels for a better angle to the sun, which is low down in the E still (it's not long after sunrise). I can tilt the panels fore and aft (but not sideways), so now they're 'looking' at the sun in a much better way. I think shadowing caused by the wind generator above the panels has an effect, so not as much charging as hoped for and we're missing the 'smart' regulator now, of course, but any input is welcome.

Will probably need to pole out the genoa soon - will be far more efficient and stable for running deeper before the wind.

9am Coffee - just finished galley chores. Lovely, sunny day. About to organise the pole for the genoa - always takes a time and easier playing around on the foredeck when conditions are calmer. A bit rolly with seas almost on the beam but not too bad.

1900 GMT (=1100PST) - end of Day 46. We made 122 n.ml.(DMG) over the 24 hr period since yesterday's 1900 GMT position.

Position & weather report posted to Winlink.org and Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign of kc2iov) not long after 1900 GMT:

TIME: 2018/11/18 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 28-44.45S LONGITUDE: 122-19.38W COURSE: 128T SPEED: 5.3kt


BARO: 1022hPa TREND: 1 AIR_TEMP: 25.0C SEA_TEMP: 27.0C

COMMENT: Bright, sunny day. Thin clouds. Rolly.

Written by : Jeanne Socrates