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Day 46 towards Cape Horn - Rough seas built up more, but no squalls - just stro

Thursday 6th December 2012

Lovely sunny day, with cloud building up around midday but then mostly clearing later. Seas have been awe-inspiringly rough again - easily 3.5m, maybe 4m, and fairly close - so we've been tossed around a lot... best place to be was in or on my bunk! We've made good speed, 6-7kt, in Force 4-5 winds - around 20kt for quite a time, I'd say... although they died back soon after sunset, when we were making 7.4kt!

I spent a time checking through my electrical kit and spares to see whether there was anything that could be used to avoid having to solder the 5 pins of the wind vane unit to the wires of the 5-core cable.... but everything was just too big to be of use. In the safety of my bunk, I was able, working very carefully, to strip back the cable and bare the ends of the five wires inside. Looking ahead, I cut pieces of heatshrink of different sizes and placed them on the cable and wires, well out of the way, ready to slide down and use when I've finished... (It would be too late to think about doing it at the end!)

It was too rough to get out the soldering kit, tucked away deep in a locker, and there's no way I can do that job except in calmer conditions anyway, except maybe some preliminary tinning. It's going to be a delicate job with the pins all quite close together..... and soldering is definitely NOT one of my strong points!! Tomorrow, I'll continue with preparing for mounting the vane on the stern arch- drilling holes in the pieces of wood I cut yesterday and putting the pieces together on the vane to see if my plan works...

For a change tonight, I made a pasta with ham and sweetcorn in a creamy mushroom sauce - went down well and there's plenty for tomorrow. I'm trying to keep to my timing of cooking well before sunset, so I eat a proper evening meal, rather than skimping it, as I was beginning to, lately.

Radio propagation continues to be very unpredictable - up and down so often. But to Texas and Arizona in the early afternoon today, it was clear as a bell. I'm having some fun exploring the 'N-S effect' when sending/receiving emails ... I love it when I make a good connection and the tables are showing only a very remote chance of doing so! Should get even better as we move further S.

24hr DMG at 3pm: 147 n.ml - Excellent! Cape Horn was 3030 n.ml. away & our nearest land Easter Islnd 560 n.ml. away to SE, with Pitcairn Island, 688 n.ml. to the WSW . We're presently about 2470 n.ml from the nearst coast in Chile, having 'crossed the border' from Peru just before sunrise yesterday!

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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