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Day 47 Sun-Mon 18-19 Nov 2018 600 ml SW of Easter Island - last Pacific island nearby before the islands in the Cape Horn region of S.America

Sunday Sunny and bright most of the day, despite overcast sky - thin cloud layer let sun's brightness through and was well broken at times during the afternoon, although not so later on.

Rigged the genoa pole and finally went goose-winged ('wing-on-wing') later this afternoon - so made a better course and speed. Not that's there's much point in rushing... Strong winds tomorrow (Monday), along with rain Monday and Tuesday will be followed by headwinds for a day or more - likely to force us to head S or even SSW for a while. Calms are a strong possibility as well, at some point - a real mixed bag of conditions coming up, before we reach the strong Westerlies that will lead towards Cape Horn.

Have been busy this afternoon on a possible solar wiring project.

Has been suggested that I can get more solar power into batteries if, in low sunlight conditons, I put the panels in series - with in-line suitable fuses, of course,... Interesting idea but needing some work to figure it out in practice. Still in the preliminary stages, but have dug out the wire and connectors I need. Work in progress. (No need to email me about it - I'll be taking all necessary precautions!!) Also debating the use of my wind generator contoller which can take one 150W solar panel input - just found the manual in among my boat folders... Seems like quite a good option for one of my panels.

6pm Time to cook, to be ready well before Pacific SeaFarers' Net - an onion omelette tonight - one large onion I took out of storage yesterday desperately needed my attention......

8.40pm Finished with radio 'scheds' a while back. Getting really rolly - having to hang on tightly quite often as we're tossed from side to side. Wind up to 16kt now, from NN

Spoke to Uku on 'One and All' around 10pm as he waited for weather info from Ian, VK3MO, in Melbourne, Austrlia. he reminded me that we'd met in Simon's Town, S. Africa, at the False Bay Y.C some years back. He'd had tea on 'Nereida', also a meal together another time - must have been 2011 or earlier! There were several single-handers that met up there at that time. A very nice place with friendly, helpful people and good for getting work done. Feel of an English village with its stone-built frontages in the quiet High Street. The main S.African Navy Base is right next door - the old British Naval base - with a dry dock whose walls are still covered in the carefully painted emblems of navy ships that have used it - a real bit of history!! 'Britannia' visited more than once and people there still have stories about meeting the Queen and Prince Philip (right, Baden..?!).

Monday 3.30am I didn't tie in 2nd reef late last night, as I was tempted to, with wind regularly up to 20-21kt. We did fine wih the one reef I'd tied in at sunset and wind is no stronger now - still 17-20kt from NW. Still very rolly, though. Making 7.4 kt and more, at times.

Posting a Winlink position/weather report now and made contact on 7163 - lots of static but better propagation later on. As I got back to my bunk afer 4am, sky was just turning grey with the first hint of daylight.

8.30am Mostly overcast sky with broken light grey clouds and very little blue showing - no rain threatening so far. Seas are getting quite big and close together, which means their faces get quite steep as they approach our stern... Plenty of white caps everywhere.

Nearly tied in the second reef again - but, once on deck, all ready to go, decided we were doing fine. Slightly 'on the edge' but, unless wind increases from its present maximum of 21kt (often down at 18-19kt), we're making good speed and Fred is managing to cope OK, although we're swinging around a bit showing he's a bit overpowered at times. (He'd probably prefer me to tie in that 2nd reef!). Forecast I just looked at is for little change over today so I'll just keep an eye on wind speed and reassess if needed. Just now, I need my breakfast!

10.20am The sun is getting out - a large area of blue sky above - and the wind is rarely getting above 20 kt! I'm feeling pleased I didn't reef down any further, although it might yet be needed when the forecast line of rain clouds gets here - if it does... Coffee has just come through...

1900 GMT (=1100PST) - end of Day 47. We made 141 n.ml.(DMG) over the 24 hr period since yesterday's 1900 GMT position. Good wind gave good speed overnight, downwind, goose-winged. Pressure is still fairly high so we might be closer to High pressure area than forecasts suggest.

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

TIME: 2018/11/19 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 30-22.35S LONGITUDE: 120-20.65W COURSE: 122T SPEED: 7.1kt


BARO: 1015.4hPa TREND: 0 AIR_TEMP: 23.0C SEA_TEMP: 26.0C

COMMENT: Bright sunny day - goose-winged, rolling a lot.

Written by : Jeanne Socrates