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Day 48 Mon-Tues 19-20 Nov 2018 Change of climate as a Low affects us.....

Mon 2.30pm Seas are quite close and their faces are very steep-to as they approach our stern - impressive! Not as big as they will be further S and very difficult to get a photo that really shows them well. We occasionally surf on them as they pass by... Wind is consistently 18-20kt or so - from NW now so we're headed SE. More East than originally planned but since we're likely to be forced S or even SW soon by winds heading us, that's fine. Wind generator is doing well in the stronger wind but I'm still needing to run the small diesel generator 2-3 times a day for half an hour each time to enable my radio use and for charging computer etc.

Getting a meal ready for tonight - always nice if it's ready in advance.

5.30pm PST Sunset not far away. Finished making a beef curry for tonight's meal - and tomorrow's as well!
A bank of grey cloud is off to starboard - to the west - and broken cloud with patches of bue sky in the opposite direction... It's been a lovely sunny day but a Cold Front with cloud and rain is coming in from the W. Not sure that the wind will strengthen - according to the weather files, not at all - but rainclouds normally bring stronger, gusty conditions .. so I'm waiting to see how it goes. We're making ~6.3kt and our SE course has changed very little since midday.

Pressure has been falling steadily as the Low gets closer - now down to 1014 from 1020 this time yesterday.

Wind has died down a little - now only 16-18kt, still from NW - and the seas are less also, but it's still quite rolly when a bigger one comes along. I've made good use of the 'bumstrap' in the galley - would have been thrown all over the place, while preparing food, without it. Keeps me safe.

The smell of my curry is too enticing - I'll have an early meal tonight!

Tues 6:30am RAIN! And with it, of course, the wind backed to the W, so we started heading E, rather than SE. But as the rain passed over, I expected the wind to veer a lot and possibly die down, so I'm playing a waiting game - let's see what the wind does! I could have gybed and headed S on starboard tack - but the wind is forecast to veer totally around very soon - until it comes from the E, in which case we'd need to be on port tack in order to head S... as we are now.

If we're very lucky, we'll turn to starboard with the wind as it veers. The pressure has risen a little, from the low of 1011 that I saw at 4am this morning to 1014 now

In the meantime - we're heading ESE, which is not too bad, and it's time for some breakfast! Then I'll check the weather forecasts again.

9:30am Well my ploy of 'wait and see' seems to have been the right thing to do. The wind has slowly veered from due W to its present NW and we're back to making a SE course at around 6.2kt in 18-20kt wind. By tomorrow, it's likely the wind will become SE-E at some point, as we find ourselves on the S side of the Low dominating our weather at present, so we'll have to head S then.

10.45am Complete change of climate! It feels cold and damp (it's raining again!) and I'm having to wear a zippered fleece jacket to stay warm - shorts and top alone are no longer enough... I'm clasping my warm mug of coffee and thinking about digging out some socks. The thought of a nice hot meal later on is very appealing... We're definitely not in the Tropics any longer!

I've replaced the towels that have done good service, making my chart table seat and back comfortable in hot weather, with waterproof vinyl covers to protect the upholstery from my wet foul weather gear - I'll be wearing that a lot from now.

1900 GMT (=1100PST) - end of Day 48. We made 156 n.ml.(DMG) over the 24 hr period since yesterday's 1900 GMT position. Excellent mileage giving average speed (SOG) of 6.5kt.
Presently watching the wind as I write this, ready for posting. It seems to be jumping every which way - see tomorrow's report....

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

TIME: 2018/11/20 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 31-35.07S LONGITUDE: 117-39.73W COURSE: 125T SPEED: 6.3kt
BARO: 1014.3hPa TREND: 1 AIR_TEMP: 21.0C SEA_TEMP: 25.0C
COMMENT: Feels cold & damp. Jacket on. Raining... Low over us

Written by : Jeanne Socrates