Day 49 towards Cape Horn .....WE HAVE WIND INFO IN THE SYSTEM...!!!

Sunday 9th December 2012

A day of calm conditions.... Good for work on deck, but hot &sticky! Up soon after a lovely dawn for an early breakfast after shaking out all sail, before starting to mount the wind transducer on the arch in bright sun and calm seas, with just a regular, rythmic, rounded, gentle swell. With lots of cable ties to hand, the job of fixing the vane and the cable down to deck-level was fairly straightforward - no big problem at all, in fact! Then the cable ties were exchanged for duct tape - lots of it! - to stick over the cable run from arch to cockpit, where I planned it would go down below via a hole I'd seen.

At that point, I had to calibrate the new transducer (connected temporarily to the display and the system) - by circling twice - oh, what fun!! In very little wind, it was easy to go slowly, as the instructons specified, but not so easy to tack through the wind...!! (I furled in the stays'l to simplify things) After that, I had to align the display pointer - "by sailing dead upwind" .... I don't think so!! Normally, I get a helper to go up the mast and hold the vane pointer dead along the centre line, pointed at the bow, to do this job easily and accurately at a dock..... Not possible, so I used the mast top Windex and the transducer vane itself to get a rough idea of where the apparent wind was - I can easily change it if I find it's way out, but it seems about right.

Finally the job of leading the cable to down below for the final connections to the spare wind display and another Seatalk display (for power).... I had to take down the head lining in the hanging locker for access to where I hoped to bring the cable from the cockpit... Not too bad a job, but time & patience needed. I'd hoped to make use of a Seatalk connection to the autopilot control head just there- but found the access point already in use - damn! Time, then, to get out the drill again, to make a hole for the cable near to a loudspeaker switch - I thought its hole might prove useful, being over-large.. I drilled one hole - too small, ... so again, with a larger bit... Couldn't get the tiny spade connectors to go far into the hole, let alone pass through it.... Drilled another hole close by and got out a file to smooth the join...... still not passing. I'd been up and down several times by now, trying to figure out what was going on... Eventually, I drilled from down below - hey presto! - we were through ... but not into the original holes - they had clearly gone into a void... and had later to be filled (fortunately, completely out of sight!). Phew! It was now 2pm!! After that, things went more smoothly, running the cable through the locker (whose headling had to be put back, together with its contents) and on into the main cabin where I fixed the wind display in good view and made the connections - so we now have wind info on the system...finally!!

I was famished .... had a very late lunch and lots of water - tasted good! Still some clearing away of spares etc but now I can focus on other things... The wind is likely to remain very light for several more days - and then we're likely to be clobbered by a nasty Low - but that could change since it's several days away... so all remaining jobs can be done, ready for bad weather...

I'd changed over the propane tank yesterday, but was surprised to find the gas low tonight - maybe I'd connected to a near-empty tank? Seems I must label them clearly as they become empty !

After cooking, I sat out to enjoy a lovely sunset while eating in the cockpit, - won't be able to do that for much longer!

24hr DMG at 3pm: 100 n.ml. Cape Horn was 2714 n.ml. away & our nearest land Easter Island 415 n.ml. away, on 086T, with Pitcairn Island, 703 n.ml. to the WNW (both getting further away now) . Punta Gatera, just S of Valdivia (Chile) is 2268 n.ml. to the ESE and New Zealand's East Cape (its closest point) ist 32250 n.ml to the WSW.

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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...
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Written by : Mike

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