Day 51 from Cape Town to Hobart - wind dies after some good sailing - forecast l

Wednesday 28th March 2012

3.30pm - We've been sailing nicely at around 6 knots all morning and up to now - 1 reef in mains'l and up to 18knots of N wind - but wind is dying fairly quickly.... down to 13 knots and boat speed now down to just over 5 knots...

4.30pm - Drizzle, grey overcast, wind around 10kt, speed around 3.5kt, about to shake out first reef. Just spoke to Greg - he's 570 mls behind me. Conversation was almost entirely on weather - our forecasts are both looking nasty - but his even more so than mine IF I can make Hobart before a second lot of ugly weather gets to me.... but he can't avoid that, nor yet another one following close behind. He has a sturdy steel boat and he'll deploy his Jordan series drogue - so he should be safe with his JSD.... which I don't have now - I'll have to heave to under mains'l, as I have been recently. (A replacement JSD will soon be waiting for me in Hobart.) I'm digging out my trysail, so I can have it ready to use, in case winds get up as strongly as presently forecast. I'm also checking that nothing loose and/or heavy can fly about...

10pm Weather, weather and more weather.... I can't stop studying gribs and weather info and checking my options.... "What if...." ! Such nasty winds and seas coming soon .... Possible gusts of 60-70 kts and 8-10m seas being forecast for Fri/Sat, at present! Greg is going to suffer a lot more than I will, it would seem...

Made contact again with Jeremy of Dover Radio (and of S/Y 'Rosinante' - back home today) and had a useful discussion about possible safe anchorages in strong westerlies, once I round the SE Cape. Also spoke to Mary of Smithton Radio, after Jeremy. Later had a fair contact with Petr, OK4SNG, on 'Singa' - he's 670 ml SE of "Nereida", has had very little wind all today and was making only 2-3knots. He was very grateful for my putting him into contact with Bob McDavitt who had very kindly offered to help him with his weather to Auckland, where he's headed after reaching his 'antipodal waypoint' SE of New Zealand. Catherine, VK4GH, in Brisbane, came on frequency with an excellent signal afterwards to have a short chat - I remembered her making contact with me the last time I sailed these waters, when I sailed through the Bass Strait direct to New Zealand...

Sealed up around the sides and bottom of the washboard - just in case we get pooped ... Plan is also to make an easily-removable and replaceable seal over the inside of the sliding hatch/washboard join when I heave to - anything to stop water ingress!

Time to rest...

DMG today: 126n.ml. - reflecting the excellent sail we had earlier today, before the wind died and we started to motor-sail.
Distance to SE Cape: 415 n.ml; Distance to Hobart: 470 n.ml.

Written by : Mike

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