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Day 52 Fri-Sat 23-24 Nov 2018 Big seas from strong weather to south - still hove-to, waiting for better wind direction.

I thought I'd posted my report yesterday, as usual, having got it all ready - but missed out on the last step - actually hitting the 'Send' button...!

The reason was undoubtedly the stressful situation on board at the time - I was not feeling too happy late yesterday afternoon...

I'd earlier connected up the solar controller and removed all the extraneous bits of wire no longer needed - something I made a priority, although most of my report was written and I made sure to note the 1900GMT weather and position on time. It was awaiting a final editing before posting and I was enjoying seeing an excellent, regulated input to the batteries, despite the overcast sky, now that all the corroded bits and pieces in the circuitry had finally been got rid of.

Around 4pm, with the bigger seas and increased wind (18-20kt) giving frequent increased heeling, I decided I should reef the mainsail - especially being aware of the compromised mast-to-kicker fitting. I sheeted out and started to take in the second reef. While taking up on the reefing line, I heard a sudden noise and the boom fell a bit more... I checked the kicker - the fitting looked fine (relief!) but it took me a time to realise that the reason the loose sail was dangling far lower than usual, on the downwind side of the boom, was that the starboard lazyjack lines, that normally hold the sail in to the boom when reefing, were flying around - they'd broken... I managed to grab one end near the cockpit but saw the loose, higher section making a macrame pattern high up in the shrouds - it is still well out of reach and the eye at its end is totally tangled high up.

I finished tying in the reef and then added in a strong reef strop around the boom. Not having a lazyjack to hold the sail in from flopping all over the place while reefing is not the end of the world ... but it certainly makes the procedure a lot quicker and easier. I looked up at the port side lazyjack - I think it needs that same section of line replaced before it, too, gives way due to chafe.

Another problem caused by the lower boom, now that the kicker fitting is slightly lower at the mast than previously, is that my boom-end preventer line sections are liable to catch badly on my bimini metalwork when the boom swings over on changing tack. I'd solved that problem a few weeks back using some bungie cord to tension the short lengths of line when stowed on the underside of the boom and not in use, but now that the boom is lower, that isn't working well enough. Last night, as I lay not sleeping, I came up with a solution - shorten the lines a lot at the boom end, keeping their shackle ends, when not in use, safely stowed under the boom where easily reached, with the lines again tensioned using a loop of bungie cord... A simple solution to that problem... To be done this afternoon, before we move away... Hopefully, the bowlines at the boom end will come undone without too much of a struggle!

So work to be done.... The wind does seem to be slowly backing more to the north but I'll not move away before dealing with those items - no rush.... I'm not in a race! My priorities are keeping 'Nereida' functioning well and staying safe. The seas are still quite big, at easily 3m/10ft, so I need to take care working on deck... but both wind and seas seem to be possibly dying down a little - that would be helpful!

1900 GMT (=1100PST) - end of Day 52. We made 49 n.ml.(DMG) in a straight line between the two points, while drifting mostly S, hove-to, over the 24 hr period since yesterday's 1900 GMT position.

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

TIME: 2018/11/24 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 35-09.44S LONGITUDE: 115-26.18W COURSE: 140T SPEED: 2.0kt


BARO: 1014.5hPa TREND: 0 AIR_TEMP: 20.0C SEA_TEMP: 20.0C

COMMENT: Hove-to still, but drifting SE pretty well! Wind backing now?? 24hr DMG 49 n.ml.

Written by : Jeanne Socrates