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Day 52 from Cape Town to Hobart - wind still light and from E-ENE all day

Thursday 29th March 2012

Bright sunny day, clear blue skies, seas fairly calm, warm - good braai/barbie weather! Would be thoroughly enjoyable if only wind were NOT from ENE-E, so heading us and making us fall well off our preferred course in order to keep some wind in the sails and so make a half-decent speed!

Weather forecast is not looking quite so grim - trysail is now on deck ready, but hopefully won't be needed -winds are showing as 30-40 on Saturday, with possibility of gusts up to 50+kt, so it's still likely that I'll have to heave to, but hopefully not for too long - all depends so much on the sea state and swell direction at the time of the stronger winds.

At time of writing this (5pm EST), wind is ENE9 kt - making our course 120T instead of the preferred 094T. I can't wait for the wind to back into the N more and strengthen, as it should be doing sometime soon.

9pm (EST) A lovely moon in a clear, starry sky - except for a low layer of grey cloud astern which has been there all day. Sea still relatively calm.

Wind has backed a little since sunset - now from NE but still only 8-9 knots so still not really useful, except that we're now only 10 degrees off our course, rather than 15.

Had the usual radio chats this afternoon and evening. (I was amused the other day by Carol of American River Radio, on Kangaroo Island, referring to the loss of an antenna as being due to a possum up there - did it eat it??) Greg now has good sailing wind of 15-20 kt - as I'm hoping to have tomorrow. My storm on Saturday will be with him at least a day earlier - looks as though it might not be too bad - 30-40 knots, possibly a bit more - a fairly 'normal' bout of Southern Ocean bad weather! But with the next Front coming along quite soon and strong winds in between and following, he might be hove-to for several days.. time will tell, as usual! Jeremy told me of a good mooring close to his boat, a few hours from Hobart, that I could make use of in strong winds if I needed to.

I've noticed that Tasmanians (and Australians in general?) seem to use the word 'ordinary' to describe something nasty..! e.g. "Sat looks a bit ordinary" for "Sat looks a bit horrible".... and it's the Brits that are supposed to be full of understatement!

Had a surprisingly good contact with Petr, OK4SNG, on 'Singa, tonight - maybe the earlier time of 0800Z helped? He was telling me that he had a 30h.p. tractor engine in his 28ft self-built boat - one that he had 'marinised' and installed himself. Only problem being that it weighed well over 200kg, which compared with a new, modern lightweight boat engine meant he could have taken 100 kg more by way of provisions on his voyage, for the same total weight. He was stopped in light ENE winds, not wanting to be forced any further S than he was already (at 48S), waiting for them to pick up and back to the N more - similar story to where I am, W of S.Tasmania. ... Wind still from NE at around 9 knots at 10pm EST....

DMG today: 89 n.ml. SE Cape: 330 n.ml.; Hobart: 384 n.ml.

Written by : Mike

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