Day 54 from Cape Town to Hobart - following strong wind gives excellent sailing

Saturday 31st March 2012

Midday - Cloud coming over what was a lovely clear blue sky up to now... We've made excellent progress since yesterday, with wind up to 34+ kt in gusts, but mainly 26-32kt, initially from N but slowly backed to present WNW. Speed has mostly been well over 7 kt, & 6-7 kt in lulls. Seas have built to 5m, so in the strong wind we often roll around as they pass - but not too badly!

Land is in sight... at least on my AIS screen!! It shows Cape Sorel, halfway up the W coast of Tasmania. I'm making for the SE Cape and the D'Entrecasteaux Channel which leads 50 ml NNE towards Hobart. Another sign we're close to land was a sighting of a pair of gannets - along with a pair of sooty shearwaters, a broad-billed prion and an albatross. Wasn't possible to say whether it was one of the Shy albatross which breed on Mewstone - an island 20 ml offshore that I'll be passing tomorrow. I'm told the island makes quite a sight in moonlight, being of white quartzite!

2pm - Cloud dispersing to give a nice sunny day again. Wind seems to be well down on the 36kt or more it just got up to for a few hours - mainly 26-30kt, so maybe that's the trend now. Downloading a weatherfax while I warm up the stew I made yesterday, despite the rough seas, when I realised I wasn't eating properly, with my constant concern over the bad weather in prospect. It was very welcome!

Evening - Wind has died from the 36kt it kept gusting up to from 32kt, to just 24knots now. Pressure has shot up and I'm expecting little wind from here on... We're rolling around in rhe occasional leftover swell, and the stays'l is poled out to port - we're DDW just now!

Landfall will be in daylight - especially with wind dying ... SE Cape is ahead 70 mls and channel up to Hobart is beyond. Should be in Hobart Monday for Clearing In with Customs etc.

Must get some sleep while well offshore....

TIME: 2012/03/31 12:00
LAT: 43-48.51S LONG: 145-04.84E
COURSE: 084T SPEED: 6.1
WIND_SPEED: 25 WIND_DIR: 280T
SWELL_DIR: WNW SWELL_HT: 5.0M SWELL_PER: 8
CLOUDS: 20% BARO: 1011 TREND: 4 SEA_TEMP: 16.0C
COMMENT: Superb speed -over 7kt most day ETA Tasmania:Sun 1st April.DMG:144 n.ml

Written by : Mike

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