Day 57 towards Cape Horn - Sailing well in fairly easy conditions

Monday 17th December 2012

A fairly relaxing day, after yesterday's efforts!

I decided, when about to cook my meal later in the day, in quite rough seas, that I really should do what I'd always planned to do. Namely, change over to the large propane tank from a smaller one - the idea being not to run out of cooking gas and so needing to change over tanks while in the possibly roughest part of the voyage - through the Drake Passage to get around Cape Horn and on NE into the S. Atlantic towards S. Africa.

We were being tossed around in the seas somewhat so I donned my foulies and harness - it was good to be strapped on upwind to the steel arch while I struggled a bit on the after deck with the gas locker connections and then connected up to the large tank on deck, noting that it needed more lashing in place. But then I could not undo the tap...grrr!! I was amused at the thought of all that gas waiting to be used - and I couldn't undo the tap? Come on!! Went down to find some grips and managed to release it.... Relieved, on testing at the cooker, to find propane gas was flowing happily so I could cook my meal!

While close to the life raft, I noticed the supports seemed to be rather loose - so next job was to get two spanners (wrenches!) and tighten the nuts on the supporting bolts - quite a lot!

The sun was struggling to get out all day from behind a light cloud layer, but although it got reasonably warm over the middle of the day, it never quite made it. Seas have been a good 3m or so and fairly close - so tossed us about and heeled us over regularly... but in NE wind of around 10-12 kt, the sailing, fairly close-hauled, was quite pleasant and we certainly made good speed: 6-7 kt, once we fell off a bit.

The wind is very slowly backing as a Front gets closer - expected in the next day or so. But just now we're skirting the High pressure area and the Lows are being kept away.. (There's a nasty deep one to the ESE just now, off the S. American coast.)

Fred has been doing a good job all day long, with adjustments from time to time, as the wind has backed from E to NE. It's good to be saving on battery power and far more peaceful under wind steering than using the autopilot.

24hr DMG at 3pm: 114 n.ml. Cape Horn was 2328 n.ml. away & our nearest land, Easter Island, 483 n.ml. away (on 033T) . Punta Galera, just S of Valdivia (Chile) is 1965 n.ml. to the ESE with Chile's nearest mainland coast 1905 n.ml. away on the Peninsula de Taitao (Golfo dePenas), and New Zealand's East Cape (its closest point to us) is 3195 n.ml to the WSW (getting further away now)
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For positions, see:
www.svnereida.com - 'Travels' - "Where is 'Nereida'?"
http://www.exactearth.com/media-centre/recent-ship-tracks/tracking-nereida/
http://oceantracker.net?event=nereida

Written by : Mike

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