Wednesday Finally decided to get underway around sunset with the wind having backed into the ENE - nice to be sailing again, even though we were headed S initially!
Made good use of time while hove-to... Moved some provisons into the galley area, checked my lashings around the mast and used the topping lift to raise the boom end some more - needed a rolling hitch on another piece of line to do that, using an adjacent mast winch.
Taped around the top of the cockpit windscreen front windows which seem to have been leaking very slightly in rain. We'll be having plenty of seas washing over them in the rough weather to come, so I'm hoping to have stopped any leaks into the cockpit - even the smallest are a nuisance.
Looked through my paper charts to find the ones of the Cape Horn area and later checked the positions of waypoints with deepest water around the Cape and beyond. It's all Continental shelf in Drake Passage - between the Cape in Chile over to Antarctica - so in bad weather, the seas heap up even more, being relatively shallow compared with the oceans on either side.
I found the waypoints already marked from my last rounding, in December 2012, so that saved some time. They're marked in the deepest water around, also avoiding the occasional sea mount ('mountain' below the sea) which rises up steeply from deep water to quite close to the surface - again, somewhere to avoid in bad weather because they give rise to nasty seas.
The other place to avoid just after rounding the Cape, for the same reason, is the shallow Burdwood Bank to the S and SE of the Falklands. To the East of that lies the extensive W-E Nova Scotia Range of sea mounts - I prefer to make my way to the W of those before heading N and NE away from the Cape area, on into the S. Atlantic. Of course, in calm weather, no problem - but it's not often calm in this area, except for brief periods in between the strong weather of the Lows that come by every few days. My first time around, we were badly knocked down (I had to make for Ushuaia for repairs) but last time, we passed S of Cape Horn in a flat calm in between two storms!
I'm on the radio several times over the day, several times on 'ham' radio frequencies to friends and people who call in, to the regular Pacific Seafarers' Net, to give my position and weather, and to a couple of Golden Globe Race evening 'scheds'. That's when they're given their weather forecasts for the coming days by Ian, VK3MO, in Melbourne, Australia, (prepared by Peter Mott, ZL1PWM, in New Zealand) or get 'Don updates' (on Wednesdays) giving them an overview of how the race is going and how the various boats are doing. As part of that, they're able to confirm their positions, which is useful! The use of voice over SSB radio has proved really important to the racers and I was pleased to be able to pass on information after contacting Mike Scheck of Scanmar in San Francisco to get advice to Susie for the better functioning of her Monitor wind steering system which has been playing up.
Thursday Usual grey overcast sky. Continuing to sail nicely in ENE-NE wind of around 18kt.
I had to laugh at myself this morning - soon after dawn I went on deck to adjust Fred, my Hydrovane wind steering, to get us off the wind a bit more. We'd been making really slow speed overnight due to being too close to the wind, wanting to head S rather than SW, so I wanted to bear away to get better speed, now that the wind had backed further.
I had a real problem making the adjustment using the 'fine-tuning' line to the cockpit. I went aft to get closer and make the adjustment there - and suddenly realised that poor Fred was trying in vain to steer to the wind on the wrong side of the boat... I'd not adjusted it correctly earlier and, in effect, Nereida had been steering herself all night, close-hauled - as well-balanced boats are perfectly happy doing! The wind steering rudder, trying to steer us the wrong way, had been acting as a drag and slowing us down more... Once that situation was remedied, we picked up speed to around the 6 kt we should have been making earlier.... LOL!!
Feeling cold now and temperatures will drop a lot more as I head further S. Looked over my clothing to check what is there and get out some skin layers to add in - they really help. Also dug out my really thick fleeces - I'll be needing those soon. (Had a thick, hot Clam Chowder last night!)
1900GMT (=1100PST) - end of Day 57. We made 72 n.ml.(DMG) measured in a straight line between the two points, over the 24 hr period since yesterday's 1900 GMT position. If I'd adjusted Fred correctly when we finally got underway at sunset, it would probably have been over 100ml...
Position & weather report posted to Winlink.org and Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign of kc2iov) after 1900 GMT:
TIME: 2018/11/29 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 39-59.20S LONGITUDE: 108-26.31W COURSE: 143T SPEED: 6.3kt
WIND_SPEED: 18kt WIND_DIR: NE SWELL_DIR: ESE SWELL_HT: 3.0m CLOUDS: 100%
BARO: 1025.5hPa TREND: 0 AIR_TEMP: 15.0C SEA_TEMP: 15.0C
COMMENT: Usual overcast sky. Being thrown around by seas...