Day 58 towards Cape Horn - Pleasant increasingly downwind sailing over the day..

Tuesday 18th December 2012

Midday: Wind slowly backing - from N now so on a broad reach and feeling calmer, although seas still a good 3m - but also from N. Slight drizzle at times - typical pre-frontal weather!

Have been busy writing & sending my 'Christmas cards'...! Just realised it's just a week away - nice to be out here away from the frantic shopping madness and crowds, but I'll miss relaxing with family and friends... Emails and satphone will have to be a second best until next year!

Impossible to make contact on MMSNet on 14300kHz mid-afternoon - lots of static on frequency and only a faint hint of someone out there. Propagation seems to be a lot better after sunset - yesterday had great copy on Bill, KI4MMZ, around 0340Z, but he did, in fact, come up just now - to say that the iceberg near Cape Horn had broken into three pieces and was now surrounded by lots of 'growlers' and 'bergy bits ' over a 20km radius - a message I'd also just received this morning from the Chilean Navy directly! That's good news if the small pieces melt by the time I (and the Vendee Globe racers!) get near - wouldn't be good news for them to hit even one of the small pieces at speed and even at my 5-6 knots, a collision could wreak nasty damage...

Nightfall is around 7.30pm, as Pacific Seafarers Net is putting out calls for any emergency traffic, prior to rollcall getting underway - not many vessels on rollcall now (presently just 'Nereida'!), since most boats in S. hemisphere are safely tucked away in harbour over cyclone season in west & mid Pacific and Indian Ocean and it's winter in N. hemisphere, of course, so very few boats on passage of any length.

Rolling slightly, as we sail in following seas, all feeling very gentle.... Stays'l is furled in now and wind has increased a little. The Front will possibly not pass over until around dawn and it might give a fairly gradual windshift from NNW to SW, with a gybe needed to maintain our course of 140T.

24hr DMG at 3pm: 140! (That's more like it!) Cape Horn was 2188 away (but my waypoint S of C. Horn was away) & our nearest land, Easter Island, is now 538 away to NNE. Punta Galera, just S of Valdivia (Chile) is 1840 to the ESE and New Zealand's East Cape (its closest point to us) is 3237 to the WSW.
For positions, see: - 'Travels' - "Where is 'Nereida'?"

Written by : Mike

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