Day 6: Saturday 19 Nov2016 More strong weather? Low moves N- we turn more S as pressure rises

Fri 6pm LT/PST (Sat 0200 GMT) Pressure 990 hPa, grey cloud overhead with clear patch on horizon to SW - centre of Low?

Wind is S 20-25kt, swell S 4m. Making very little speed close-hauled but don't want to bear away too much if means we head N of W. Present course is WSW at 4.6kt.

Cape Blanco is 230 ml to ESE, Cape Mendocino 300 ml to SE. If we were to head due S from here, we'd pass each 240 ml off - far off enough to avoid the nasty seas and wind coming towards them soon, I hope!

8pm Wind seems to have settled down to 27kt from S, resulting in making a course due W at 5kt.  Seas not bad.. Hoping for wind to change direction to nearer W overnight, so we can begin to head S.

10pm Just gybed around (tack stalled!) onto SE course in 20kt SSW wind. Keeps us away from centre of Low we were heading into and wind should slowly allow us to head more S overnight and tomorrow.

 Saturday 3.40am LT  Much calmer now than it has been for last 2 days- no rough seas, just big swell and wind down completely... 15 kt, instead of 35kt, gusting 40kt, is definitely preferable !

10.45am LT (1845 GMT)    Didn't last.... A rough night and seas & wind still up now... 35 kt from SW means course to SE (COG 143T) possible. Difficult to move about well-heeled cabin while seas knock us around but sun is out and pressure has risen to 990 from earlier 985 as Low moves N from close by and we can turn more to the S.

Saturday midday LT (Sat 2000 GMT) Wedged myself into the chart table seat - seas are still big - TG for Baden's hinged steel side-support that stops me from falling out when heeled well over to port!

A rough night and morning -a good thing the computer is well tied down at the chart table. I was keeping an eye out for wind to veer so we could head more S, having been forced to head E most of the night. At 8am, I spotted the wind shift and adjusted our course in 35-40 kt wind - so since then we've been heading more S - around 145T. Really need the wind to veer more into the W, so we can hed more directly S or even SSW. Still well up in mid-20 kt range now.

A late combined b'fast/lunch = brunch ... It's been so very difficult to move around safely, especially since the cabin sole is slightly wet with water and a touch of (olive) oil. I landed on the floor when I tried to check on our heading and wind direction etc this morning - fortunately not badly but was a good reason to stay mainly in my leeward bunk! Seas are still well up and knocking us around quite often, even now.

6pm A lot calmer now, with wind right down to 15kt or less and seas still big, at around 5m, but not rough with a lot of wind waves on top of the underlying swell. Headed almost due S now, with wind from SW-WSW.

Been busy clearing up this afternoon - mess of items on cabin sole, including my ship's and radio logbooks without their covers..  Next, before I could let out any reefs or the genoa, the tangle of wet lines and sheets on the cockpit floor had to be dealt with - some tangled with the midships cleats and with each other,... outboard, also. Looking forward to it being calm enough soon for me to wash the cabin sole with detergent to get rid of the slippery oil!

Pressure has been climbing steadily over the day and has reached 995 hPa now - still low.

Looking forward to a hot meal again - warming up now.

Finishing the day on two unhappy notes - one is the news about Alex Thomson hitting an underwater object when in the Vendee Globe lead, the other is that the Windex at the mast top has lost its tail fin and so is useless to me - I'll miss that.

Otherwise, all is well on board the good ship "Nereida"!

(For position and tracking info see website 'Travels' pg, noting that the Aurora tracker misses its hourly position report if the phone is in use or an Iridium satellite is not high enough to give a good signal at the time. My own Winlink reports are fairly regular and also get posted to Shiptrak although the times might be a bit erratic if I forgot to check before posting - I'm havig a problem with my computer clock misbehaving. AIS reports depend on the server/company being used and whether it's a free or paid version.)

Written by : Jeanne Socrates