Day 60 towards Cape Horn - Fast sailing in strong wind, being tossed around in b

MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR - from Jeanne on "Nereida"!!

Thursday 20th December 2012

A lovely sky at dawn with just a few rosy clouds.... Wind had veered more to the W and was likely to veer more so decided to switch to AP so I could get some more sleep undisturbed by course changes. Seas were up to around 4m and on our beam. Good speed. A few hours later, we were making 7-8 kt and swell had built more, so we were really getting thrown around .. furled in some genoa to reduce heeling ... and, later, some more!

Suddenly spotted a black-browed albatross flying around us! (A lot of them breed around Cape Horn, on the islands close by there.) Also there were 4-5 of the birds seen yesterday ... prions, I think...

The birds always enjoy the strong conditions - and it has certainly been rough all day today, with the impressively big seas on our beam regularly throwing us over in wind which was consistently up at 27-30kt by this afternoon.... from the WSW of early this morning, backing to SW , and eventualy, after dark, dying down to 20kt from SSW. Fred has coped well with the rough conditions and I've only used the AP when the wind seemed to be varying a lot.

After clouding over late morning, the sky cleared again to give bright sunshine for the rest of the day - but the air feels cold and damp now. Sea temperature has dropped a lot over the last few days - from 25C on Sunday to 19C overnight Tues/Wed to just 16C today. It feels cold inside the boat - fleeces are definitely needed now and bare feet are a distant memory!

I was surprised this afternoon to see the lower aft port lifeline dangling in the water - the bottlescrew, for some reason, had come undone and gone missing.... When it's calmer, I'll have to make do with a shackle and another fitting - I don't have a spare bottlescrew, unfortunately.... I wonder if the wind generator vibrations caused that - it's certainly vibrating a lot at times and the connection is right below it on the steel of the arch.

This evening, as yesterday, I enjoyed a lot of Christmas post. It's been really good to have the radio email contact on board!! (Thanks, Tom!) Thanks to everyone that has sent me messages - they've been lovely to receive and I'll re-read them all on Christmas Day! Also in with the post was an email from Chile MRCC - requesting position, course and other details... They're definitely keeping tabs on me!

24hr DMG at 3pm: 146 n.ml. - a good day's run! Cape Horn was 1916 n.ml. away (but my waypoint S of C. Horn was 1949 n.ml. away) & our nearest land, Easter Island, is now 734 n.ml. away to N. Punta Galera, just S of Valdivia (Chile) is 1618 n.ml. to the ESE and New Zealand's East Cape (its closest point to us) is 3304 n.ml to the W.

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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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