Day 62 towards Cape Horn - A pair of albatross close by in bright sunshine this

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

Saturday 22nd December 2012

A pair of Buller's Southern albatross swooping and circling the boat from early morning onward - lovely to see them .... but so difficult to get decent photos!! (I'll try to post one) I forgot I was supposed to be adjusting Fred with the slowly backing wind and just watched them in the bright sunshine for ages.. one flying close to the water, wing tips dipping and feet dabbling in it on the one occasion. Very distinctive with dark upper wings, white bodies, white underwings edged and tipped with black, grey faces, white forehead and unmissable bright yellow lines down their large bills. No sign of the prions today.

The squally, grey, cloudy conditions had gone by dawn, to give a bright, sunny day with just a few small white clouds at midday, but later clouds built up again, becoming very grey by sunset.. We were close-hauled and the backing wind slowly forced us to head further & further East, off our preferred course directly to Cape Horn, as pressure built. Eventually, around sunset I decided to heave to, with the wind from SSE-SE, rather than be forced to sail NE (or SW if I tacked) !

That also gave me the chance to sort out the lower life-line connection that had gone missing (luckily I had an alternative I could use there since I didn't have a spare bottle screw) and I also fixed the lower end of the emergency inner forestay in place - with strong cable ties!! .....All in the dark (TG for headlamps!) since night had fallen rapidly by 8.30pm local time and I had to check in to the Pacific Seafarers Net at that time. Another job I'm not sure I can sort out easily is to fix the ring around the lower end of the wind generator which has come loose and has dropped - a recurring problem I thought I'd sorted out before leaving. If we're still in SE winds tomorrow morning, I might get the chance to try to sort that out - I need daylight for that.

9am (PST - Pacific time in N.America) became 10am (MST- Mountain time = GMT-7hr) - we've moved into another time zone! Actually, last Tuesday, in fact, as we crossed the line of 112.5W longitude - and I didn't pay it any attention although I've been noticing that dawn was getting very early! But you'd expect that from heading further south around local mid-summer, with the increasingly longer days.

Next clock change will be on crossing 97.5W when we'll be in GMT-6hr (CST, Central time in N. America) and the next, at 82.5W, which brings us to GMT-5hr which should be Chile time (= EST, Eastern time, in N.America) - except that Chile time now is actually GMT-4hr, so maybe they keep Daylight Saving in their summer ...? All designed to confuse!! Cape Horn, in Chile, is at 067W and is just inside the zone GMT-4hr, which is presently Chile clock time anyway. (Argentina, N of Cape Horn, keeps to GMT-3hr .....)

24hr DMG at 3pm: 1 n.ml. - excellent! Cape Horn was 1 n.ml. away (but my waypoint well S of C. Horn was 1 n.ml. away) & our nearest land, Easter Island, is now n.ml. away to N. Punta Galera, just SW of Valdivia (Chile) is 1 n.ml. away, due E, and New Zealand's East Cape (its closest point to us) is 3 n.ml to the W.

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For my 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
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Written by : Mike

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