Day 63 towards Cape Horn - Underway again, after hove-to

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

Sunday 23rd December 2012

Woke up at 6.15 am - wind right down at 2 kts and swell right down also.. great! Time to get straight out on deck to sort out wind generator ... too precious to have major problem with that, if avoidable.... Needed to fix the plastic ring around the lower end of the wind generator housing, holding it steady on the pole, which has come loose and dropped right down, with a thick black smear of oil everywhere... (A recurring problem I thought I'd sorted out before leaving.) Good to have the 'ladder' on the stern arch structure to climb up and lean against - with nearby solar panel giving support also in the occasional big swell that came along to rock the boat! Makes a good work platform when up there.

Cleaned the pole up as best I could and went to screw the fitting back up in place - but clearly the thread has worn - it kept falling down again... grrr!!! Held it in place, screwed in, but not very well, and wrapped LOTS of amalgamating (pressure) tape around, trying to hold the lower ring in place by 'bandaging it' up onto the part above... Since the previous similar 'fix' had, surprisingly, come apart at the join, despite being well-screwed in place, I then went for the 'Gorilla tape' that's been sitting in a locker for several years unused - now's the time to see if it lives up to its name!! I wrapped LOTS around the entire joint, covering the other tape in lots of layers... I hope it lasts for some time... The windgen puts in so much power in the strong winds down here, it would be bad news if I lost the use of it completely....

I also had to deal with the string on its 'tail' - to grab hold of if I want to stop the vane rotating in really strong winds... It had been left flying loose and has twice now got tangled with the blades and ended up mangled and caught - so now I've tied it in a big loose loop around the pole- "another good job done!" - I hope. And, finally, I'd noticed late last night that the TV aerial (never used it yet!!) was dangling.... Went up that 'ladder' and found lots of spare coax coiled up there - so simply cut it away with lots of spare cable both sides and wrapped tape around cut cable end for protection... Stowed the aerial down below ... possibly, when back in relaxed 'cruising mode' one day, I'll want to use it ...!

By 9:15am, I finally got to my breakfast and some fresh coffee I'd made in the calm conditions...!

10:20am - I'm seeing a fairly consistent north wind now, increased to 6- 8 kt and we're drifting S. Time to get sailing (gently) SE again, towards the Horn ... Expecting strong NNW wind soon, as another Front comes by...

12:45pm Ambling along, making our course, at just over 3 knots, in 6-8kt of wind from NNW - not breaking any speed records just now!! Sun not quite managing to get out from behind thin 100% cloud layer. Swell well down, at ~2m or so from S. Early today, saw an albatross soaring in the far distance - but none since. They prefer windier conditions to make life easy for them, getting uplift off the waves, and often disappear when it's calm!!

9pm: Just finished with Pacific Seafarers Net - all exchanging Christmas greetings - in Aus and NZ, it's tomorrow! Was telling them about my mast track problem - the plastic insert is coming adrift at the foot. I'd spotted from the cockpit late today that the pin holding the cover to the 'gate' for releasing the mast track slides was sticking out a lot - sure enough, on closer inspection, the pin needed banging back into place - but wouldn't go all the way because it's not sitting properly in its hole due to the track insert being distorted and coming away from the mast track. The two lowest tabs that hold the insert in place are vertical, not horizontal across the gap, as they should be. I've placed three lots of big, thick, (black) cable ties around the mast and the track, hoping that will help hold it in place and stop it moving any more - fingers crossed! I might need to keep the sail reefed to help matters...

A bright moon tonight - sky not clear but with just thin, broken cloud cover just now.... Wind slowly increasing....

24hr DMG at 3pm: 36 n.ml. - hove-to overnight, drifting in a big circle at ~1kt! (I seem to have missed entering these figures yesterday) Cape Horn was 1600 n.ml. away (but my waypoint well S of C. Horn was 1635 n.ml. away) & our nearest land, Easter Island, is now 980 n.ml. away to NNW. Punta Galera, just SW of Valdivia (Chile) is 1350 n.ml. away, due E, and New Zealand's East Cape (its closest point to us) is 3447 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

Written by : Mike

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