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Day 64 - Relaxing, with wind only up to 30knots once over the day!

Tuesday 28th December 2010

4-5 petrels flying close to waves and then soaring on uplift in bright sun at 4-5am PST. They seem to be around always now - never far away - that's really

nice - I've company!! About a dozen... one of which, at least, was possibly a sooty shearwater again... much darker and not the white underparts of the

petrels. One albatross seen early on - not seen well enough to be able to say whether Royal or Wandering... So distinctively different from the others! I

tried to take photos of the birds - so difficult, they swoop past so very fast in the strong wind...

This morning was grey and rainy but the sun is trying to get out now (midday) through thinning clouds. It feels like the norm now to have winds frequently

getting up to around 30 knots! We're well reefed down, so if the wind does increase unexpectedly, it's not too much of a worry - within reason, of course!

1.20pm JUST finished an unexpected job for today! As I was writing, I suddenly realized I could hear the propshaft spinning... I'd tied it off early in the

passage with cord and it had seemed fine - up to now! But it had worked loose, the string was frayed and no longer holding .... Took a time to figure out

that I could hold it still to work on it, using a wrap of cord again, once it had slowed down from time to time.... I've wedged a metal vice-grip against a nut

in the assembly to stop the rotation, as well as using more cord wrapped around a joint in the shaft - I just hope I'm not causing myself a future problem

doing that, but I clearly don't want the shaft to be spinning continuously for the next five months... Something I'll need to keep an eye on from time to

time.... (In an emergency, I hope to cut the cord and knock the grips away.)

I had been about to look at the photos I took earlier.... but first I just had to go and sit in the cockpit - such bright sun, blue sky ..and the petrels swooping

about the boat and soaring up over the nearby waves ... adjusted Fred, while sitting there, to keep course..... Time for cheese and biscuits, feeling relaxed,

with wind down to 22kt,.... pleasant, if COLD sailing in big, but well-spaced, swell.

Well, the photos, as usual, mainly show lots of water and sky - but some hints of birds here and there... enough to make me realize the birds were different

- not Juan Fernandez petrels - no dark cap and no all-white underwings... back to the bird book...!

This evening, I enjoyed chatting again to the US Antarctic base, KC4USV, at MacMurdo Sound ... initially to Mike, K1LRZ, and later to Ben, KB1LOL, who called

me on 14300, hearing me on frequency as I was trying to make a contact for a phone 'patch'. For the people there, in an isolated environment like me, it's

nice to be able to chat to someone!

24hr DMG to noon UTC: 144 n.ml. (See maps showing track & position via links on my website 'Travels' page)

At 1200 (Tuesday) UTC: 50:13S, 098:47W. Cape Horn WP 1173 ml 122T; Easter Island 1467ml 337T; Chile 886ml 101T; N.Z. (C.Saunders, Dunedin,

S.Island) 3406ml 236T; Mexico (Cabo S. Lucas) 4425ml. 349T.

Written by : Mike

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