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Day 68 towards Cape Horn - overcast, grey, but good wind still ....

I'd like to wish you and yours a very happy, healthy and peaceful New Year 2013! ................ from Jeanne on "Nereida"

Friday 28th December 2012

Weather very much like yesterday - damp & grey, foggy a lot of the day - not thick fog, but giving very poor visibility. We've still a good following wind and good-sized following seas - giving, as yesterday, quite frequent, but mainly fairly gentle, surfing and plenty of rolling around at times!

Reading continues, in between times. I'm not used to having so much time available for that! Reading of events in Simon's Town and False Bay - familiar places that I left from in 'Nereida' early in February of this year to head forTasmania!

Weather is still looking good for next few days but, as I suspected would happen, as I get closer to rounding the Cape, the long-term grib files I sent off for are showing that winds are expected to become gale or near-gale force there - from 4th January onward for several days. That might be fine for the Vendee Globe sailors (whose leading pack must be passing about 500 miles S of me about now, I reckon!) but not so welcome to me! I'll probably need to deploy my series drogue if conditions look to be getting too strong....... but that's still a week away...

I sent off my position report today to the Vendee Globe Race Organisers, as they'd asked me to, for passing on, now that the racers are so close:

TIME: 2012/12/29 01:17
LAT: 48-33.64S LONG: 095-04.96W
COURSE: 130T SPEED: 7.0kt
BARO: 1011 hPa TREND: -3 hPa (in last 3hrs)
COMMENT: Cape Horn 1104ml (WP:1138ml) Foggy

8.30pm Still some light in the overcast sky, with the fog persisting. I'd been sitting out for quite a time, watching the swell approach from astern - big, well-spaced out, often quite steep - but we simply lifted up and accelerated a bit as it passed under... We'd been making well over 7 kt - over 8kt when surfing - and I decided to reduce sail even further with nightfall imminent and the possibility of increasing wind (pressure has dropped a lot over today). Genoa was reduced and then stays'l furled in - to my surprise, having thought it was not really doing much, that made a clear difference to our speed. So now we're making a comfortable 6 kt, which feels less stressful!

The Iridium satphone problem - I tried opening the handset to look inside but the 'electronic screwdriver set' I have doesn't have anything suitable so, after struggling a bit, I've had to give up. I'm debating whether to drill out the tiny screws.... I checked all connections and they seem fine and I can hear a slight noise from the handset, so it is clearly still getting power ... although 6-10 seconds after being removed from its holder, the power cuts out, which it doesn't normally..... frustrating not being able to do anything about it....

24hr DMG at 5pm local time (2300GMT / CST in N.America): 129 n.ml. Cape Horn was 1120 n.ml. away but my waypoint, off the continental shelf, well S of C. Horn, was 1153 n.ml. away. The nearest mainland Chile coast is now 802 n.ml. away to ENE, on the Peninsula de Taitao, by the Gulf of Penas, and the nearest big island along the channels of the SW Chile coast is Isla Mornington, on Golfo Trinidad: 778 n.ml. away to E.

For my positions, see:
www.svnereida.com - 'Travels' - "Where is 'Nereida'?"

Written by : Mike

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