Day 69 Foggy most of day, but good wind... Wandering and Black-browed albatro

Sunday 2nd January 2011

Photo shows a Black-browed albatross flying close to "Nereida"

Photo shows my 'woodwork bench'!

I looked at the propshaft area - spinning too much to do anything safely, with present good boat speed, but wind is forecast to ease in a day or so, so I want to be prepared for the job... Not made easier due to CV joint aft of gearbox, with only a tiny length of actual metal shaft in engine compartment - and that not easily accessible nor visible, although I can feel it. Not sure that my Vise-grips are big enough to use for the simple 'fix' - but I checked out how to operate them, in readiness. (They've invariably defeated me previously but, once I'd played around with them for a bit, they turned out to be really easy to use - if you do it right!) The other idea is to wedge the piece of wood under one of the several nuts in the joint connection to stop the rotation - the wood is a sturdy piece of teak so should be strong enough if I can wedge it in place firmly - I may have to wire it as well, to stop it 'jumping' out of place, maybe.... Having cut it, it should be the right size/shape for the job now.... we'll see.

SSB/HF radio - decided to have a go at missing GPS connection once more (lat/long/UTC info has been annoyingly missing/flashing in the display since some rough weather a few weeks ago). Checked the connection behind the (remote) fascia, which I had thought might be the problem - that seemed fine but undid and re-did the connector anyway - no change. So checked the connection at the main unit - also seemed good but again released and tightened all the connectors there.... Hey presto! Display was complete! Took all of ten minutes maybe .... Wish every problem had such a quick'n'easy fix!

Time is really confusing me now! I have to keep an eye on GMT as a reference (UTC is a few millionths, or less, of a second different!) because, as I move East, I have to adjust my ship's clocks to keep myself in 'sync' with day and night... So, instead of being in Pacific Standard Time (PST - which is the time kept by all the west coast of N. America, except Alaska), which is 8 hrs behind Greenwich, I'm now just 5 hrs behind GMT - so adjusted my ship's clocks by 2 hrs a week ago and another hour today.... In fact, I hear Chile operate daylight saving and are one, probably two, hours even more ahead (Z-3). My body is totally confused! So I'm eating when I feel hungry and sleeping when I feel tired....

Another murky, dull, grey, often foggy day today, although we've been making good speed in NNW wind. The fog was especially thick as evening fell... I was delighted to find a new kind of albatross visiting us this morning... Firstly, two Wandering albatross - BIG birds, chocolate brown on top with a white face - very distinctive! A short while later, two Black-browed albatross joined them and the two Grey-faced albatross who are still keeping us company near the boat. They were very curious and definitely checking us out, coming very close lots of times - so a good photo-opportunity! 20

Just before dusk, I had a nice long chat with Alex (and skipper Michael) on the Australian boat 'Drina', on passage from Brisbane to Puerto Montt, in Chile -

only 3-4 days more to landfall for them! Alex mentioned hot springs - they sound really inviting in the 9-10C air temperatures I'm experiencing just now..!

24hr DMG to noon UTC: 116 (See maps showing track & position via links on my website 'Travels' page)

At 1200 (Sunday) UTC: 53:41S, 082:46W. Cape Horn 553 ml 111T; Chile (nearest point) 294 ml 083T (P. Montt 831 ml, 032T) ; N.Z. (Owaka, S.Island) 3750 ml 228T; Mexico (Cabo S. Lucas) 4805ml 335T.

Written by : Mike

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