Day 69 Mon-Tues 10-11 Dec 2018 Albatross frequently seen gliding over big seas...

Monday 6pm Got an email from Peter, ZL1PWM, that the severe weather warning that caused me to heave to is no longer - Predictwind forecast is for far more moderate conditions near the Cape next Monday, as in other weather models. So we were able to get underway again - excellent news! Of course, in shaking out the 3rd reef and raising the mainsail, first a batten got tangled in the reef line and then the sail caught in a lazyjack line - seemed that whatever could go wrong and get in the way did so! Wind: WNW 18-20kt.

A repeat news item from yesterday afternoon - finally seeing Wandering albatross close by and an all-dark sooty petrel(?) as well as occasional shearwaters! I'd gone up on deck to check swell direction and cloud cover and ended up taking time tidying lines in cockpit and saw a grey and white bird swooping nearby (shearwater or prion? I must check in my bird book to remind myself) and then another, very dark, bird (petrel?). Then, along came a Wandering albatross - magnificent! Shortly afterwards, a juvenile came close - they were clearly parent and young and rested for a time in the sea close to Nereida - so difficult to take decent photos in such big swell and with the boat pitching and tossing. (apologies for poor photos!)

6.30pm Made several good contacts on 14160 - unusual - of late, propagation has been bad but talked to Victoria, B.C., Florida, Connecticut....all with good clear signals.

Sailing nicely - staysail sheets had to be untangled before I started out - I'd forgotten that on furling in the staysail when I heaved to under mainsail alone last night, I'd left the sheets too loose and they totally tangled themselves, flailing around in the strong wind. Fortunately, it wasn't too difficult sorting them out.

Daylight fading - time to sort out tonight's meal.

Tuesday 11am Going well in NW wind of 24-27kt, soon expected to back to WNW. Bright overcast with very occasional hint of sunshine. earlier.. Seas at 4-5m - pretty big and small sections of crest breaking slightly from time to time - adds to the resulting motion as we often surf a little - at ~8.5kt - as the wave passes by.
Impressive to see these big rollers approach our starboard quarter - and catching sight of a majestic albatross gliding on fixed wings above. I'm studying my bird book to remind me of all the other different birds hereabouts - prions, petrels, shearwaters, etc.

Weather looking good for next few days' onward passage to the Cape.

1900GMT (=1300LT) - end of Day 69. We made 114 n.ml.(DMG) over the 24 hr period, measured in a straight line between the two 1900 GMT positions. Includes 3-4 hrs still hove-to, prior to getting underway again yesterday.

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 69 (by daily DMGs): 7,092 n.ml.

Distance from Cape Horn LH (to ESE): 733 n.ml.

Position & weather report for 1900 GMT posted to Winlink.org and Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign of kc2iov):

TIME: 2018/12/11 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 51-41.38S LONGITUDE: 086-44.44W COURSE: 127T SPEED: 6.4kt
WIND_SPEED: 26kt WIND_DIR: NW SWELL_DIR: WNW SWELL_HT: 5.0m CLOUDS: 100%
BARO: 994.9hPa TREND: -2 AIR_TEMP: 9.0C SEA_TEMP: 9.0C
COMMENT: Big seas - swinging boat around as crest passes under.

Written by : Jeanne Socrates