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Day 69 towards Cape Horn - overcast & grey, increased wind overnight .... We rea

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

Saturday 29th December 2012

Fog all but disappeared with strong wind overnight and into this morning, but it's still overcast and murky, with sun only managing to struggle out for a very short time mid-morning and then again mid-afternoon, when some scraps of blue sky could briefly be seen to the S and SE.... Wind has been around 24-26kt, gusting 30kt, died down before midday to under 20kt and then piped up againto 26kt, gusting higher, by 4pm, by which time it had backed to WSW. We've still good-sized following seas, easily 4m or more, which make for a 'lively' sail, especially in the stronger wind of tonight - it's back gusting up to just over 30kt...!

Gas alarm went off twice in quick succession - and had me emptying out the locker below the cooker to check on the area near the sensor and clean around there (luckily when conditions were lighter). I'm turning off the manual gas tap in between cooking, as well as the solenoid, just in case...

The Vendee Globe race leaders are now within 600ml, to WSWof us - getting very close.... I was surprised to see how far N they are - not so far from 'Nereida'!!

Reached 50S soon after 6:30pm - getting very chilly with sea temperature down to 11C and cabin not much higher. Could be making use of my diesel cabin heater again very soon!

Spent time again, watching the seas come and pass under - awe-inspiring to see these massive waves approach, so often with quite steep crests, and always something of a relief to find us lifting up gently over them, with just the occasional one catching us and throwing us on our beam ends or sending water over everything...!

Almost no birds seen over the last few days... just a solitary one, possibly a Juan Fernandez Petrel, with distinctive very white underwing with dark edges and tip. Said to breed on Alejandro Selkirk Island, well off the Chile coast (not far from Robinson Crusoe Island...).

Menu for tonight is a cheese and onion omelette - I'm still trying to remember to turn the eggs daily - up to now, not a single bad one! Whereas the mandarins and apples are not faring so well - had to throw quite a few out the other day. I think oranges would have made a better choice and the apples need to be a variety known for keeping well - these clearly are not and have been 'floury' in texture since quite early on... but still good to have something 'fresh'!

24hr DMG at 5pm local time (2300GMT / CST in N.America): 148 n.ml. Cape Horn was 973 n.ml. away but my waypoint, off the continental shelf, well S of C. Horn, was 1005 n.ml. away. The nearest mainland Chile coast is now 695 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: 650 n.ml. away to E.

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

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