Day 70 towards Cape Horn -strong wind overnight .... sunshine briefly, with ligh

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

Sunday 30th December 2012

Strong wind got up again overnight, but had died right down by morning, when the sun finally got out by midday with light cloud and high pressure. By late afternoon, the low cloud and fog in the distance returned - and wind died even more, having veered finally to NW at 5 knots!!

The Vendee Globe race leaders are now within 350ml to SSW of us - passing very close on their way to the Horn.... The leaders will get good wind to go around but the ones behind, including me (going very slowly now), will get a mix of long calms with gales in between, so it could become a frustratingly prolonged rounding of the Cape!

I'm getting a lot of people emailing me about the ice problem near to Cape Horn - it's a real worry this year, unlike two years ago when there was no problem - but I was delighted tonight to receive very specific, helpful info from the Vendee Globe Race Management - very kind of them and much appreciated! I'm hoping to pass far enough south of Cape Horn for the problem to be minimal - but until I'm well away from the area, it will be on my mind, for sure.

Went to stow the genoa pole early this morning - and found the line fixing the inboard end onto the mast track slider had come away - made it very difficult dealing with the pole, since I had to push it up into place from a heaving deck.... Got there eventually but the only way to sort out the problem properly, so I can easily make use of the pole in future, is to climb the mast to retrieve the loose end of the line, in order to re-attach it... That was not going to happen during today, with the swell quite a decent size still and causing us to rock about quite frequently, but with the light winds of this evening I'm hoping that by tomorrow morning, retrieving the line will be feasible and safe in an even calmer sea... fingers crossed!

The solitary Juan Fernandez Petrel was seen again for a short while early on - but no birds since.

24hr DMG at 5pm local time (2300GMT / CST in N.America): 106 speed overnight, but certainly not over the day!) Cape Horn was 867 away but my waypoint, off the continental shelf, well S of C. Horn, was 899 away. The nearest mainland Chile coast is now 623 away to NE, on the Peninsula de Taitao, by the Gulf of Penas, and the nearest big islands along the channels of the SW Chile coast are Isla Mornington, to N of Golfo Trinidad, and Isla Madre de Dios, to S of the same gulf, both 558 away to E.

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

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