Day 70 Very light wind... just what I don't

want!
X-Via: SAILMAIL
X-MID: 7745_KC2IOV
X-Date: 2011/01/04 05:52:34

Monday 3rd January 2011

1pm (LT) Finally finished breakfast - delayed and re-started a few times..! I'd been up since soon after dawn, on & off. Up at 3.30am (daylight already!) to wish a little grand daughter "Happy Birthday!" - and found the wind had dropped to just 7-8 knots and we were only making 3.2 kt. Then up again for my noon UTC position and weather report at 7am local time, by which time the wind had backed to WSW - so onto starboard tack on a close-reach. Pole was taken down and

stowed and mainsail gybed.

We're lucky to make over 3 knots just now. Wind is expected to increase tonight, veer to N, and continue to increase over tomorrow, maybe getting up to over 30 knots by tomorrow night before easing after midnight.... A bit stronger than was showing yesterday! It's going to take 3-4 days (longer if the wind doesn't increase as forecast!) to get to Cape Horn, which is 400 miles from here as I write this and another Low is expected to come by just then, giving very strong winds again ...

I suppose it's appropriate weather for rounding the Horn, so I mustn't complain!! Pity I'm forced to go so slowly today, so I'm unlikely to get to the Cape a little sooner to sneak round the corner quickly to avoid the worst of the wind and resulting seas...! Still - it's a few days away yet so things might change for the better - fingers crossed (yet again!!) I must just try to make the best speed possible in the meantime.

I looked at the propshaft area after changing tack this morning. We were moving so slowly through the water the propshaft was still - so I promptly set about wedging in place the piece of wood I had ready, to prevent the shaft from spinning. After a bit of playing around, I soon realized that wiring it to hold it in position was not going to work, but with a bit more cutting, I was able to knock it into place firmly just under a nut on a connection to the gearbox. I then took the Vise-grips and tried to fix them in place on the small section of propshaft available - after a bit more playing around, I finally managed to get them to grip the shaft - making sure I did so such that I could remove them easily! So I've the two things preventing the shaft from spinning - hopefully, at least one will work! I shan't have to wait long to find out, I think!

8pm Well , neither worked - with the stronger wind coming in gradually, we're making better speed ... and t's spinning gaily again... grrr!! Next time, I'll try the wood again - from a different angle - and also a strop around the shaft. My previous cord wrapped around lasted two months, and a friend has sent me an even better way of doing it - so next time, that's what I'll try as well....

Another rather grey day, but no fog, overnight rain stopped early on and the seas lay right down over the day- to almost total calm with just a very slight swell. We've still the two young Grey-headed (not Grey-faced - although they are!) albatross around, and an occasional 2-3 prions.

Hot soup and freshly-made hot stew...... warming! (Air temperature in the main cabin is 10C.)

24hr DMG to noon UTC: 130 n.ml. (See maps showing track & position via links on my website 'Travels' page) (I hear there may be a

problem with the main link - hopefully it will be fixed very soon...)

At 1200 (Monday) UTC: 54:28S, 079:19W. Cape Horn 422 ml 108T; Chile (nearest point) 194 ml 059T (P. Montt 831 ml, 032T) ; N.Z. (Owaka, S.Island) 3806 ml 226T; Mexico (Cabo S. Lucas) 4900ml 332T.

Written by : Mike

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