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Day 80 Fri-Sat 21-22 Dec 2018 Another night becalmed and drifting south .... Grrr!!! Visit from RAF Falklands.

Friday 4.30pm Soon after hoping not to have to gybe around, the wind backed more - so gybing was needed to keep our ENE course, passing S of the Falklands and N of Burdwood Bank.
Wind has died right down but the swell is really big - a good 4.5m/15ft, sometimes more. A preventer on the boom is essential in these conditions - but it adds to the time taken to gybe around.
A grey, totally cloudy sky - looks quite rainy but none as yet. Lots of birds - one Wandering albatross glided by and a lot of smaller birds are flitting about near the surface.

7pm The wind died completely and we are drifting around - just like last night -around sunset also.
Eventually, I noticed we were sailing in a straight line at 1.5-2kt - but due W! The wind had gone into the N. Had to gybe around and we're presently making almost no speed close-hauled - but at least we're making way in the right direction now. I hope the wind will come up soon, preferably not too strong... The forecast was for around 20kt from W this evening and around midnight.
Have a problem with Fred - a vital piece seems too loose - something is definitely wrong.

9pm We're still drifting - but no longer ENE - heading SSE instead - very frustrating!

10pm Gybed around to see what course we can make - SW! Boat is pointing NNW - N and drifting SW at 0.5kt - no matter what the boat's heading...

Saturday 1:40am Tried gybing around again - not sure that this is any better - drifting SE at 1-1.5kt with boat pointing NE - must be a SE-going current this way. Making Easting but also going S at a rate of knots... So very frustrating still....

4am Daylight. Wind has finally come up a bit from NNW - nice to be making our course, even if slowly - 4-4.5kt.
Tried to fix Hydrovane ('Fred') but seems a grub/set screw has gone missing from the vane adjuster - working just now but not sure for how long or how to deal with the problem - in contact with John Curry - always very helpful.

Back to my bunk for more sleep - must make sure I get plenty each day - have not been getting enough recently but must prioritize it.

10am Wind up nicely now from NNW at 15kt, maybe. Still have no wind display but we're making 5.6-6kt with wind just for'd of the beam - almost beam reaching. Seas are still very slight - only 1.5m/4-5ft. Sky is full of grey cloud but brighter than earlier.
Bob, VP8LP, has commented that the Falklands are expecting rain on Christmas Day - a present they badly need, in fact! The 'camps' (enormous fields of sparse grass where sheep graze) are very dry and brown now, in midsummer. I met Bob and explored E.Falkland a bit when I stopped in Stanley, in the Falklands, on my way from Ushuaia, in March 2011 - fascinating, very British(!), place with plenty of penguins to see - I saw Kings, Magellanic and Gentoo, with their moulting young, at the Volunteer Pt reserve.

11:30am Group of three storm petrels - all dark with white band on rump/top of tail close to water just astern - using our disturbed water to look for food?

Midday Wonderful! Got very excited to make contact with the Falklands! Just had a long chat with the crew on the RAF plane that flew low overhead, checking out the boat as part of a regular patrol of boats in and near Falklands waters.
They took photos and said they'd try to get them to me - I pointed them to my website and suggested sending to my website manager, Mike... That would be just great!

12:45pm It's so nice being in the cockpit watching the birds around - Wandering and Black-browed albatross soaring, Antarctic prions circling around, storm petrels dancing on the sea surface, white-chinned petrels zooming by - the usual crowd!! But it's so cold, especially in the wind. I've taken, and deleted, so many photos ... the birds always come really close when I'm not ready for the shot!
wind slowly backing - having to adjust Fred at regular intervals - but still very pleasant sailing with seas well down - 1.5-2m - we're just bouncing along on a broad reach now at around 6kt with 2 reefs in main and full staysail.

1900GMT (=1400LT) - end of Day 80. We made just 70 n.ml.(DMG) over the 24 hr period, measured in a straight line between the two 1900 GMT positions. More drifting in no wind overnight again - takes our daily distance run way down.

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 80 (by daily DMGs): 8,154 n.ml.

Distances (at 1900Z): Cape Horn LH: 308 n.ml. to SW; Stanley, E.Falklands: 120 n.ml. to NE

Position & weather report for 1900 GMT posted to Winlink.org and Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV):

TIME: 2018/12/22 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 53-24.26S LONGITUDE: 059-33.93W COURSE: 075T SPEED: 5.7kt
BARO: 990.8hPa TREND: 0 AIR_TEMP: 11.0C SEA_TEMP: 10.0C
COMMENT: Still passing N of Burdwood Bank, S of Falklands - 60ml off

Written by : Jeanne Socrates