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Day 88 Sat-Sun 29-30 Dec 2018 Finally underway again, just before midday Sunday

Saturday 7.30pm Some rain and grey skies. Wind, still from N, has got up some more but not too much - maybe 20-25kt - and seas much the same as earlier - about 3m or more, quite close together so keeping us rolling around a lot.

Just chatted on radio on 20m - propagation to Florida not too good now - a bit earlier would have been better but I forgot that we'd changed the timing! Will be on again soon, at 0000Z, to try to speak to the W coast and B.C. - had good propagation to there yesterday.

10:45pm Wave came crashing over Nereida's deck - always a lot of noise, but all OK. Wind up to maybe 20-25kt now, gusting more, maybe. Dark, now.... Sunset was just before 8pm - made for a good chat on 20m to Rick, VE7TK, in Victoria - we both had sunset occurring around the same time - so-called 'grey line' conditions for both of us - good for radio propagation between us. Also had Juan, LU4VL, come on from Argentina - always a very strong signal.

Sunday 4am Hoped to make contact with Uku - but was not on any frequency at usual time. Think he's probably got some pretty nasty conditions where he is now - high thirty knots with gusts in fifties quite likely and seas to match - not nice.... If he'd had access to proper weather info, he might well have avoided the system - but that was not allowed under GGR rules - I disagree thoroughly with that policy - leads unnecessarily to dangerous situations for the racers. How many are left...?? And how many completed the original race...?? Uku also does not have a Jordan Series Drogue which, properly deployed, keeps boats safe in strong conditions.

8:15am Wind display suddenly came alive - ESE 10kt was its reading.
Thick fog but then came rain with flickering lightning - I disconnected radio antenna and switched radio and several instruments off. Also put computer etc in steel-lined oven - a good Faraday cage!

11:30am Finally underway, heading NE - but not much wind. Nice that seas have died down. Total overcast sky, although getting brighter as sun tries to shine through.

2pm Sunshine and blue sky - always lifts the spirits! Been on deck for quite a time. Albatrosses, petrels and (Great) shearwaters around the boat as I was busy - shaking out reefs and dealing with other things. Making better speed now but almost dead downwind so must keep an eye on wind direction - presently SW at 10-12kt but if it veers any more to the W, we'll have to gybe the main.

Tried to contact Uku on 'One and All' again - but no reply on our usual frequency at this time. Wonder if he might still be heading S, running before strong N winds with just a storm jib hoisted....? Hope he's OK.

3pm Wind increased to SW 15kt and, with it, our boat speed - up to 6kt at times. Beautiful sunny day - temperature has reached 14C - unheard of!

1900GMT (=1400LT) - end of Day 88. We mostly drifted another 11 n.ml. DMG over the 24 hr period, measured in a straight line between the two 1900 GMT positions. Would take forever to get around at that rate!

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 88 (by daily DMGs): 8,647 n.ml.

Distances (at 1900Z): Cape Horn LH: 720 n.ml. to SW; Falklands: 290 n.ml. to SW; Buenos Aires: 835 n.ml to NNW

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

TIME: 2018/12/30 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 48-02.22S LONGITUDE: 052-33.56W COURSE: 051T SPEED: 5.8kt
BARO: 993.8hPa TREND: 3 AIR_TEMP: 17.0C SEA_TEMP: 11.0C
COMMENT: Bright sunny day - underway.since 1530Z

Written by : Jeanne Socrates