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Day 89 Sun-Mon 30-31 Dec 2018 Here's wishing everyone a Happy and Healthy New Year 2019!!

Sunday 3pm Beautiful sunny day - temperature has reached 14C - unheard of warmth! Wind now SW 15kt so boat speed up to 6kt at times. Headed NE, goose-winged (aka 'wing-on-wing'), avoiding Uku's storm which is moving SE - should be well out of our way ahead by tomorrow, when we reach 47S.

7:30pm Sun is a bright orange ball about to sink down out of sight over the blue sea - a lovely sunset. Lots of birds wheeling around - a flock of prions, storm petrels, great shearwaters - all enjoying the wind and waves and clear blue sky, as we are.

Wind got up to over 20kt and we were making over 7kt - going well but with bigger seas and night falling, with maybe stronger wind ahead, I decided it was time to tie in the 2nd reef to make for a more relaxed night. Being on starboard tack meant the port side lazyjack was available to hold the folds of sail nicely until I could tie them in.

9pm Beautiful clear night sky with bright stars - Southern Cross high up as was Orion - upside down, as usual! Sirius almost overhead - so very high - normally low down in my usual haunts in the Northern hemisphere.

Monday - New Year's Eve 6am Lovely sunny morning with no clouds overhead - just a few above SW horizon. Birds circling around - always some nearby, now - lovely just to stand in companionway and watch them.
Shook out 2nd reef I'd tied in overnight - wind was down to 12kt earlier but up at 16-17kt now - so making better speed: 5.4kt.

Had weather discussion with Peter at 4am. Seems the two main weather models are not quite in agreement about a 'problem Low' ahead - one has it on my path in two day's time, the other has it nicely out of my way to the E. Will know better by tomorrow - hopefully we'll be able to continue on our present NE course, rather than head back S in a hurry to avoid the strong winds expected...

Always funny to think that Australia and NZ are shortly about to go into 2019 whereas I'm waiting a good 18 hours more to do so here!

Midday A glorious summer's day here in the Southern Atlantic! Air temperature is up to 15.5C/61F and sea is over 14C.

Weather ahead not looking good - likely to have to heave to again shortly for 2-3 days to avoid a nasty big Low expected in the New Year on my path. Welcome to the Southern Ocean...!

2.20pm Need to heave to but will keep going a small distance further to give a complete 24hr run - sailing well under clear blue sky - invigorating! Don't want to stop but must do to stay safe - the system coming up is looking pretty intense - winds to 50kt or so and covering a wide area.

Made 131n.ml. DMG in last 24hr - we were making 7kt for quite a time in WNW wind up to 19kt and one reef in main, seas are up also, of course.

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Wherever you are - may I wish you and your family a very Happy and Healthy New Year 2019!


1900GMT (=1400LT) - end of Day 89. We made 131 n.ml. DMG over the 24 hr period, measured in a straight line between the two 1900 GMT positions.

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 89 (by daily DMGs): 8,778 n.ml.

Distances (at 1900Z): Cape Horn LH: 840 n.ml. to SW; Falklands: 410 n.ml. to SW; Buenos Aires: 830 n.ml to NNW

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

TIME: 2018/12/31 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 46-56.95S LONGITUDE: 049-46.29W COURSE: 062T SPEED: 7.0kt
BARO: 1005.3hPa TREND: 0 AIR_TEMP: 19.0C SEA_TEMP: 15.0C
COMMENT: Bright sunny day. 131n.ml.DMG!!About to heave to - nasty system coming up

Written by : Jeanne Socrates