Sunday - sunset was around 8pm local time (GMT-3hr) and I'd decided that we'd heave to around then - always better to have daylight, if possible. Lines get caught or tangled and other problems too often arise when working in the dark, even with a good headlamp. We were within 10 miles of the WP I'd been aiming for, but the wind had really got up - it had been NW 24kt for a few hours and, having finally shaken out the third reef in the light winds a while back, we were making good speed - but seas had also increased and got rougher, of course.
I was due on 14160kHz around that time - a regular schedule with excellent propagation and very little noise just now - but I made that very brief with just a few 73s exchanged - I needed to get on deck - dealing with the boat must have priority!
Once hove to, it was still extremely rough with the seas trying to throw us around - but Nereida has plenty of handholds for those conditions, so it's not too difficult to stay safe. There's usually also a warning 'lifting up' of the boat as we rise on a big wave before the strong heeling occurs as we come down on the far side. We had plenty of rocking and rolling...!
It was very nice to have my curry ready and waiting just to warm up - no effort needed in the galley while we were being tossed around - great!
Another radio schedule on 7160 later on - getting quite a few 'regulars' on frequency which is very nice - from USA, Canada, Switzerland, S.Africa, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay...more recently, Brazil and even Germany and UK occasionally (mobile - "Coming along the M4," Rob, M0KPD, said last night... I know it well!)
Monday 11am Woke earlier to a quite different scene - we've been drifting around almost in a circle, the wind and seas are far less and I'm even thinking about the genoa - if these conditions continue, maybe I can deal with that. I'll check the weather files I downloaded around dawn - I'm up at 5am daily to do that while 40m radio propagation is still good and fresh weather files (gribs) are available. I need to see if winds are expected to increase soon because once I've spent quite a time removing all the many lashings holding the sail onto the deck, I'm committed to hoisting it and, in even a very light wind, that could get difficult by myself. Having a coffee while I visualise all the steps I need to take - must make sure I'm prepared and do everything correctly.
4:15pm SUCCESS!!! Genoa unlashed, off the deck, untwisted(!), hoisted on to the forestay foil and furled up - without ending back in the sea and with plenty of furling line turns still on the drum! Has taken nearly five hours in total with wind slowly increasing from 10kt to 14kt just to help things along(!)... I'm more than ready for a nap - I'm exhausted!
Winching it up got really difficult - the halyard is very tight but, even so, it didn't seem quite tensioned enough - I'll check it next time it's unfurled. Great to have it in place again and available for use!! A bit of tidying up of lines still to do. Made good use of time while hove to today, going nowhere and actually having gone backwards.... One very 'happy bunny' on board Nereida just now!
1900GMT (=1600LT) - end of Day 96. Drifting, hove-to, again for quite a lot of the time... We made just 27 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 96 (by daily DMGs): 9,223 n.ml.
Distances (at 1900Z): Cape Horn LH: 1093 n.ml. to SW; Falklands: 662 n.ml. to SW; Montevideo: 678 n.ml to NW; Buenos Aires: 760 n.ml to NW Cape Agulhas (SA): 3060 n.ml. to NE
Position & weather report for 1900 GMT posted to Winlink.org and Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV):
TIME: 2019/01/07 19:15GMT LATITUDE: 43-24.06S LONGITUDE: 046-35.10W COURSE: 151T SPEED: 0.4kt
WIND_SPEED: 14kt WIND_DIR: ESE SWELL_DIR: NW SWELL_HT: 2.0m CLOUDS: 100%
BARO: 1004.7hPa TREND: -2 AIR_TEMP: 18.0C SEA_TEMP: 17.0C
COMMENT: Just finished hoisting (and furling) GENOA - YIPPEE!!!!! Hove to still