Day Thirteen from Cape Town to Hobart

Sunday 19th February 2012

A pleasant day, with a mix of heavy grey clouds everywhere and some sunshine in between times, with just the occasional squall to give a bit of excitement as winds suddenly increase and shift under a particularly big cloud.

Now having Sunday afternoon tea while I relax over Spider Solitaire (in much calmer conditions than this time yesterday, although still some big waves) - as I try to get a connection with a shore radio station somewhere for emails & grib weather files. The good news is that I'm regularly getting weatherfaxes from Cape Naval - they've been off-air for well over a year .... the 'new' S.Africa....

An ongoing concern is TS/TD Giovanna coming down this way (didn't dissipate but clearly found some warm sea to feed on) - but should be well ahead of me if she does - with mainly heavy rain + 40 kt winds ahead of the centre, not behind it where I am.... (I hope!)

1540GMT/6.40pm LT (local time where I am) - Sunset ... a low line of pink in the W under the grey clouds that are covering the sky, with some showers nearby. A good flock of White-chinned petrels (15-20 at least) are wheeling about us, together with the pair of Yellow-nosed albatross they often seem to keep company with. The albatross have such long wing-spans by comparison with their body length, unlike the petrels. The birds are often particularly active near the boat around sunset and also soon after sunrise.

I'm downloading a weatherfax while I watch them - it shows exactly where 'Giovanna' is - not so very far away - and I'm keeping an eye out for any possible problem. Forecast day for any 'close encounter' is next Thursday, 23rd Feb but with any luck she'll dissipate .... In the meantime, we're heading ESE but gradually slowing down as the pressure rises and the High comes our way with dying winds - likely to be becalmed in a day's time! But if seas are really calm soon, I'll be able to get the outstanding boat jobs seen to before the good NW winds which will follow behind.

Today's daily weather report (as posted to Winlink and Yotreps):
TIME: 2012/02/19 12:00
LATITUDE: 40-59.93S LONGITUDE: 048-45.59E
COURSE: 110T SPEED: 6.0
WIND_SPEED: 22 WIND_DIR: SW
SWELL_DIR: WSW SWELL_HT: 3.5M SWELL_PER: 6
CLOUDS: 85% BARO: 1016 TREND: 0
AIR_TEMP: 20.0C SEA_TEMP: 20.0C
COMMENT: Hove-to y'day for 12hrs from 11:30am.Seas less now .DMG:99 n.ml.

Written by : Mike

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