Enjoyed a cup of tea and some biscuits earlier. Sat out in the cockpit, savouring the sailing and the seascape - it's been a very pleasant day today, with bright sun and just a few clouds. A few more jobs were struck off my list. Occasional gusts have us suddenly rushing along and the wind does seem to have increased in general this afternoon, so our speed is averaging more than over the last couple of days. I'm seeing 16-17kt quite often - might have to reef down over night...
Now downloading a satellite image of the N.Pacific from Pt Reyes and will get some tropical weatherfaxes for this area from Honolulu later on - all done in real time using the Pactor modem and HF radio. I'm still exploring all sources of weather info available and how best to get it - and when.... Having to set alarms so as not to miss the broadcasts! Once I know which and when is most useful, I can ask for a copy of them from Saildocs.com. They are all made available on the Internet so it's a matter of knowing the URL and sending off the request using my Aurora terminal - makes for a very speedy download using the XGate software, rather than my SSB radio and does not use too much power. I often request at least one via my radio as a back up or try to listen and download in real time.. All in a constant state of flux as I travel on to new regions, so an ongoing process. Certainly keeps me busy!
7.35pm Just reefed down - we're still making over 6kt but with better control. Wind is definitely up again this evening - seeing 18kt now.
It was sunset just before I started reefing and the half-moon is high and, by the time I'd finished, was shining brightly. It will be another lovely starry night soon with only a few clouds around. Venus is shining in the W above the grey-pink post-sunset sky. I shall have a good look later for the Southern Cross - if not visible early in the night, it should be later on.
4.15am Wind died down - and the change in motion woke me up! Let out genoa to help our speed -will wait for daylight to release reef in mainsail - better able to check all OK. Rolling around a bit but motion is a lot less 'boisterous' than it was late last night.
Looked for Southern Cross but Sthn part of sky is either hazy or there's a line of cloud on the horizon - think I might be seeing it but not sure. Stars overhead and elsewhere are bright and clear - Swan (Cygnus) and Vega are overhead.
Back to my bunk after a short radio chat with several contacts on 7163kHz. Seems my new QRZ.com page that Jim, WB2REM, has just set up is getting a lot of visits!
10.15am Enjoying fresh coffee - sailing smoothly enough to be able to make a fresh pot in my Italian coffee-pot - can't risk using that if it's very rough!
1200 PDT - end of Day15. We made 117 n.ml. (DMG) over the 24 hr period since yesterday due to stronger overnight wind... A rather better figure ....at least it's over 100ml.
Position & weather report posted to Winlink.org and Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign of kc2iov) not long after midday PDT (=1900 GMT):
TIME: 2018/10/18 19:00 LATITUDE: 26-21.81N LONGITUDE: 126-45.12W COURSE: 204T SPEED: 5.5kt WIND_SPEED: 10kt WIND_DIR: ENE SWELL_DIR: NNE SWELL_HT: 1.5m CLOUDS: 15% BARO: 1021.5hPa TREND: 1 AIR_TEMP: 22.0C SEA_TEMP: 26.0C COMMENT: Sunny,wind picked up a bit later.Over 700 ml from Bahia San Juanito.