Mon 17th Sept
We're finally making good speed - 7-7.5kn in around 18kn ESE/SE wind, broad reaching with not much current against - unlike earlier today (& overnight) - today's daily run to midday was ony about 120ml but should be a lot better tomorrow if this wind keeps up as forecast. Seas are a bit rough but not too bad - SE swell of ~1.5-2m (4-5sec period) and a bigger, much longer S swell, all with choppy waves on top. Of course, it's when 'Nereida' happens to be where the two swells meet that life gets really interesting, in the resulting heaped up seas... as happens fairly regularly! I'm having to be very careful moving around and I've closed most of the hatches!!
Cloud seemed to build up this afternoon, but with nightfall seems to have disappeared - just lots of bright stars, to match the twinkling phosphorescent lights in the sea as we rush through the water - like diamonds sparkling... beautiful.
I'm hoping we don't meet up with any more fishing strobe lights again tonight .. saw two lots off to starb'd last night, well over 60 mls from the Java S coast (worrying! - what if I'd ploughed straight into the nets/pots...?) and this morning, as I was busy taking down the pole (we'd been goosewinged overnight), I saw a small, open, flimsy fishing boat ... amazing to be so far out in these big, rough seas.
I had a look at the new steering cable under the aft bunk this afternoon. It has been squeaking, so has been worrying me that it might be wearing again. The problem turned out to be at the turning blocks (with newly-made bushing) taking cable from engine compartment to steering quadrant. I put lots of grease between moving parts where I could and then sprayed thick lubricating film into crevices between the two moving blocks and their spindle - seems to have done the trick!
I've also been looking to see what weather info I can get for approach to S. Africa (& the infamous Aghulas current!). Seems radio weather fax is no longer available, although I shall try previous frequencies/times just in case, but there is a daily Ham Radio Net (which I heard tonight) where weather info is relayed - so I shall email to introduce myself, ready for when I get to within range...
"Nereida", rushing along in the dark under a crescent moon.... under 295ml to Flying Fish Cove, Xmas Island, at 10pm LT Monday.