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Days 225-6 Wed-Fri 15-17 May 2019

Thursday was spent trying to clear up the wet mess, trying to get the Aurora working (to give voice calls and weather info aa well as emailing) and checking on weather, with updated status calls to MRCC NZ and Taupo Maritime Radio and discussions with Peter, ZL1PWM, as to options over next few days, given likely weather expected.

Presently the Aurora is down, despite a lot of time and effort spent on it, so phone calls, tracking, etc, not possible. Frustrating since I got it working fine earlier. Has meant radio having to be used instead - have mostly coincided its use with small generator being run at that time. Presently running the generator every 6hrs for 1/2 hr or more each time.

Still a lot to do in trying to make the place ship-shape - every surface I look at is wet - at 13C air temperature, there's a lot of condensation, plus water from the knockdown. Wet clothes are now hanging everywhere (and not drying) and my log books are wet, along with lots of other papers. At least all books stayed put - I'd added a higher, removable restraint bar after a knockdown 100 mls off Cape Horn in 2011. I keep finding small items in unexpected places.

It was lovely finally to get into a complete set of dry clothes - TG for vacuum-packing them prior to leaving - and lucky that the starboard bunk did not get wet although, like everything else, due to the low temperature, it feels very damp. My lovely thick (dry!) duvet stored away was a blessing and is great to snuggle under for a good sleep. Hot soup and food was very welcome, although the galley is in a mess still.

With the only possible chance to get the JSD back in being overnight or early Friday morning, I got to my bunk i good time - getting the series drogue back in always takes a lot of sustained effort so I knew I'd better try to get a good night's sleep.

5:45am LT Friday 16 May

Woken by violent rolling - good-sized seas but no wind - ...

Tried to get back to sleep but impossible. Perfect for getting in the series drogue - but no moon now and far too dark to see.

Tried re-powering the Aurora (no signal at present) Link light came up but then went down- so still no tracker or wifi connection.

Needed to finish tidying up the chaos in the aft cabin which was in even more of a mess than I'd first realised. The steering quadrant and autopilot arm were exposed and things were piled on top of them so I decided to see to that while dark since it needed to be done if we were to move anywhere later - clearly can't risk having the steering compromised. A wooden shelf forming the base of a chart-book storage area had been torn totally away and items stored below the bunks were everywhere. All the wooden boards forming the bunk bases had been thrown around by the impact and I had to spend quite a time replacing them - really difficult to deal with in the swell and with all the other items that had been displaced getting in the way.

7:15am Aft cabin bunk tops finally all back in place except one which is part way back - a difficult job, but at least the steering quadrant, autopilot and course computer are now protected. The wooden shelf holding charts on the side of the cabin was torn from its fixings, helping to contribute to the general disorder with chart books flung everywhere.

Still dark but getting into my foulies in hope that first light will come soon, so the JSD can be brought in while conditions are good - still no wind and plenty of rolling about. Forecast is for wind to pick up around midday, so need to have finished the job by then

Did succeed in powering up the Aurora - turned into a poor 12V socket connection - now pushed well in and all four lights are showing - good! Will try connecting and see if working OK for emailing.

7:25am 'Failed connection' is Aurora message... Rebooted Grandstream... no joy although power in is OK... rebooted Aurora twice more ... no joy.. Will turn off PC and try again...... Still no joy - left it to get on deck - getting lighter rapidly now.

10:50am Back down below after getting JSD back in and unfurling the genoa - we're underway again... The sun is shining nicely from a blue sky, although it was a good thing I wore my foulies since there were several showers of light rain while I was busy.

Spoke to Taupo Radio to confirm JSD had been retrieved and we're underway.

Getting the JSD in was speeded up by having learned from difficulties I had the last times (deployed twice in the Great Australian Bight a fortnight or so ago). I rigged up a line to keep other lines from getting tangled in with the JSD line coming onto the main sheet winch and I also kept an eye out for spllces whose end knots were dangling and held them up as they went around the winch so they did not get caught in the next wrap below ... Made the whole process much faster but still involved me pullling hard all the time on the end of the single wrap around the winch, ready to pull in like mad (to get just one more cone in, maybe less!) as soon as the line went slack and holding on for dear life when it became taut, so as not to let the line slip back. It took three hours of solid effort, finishing with pulling it in hand over hand from the aft deck when only a small amount was left to be brought in.

A big problem occurred at the beginning because, since it had deployed wrongly (taking the two bags with it as a result of the knockdown), the bridle arms and leader line plus retrieval line were all tangled up and really difficult to deal with - that probably took all of an hour to sort out, until I finally got to the first line of cones.

Before I even got started, I was amazed to find that the jack-line running along the port side deck had been torn from its fixing near the bow and was tangled in with the aft life-lines - the top one of which was undone and its fixing (bottle/rigging screw) missing. It staggers the mind in trying to fathom out how the jack line could have been torn away as it was...

There was also a lot of damage to the wooden toe rail at its aft end and the metal protecting it was pulled away as a result of the bridle arms being wrapped around the arch supports. The bridle end of the drogue is still fimly tangled - I have yet to find out if it can be untangled. Also some of the protecting outer covers of the bridle arms have been torn away. I need to find some sailbags to stow the JSD in - at present the cockpit is littered with line and cones - but it all needs to be led back arud the arch supports so that , if deloyed aain, it wll lead correctly from the stern.

I was feeling really tired afterwards, since I'd been up very early, working in the aft cabin as well and really wanted just to get to sleep - but there was another problem to be dealt with, even if temporarily: the dorade (air vent) fitting had been totally taken away above deck ad the resulting hole in the coachroof needed to be protected to avoid water getting below when seas washed the side deck. For the time being, I have just tied and taped some plastic over the hole, which I'd already added tape over from below previously, but if I can find an appropriate sized of bolt in my spares, it really needs a cover (wood?) to be fitted in place over it - looks feasible given a useful fitting just below that can take a bolt to hold the piece of wood in place, with sealant added for a good water-tight fitting - a job needing to be done very soon.

As I looked out of the windscreen over the companionway, I spotted some more damage - unbelievably, the forward port side window had been displaced and pushed inward and upward by the force of the water impact, the steel of the surround being twisted slightly at the same time. I've tried to cover the gaps with Gorilla tape, for now, but need to try to fill the gaps from the inside with a filler of some kind, to stop too much water coming in.

I finally got to having a hot meal and got to sleep just before 4pm - bliss!! Woke up to my alarm at 8pm... Went back to sleep for over an hour ... Finally called Taupo Radio for the sched I'd missed earlier, to give a status update.

Wind got up this afternoon/evening to 23-25kt - furled in genoa a little tonight, in bright moonlight through thin raincloud, when heeling got too much. It had veered from WSW this morning to W late afternoon and to WNW-NW now. We're hard on the wind, heading NNE, in rain at times, to avoid the strong conditions to the S and hoping to turn around late on Saturday to head back SSE - down to Stewart Island and around, in the light conditions expected early next week.

We're only 90 miles off the SW New Zealand coasline - Breaksea Sound, with Mt Richards further S.

The good news from this morning? The wind display came back agan!!!

Saturday 7am NZT - heavy rain and 23kt wind from W.


While sailing around the world, I'm trying to raise funds to help support the superb life-saving work done by the RNLI (Lifeboats) in Britain each and every day of the year, regardless how bad the weather. In fact, the worse it is, the more likely they are out there, helping someone in distress - whether a swimmer, surfer, small boat or big ship, night or day, summer or winter. They are all volunteers with normal day-jobs who respond immediately to a call and it is a charity - no government funding - so they rely on our help to fund their intensive training and maintain their equipment.

It would be great if you would take a moment to click on the Lifeboats link here (https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Jeanne-Socrates2), if you'd like to show your support for my efforts at sailing solo, nonstop, unassisted around the globe, trying to set a World Record as the oldest person to do so, by donating something towards the great work the RNLI do every day. If a lot of people put in even a small amount, it all adds up... Thanks a lot! If you can help, it will be very much appreciated. Let's see if we can reach my target!


1900 Friday 17th May GMT (= 7 a.m. Sat 18 May NZT) - end of Day 226. We made 149 n.ml. DMG in 3 days - 74ml while drifting, lying to the series drogue since just after the knockdown at 1900GMT on 14th May (7am NZT, 15th May) and another 75 n.ml since retrieving the JSD and getting underway at 10:50am 17 May NZT, measured in straight lines between the relevant positions.

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 226 (by daily DMGs):19,441 n.ml.

Distances (at 1900GMT): SW Cape, Stewart IslandNZ: 178 n.ml SE; nearest land is 85n.ml. away - Resolution Island on SW NZ coast between Dusky Sound and Breaksea Sound; Hobart, Tasmania: 762 n. ml.

Position & weather report for 1900 Fri 17May GMT (7am Sat NZT), posted to www.Winlink.org and www.Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV):

TIME: 2019/05/17 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 44-58.42S LONGITUDE: 164-44.43E

COURSE: 006T SPEED: 4.2kt


BARO: 1011.3hPa TREND: 0 AIR_TEMP: 15.0C SEA_TEMP: 14.8C

COMMENT: 90ml off SW NZ coast - Breaksea Sound/Mt Richards 75ml DMG since JSD in


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Written by : Jeanne Socrates