Days 35 & 36 from Hobart - We finally turn and "make for the barn" - AT LONG LAST!

Satellite photos have just been added to the previous log report (2nd June)- go and have a look!

Sunday 3rd June 2012 (NZT) A pleasant day but very slow much of the time.....

"Slow, slow, quick, quick, slow" - that's been 'Nereida" overnight and today! I kept having to get into the cockpit to 'tweak' Fred to keep us on course as the wind continually shifted around.. It's still important to keep heading E until I get closer to Tahiti, when the SE Trades are expected to kick in finally but then they could well prevent us from getting any further E ...

By midday, the SW wind was back down to ~7knots from the 10kt of earlier & it was more fickle, so speed was often down to 4 kt, rather than the consistent 5.7kt we had been making for quite a time in the morning.

There has been a slow but erratic backing of the wind over the day. We're under full canvas and I'm constantly trimming the sails to try to get every last bit of speed possible - but overnight we dropped to 2-3 kt ... grr!!

But all in all, a very relaxing day, albeit under constant overcast - not much seen of the sun and later the full moon tried to shine through the cloud cover giving an eerie half-light effect in the dark of night!

Monday 4th June (NZT)

I went up on deck just after sunrise to turn on the engine to charge the batteries (a regular event) - we were making the same 2.5 kt in 5-6 kt of wind as during most of the night - but the wind had backed into the S.... good news....

Suddenly, just before 7am, with grey clouds around, the wind increased from 6 to 15kt - and we were speeding along at 6-7 kt.... well overpowered! Fred couldn't cope until I finally tied in the first reef to reduce sail - we still had full genoa and stays'l. We settled down at a steady 6 kt and I saw the pressure had jumped from 1011 to 1013. Shortly afterwards, the wind had backed to just E of S and the sky was clearing, the dark grey clouds had gone - we were heading away from what is referred to as the SPCZ (so-called "S.Pacific convergence zone") and making for where the SE Trades were expected to re-establish soon. Talking to David on Tony's Net at 9am, he confirmed my thoughts - I was clear to make directly for Papeete, Tahiti, .... no need any longer to keep heading due E.... We could finally 'head for the Barn' at last!! YIPPEE!!

Since then, I've been constantly tweaking Fred so we don't wander too much off course - the wind is still shifty, although backing very slowly E. Broken, light-grey clouds are back again ... having not seen any squalls yesterday, I'm expecting to get one or two before landfall - hopefully, nothing too dramatic! The air is warm and humid and the sea is deep blue (and lifeless...). I feel I'm into summer weather at last.... shorts and bare legs....no fleeces now!

ETA Tahiti, at Taina Marina, near Papeete, is sometime during daylight hours on Wednesday 6th June GMT (Tuesday 5th June Tahiti time!! - I'll finally have to adjust my dates and time!)

DMG(all dates are GMT): Sat 2nd June - 121 n.ml. Sun 3rd June - 100 n.ml. (broad reaching in 8-10 kt of W-SW wind) Mon 4th June - 104 n.ml. (speed well down overnight!)

Distance to Tahiti: 243 n.ml (at 0100 GMT) and to Hawaii: 2360 n.ml. (3 week passage)

My track is being continually updated (courtesy Exact Earth in Cambridge, Ontario) via low-orbit satellites receiving my AIS signal. Go to:

http://www.exactearth.com/media-centre/recent-ship-tracks/tracking-nereida/

Written by : Mike

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