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Monday - v. little wind overnight..

Just gone midnight - 3 kt of WNW wind - and we're basically drifting downwind ... E ... at just under 1kt.

The boom is prevented to try to stop it swinging noisily, however little, from one side to the other - but the sails keep 'slatting'. Nothing much else to be done just now, so might as well get some sleep and check things out a little later... Wind is 2kt .......0.0 - we're drifting aimlessly... bows pointing N and drifting E! I'll furl in the headsails so they don't chafe....

At just gone1 a.m., as I was seriously considering dropping the mainsail, I suddenly thought to start the engine and motor gently - to stop the sails flogging and make some headway - I had forgotten that I wasn't necessarily under sail alone on this passage...! We've about 320 l (85 US galls) of diesel - enough to motor gently for 3-4 days if needed. COG 345T

1.30 a.m. Called 'Katagalan Wisdom III' on VHF16 - heading S directly for us! Agreed he'd change course to port so we'd pass starb'd to starb'd. Passed each other at 2:30 a.m. 1.4 n.ml. apart. Now I can finally get to my bunk.

9.30 a.m. Beautiful! Sailing gently and peacefully under blue sky and broken white cloud - the grey rainclouds are off to the W and S. Half an hour ago, I suddenly felt us heeling to some wind - it had picked up nicely from W-WSW. Quickly up on deck, to cut the motor... The sails were already set (I'd unfurled the genoa earlier to motor-sail with it) and we were now sailing at 4.5 kt due N. I suspected my luck might have been due to a big raincloud off to starboard - but we're still sailing nicely under wind-steering at around 3 kt in 11 kt of W wind, having left that well behind. I must go and add in the staysail for a touch more speed.

12.40 p.m. Well, that was nice while it lasted but now we're motor-sailing again - trying to get W while we can in lighter winds - they dropped to 8 kt from the WSW and we were making just 2 kt. Grey cloud layer with occasional small breaks - rather rainy-looking day. We shan't be able to get W easily in a day or two, so I'm 'making hay while the sun shines'...

Downloading usual batch of weatherfaxes from Pt Reyes. Hurricane Celia, well ESE of Hawaii, is doing well but by Friday is expected to diminish to a Tropical Storm and looks not to be of concern to the racers. Hopefully, once this Cold Front, from the next Low coming down, has passed over, there might be some more sun here - it's chilly and grey now.

3.35 p.m. Wind has veered into WNW so our heading is almost N - motor off. Sailing gently again in 10-11 knots wind - time to relax. Fred , the Hyrovane, can take over the steering. Northerly flow, Wednesday onward, becoming strong, will give us a problem. I'll worry about that nearer the time and will just try to get W whenever possible before then. I've noted where I need to get to, in order to lay Cape Flattery in W-NW winds but it looks as though it's going to prove difficult getting there!

9.30 p.m. Still some light in the grey sky, with a pinkish break near the NW horizon. Swell from WNW with 1-2ft wind-waves on top. Sailing nicely, close-hauled, as usual on this passage, with full canvas, in 14-15 kt of WNW wind, making N-NNE at ~4 kt.

Spoke earlier to both the SHTP racers (talking about their stronger wind sail plans for downwind sailing and some discussion of squalls) and also to the Pacific Seafarers Net. Seems there's been a tragic grounding in the Tuamotus very recently, with a lot of questions surrounding the event and its handling. That is a very dangerous reef area, to be sailed in with great care....

Written by : Jeanne Socrates