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Day 159 Sun-Mon 10-11 March 2019 Lovely sunny day. Strong winds and seas later tonight and tomorrow

Day 159 Sun-Mon 10-11 March 2019 Lovely sunny day. Strong winds and seas later tonight and tomorrow

Monday 12:45am Wind has suddenly died - we're making just 2.5kt and struggling to make our course in the breath of wind that has appeared..
12:48am Speed now under 2kt ...1.5kt ... Someone just switched the wind right off....!
12:57am 3.8kt ..4.4kt... maybe not quite so bad...?
12:59am Settled to SOG of 4.2kt :-)

Trying to edge down S a bit more - but difficult with SSE wind.

1am Just connected to Andrey in Moscow - Winlink sysop... Sending remaining emails, I hope! (Later: No joy - no more emails sent since connection made last evening)

4am Lovely starry sky with almost no cloud. Wind very light - we're making just 3kt on a close reach.
Tried connecting to send emails again - no luck - no connections made.

10:30am Lovely sunny day - small white clouds all over the bright blue sky! If we weren't trying to sail at a good speed, it would be just lovely - but we're struggling to make any way at all - SOG only around 1kt, often well below - difficult to maintain our course in such light wind.... But at least it's not heading us ... yet!!
Having breakfast and then getting on with preparatory work needed to make mainsail repair - main cabin table to be cleared, ready to work on...! Will also check that Fred is OK.

Expect wind to start veering towards SW/W tonight and increase - becoming around 20kt from W tomorrow and then becoming SW, reducing, on Wednesday. Big swells arriving - up to 5-6m/20ft. Then back into another big fat High - no avoiding that - and likely to get light headwinds for a time after that. Need to be at 42S to catch W winds below the H centre - but difficult to get there. Will need to try to do that tomorrow in the stronger W wind...

12:45pm Bright sun and hardly any clouds now - only on horizon. Put a couple of damp jackets in the sun to dry. Wind generator totally still - virtually no breeze. Drifting in current, I think - at 1.6kt, trying to head ESE. Sail not really filling - looking very slack - but wind should slowly fill in.

5pm Have been busy emptying bilge again - not that much in there but it did occur to me, while working on mainsail work preparations, that a) I should check it fairly often and b) the heavy weather of a few days ago would probably have caused water ingress again and it needed checking out. When I did, I promptly started to empty it again - unfortunately, the little 12V electric pump I'd used last time has stopped working - power is getting to it but achieving nothing. So it was back to the bucket and little cheap but reliable plastic hand pump - so useful!! I now know that 22cm/9" depth of liquid in the bilge equates to 33l - that's quite a lot to come in during the heavy weather we had recently. I also checked the automatic pump to make sure it works with the float switch activated - all good.

Fred still had problems and had definitely not yet got over his headache - had to remove one lot of wire and re-wire so that the ratio knob (i.e. 'gear control') was rigid and unable to move - it was preventing Fred from keeping a good course after being adjusted. Seems a lot better and he is steering fine now.

I decided to have a CupaSoup and relax for a short while after finishing emptying the bilge - and the mug promptly tipped over as one of the rare waves hit us and spilled the whole lot over the galley counter - I was not happy!! Made another after mopping up.. and made sure I set it on the gimballed cooker top to avoid a repetition.

Also remembered I needed to check on some fruit juices that had got wet, stored under the cabin sole (floor!) - seem OK, although a couple of cartons are slightly damaged on outside but contents seem to be fine.

The mainsail work hasn't got very far today - too many other urgent items to see to. I want try to hot cut along a edge to see how that goes - need to practise a bit to make sure I do a reaonable, not necessarily perfect, job on the spare material I'm using for the 'tabling' which will cover the main repair to the torn part of the sail and protect it.

Sunset at 6:45pm - beautiful orange and pink colours, contrasting with the deepening blue-green of the sea with just a very few tiny clouds but lots of birds. Dark petrels and a couple of albatross are swooping around beneath a bright silver crescent of moon high up. Light beginning to fade - can't do much more today.

Wind is slowly veering - now SW and should veer more, to W, and begin to increase quite soon - to 20kt or more tomorrow - so we should make good speed tomorrow but it will definitely not be as calm and relaxing!

1900GMT (=2200LT) - end of Day 159. We made 56 n.ml. DMG, over the 24 hr period, measured in a straight line between the two 1900 GMT positions.

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 159 (by daily DMGs):14,219 n.ml.

Distances (at 1900GMT): Cape Leeuwin LH (SW Australia): 2829 n.ml. to ENE; Melbourne (VIC, Aus): 3945 n.ml. to E; SE Cape of Tasmania LH: 3853 n.ml. to ESE; Cape Agulhas LH (S.Africa): 1680 n.ml. to WNW; Kerguelen Isl: 753 n.ml. to SE; St Paul Isl: 1047 n.ml.to ENE; Halfway point (55 18'E): 18 n.ml.

Position & weather report, for 1900 GMT, posted to www.Winlink.org and www.Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV):
TIME: 2019/03/11 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 41-05.60S LONGITUDE: 054-52.41E COURSE: 130T SPEED: 4.2kt
BARO: 1017.4hPa TREND: 0 AIR_TEMP: 17.0C SEA_TEMP: 22.0C
COMMENT: Boat speed slowly increasing . Swell increased.

Written by : Jeanne Socrates