Thursday 31st January, 2013
Cold Front passed over soon after midnight - strong N wind dropped right down and backed into WNW - major trimming of sails, adjusting of Fred and gybing of mainsail needed to get us back on course - which early in the morning, with gribs showing big High pressure area forecast within few days to extend right on top of us, made me change to SE and head for 45S, to avoid being becalmed, or possibly facing headwinds if we were to be caught on the wrong side of the High by staying too farN.
Yet another clear starry moonlit night followed by a lovely sunny morning - with (the same?) three Great shearwaters soaring nearby and an albatross in the far distance - first one seen for a while. A pairof (black-bellied) storm petrels seen in the afternoon - they've been missing for quite a time.
Pressure dropped down to 1006 as the Front passed over, but by tonight, it had risen to 1020, with 15-20kt wind and big 4-5m swell from SW midday onward. Swell tossing us around a lot - it's a beam sea.
In the light wind around dawn, with boat speed well down, I went to unfurl the genoa to give more speed - but found it unfurled slightly but then wouldn't budge... It was completely impossible to do anything with it ... Looks like another trip up the mast could well be needed to look at the furler at the head of the sail - but not in the present seas!!! Speed was well down for a good part of the day, until the wind got up again, with the stays'l as the only available headsail.
Emailing limited to from dusk until just past dawn now.... and then mostly very slow. Voice radio contact good, often excellent.
24hr DMG at 11pm local time (2300GMT): 104 n.ml. (course change) Gough Island: 279 n.ml. (301T) , Tristan da Cunha 494 n.ml. (312T) Cape Agulhas: 1243 n.ml.
For my positions, see:
www.svnereida.com - 'Travels' - "Where is 'Nereida'?"