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RTW Day 105 - to Capes of Good Hope/Agulhas - foggy, damp, slow day...

Sunday 3rd February, 2013

Another dull, cold day, ending with fog not far away.. sun never quite made it out around midday, when there were hints of blue patches in the sky, although it tried hard! Swell was down early on but increased late afternoon & then died down a bit after nightfall . Heading due E, almost dead downwind, in lighter wind today, so less speed - but still a helpful NE-flowing current. High pressure area looks set to stay close by to N for several more days, giving mostly W winds of 10-20kt at our present latitude of 45S (although a Cold Front coming through in a day or so) and almost no wind further N.

2-3 Atlantic petrels were nearby most of the day, along with at least one Great shearwater.. and a young Sooty albatross flew by (again?) - all dark with big black bill but with a slightly lighter area of dark grey behind its head forming a 'cowl' - good to see it - wonder if it's the same one as yesterday? It circled around a couple of times giving me the chance to have a really good look at it.

Good news of today is that the genoa furler is moving freely- clearly the halyard I released was the culprit - an easy 'fix'! The bad news is I lost a no.40 torx 'key' - while tightening the rod-kicker fitting on the boom, which had come loose again, I managed to drop it - for a moment, as I saw it land on the side deck, I thought I was in luck - but Murphy was clearly there, egging it on... it picked itself up and jumped into the sea ...@*&%$#**##!!! Luckily, I have a screwdriver bit (but only one...) of same size to use in the future (my spare set of torx keys has that size missing - surprise!). Also began looking at the winch which had been misbehaving but is now inexplicably moving happily again both ways. As I started undoing the top screws, I realised the boat was really being tossed about in a big swell - maybe not such a good idea to take winch apart just then ... will look at it another time, rather than lose more vital bits to Neptune!

Spending a lot of time trying to make contact with shore radio stations for emailing ... You know it's getting desperate when you trawl down the entire list, trying remote possibilities!! This afternoon, made good contact with Java, after S. Africa had stubbornly refused to make proper contact, despite repeated 'handshakes' and supposedly excellent chance of contact... grrr!!! Only problem is it takes a lot of battery power and I keep having to start up the generator, since little sunlight and only light wind from astern... Again had to make up a lot of sleep this morning after repeated failed attempts overnight kept me up a lot.

Gather Jean-Pierre on 'Virbac Paprec' has got underway again... Hope he stays upright & arrives safely!

24hr DMG at 11pm local time (2300GMT): 132 n.ml. Cape Agulhas: 978 n.ml. Cape of Good Hope: 946 n.ml. ... Hoping to round those next weekend... Waypoint well S of C. Agulhas: 710 n. ml.

For my positions, see:
www.svnereida.com - 'Travels' - "Where is 'Nereida'?"

Written by : Mike

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