Thursday 7th February, 2013
Another very cold, dull day with dying, backing wind slowing us down, after Cold Front bringing good strong NW winds last night had passed very quickly. At nightfall, sky had started clearing overhead, showing bright Jupiter and a few stars, with dark grey clouds on the horizon all around.
Atlantic petrels (about ten of them) were swooping around all day, as usual. After sunset, I was up on deck, attracted from down below by the sunset colours I've not seen for a few days, when a magnificent Wandering albatross flew by. Having had one fly very close to the boat earlier today, I'd put my camera close to hand - so was able to take several shots as it flew around. It eventually landed in the sea for a rest nearby. I wonder if it's the same one I've been seeing for several days now - judging by its markings, it's quite likely. They are amazingly big! The Atlantic petrels aren't small birds but they're dwarfed by comparison.
It's fairly calm now - and likely to be so for several more days .... could take much longer to round the Capes than I'd been expecting - might even get light headwinds - the High pressure area is spreading so far S it's likely to pass over and we'll end up with a section of it to our S.... bad news! The wind has swung back and forth several times - but is now firmly in SSW, as shown by us heading NE - so need to adjust Fred yet again to get us back headed E. Gybed the mains'l earlier this afternoon when wind was WSW and have now added in the genoa - unfurled smoothly - no problem!
I should have been busy again with checking wind transducer voltages using a second display - but found other things to do first, like sorting out over-ripe apples that need attention. Think I need a break from problems...and the other instrument problems were joined by a new one: when instruments are turned off, but with AP switched on and left in 'Standby', I'm now getting the message 'NO PILOT' ... but if I then press 'Auto' - it starts working..... all very odd! Hoping it will be nice and calm tomorrow so I can look at the course computer connections and do some testing...
.... but tonight, I'll relax and read a little - Aubrey is in the Med just now...
11pm: Wind has died totally - drifting around at zero boat speed, making 1-1.5kt, vaguely East...... Looks as though it will definitely be calm tomorrow, at this rate!
24hr DMG at midnight local time (2300GMT): 107 n.ml. Cape Agulhas: 685 n.ml. Cape of Good Hope: 679 n.ml. ... Had hoped to be rounding those on Sunday, but forecast light winds will probably delay that ... My waypoint, at 45S, due S of C. Agulhas: 323 n.ml.
For my positions, see:
www.svnereida.com - 'Travels' - "Where is 'Nereida'?"