RTW Day 116 - big seas, strong wind.... small sails!

Thursday 14th February 2013

Light, but increasing, wind arrived last night around 1 a.m., pressure 994 hPa, down 10 from Wed morning. Around dawn, wind had increased to ~25kt with heavy rain, pressure 989 hPa - the Low centre by then must have just passed over on its way SSE, giving us W-WSW winds for the rest of today.

Seas got big and rough very quickly, with 5-6m swell, and we regularly surfed at 9-10 kt, from 6-7 kt otherwise. Fortunately , the seas were well-spaced and not breaking or we would have needed to heave to as the wind increased to 30 kt or more but things have been definitely 'boisterous' with lots of sudden lurching and rolling about in the waves, all day long. Wind by evening was more around 25kt - the strong winds are left behind but seas are still well up

Despite having got thoroughly wet last night while gybing and reducing sail, I felt reluctant to take off my wet outers as we kept going overnight - to be ready to jump on deck, just in case -- and I clearly wasn't going to climb into my bunk in my wet foulies and boots... So I got little proper sleep (just 2-3 hrs before gybing), deciding to sit at the chart table so I could keep an eye on things, companionway close by, with a pillow to lean my head on and close my eyes in the calmer intervals. Early this evening I had a two-hr sleep & felt really refreshed on waking. I'm back to my bunk soon!

Sky was beautifully clear and full of stars for a while but now it's turned cloudy - and gusty.

It's got cold again- I'm back into lots of fleeces - Michelin man again! - with a cabin temperature of 13C or so. The sea temperature, at 12C for most of the day, has shot up to 16C tonight (warmer water from the Indian Ocean) - but the boat still feels damp and cold - so wet things stay wet. I'll have to put on the heater soon, to try to dry them out. Things wet with seawater never seem to dry properly - they need a fresh water rinse and hanging up to drip dry... that's impossible just now. My hot stew has been very welcome.

I've switched to 1100 GMT position and weather reporting - so today there's a 12hr interval from last night's position and I'm back into a daytime report - more civilised!

12hr DMG at 1100GMT: 59 n.ml. Cape Agulhas: 549 n.ml. WP Sth of Cape Leeuwin (Australia): 3784 n.ml. (by Gt Circle)
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For my positions, see:
www.svnereida.com - 'Travels' - "Where is 'Nereida'?"
http://www.exactearth.com/media-centre/recent-ship-tracks/tracking-nereida/

Written by : Mike

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