Monday 18th February 2013
Having heard the comment that at 6 am and 6 pm (S.African time!), radio propagation between N. America and S. Africa was excellent, I turned on the radio when I was up very early & I looked around on the 40m band - and found a group on the East US coast who I then contacted - amazingly clear signals! Spent a short time chatting to them - from New York to Miami - and also to some S.African stations, before sending/receiving emails - good connections again, in the early morning ... This evening, I again spoke to the W.coast group I'd made contact with yesterday, along with some more S.African stations... good signals in all cases and very sociable!.
Another sunny, warm day with not much wind - but in view of the Tropical Depression (TD) presently lurking not far S of Madagascar, that's probably just as well. TD is forecast to come SE to this latitude by Sunday, although fairly stationary now - so I'd rather keep well to W, behind it, out of its way!! Keeping a wary eye on it over next few days.... it's a bit worrying, to be honest. S.Africa's Cape Naval not transmitting is a nuisance, since weatherfaxes would show its current and forecast position nicely...
Most of the day, it has been was clear overhead, except for a band of cloud mid-afternoon and sunset was in a clear blue sky, turning deep orange - lovely colours. This evening, the wind has increased but, so far, not by much.
Not a lot to report except for a Wandering and three other albatross, around a lot over the day - spent a long time watching them this afternoon and trying to capture them on camera to help identify them. One was fairly young still, with dark bill and light grey 'collar' and I wondered if one of the others was either a parent or a partner - they seemed to keep together a lot. All had dark upper wings and back and underwings were white with a fine dark edge - - might be Shy albatross - I need to study my photos! Also saw a tiny storm petrel, a prion and white-chinned petrel - small area of white at base of bill, giving it its name, was clear. So much easier to get a good view when sea is so much calmer...
As the afternoon progressed so the wind veered, forcing us finally to head 120T, ESE- SE, despite being increasingly close-hauled (which cuts down our speed).
Found several rotten potatoes as I prepared for this evening's meal... so looked through... and found a few more... Also threw away a couple of eggs I wasn't convinced were good - no smell, but just didn't seem quite right.
24hr DMG at 1100GMT: 80 n.ml. - slow again Cape Agulhas: 765 n.ml. WP Sth of Cape Leeuwin (Australia): 3458 n.ml. (by Gt Circle)
For my positions, see:
www.svnereida.com - 'Travels' - "Where is 'Nereida'?"