Monday 25th February 2013
9am Still hove-to ... pressure is up to 1005 (from 994hPa at midnight - dropped 4hPa in 3hr to then and has now just risen 4hPa in 3 hr..) and cloud is more broken, no rain ... Thought SW wind was easing & we could sail on - but wind still very strong - must still be around 30kt or more, although that's far less than it has been. Will wait a little longer... Seas are very impressive!! Wandering albatross soaring nearby - has no problem with strong winds!
11:15am Underway again - winds still strong but probably just under 30kt now - seas still impressively big! A pair of Atlantic petrels have been swooping around for last few days - don't they know they're in the wrong Ocean?
1:30pm Noticed the last of the screws holding the rod-kicker to the boom had come loose - it was way out. Got to it with Allen key and, with difficulty, as the boom moved slightly in the big swell, managed to tighten it back up - but for how long? Would like to get another screw in place and maybe tie the head of the kicker in position somehow also - difficult on both counts...
3:30pm Tied the head of the kicker to each end of the boom with Spectra line - idea is that if(when!!) the last machine screw comes out, the kicker won't be free to slide around under the boom - I don't really want the mains'l to be 'scandalized' by the kicker being able to move for'd towards the mast so it pushes the end of the boom up... Was a bit difficult with the swell still being big (~4m) and not being able to clip myself anywhere safely - but it got done without mishap... So, at present, the boom is still being supported by the kicker - but I'm loathe to change or release the kicker in case it causes a problem. Fortunately, just now, reefing is a rare occurrence with the third reef in almost continuously, but when I adjust the mainsheet, that could also create a problem if the head of the kicker weren't fixed in place.... Instead of sheeting out, the boom might be free to move up at its aft end. Fingers crossed, the lines will do the trick!
8:30pm Had a busy, enjoyable time with 40m contacts on the radio - from US West coast around 1600GMT and not only with lots of S.African stations but three from Australia as well - lovely clear signals around 1630GMT - fantastic! Really makes me feel somehow that I'm headed that way! Friend Tony Purkiss is trying to organize sailing out to greet me as I pass close by Tasmania in April - that would be brilliant, if it could be made to happen! (Unlikely, if stormy at the time, though...)
Beautiful full moon shining brightly over a much calmer sea and Jupiter bright in NW also... but not much wind now either - can't win .. either it's too much or too little!! At least my sleep tonight is guaranteed to be peaceful. Excellent East-flowing current helping our SOG - just as well!
24hr DMG at 1100GMT: 81 n.ml. (Another poor DMG - too many!) Cape Agulhas: 1290 n.ml. Marion Island: 437 n.ml. (to SW). WP Sth of Cape Leeuwin (Australia): 2962 n.ml. (by Gt Circle)
For my positions, see:
www.svnereida.com - 'Travels' - "Where is 'Nereida'?"