Wednesday 27th February 2013
8am Have just adjusted sail trim and Fred for port tack close-hauled - but we're still drifting aimlessly in just a mere breath of wind...!!! I couldn't believe it - at 0300GMT (6am LT) we were happily sailing at about 4kt due East in 10kt of WNW-W wind.. and while I was busy on the radio we started rolling about a bit.. wind had dropped a bit more, I thought, but hadn't realised we'd stopped dead in our tracks... grrrr!!! Pressure is well up at 1020 and the gribs/weather forecast have clearly got it wrong - I'm trapped in the High pressure, without the forecast W wind to escape ... Rolling around in 2-3m seas and drifting at zero boat speed NE at 1.6kt SOG, in cold, damp fog - everything on deck is dripping wet... Difficult to keep us headed in the right direction.
Had good contact with Perth on WL2K after repeated failures with SA station... It's good that Phil, VK6KPS, is back on air now.
Amazing contacts on radio just now - after a short, early session this morning with US W coast, Australia (Bundaberg) and a few SA stations on 40m, I tried 14300 for PacSeaNet - and up came Steve, VA7SKM, on 'Silas Crosby', on passage from Isla Robinson Crusoe to the Gambiers (French Polynesia) - 11days out on a month-long passage. We last made contact the other way around the globe when I was halfway across the Atlantic! I also could just copy a New Zealand station - Gary, ZL2GLM (on PacSeaNet) could hear me with difficulty but I could make out his words despite his light signal.
11am Feeling much brighter now - glorious wind has arrived (with sunshine!) !! Not a lot - but we're now making 4-5kt in WNW wind of 10 kt. I'd finished my b'fast and cleared up in galley - went on deck with scewdrivers to tighten screw in mainsheet block fitting on boom end (another one I'd spotted was loose!) and the screw in the kicker/vang fitting (which was good and tight, TG) and realised we were moving quite gently! Just needed to trim the sails and adjust Fred for a broad reach - and relax!! Seas aren't too bad, so I'm celebrating with some fresh coffee - and some Tim Tams I still have from Tassie! Seems the small Low pressure area that caused the hiatus has passed on by, hopefully. But we're still likely to have light winds for a time - the Indian Ocean High is extending just N of us and there's another High just to the S - so as they coalesce, unless they move faster than us to the East, they'll trap us in the resulting big High.
1pm Juvenile Wandering & an Indian Yellow-nosed albatross soaring slowly close by earlier. Three white-chinned petrels decided to rest in the water and have a chin-wag.... they're clearly quite sociable birds.
I made up some pancake mix - I'd had the feeling I'd missed Pancake Day (Shrove Tuesday) - and, sure enough, it was two weeks ago -so I got out the maple syrup & butter and thoroughly enjoyed the pancakes. Not quite the same as my usual thin cr