Friday 1st March 2013 St David's Day- Welsh National Day - daffodils on display...!
5.30am (0130GMT) A bit of excitement...!! Was awoken with wind up and lots of heeling - looked at boat speed - 7.8kt! Clearly time to get on overtrousers, boots, hat and jacket to get on deck - and furl in lots of genoa in the pre-dawn, grey half-light (plus headlamp, as always) The leeward side deck was regularly being well washed by seawater as I winched in the furling line but it got less as the sail reduced in size... until,with just a small amount still out, we seemed to be making more sedate progress - boat speed down to around 6-6.5kt - definitely a good thing.... Heeling far, far less. All took only 15 minutes, although felt like a lot more!
Presumed we were seeing the stronger pre-frontal winds ahead of the Cold Front that had passed through Cape Town area a day ago - clearly up to 25kt or more - but pressure still 1026, unchanged for now. Wind down now from F6 to F5 - back to my bunk. with alarm set for 0250GMT, for some more sleep... Fortunately, the seas were not much increased - maybe to 3m or so from 2m, otherwise the heeling with the swell, added to wind effect, would have been even more....
0712GMT (11:12am LT) - We crossed our 'halfway longitude' of 056:37.8E - the exact opposite longitude, on the opposite side of the world, and in the Southern hemisphere, from the Causeway Dock, opposite the Empress Hotel and close by the Parliament building, in Victoria Harbour, B.C., Canada - where I started this attempt on 22nd October.... - we've come halfway around the globe via Cape Horn! Distance sailed so far, measured on a daily 'straight run' basis: 13,247 n.ml. Minimum possible miles to go: 12,700 - but it will be a lot more, in fact! Having a few 'treats' today, by way of celebration..and a few sips of a nice cognac this evening .... "Cheers!"
It's been a dull, grey day with a moist feel to the air and occasional very fine drizzle... Only seen a couple of white-chinned petrels today. Seas increased a little this evening, when wind also got up for a time, but in general, we've made around 6kt for most of the day in varying NW winds of 15-20kt - perfect! Winds are forecast to remain NW 15-20 kt for a few more days, maybe longer, and no major bad weather is expected for a time - but that could change!
Once I've tried to post this (might not succeed until tomorrow morning - emailing radio connection often difficult until after dawn, now), I'll snuggle up in my bunk with my book for a read before sleeping for a few hours... With wind shifting every now and then, I have to keep an eye on our course every so often....
24hr DMG at 1100GMT: 137 n.ml. Cape Agulhas: 1781 n.ml.; Iles Crozet : 386 n.ml. (212T); Ile Kerguelen: 681 n.ml. (136T) WP Sth of Cape Leeuwin (Australia): 2535 n.ml. (by Gt Circle)
For my positions, see:
www.svnereida.com - 'Travels' - "Where is 'Nereida'?"