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RTW Day 132 - Good progress, helped by an excellent current over much of the da

Saturday 2nd March 2013

8:35am (0435GMT) - Was surprised to find I had no problem contacting Jane, NH7TZ, on the Pacific Seafarers' Net on 14300kHz at 0330GMT - for second day running... her beam antenna is working well! I'd got up at 0300GMT to check on deck again and also to download weather grib files as well as listening to see if usual radio contact with US East coast was possible. There's a major radio 'contest' over this weekend which is probably going to make normal contacts impossible - with Hams frantically trying to get as many contacts on all bands over that time as they can - a madhouse...!!!

We've a lovely east-flowing 1-2kt current adding into our boat speed to give an excellent SOG - it's associated with the prevailing strong Westerlies in these latitudes and is certainly very welcome! I'd reduced the genoa overnight when winds seemed to be piping up a bit - so I've now unfurled the genoa to full again - no point in not maximising the good current advantage ...

Midday It's become quite sunny and warm, after a dull, grey start to the day, although a lot of cloud still. With the NW wind from the anti-clockwise circulation of the High to the north, we're getting warm air from the Indian OCean (whereas S-SW winds bring cold Antactic air) - I've not needed to wear a warm fleece top for a couple of days now! Sea temp has been 20-22c.

An enormous juvenile Wandering albatross is circling around close by - unmistakeable .. Their pale bill is incredibly big on both Wandering and Royal albatrosses and the white face contrasting with the dark upper body is easily spotted from quite a distance... The underwings are like the adult's - white with black tips and thin black line on the trailing edges.

Still haven't managed to download the latest grib files, despite having been trying continually all morning - propagation is clearly not good today ... frustrating! Boatspeed 6-6.5kt... SOG 7.5-8kt!! Nice!! Would be good to believe these nice conditions will continue all across to Tasmania - but that would be highly wishful thinking!

4pm We've slowed right down in lighter wind... boat speed 4.8kt, SOG 5.2 kt - no big current gain at the moment - what current there is seems to be heading NE.. High pressure centre close by Tues/Wed will bring light wind from S and more light wind in days following - so will be edging slightly further S now, if speed not reduced too much by doing so, in an effort to keep from being becalmed, if possible. (I seem to have heard all that somewhere before!!) Few birds today.... a solitary Atlantic petrel and a white-chinned petrel this afternoon. Swell down with lighter wind.

Evening Wind and seas are up again - to F5 perhaps, just under 20kt, and we're just about on a broad reach, heading ESE now. The forecast is for wind to stay NW-NNW until later tomorrow when a Cold Front is expected come by - bringing raincloud and stronger, increasingly-backed wind ahead of it. Then the wind is expected to turn really light over Monday and into Tuesday - I just hope we'll be able to keep moving...

24hr DMG at 1100GMT: 155 n.ml. - excellent!! Cape Agulhas: 1936 n.ml.; Ile Kerguelen: 579 n.ml. (144T) Ile Amsterdam: 809 n.ml. (081T) WP Sth of Cape Leeuwin (Australia): 2390 n.ml. (by Gt Circle)
For my positions, see:
www.svnereida.com - 'Travels' - "Where is 'Nereida'?"

Written by : Mike

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