RTW Day 133 - Cold Front comes through - with increased wind & rain - and then wind dies...

Sunday 3rd March 2013

6:30am Back down below after furling in a lot of genoa with both wind and swell up a lot - F6 and 4-5m seas - causing a lot of heeling and side-deck-washing!! Have left a scrap of genoa still unfurled - definitely helps boat speed just to have a little sail for'd in addition to stays'l in these conditions - don't want to kill our speed completely although it's nice not to be heeling in swell quite so much as we were.... Feeling a lot more comfortable now. 100% cloud, slight rain (heavy earlier), rough seas, one white-chinned petrel....

Got a radio connection to S.Africa before going on deck - managed to upload yesterday's log report, which I couldn't manage last night, and download grib files - so that' s good. Good connection to Pacific Seafarer's Net at 0330GMT/7.30amLT.

Midday Was delighted to get an excellent weatherfax showing Indian Ocean weather - from Wiluna, the Australian transmitter. So much better to get the isobaric charts, showing current positions of Fronts, Highs and Lows clearly - with 1- and 2-day forecasts due later in day. Having to make out a timetable so I don't miss them ... and radio 'scheds' also!

4pm - Small bit of genoa furled in and stays'l poled out to port... goosewinged on very broad reach, now. Wind not quite as strong as earlier - F5-6 now , seas well up - quite rough at times, occasional rain, grey overcast... Sea temp has dropped noticeably - 16-18C now we're further S. Outlook is for very little wind tomorrow & for a day or so - but hopefully, by being further S, in better direction.... we'll see. 4-5 whute-chinned petrels, one Atlantic petrel, one prion....

9.30pm Several chats on radio earlier - nice to make contact with people, although frustrating when band conditions such that signals aren't quite strong enough & you just hear a faint voice talking away in the far distance...!. Amazing to think I'm chatting to Seattle, Portland, San Diego, Florida, Hawaii, S.Africa and Australia!! Some on 'long path', others on 'short path' - signals travelling opposite ways around the globe from them to me...

Catching up with emails - just noticed we're heading due E now, rather than the SE-ESE of earlier - wind clearly backing now. Will need to gybe onto starboard tack shortly, if not to be taken NE... but will adjust Fred to sail slightly by the lee first, for a while, since very light conditions just now... Still want to get further S if possible before present light wind disappears almost completely - forecast to become very light S'ly tomorrow.... Only making 4.5 kt now - will give a very poor DMG tomorrow!

10:30pm Well that turned into quite a pleasant exercise! No rain, although a bit rolly, wind prbably no more than F3, the occasional star getting through the cloud.. and warm air! I decided there was no point in not gybing now - there's so much involved in the change over... dealing with running backstays, pole, preventer, genoa furling line .... and mainsheet, of course... So that's all done and we're heading SE again , but on starboard tack, ready for wind to back slowly into the S when we'll probably end up very close-hauled - on to a close reach. Means I can get some sleep and just set an alarm for every couple of hours or so, to check on sail trim for the changed wind direction... So long as we keep heading roughly SE-E, that's all that matters.

Written by : Mike

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