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RTW Day 134 - Drifting in no wind all day.... until near midnight..

Monday 4th March 2013

9am After wind and rain of yesterday's Cold Front coming through, we're now drifting around in mixed swell and almost no wind - boat speed 0.0 kt, SOG (speed over the ground): 1.9kt...grrr!! Wind is coming in puffs from SSE and swell is coming both from N, at 3-4m, and from W, at 2m, making for a choppy sea and a rolly boat! A lthough I've trimmed sails for a very close reach, it's the current that seems to be dominating - taking us NE, at present. Sun just showed itself briefly though gap in overcast ....

Ten white-chinned petrels resting in the sea nearby, later...

8pm A highly frustrating day - quite apart from difficulty of trying to get the boat to head S or E, rather than N or W, in almost no wind all day long. We ended up driftng 12mls N before drifting back S again later... Had hoped to tackle boom/vang fitting - but apart from removing some wire from a previous 'fix', with boat moving a lot in swell making it difficult to work there, other problems arose to prevent that.

Decided to start the engine (in neutral) to get oil circulating -been a time since I'd last done so... Started OK but when I checked on cooling water - could see no sign of it ... checked in engine compartment - no sign of it in clear hose to anti-siphon valve. Went to turn off engine in a hurry - wouldn't stop...! Tried several times - kept running... Couldn't remember exactly where fuel cut-off was - although I knew it wasn't obvious... (remembered later how I'd been shown exactly where it was - out of sight, down behind far side of engine - thanks, Robert!) Out with manual... Tried switching off again a few times - finally stopped ... phew!! Checked water filter - OK. Went to turn off seacock allowing water from splitter to exit through hull low down ... meant unscrewing under-bunk top - problem with screw head - worn... Finally dealt with that and turned off seacock so exhaust could exit through hull side where visible. But need to check impellor - maybe it's stuck due to lack of use...?

I'd been looking forward to having lots of hot water for a shower - hadn't had one for ages and was going to take advantage of running motor to heat water while sea was relatively calm... Had my shower anyway, although it was a bit rolly still in swell - lovely to have clean hair and total change of clothes!!

Another day of difficult radio contact for emails- - unable to do much at all, this evening - will hope morning is better, as it usually is at present. Have decided on provisional 40m 'sched' - 7145 LSB at 1530Z - should hear S.African stations for a time, until I move too far East. East coast US contacts have needed to move earlier - now best around 1445Z.

10pm - Wind and rain! Went on deck to check wind and to change sail trim - ended up gybing mains'l and stays'l - wind is just abaft the beam now but I'll shortly need to change our heading to more off the wind to keep us on ESE course - wind is backing slowly.

Midnight - Cold Front just came through - I changed tack twice as it was passing by..and tensioned running backstays three times, having gone on deck originally to do so, with hint of wind getting up.. It was raining then.. but finally rain stopped as wind backed to W from NNW.. Beautifully clear sky ... bright stars and moon.. lovely! We're sailing again - ESE, in fair wind - I feel much better!

24hr DMG at 1100GMT on Sunday: 138 n.ml.
24hr DMG at 1100GMT on Monday: 63 n.ml. Cape Agulhas: 2130 n.ml.; Ile Kerguelen: 449 n.ml. (159T) Ile Amsterdam: 625 n.ml. (072T) WP Sth of Cape Leeuwin (Australia): 2192 n.ml. (by Gt Circle)
For my positions, see:
www.svnereida.com - 'Travels' - "Where is 'Nereida'?"

Written by : Mike

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