Saturday 16th March 2013
10am Going well at 7.5kt in NNW wind of over 20kt. Overcast sky but no fog. Just downloaded latest grib files - wind is looking good for coming week as I approach Gt Australian Bight... but will probably get nasty weather once it's reached, with Southern Ocean Lows pushing up against the Australian continental High to give a 'squash' zone of strong winds and correspondingly high swell - recipe for stormy conditions!
Seas were building by mid-morning with the consistent good wind - so it ws getting rather 'bumpy'! Overcast skies with some very weak sunshine over middle of day but no warm sunshine - a grey day with just a hint of fog.
By dusk, wind and seas had built quite a lot more and we were heeled over frequently in swell, so had eventually furled in last of genoa and soon after dark, decided it was probably best to tie in the third reef. A Cold Front was passing and we'd had rain on and off for a time.. Fronts often bring increased wind and we were already making well over 7 kt - best to be cautious overnight... it was already quite rough going...
With less sail, we were still making 6kt but it felt more comfortable and I felt more relaxed!
I was pleased to see our daily run to 1100GMT was way up at 167 n.ml. - showing our average speed to be 7 knots or more - I'd been seeing 7.3-7.8kt regularly today, despite the seas being on our beam and so not exactly comfortable!
At dawn, a Wandering albatross had passed by but otherwise only a pair of Atlantic petrels and a white-chinned petrel have been seen.
Tonight, it's raining but skies might clear once this Front has passed over and then the wind will probably back more to the W.
This morning's radio contact, and also midday's and this evening's, were all dogged by a lot of noise. Hopefully, things will be better tomorrow, although a solar flare is expected to arrive tonight and into tomorrow - so might make radio comms difficult again.
With the rough conditions over much of the day, I spent time reading and also tidying up the computer - deleted a lot of unnecessary files and duplicated photos that I'd come across!
Rain tonight has made it feel very cold - so another fleece went on... My bunk is the warmest place to be!
Wind is beginning to back so will need to keep an eye on our course overnight and gybe if necessary.
DMG at 1100GMT: 167 n.ml. - excellent ! C. Agulhas: 3238 n.ml.; WP due S of C. Leeuwin : 1021 n.ml. Ile Kerguelen: 883 n.ml. (245T)
For my positions, see:
www.svnereida.com - 'Travels' - "Where is 'Nereida'?"