Sunday 24th March 2013
4am Still dark. Up to check on things - adjusted course more to E from ENE, hint of rain, rolling around a bit in swell ~4m, well-spaced, with F4 wind, ... reasonable, relatively light conditions .... back to bunk for more sleep.
10am Lovely bright morning, with sun getting through broken cumulus. Angled solar panels more towards bow (East!) to 'catch' more sunlight, since sun quite low down. Reported in to Pacific Seafarers' Net after preparing positon and weather report. Good enough contact with Cirrus, ZL2CVJ, near Cape Farewell, on S. Island, N.Z., for her to take my report - first time she's managed since I was in Pacific, headed south!
Saw a dark-winged albatross with dark back and darkish bill, thin dark edge to white underwings - almost certainly a Yellow-nosed but didn't catch sight of yellow lines on bill which are not too obvious from a distance.
Ran watermaker while ran generator to download grib files, along with any emails... connections far better now we're closer to stations in Australia but can still be slow. 11.30-12 am - weatherfaxes downloaded from Wiluna - next four days' isobaric charts - very useful!
Breakfast while radio running...looked at fresh gribs and weather info over coffee .. weather looking a bit complex... Still seems we might be into some big swell again later today....
2pm Grey cloud has spread over with threat of light rain - only 1A input from solar panels. Swell increasing - rolling a lot now.
Quite a lot of rain earlier. Sailing continued well although seas still rolling us about. Spent quite an enjoyable time finding and reorganising provisions into more convenient places. Found some nice cream cheese I thought I'd finished and some chocolate I'd misplaced.
Had several radio contacts over the day, although not all successful - John,VK4DBJ, had a storm threatening, so was unable to risk his antenna. Having to use AP continuously causes me a problem since I often switch instruments off when they interfere on certain bands - but I cannot do that now, so often find reception is noisy...
The good news of today was finding the remaining fuel on board looks to be plenty for the remainder of my RTW for generator use to top up batteries when solar power is inadequate to keep the AP running and use the radio. When it's calm, I'll top up the main tank from the jerry cans on board, but even without them, I think I've sufficient fuel for two hours of generator use per day - more than I've been running it so far.
I've a remote chance of getting the wind generator back in action ..... I've another set of (damaged) blades I could use and I could possibly fabricate a new tail from wood to fix onto the stubs remaining. Raising the heavy generator onto its pole will take some doing but the topping lift might be made to help there. That will all depend on the cable not being damaged... which it might well be...
DMG at 1100 GMT: 133 n.ml. C. Leeuwin: 465 n.ml. (018T); WP due S of C. Leeuwin : 128 n.ml: King Island (entrance to Bass Strait): 1427 n.ml. ; SE Cape of Tasmania: 1516 n.ml.
For my positions, see:
www.svnereida.com - 'Travels' - "Where is 'Nereida'?"
Sunday 24th March 2013