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RTW Day 155 - Passing S of Cape Leeuwin, Australia in rough seas...

Monday 25th March 2013

At 1010 GMT, 6:10pm, we passed the longitude of Cape Leeuwin  LH (115:08.19E) - just before sunset, in suitably rough seas - it's a nasty piece of ocean around here!!

Into yet another time zone:  GMT+ 8hr ( geographic Perth time!) but without their summertime hour added on - they change clocks back one hour from next weekend.

Another lovely bright morning,  but such a chilly wind!   Being from SW, it feels as though it's bringing icy blasts with it from Antarctica!    The ropes in the cockpit, wet from recent rain, aren't drying too well in the cold air!

A young Great albatross, with a lot of brown on its upperparts and fine black edge to its white underwings, and another slightly smaller, grey-backed albatross with mostly dark underwings (another juvenile?), were around at different times when I went to trim the sails..  A few white-chinned petrels and soft-plumaged petrels - not so many birds at all until later in the day... But near sunset, as I was checking on the wind direction and strength for my log, a Sooty shearwater was circling the boat on fixed wings, soaring beautifully and effortlessly- all dark, includig its bill, but with highly-reflective lighter area on underwings.

Seas are still well up at ~4-5m again - feels very uncomfortable since plenty of smaller waves as well ad all on our beam so we're being tossed around.

Wind looking good for next few days - will keep heading East to stay N of frecast big swells as Lows pass by to the S - but by the beginning of April, looks as though a High might be settling right on top of us and overTasmania - where we're presently heading...  I'm thinking of trying to fix the wind steering rudder in calm waters somewhere there- but need wind to get there!

On further reflection, I think the chance of getting the wind generator back in action  is fairly remote - it's not that I can't fix the spare set of (damaged) blades in place -that's easy! - nor that I couldn't fabricate a new tail from wood to fix onto the stubs remaining - that would be relatively easy with my electric jigsaw and drill .... It's a matter of weight.... Raising the heavy generator onto its pole will be virtually impossible by myself without help - which is not permitted for an 'unassisted' RTW attempt..   A friend emailed to say he and a friend had a lot of difficulty with the same generator getting theirs onto the top of their pole..  The magnets in the alternator are so heavy...  and there's a good chance that, after all that work, I'd find the cable to be damaged...

But if I could get the windsteering back in action, that would save a lot of battery power and is defiitely something iI want to try to do as soon as possible.   The damaged radar  mount will need to be left well alone - the welded joint is half apart and any interference willl no doubt cause it to break off completely - taking the GPS with it -so I'll be content with just strapping it safely to the stern arch steelwork....

Later:    A wonderful full moon lighting up the sky - providing enough light for sail-handling and deck work...  I'd furled in the genoa just after sunset on seeing us careering along at over8 kt ... but it was just strong wind from a passing raincloud... With speed soon down at 3.5 kt, clearly the genoa needed to be unfurled again, at least a little...speed is now back up to 5-6kt.

DMG at 1100 GMT: 133 n.ml.   C. Leeuwin: 451 n.ml. (due N); WP due S of C. Leeuwin : 5 n.ml- behind us! :  King Island (entrance to Bass Strait): 1294 n.ml. ; SE Cape of Tasmania: 1386 n.ml.


For my positions, see:

www.svnereida.com - 'Travels' - "Where is 'Nereida'?"



Written by : Mike

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