RTW Day 175 - Bright, sunny, increasingly-calm day, as wind dies.

Sunday 14th April 2013

5pm Sun nearing the W horizon - a vivid orange ball sinking down over a deep blue sea... Silver crescent moon not far away, up in the NW... a star not far from its two cusps.... Two all-dark birds with pale, dark-tipped bills circling around in the gathering dusk ... a white-rumped storm petrel close to the water... no sign of the black-browed albatross seen twice earlier today.

I've spent a lot of time both yesterday and today, checking weather forecasts, studying grib (weather) files and doing some provisional but more detailed route-planning, using paper charts for ease of passage planning - back to pencil and parallel rule! Had a good look for shallow areas, sea-mounts, tiny atolls, etc on proposed route. Often mark them on chart-plotter with skull & crossbones so not overlooked! Have to allow for SE Trades north of New Zealand (quite likely to be ESE in fact) and I'm aiming for a waypoint well S of Hawaii. From there, we'll head north across the Equator, on to the unstable air of the ITCZ, with its probable squally conditions, before reaching the NE Trades, keeping W of Kauai in the Hawaiian chain. All can and will change with winds that will probably be different from those expected. At present, if possible, I'm hoping our route will take us just W of Tonga and E of Samoa - but we might not manage to get that far East - time will tell! The only certainty is of mainly heading into winds close-hauled, giving an uncomfortable ride for a lot of this last portion of the journey north...

8pm Finished evening meal as weatherfaxes were downloaded on laptop - current forecast & for next four days. Drinking coffee, along with some remnants of the choc-chip cookies found last week - some whole but mostly bits and crumbs! But still tasting fine...
Getting close to another time-zone ....tomorrow, into Z + 11hr, not far from NZ time, when 2am GMT = 2pm NZ time - easy conversion!
Speed is now down to just over 3kt SOG (actual speed over the ground), in dying wind. Moon has disappeared and sky is full of bright stars with Southern Cross in the Milky Way high overhead... lightning is flickering in a bank of clouds low on the SW horizon, astern... All very calm and peaceful... just the gurgle of water along the hull - no sound of any wind in the rigging....

As usual, finished evening with chats on radio - very sociable and friendly. Hoping for calm day with little swell to get some projects done tomorrow - pull out radio to check on rear connections to Pactor modem, fuel transfer into main tank, oil top-up in genset, tidy up in galley & main cabin and more catching up on email replies - way behind still... Not expecting much wind so might have to keep persuading boat to keep heading in right direction....

Still managing to hang onto ENE course, despite very light N wind.

D.M.G. over 24hr to 9am LT: 130 n.ml. - Sign of good speed made yesterday and overnight. Hobart: 486 n.ml. (SW) ;Sydney: 330 n.ml. (NW); New Zealand's North Cape: 861 n.ml. (ENE)
..............................................................................................................................................
For my positions and track, see:
www.svnereida.com - 'Travels' - "Where is 'Nereida'?"
and/or:
http://www.exactearth.com/media-centre/recent-ship-tracks/tracking-nereida/

Written by : Mike

Trackback URL