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RTW Day 177 - Lovely day of warm sun and blue sky - summer weather at last!

Tuesday 16th April 2013

9.30am White-chinned petrel nearby as I spent a long time organising the big pole (hasn't been used for quite some time) and lines, so as to pole out the genoa for downwind sailing, having earlier gybed the mains'l and furled in the stays'l. Wind has backed to WSW and I want to maintain course of about 176T - partly to get E for weather reasons but also simply to be on course to round Cape Reiniga and the North Cape of New Zealand.
Spoke to Aus and NZ on Tony's Net and made a late contact with Taupo Maritime Radio to report my position. Sky cleared soon after - blue sky and sparkling water, with big well-rounded rollers - a good 3m or so, every 9 seconds, we roll around a lot quite frequently. Solar panels are putting in just over 5A - they're not angled quite correctly for sun's rays now, but will give a fair amount over the day. Time for a late breakfast...

Seeing ships on AIS - presently 'British Gannet', 20ml away, a tanker on passage to Whangarei. My present route must be a well-frequented one for shipping - from S.Australia to around New Zealand and possibly on over towards America via the S.Pacific islands... It's nice to know they can see us - we transmit on AIS so they can see our name, course, speed and that we're a sailing vessel ... They tend to stay clear - especially if I get on the radio to the rare one that is looking to come close and inform them we're strictly under sail & have no engine available!! Sleep is going to be a lot more interrupted, now we're out of the deserted Southern Ocesn.
As I went up to adjust Fred one time, a young Wandering albatross passed by, still quite a lot of brown on its otherwise white body - clearly it had come over to give us the once over! Of course, as usual, it came very close when I didn't have a camera handy! But it was nice to see yet another albatross - won't see any quite soon, I'm thinking...

8.30pm It's been a really good day! Lovely warm sunshine and mostly blue sky until shortly before sunset when grey clouds began to spread over from the W - stripped off all my top layers and found a cotton top to wear - felt like summer weather! Tonight, the sky has mainly cleared again to give another starry night with a crescent moon - it's getting brighter as it waxes but it's not in view for very long... Wind has been backing slowly over the day to SSW and increased this afternoon, when I had to take the genoa off the pole and over to port, to join the mains'l. Our speed has become reasonable - over 5 kt now.

Spent most of the morning clearing and cleaning in the galley - there seemed a lot to do, especially having sorted through some foil-wrapped mandarins and potatoes well past their prime, the other day! I cleaned & rinsed the foil so it could be recycled on my return. This afternoon was spent transferring diesel from jerrycans into the main tank so it was available for the generator. With well over 240 litres in there now, there seems to be plenty for the remaining two months or so of this passage - the genset only takes just over 1 litre per hour and I run it about 1-2 hours each day, depending on radio use for voice and emails/weather etc and whether autopilot is being used in overcast conditions - in bright sun, solar input provides enough for AP. I also emptied the diesel from the Sigmar heater daytank and put it into jerrycans so it's available for back-up emergency use.

Had a nice meal tonight - chicken in a white sauce with potatoes and peas - tasty and different! Usual sociable end to the day with several radio chat sessions.

D.M.G. over 24hr to 10am LT: 97 n.ml. - another slow one.... Hobart: 668 n.ml. (SW) ;Sydney: 441 n.ml. (WNW); New Zealand's North Cape: 675 n.ml. (082T)
For my positions and track, see:
www.svnereida.com - 'Travels' - "Where is 'Nereida'?"

Written by : Mike

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