RTW Day 181: Across the Tasman Sea - sunny morning, cloudy, with rain, later

Saturday 20th April 2013

9.30am After more drifting around earlier at about 1kt or less, wind has finally got up from NNW. So we're making reasonable speed - on course, with nearly full genoa and stays'l . We're on a close reach, but wind seems to be slowly backing so having to ease sheets and adjust Fred from time to time. Sun is getting out at times ... good to be moving again - and I just love seeing the genoa being put to good use after yesterday's problem!

Midday Wind dropped and veered - still only managing about 4kt with full genoa and stays'l, closehauled.. but at least we're moving.

4pm An enormous dark grey raincloud astern (upwind) ... Wind totally died all of a sudden - I seriously wondered if we'd picked up something that was slowing us down, speed dropped so suddenly from 5kt and we were struggling to make 1-2 kt.... Drifted around for a long time with no wind, even after the cloud had passed on...

6.20pm Raining - but I suddenly noticed we were moving along well..... In fact, our speed got up to well over 7kt ... great! Went up to adjust Fred when rain stopped. Wind had died down - but not totally... Lots of clouds around - hopefully, we'll keep some wind overnight.

Have spent a lot of time looking over weather - asking for and downloading grib files - all takes time... Looking a bit difficult to decide on good tactics to get to the Equator without being becalmed too much... the SE Trades are never as settled and reliable as the NE Trades. Also, have been keeping an eye on our course, with frequent adjustments needed as the wind has shifted. The day seems to have disappeared!

A small flock of white-chinned petrels have been around at times - and I was pleased to catch sight again of a distnctive, white-backed, Great albatross, gliding low over the water in the near distance .....

1.30am Went for a short nap before the evening radio scheds - but missed several.... instead of half an hour, slept for 3-4 hrs - until 1340Z! But speed well up now - making around 7 kt in good wind - much better!

D.M.G. over 24hr to 10am LT: 31 n.ml. - even worse than yesterday! Hobart: 940 n.ml. (231T) ;Sydney: 637 n.ml. (due W); New Zealand's North Cape: 444 n.ml. (due E)
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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

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