Great progress made in strong conditions yesterday and overnight to mid-morning: 148 n.ml. over the 24hrs up to 11am LT. If we could have been sailing like this for last few months, would be almost 'home'by now! Nearly 7kt average speed.
Seas got bigger today - up to 4m, so impressively large and reminiscent of Southern Ocean ... but interval better, at around 6 secs, so not feeling as rough as yesterday's 3m seas with very short interval which knocked us about far more all day long. Instead, the problem today was suden squalls which added to already strong wind of 20-25kt... Wind gusted up even more as big rainclouds came over ... We heeled madly and rounded up as Fred was overpowered and I had to get on deck hurriedly to reduce canvas - keeping very low & feeling rather vulnerable with the extreme angle of heel as I furled in quite a lot of the full genoa. When second squall came along later, I furled it in completely and we still made over 6kt. The third squall, later in the afternoon, passed without too much drama - sails were about right and we simply heeled a bit more when it arrived and increased speed, although, as earlier, I did put us off the wind a bit when at its strongest, to reduce heeling by reducing apparent wind speed and angle. Good to have the searoom to do that ( - a good reason to be downwind of any nearby hard bits in squally conditions.)
With the heeled boat, wave action and regular squalls, difficult again to achieve much - generator repair put on hold again until tomorrow and main engine run in neutral to charge batteries. Spent a time trying to figure out how to put Pactor modem in 'BIOS mode' in order to try to get weatherfax situation improved by clearing the RAM .. still not got there, due to interruptions - another job 'on hold'!
By early evening, things were definitely feeling a bit calmer ... seas are still large, at 3-4m, but more spaced out, wind has dropped a lot and sky is clearer with plenty of bright stars and waning but bright moon shining through quite big gaps in clouds and lighting up the scene. I even felt comfortable unfurling some genoa for overnight to increase our speed which had dropped to under 5kt.
Sea temperature is way up at 32C, air feels humid and warm and fleeces are most definitely a thing of the past. I've been seeing a lot of bits floating in the sea surface. Some have come on board with seas washing over the decks and got caught in the scuppers along with small flying fish. They look like the beginnings of gooseneck barnacles, waiting to attach to surfaces to grow there - we've lots under our stern growing along the waterline, in the aerated water they love just there - slowing us down! If we're becalmed, I've in mind to tak a dip and cut them off...
Had some good radio contacts again over today and this evening - all very sociable!
D.M.G. over 24hr to 11am LT: 148 n.ml. - brilliant & a nice change! Sydney: 1309 n.ml. (237T); New Zealand's North Cape: 650 n.ml. (181T); New Caledonia: 360 n.ml. (280T); Fiji (Viti Levu): 397 n.ml. (035T). Ile Hunter: 98 n.ml.(316T)
For my positions and track, see:
www.svnereida.com - 'Travels' - "Where is 'Nereida'?"