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RTW Day 192: In S.Pacific: Bright sun., big seas still... but mostly a smoot

Wednesday 1st May 2013 Happy May Day!!

Very pleasant day, with a few big, light grey rainclouds around early on, one giving a small shower which moved well ahead of us, and from then on clouds have been mostly small white cumulus, with good sunshine... Solar panels were putting 14A or more for quite a time, slowly reducing well after midday.... Didn't need to run motor to charge batteries this morning - solar power has been plenty over the day, with Fred in charge and plotter often switched off. Seas still up at 4m, period 6-7sec, just occasionally flinging us around when a big one passes by... Lots of foam streaks on sea surface from collapsed sections of tumbling crests - lots of white horses... wind around 20kt or more, from SSE - we're on a broad reach.

Sunset: Wind less now - nearer 15kt - and seas less also - nearer 3m, with occasional bigger one. Still making 6kt. Feels much calmer and expecting wind to ease further over next day or so. Took my tea to companionway and watched the sea scene - beginning to do that more often, in the better conditions now. Nice to see a Sooty shearwater fly by - hardly any seabirds seen over last week or so.
Decided to relax and enjoy a May Day holiday... so haven't got to genset yet - still quite a lot of motion, anyway, so it can wait another day... Had to change into lighter cotton short-sleeved top - too warm to wear much now. Have taken engine door off hinges and removed outer genset casing, ready for tomorrow. Had to replace batteries in LED headlamp - it gets a lot of use and is definitely on my list of 'wouldn't want to be without' items on board..

A bit concerned for friends on boat heading to Tahiti from New Zealand - they look to be right in path of nasty 'Fiji Low' that I've avoided by heading north to W of Fiji over the last week. I hear it's very intense, with lots of lightning, strong winds, big seas and heavy rain. Hope they miss the worst of it - will find out tomorrow.....

Time for evening meal - lots of choice still, although no more potatoes left and remaining onions all looking rather unhappy. Will go through the remaining ones soon and sort them out - another job for calmer conditions.

Later this evening, will get on to radio for the usual regular chat sessions - always enjoyable to make the now-familiar contacts, as well as some new ones most evenings. Will need to charge batteries first - main reason for charging, apart from powering up basic instruments, is the radio use for voice, emails, gribs and weatherfaxes - although with present more settled conditions, haven't felt the need to download so many weatherfaxes .. gribs are fine.

Beautiful night sky - bright waning moon shining on the sea, lots of bright stars, very few clouds, but seas still big - up at 3-4m & expected to stay so for 1-2 days more.

D.M.G. over 24hr to 11am LT: 131 n.ml. - not too bad. Sydney: 1420 n.ml. (234T); New Zealand's North Cape: 773 n.ml. (184T); New Caledonia: 403 n.ml. (263T); Fiji (Viti Levu): 270 n.ml. (041T).
For my positions and track, see:
www.svnereida.com - 'Travels' - "Where is 'Nereida'?"

Written by : Mike

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