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RTW Day 193: In S.Pacific: Bright sun., continuing big seas but definitely c

Thursday 2nd May 2013

1pm Just getting to my breakfast after a long morning! Had realised I still had third reef in from strong conditions recently - so clearly time well overdue to shake reef out in lighter winds now. Doing that while going downwind always takes a time, bit by bit. Also wanted to take genoa over to to starboard and pole it out, being on a very broad reach, likely to become DDW (dead downwind) in S wind...That took a very long time to sort out both pole and lines after recent lack of use, not helped when , on hoisting pole finally, realised lines were not quite right - despite trying to be so careful when attaching them to pole end. While looking around on deck, had noticed solar panels on stern arch needed their position adjusting to avoid them being partly shaded.. difficult to loosen clamps. They've been putting in a lot of electrons in the bright sun lately. Found I was very hungry!

It's been another very pleasant day of sun, just a few clouds and a long 3m swell which only occasionally rolled us about - so calm enough to get on with jobs more easily. Wind around F3-4 all day, so speed often around 4kt, but up to 5kt by evening.

Afternoon job was to get down to genset repair, prefaced by closing the seacock - which was quite a problem, the handle being extremely stiff and difficult to turn. Had my 40m friends quite worried on hearing of the problem tonight, in case the seacock should fail and water gush into the boat.... not a happy thought! Conclusion: best to extend the handle lever arm to turn it, rather than tackle it, even gently, with a rubber mallet, as I had. Next problem was similar - had great difficulty removing the cover on the seawater filter to clean it and check water intake was clear to seawater pump. Made sure I cleaned and greased its threads thoroughly before eventually replacing it. Had already located the spare impellor and complete pump, in case it was needed, and checked it had a new impellor inside. Presently in middle of removing pump - the stupid orientation of the impellor holder and cover is such that access is virtually impossible just to open up and look at the impellor and replace it in situ - far easier to remove the entire pump in order to do that! Will finish job in the morning.

Another beautiful, starry, refreshing night... The moon has become a crescent and comes up very late now. Sea temperature: 33C - time for a swim!

My worries about friends on way to Tahiti from NZ turned out to be well-founded - they were hove-to overnight and today in 35kt with a 50kt squall having passed through with enormous seas.... They could well still be in bad conditions, maybe worse, for another day or so, but they have a series drogue ready to deploy, so I'm hoping they'll be safe. I'll be relieved when I hear things have calmed down for them and another boat nearby.

D.M.G. over 24hr to 11am LT: 124 n.ml. - will be far less tomorrow. Sydney: 1533 n.ml. (243T); New Zealand's North Cape: 887 n.ml. (188T); New Caledonia: 487 n.ml. (254T); Fiji (Viti Levu): 152 n.ml. (050T); Anatom: 306n.ml.(266T), Futuna: 287n.ml. (274T) - both part of Vanuatu.
For my positions and track, see:
www.svnereida.com - 'Travels' - "Where is 'Nereida'?"

Written by : Mike

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