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RTW Day 91 - to Capes of Good Hope/Agulhas - wind right down by late afternoon a

Sunday 20th January, 2013

Changed course earlier, after checking in with SAMM Net and Patagonia Net. Noticed how very much colder it was, with a S wind bringing air from the Antarctic (and sea temperature dropped from 13C back down to 12C). Now headed east, or just slightly north of east, on a beam reach in seas of 3-4m, much less than overnight and yesterday.. With the course change, had to take the stays'l off its pole and over to port and then had to adjust its sheet lead. Unfurled a fair amount of genoa to give us better speed, which otherwise was way down.

As I was busy with the sail changes, I noticed a familiar-looking tiny storm petrel darting around nearby, long black feet dangling in the surface- our old friend, maybe? A black-browed albatross has been around all day and a pair of white-chinned petrels visited for a time. When there's no Great albatross around to make it look relatively ordinary in size, the black-browed looks really big - far bigger than the white-chinned petrel, which in turn is far larger than the tiny storm petrel.

6pm Swell has just noticeably increased to over 4m, but with 8-10 second period, so well separated, still from SSW, as is the wind which has died down to F3-4 over the afternoon. It's been a generally pleasant sunny day, warm in the sun under a frequently-blue sky, with the very occasional mass of light grey cloud passing by with sudden increase of wind - but nothing too dramatic.

Spent a relaxing time reading the end of 'Desolation Island', occasionally needing to adjust Fred to keep us on course - especially when the grey clouds came over with veering wind. In the lighter wind, unfurled the full genoa, in addition to the stays'l..but speed has dropped right down .. by sunset, around 7.45pm, we were only making just over 3 kt ,although it did soon after get up to well over 4kt.

Have been trying to get the rudder bar to come back on the instrument display - has been missing again for quite some time,so when using autopilot, it's referencing just our COG, not the rudder position as well... Still works but not quite as well as when rudder sensor is giving info on its position.

Soaked some beans and cooked them with split peas yesterday - so it's ham and pea/bean soup tonight - with the temperature dropping rapidly as darkness fell, it's been very welcome!

24hr DMG at 9pm local time (2300GMT ): 115 n.ml. Cape Horn 1381 n.ml. away (SW). E. Falkland: 982 n.ml. (SW), S. Georgia: 570 n.ml. (S). Cape Agulhas (southernmost Cape of Africa) 2574 n.ml.

For my positions, see:
www.svnereida.com - 'Travels' - "Where is 'Nereida'?"

Written by : Mike

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