RTW Days 198&199: In S.Pacific - squally conditions

Tuesday/Wednesday 7/8th May 2013

Tuesday
Rough conditions all day, especially up until changed course to head further N to avoid extensive shoals of a bank ahead which I'd been trying to keep S of. It felt a lot more comfortable once headed more off the wind.
Fairly clear sky around sunset. Had short sleep before evening radio chats - woke to find wet decks and strong wind - heeling, going fast & banging into short chop a lot -- up on deck to furl in more genoa - boat calmed down a bit & felt better...!
Looked for Space Station - had beeen told it would be very bright and visible around 6:54pm - clear sky overhead and clear also in NW where it should have appeared - but nothing seen - disappointing! Must have got timing wrong....

Wednesday
Clear sky early on, but cloud soon spread over to give 90% cover by 10am. Good SE Trades now - 20kt early on, down to 15 kt by mid-morning... making 5.5-6 kt. Heeled constantly, so moving about is rather difficult - often have to 'climb uphill' to reach windward (starboard) side of cabin... and chart table is on windward side so heeling tries to throw me out of my seat - frequently using the hinged arm restraint I had made in Simon's Town to lock myself in place.
A brown booby flew by to check us over: all dark above, dark tail, white underbody with black breast & black edges to underwings, long, pale, pointed bill.
Spent a time digging out milk supplies and stowing in fridge, which is acting as a dry locker on this trip.

12:30 pm Just had rain squall pass over - wind much increased and seas also... boat speed up to well over 6kt.. but heeling a lot as well... furled in remainder of genoa - & soon after wind dropped - so now ambling along at just over 4kt. Don't feel inclined to unfurl genoa again - can see more of the same ahead!
We're on the edge of the S.Pacific Convergence Zone - can expect clouds and squalls until we're through it - in a day or two, maybe.... Having to study chart carefully to note shallow spots and banks and try to avoid them... Lots of them - all around and ahead for quite a way....

7pm Another 'no-sighting' for the Space Sation.. Jim was quite sure it would bev unmistakeable and visible around 6pm tonight.. but nothing...
I'm having some 'chile con carne' for food tonight. getting it ready early - if I don't, I start not bothering - not good for energy levels.
Fred is back in charge again - have been on AP a lot in these squally conditions - but I'm hoping things are calmer now.

Time for a quick nap before evening radio chats - 20m is proving generally far better (clearer, with less noise) than 40m.

Midnight: Lovely starry sky - mainly clear,.... until a cloud comes by - several big squalls overnight - keeping me busy!

D.M.G. over 24hr to 11am LT: (Tues: 75 n.ml.) Wed: 130 n.ml. Sydney: 1925 n.ml. (226T); New Zealand's North Cape: 1285 n.ml. (193T); Vanua Levu (Fiji): 63 n.ml. (162T); W. Samoa:492 n.ml. (090T).

Distance to Strait of Juan de Fuca entrance (Wed 8May 2300Z): 4780 n.ml.
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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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