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Wed/Thurs 2/3Dec09 Days 54/55 Nereida stops heading for the South Pole!

Wednesday 2nd December 09 Day 54 Nereida stops heading for the South Pole!

I'm feeling so much better having changed course around 3pm to head NE towards Cape Town instead of S of SSE towards the S. Pole! I was close to 38S (way further S than I'd expected to have to go)and thought it was worth tacking around to see what course we'd make.... When I saw a COG of 040T as the result - fantastic! Even with 30 degrees lost to current and leeway (that's a lot!), that was good enough for getting further East - as I need to, if I'm to keep the SE winds leading to Cape Town. Clearly there's a strong N-setting current effect - it's increasing our speed at the expense of losing our more Easterly heading - but for a while, until we need to tack south again maybe, we can gain some Easting.... and I can begin to feel far less frustrated because we're heading in roughly the right direction!!!

One piece of good news I forgot to mention was the straightforward changeover of a gas cylinder after I'd started to make coffee Monday morning, soon after tacking around, & ran out of gas.... I'd not been looking forward to having to do it but was very lucky in that the sea was relatively calm so it was no big problem dealing with the changeover in the aft gas locker - I enjoyed the fresh coffee with my breakfast!

Today was lovely & sunny until mid-afternoon - but no birds! Then, after I'd tacked around & later got under some grey clouds, several birds were there - a pair of little storm petrels flitting about close to the water, several much bigger spectacled petrels and a Yellow-Nosed albatross - even larger! They often come really close as they soar on the updraughts - such a delight to watch! Later I saw a quite new bird - like the 'spectacled' petrels in size and behaviour with white body, white undersides to wing with dark line but with distinctive white markings on upper surface of its dark wings and a black head with white under chin - I'm naming it the 'Pied Petrel'!!

This evening, COG is tending to 027T rather too often - so I may not be able to stay on this starboard tack for long, although the wind does swing about quite a lot. I'll check later in the night to see how we're doing - but it would be nice to get further East...

Thursday 3rd December 09 Having to tack to get East....

Very pleasant sailing under bright, if overcast, sky. Few birds seen up to mid-afternoon.

Course was 020T this morning at 0400UTC, so tacked around in ESE wind of 16kt... then made 140-145T at just under 5 knots, so a slightly better course for getting East... but it's going to be slow getting to Cape Town (direct course would be 062T from here) - nothing I can do about that except keep tacking to stay close to 37S for the time being and hope things will get better... We'll get there some day..... just don't know when....!! Wind seems to be determinedly from the East just now... What a pain!!

Noon-to-noon DMG:
Wed: 113M (by log: 128M) Distance from Cape Town: 460M
Thurs: 54M (by log: 105M - result of tacking at 0400) To Cape Town: 409M

Written by : Mike

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