S/V Nereida sails around the world

Day 219 Thurs-Fri 9-10 May 2019 Another day of light winds with more drifting around, S of Tasman Sea

Friday 6:30am Pre-dawn first light getting stronger. Wind from NW has eased to around 17kt. Making just under 4.5kt, on rhumb line to Stewart Island. Forecast is for wind to die slowly from now on - another day ahead of light winds and possibly more drifting around, before a strong system comes by from Sunday onward...

9:15am Wind just backed to SW from NW as rain came through - a Cold Front passing over. Sail was backed so had to get on deck and gybe it - on to starboard tack. Was making fair speed for a time before then but wind died afterwards.

11am Just called 'Pan Gloris' on VHF16 - 12ml to our W. They have no signal from us on radar or on AIS as yet. Asked them to let me know when they see us. Informed them wind dying, so difficult to maintain a course, under sail and no engine.
Cloud breaking up to give patches of blue sky.

Midday 'Pan Gloris' passing by - first ship seen 'in the flesh' for many months! They radioed to say they saw us on radar 12 miles off ... and then, at 4.5 miles off, they saw our AIS signal.
Have been cleaning contacts on Aurora connection, hoping to improve behaviour. Would be good to have it performing well.

1pm Wind got up earlier to near 20kt - was about to get on with mainsail sail slides - but too windy. But meant we could make way on course.
Now wind has died back again, but only to 13-15kt - still too much for mainsail work, although can keep sailing on course, not very fast. Gusty conditions under the grey clouds around just now, although no more rain since this morning's shower.
Wind has backed further and gone more S, so fairly close-hauled at present - at least we're making way...

9pm Wind from S died right down around sunset. We were drifting around for several hours but are now making way again at just over 2kt more or less on course, close-hauled in S-SSE wind of around 12 kt. Have spent a lot of time on Aurora/Redport problem - have been tearing my hair out so often... Frustrating! Partly seems to be connected with congestion on the Iridium Internet satellite link, but not all. Getting a lot of help from Colin, VK6CI, still - thanks again, Colin!

5am Saturday LT (1900Z Friday) SSW-SW wind often right down around 9kt (seeing 7kt wind and SOG 1.3kt, as I write this) - barely making way, but on course to Stewart Island.... Hoping wind light enough in daylight (dark now) to get at those mainsail sail slides.
Expecting strong winds from later today, on over weekend and into next week.

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While sailing around the world, I'm trying to raise funds to help support the superb life-saving work done by the RNLI (Lifeboats) in Britain each and every day of the year, regardless how bad the weather. In fact, the worse it is, the more likely they are out there, helping someone in distress - whether a swimmer, surfer, small boat or big ship, night or day, summer or winter. They are all volunteers with normal day-jobs who respond immediately to a call and it is a charity - no government funding - so they rely on our help to fund their intensive training and maintain their equipment.

It would be great if you would take a moment to click on the Lifeboats link here (https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Jeanne-Socrates2), if you'd like to show your support for my efforts at sailing solo, nonstop, unassisted around the globe, trying to set a World Record as the oldest person to do so, by donating something towards the great work the RNLI do every day. If a lot of people put in even a small amount, it all adds up... Thanks a lot! If you can help, it will be very much appreciated. Let's see if we can reach my target!
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1900GMT (= 5 a.m. LT) - end of Day 219. We made 57 n.ml. DMG, over the 24 hr period, measured in a straight line between the two 1900 GMT positions. More drifting for several hours in almost no wind didn't help DMG again...

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 219 (by daily DMGs):18,906 n.ml.

Distances (at 1900GMT): SW Cape, NZ: 577 n.ml ESE; Cape Leeuwin LH (SW Australia): 1883 n.ml. to NW; SE Cape,Tasmania,LH: 316 n.ml. to WNW; Hobart 314 n.ml. to WNW; Melbourne (Victoria, Australia): 529 n.ml. NW.

Position & weather report for 1900 GMT posted to www.Winlink.org and www.Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV):
TIME: 2019/05/10 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 44-58.42S LONGITUDE: 153-58.97E
COURSE: 109T SPEED: 1.6kt
WIND_SPEED: 9kt WIND_DIR: SSW SWELL_DIR: SW SWELL_HT: 3.0m
BARO: 1009.6hPa TREND: 0 AIR_TEMP: 14.9C SEA_TEMP: 15.2C
COMMENT: Slow progress yet again in light wind

Day 218 Wed-Thurs 8-9 May 2019 Finished stitching on mainsail repair just after sunset Thursday

Thursday 6:15am First light before dawn... a grey, cloudy sky after rain.

Back to drifting along SE at 1.5kt in SW wind of only 8kt - so much for the 20kt of wind with the rain shower that came along an hour ago .... So frustrating! I thought we were finally getting somewhere at a fair speed!

12:30pm Finished a short nap - was feeling very tired after second night of disturbed sleep - was short on overnight sleep hours.

Clear blue sky and seas not too bad at 2.5m - not a cloud to be seen as I set to work on an occasionally rolly deck. Furled in genoa earlier since no wind and not enough boat speed to maintain a course. Just drifting around now...

5:30pm Been busy on deck all afternoon on mainsail repair. Thought I'd finished with sewing but had to sew quite a bit more because sticky-backed tape wasn't of much use - sail was damp from the overnight rain. Now finished with sewing tabling near 2nd batten but will need to check again in good daylight - finished well after sunset tonight.

Now need to insert sail slides into mast track - won't be an easy job but seems likely it might be possible tomorrow - more light conditions expected first thing.

Was delighted to see that the main halyard had freed itself from a top mast step - I hurriedly tensioned it to make sure it didn't get caught again.

Wind had picked up and tying sail back onto boom got a bit difficult - a bit of a fight, but OK eventually.

Wondered why we weren't going at all well - I'd forgotten that I'd furled in the genoa in the near-zero wind earlier! A lot better speed and course was made once the full genoa was unfurled in 15kt wind from N...

Glorious sunset and bright silver crescent moon visible high up also.

A small flock of prions were busily swooping around while I was working and an albatross came by earlier.

Having a lot of trouble with the Aurora connections- one in particular keeps losing its connection - I keep having to push it together hard to start up the connection, to be able to send/receive messages. Talking to Colin, VK6CI, and Kim, VK6QT, (over radio!) to see if anything can be done to improve things.

11:30pm Sailing well in N wind often just over 20kt.

Friday 5am LT (1900GMT Thurs) Wind from NW, eased to around 17kt. Making just under 4.5kt, on rhumb line to Stewart Island.

1900GMT (= 5 a.m. LT) - end of Day 218. We made 57 n.ml. DMG, over the 24 hr period, measured in a straight line between the two 1900 GMT positions. Mainly drifted in no wind before wind up around sunset.

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 218 (by daily DMGs):18,849 n.ml.

Distances (at 1900GMT): SW Cape, NZ: 631 n.ml ESE; Cape Leeuwin LH (SW Australia): 1772 n.ml. to NW; SE Cape,Tasmania,LH: 261 n.ml. to WNW; Hobart 258 n.ml. to WNW; Melbourne (Victoria, Australia): 529 n.ml. NW.

Position & weather report for 1900 GMT posted to www.Winlink.org and www.Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV):

TIME: 2019/05/09 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 44-42.13S LONGITUDE: 152-42.84E

COURSE: 110T SPEED: 4.3kt

WIND_SPEED: 17kt WIND_DIR: NW SWELL_DIR: NW SWELL_HT: 2.5m

BARO: 1009.1hPa TREND: 2 AIR_TEMP: 16.0C SEA_TEMP: 15.0C

COMMENT: Dark night. On course for Stewart Island.

Day 218 Wed-Thurs 8-9 May 2019 Finished stitching on mainsail repair just after

Thursday 6:15am First light before dawn... a grey, cloudy sky after rain.

Back to drifting along SE at 1.5kt in SW wind of only 8kt - so much for the 20kt of wind with the rain shower that came along an hour ago .... So frustrating! I thought we were finally getting somewhere at a fair speed!

12:30pm Finished a short nap - was feeling very tired after second night of disturbed sleep - was short on overnight sleep hours.

Clear blue sky and seas not too bad at 2.5m - not a cloud to be seen as I set to work on an occasionally rolly deck. Furled in genoa earlier since no wind and not enough boat speed to maintain a course. Just drifting around now...

5:30pm Been busy on deck all afternoon on mainsail repair. Thought I'd finished with sewing but had to sew quite a bit more because sticky-backed tape wasn't of much use - sail was damp from the overnight rain. Now finished with sewing tabling near 2nd batten but will need to check again in good daylight - finished well after sunset tonight.

Now need to insert sail slides into mast track - won't be an easy job but seems likely it might be possible tomorrow - more light conditions expected first thing.

Was delighted to see that the main halyard had freed itself from a top mast step - I hurriedly tensioned it to make sure it didn't get caught again.

Wind had picked up and tying sail back onto boom got a bit difficult - a bit of a fight, but OK eventually.

Wondered why we weren't going at all well - forgot I'd furled in the genoa in the near-zero wind earlier! A lot better speed and course was made once the full genoa was unfurled in 15kt wind from N...

Glorious sunset and bright silver crescent moon visible high up also. A small flock of prions were busily swooping around while I was working and an albatross came by earlier.

Having a lot of trouble with the Aurora connections- one in particular keeps losing its connection - I keep having to push it together hard to start up the connection, to be able to send/receive messages. Talking to Colin, VK6CI, and Kim, VK6QT, (over radio!) to see if anything can be done to improve things.

11:30pm Sailing well in N wind often just over 20kt.

Friday 5am LT (1900GMT Thurs) Wind from NW, eased to around 17kt. Making just under 4.5kt, on rhumb line to Stewart Island.

1900GMT (= 5 a.m. LT) - end of Day 218. We made 57 n.ml. DMG, over the 24 hr period, measured in a straight line between the two 1900 GMT positions. Mainly drifted in no wind before wind up around sunset.

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 218 (by daily DMGs):18,849 n.ml.

Distances (at 1900GMT): SW Cape, NZ: 631 n.ml ESE; Cape Leeuwin LH (SW Australia): 1772 n.ml. to NW; SE Cape,Tasmania,LH: 261 n.ml. to WNW; Hobart 258 n.ml. to WNW; Melbourne (Victoria, Australia): 529 n.ml. NW.

Position & weather report for 1900 GMT posted to www.Winlink.org and www.Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV):

TIME: 2019/05/09 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 44-42.13S LONGITUDE: 152-42.84E

COURSE: 110T SPEED: 4.3kt

WIND_SPEED: 17kt WIND_DIR: NW SWELL_DIR: NW SWELL_HT: 2.5m

BARO: 1009.1hPa TREND: 2 AIR_TEMP: 16.0C SEA_TEMP: 15.0C

COMMENT: Dark night. On course for Stewart Island.

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At 09/05/2019 19:44 (utc) our position was 4443.25'S 15247.14'E

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Day 217 Tues-Wed 7-8 May 2019 A productive day's work in calm seas

I've been happy to hear that people are enjoying my daily reports - which all take a time to put together each night - especially if any photos are included - as this one has.

So here's a personal plea from me to you....

While sailing around the world, I'm trying to raise funds to help support the superb life-saving work done by the RNLI (Lifeboats) in Britain each and every day of the year, regardless how bad the weather. In fact, the worse it is, the more likely they are out there, helping someone in distress - whether a swimmer, surfer, small boat or big ship, night or day, summer or winter. They are all volunteers with normal day-jobs who respond immediately to a call and it is a charity - no government funding - so they rely on our help to fund their intensive training and maintain their equipment.
<Link here and above and below, added by Jeanne's web person>

It would be great if you would take a moment to click on the Lifeboats link on my website Home page or on QRZ.com (on my VE0JS page), if you'd like to show your support for my efforts at sailing solo, nonstop, unassisted around the globe, trying to set a World Record as the oldest person to do so, by donating something towards the great work the RNLI do every day. If a lot of people put in even a small amount, it all adds up...

Thanks a lot! If you can help, it will be very much appreciated. Let's see if we can reach my target!

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Wednesday 6am First light of day - sunrise not far away but a grey, cloudy sky, so won't see it, although a few clouds in E are slightly pink. No fog, so that's good.
Wind very light and from SW - struggling (and mostly failing) to make SE course - need a stronger wind - presently only under 10kt still.
Weather ahead not looking very helpful - light winds now, followed by very strong system coming over weekend with strong gusts expected ... a real mix of conditions.
Much as I have enjoyed passing close to friendly Australia, I really want to get north (to the warmth!) It has taken far longer than expected to make progress over recent weeks - it has been painfully slow, most of the time...

8:30am Bright sunshine - we came out from under the grey clouds - blue sky overhead. Getting breakfast - making pancakes.
Making around 1.5kt - but on course towards Stewart island in light wind - waiting for it to increase as forecast - but might have to wait until later today... On with jobs...

Sunset - A lovely sight - with thin crescent moon hanging high up as well.
A really good, productive day while drifting in little wind - WSW-W 5-7kt for most of today. Very pleasant weather this afternoon - was quite enjoyable being on deck working. A pair of storm petrels were flying around but I had little time to admire them.
Changed over the Speed display with a used spare I found - replacement working fine and not causing any problem for the autopilot as the other one had.
Re-made some wiring connections on the Wind cabling below the mast, in the main cabin. Wind display fine now - good news!
Have spent quite a time on mainsail - finishing remaining stitching. Just have a tiny bit more to finish near the 2nd batten, using sticky-backed sail repair tape, and then I have to replace the sail slides into the mast track.
Another half day of calm weather and the mainsail will be in place, ready for use....

8pm Noticed the autopilot didn't seem to be responding as it ought - the wheel hardly moved as we went off course. Then a 'Motor stalled' message flashed up... Tried to re-set the autopilot but it came up again. Damn! Something wrong... Went to have a look at the steering quadrant where the ram acts to steer the boat, to check if anything simple I could do - but nothing obviously amiss there - the motor was the problem? Switched over to the other ram and motor - seems now to be working fine... Breathed a sigh of relief.. Another problem but another item added to the job lit - not sure much I can do about it but I'll check on that in daylight tomorrow.

Nice radio sched at 9pm with several long chats with people, followed by getting to my bunk.

4am Was awoken by something amiss - the headsail was backed, we were making 1.5kt - the wind had veered? No, we were not quite on course. Rain was starting. I got us back on course and the wind direction was then still fine for the starboard tack we'd been on...
But, at last, the wind was up - to around 20kt, and we were making a fair speed - of around 4kt, under genoa alone - running slightly downwind. I'd put my foulies on as the rain started, before realising I didn't need to change the sail after all. Good to be moving at a better speed, although as rain eased soon after starting, the wind eased also - so our SOG (speed over ground) dropped down to 3.5kt.

Time to prepare my daily reports - weather, position, blog - with photos of today's sunset and my 'work bench' on the boom, trying to finish the mainsail repair there.

1900GMT (= 5 a.m. LT) - end of Day 217. We made 35 n.ml. DMG, over the 24 hr period, measured in a straight line between the two 1900 GMT positions. Mainly drifting at 1-1.5kt in almost no wind over the time.

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 217 (by daily DMGs):18,792 n.ml.

Distances (at 1900GMT): SW Cape, NZ: 690 n.ml ESE; Cape Leeuwin LH (SW Australia): 1772 n.ml. to NW; SE Cape,Tasmania,LH: 204 n.ml. to WNW; Hobart 201 n.ml. to NW; Melbourne (Victoria, Australia): 478 n.ml. NW.

Position & weather report for 1900 GMT posted to www.Winlink.org and www.Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV):
TIME: 2019/05/08 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 44-22.64S LONGITUDE: 151-27.87E
COURSE: 120T SPEED: 4.0kt
WIND_SPEED: 19kt WIND_DIR: SW SWELL_DIR: SW SWELL_HT: 2.5m CLOUDS: 100%
BARO: 1003.7hPa TREND: 0 AIR_TEMP: 17.0C SEA_TEMP: 17.0C
COMMENT: Wind came up with rain starting. Eased to 14kt soon after.

Day 216 Mon-Tues 6-7 May 2019 No wind - we drift around at half a knot

Day 216 Mon-Tues 6-7 May 2019

 

Tuesday 6:30am Getting light now. Grey cloud layer is back again - overcast sky.
Still trying to persuade the boat to head S in a very light wind ... So difficult! Wind is now ESE, but so very light it's difficult to make a close-hauled course. The best we seem to be able to make is 200T ....at under 1kt - so AP having trouble keeping us pointing in the right direction... Hoping the wind will back some more...
Want some more sleep but having to keep an eye on AP and heading - just went around in a circle... wind just too light...
Will have to furl in sail and just drift until wind comes up again. Wind generator blades are now totally still - not managing to turn even a little.

2:45pm Came down below to pass message about forthcoming radio sched - too busy on deck to make it... Had spent some time clearing up and searching for trysail sailbag and also for wind instrument transducer and mount (which I have not found) plus cables I might need.
Rolling about quite a lot, quite often, in the SE 3m swell but otherwise hardly any movement - no wind at all, so we're drifting SE at around half a knot.

5pm Had been hoping to get to mainsail repair but in order to access that area of the sail on the boom had to get the trysail out of the way. That turned into needing to undo my lashing of the boom to the mast since it went over the trysail track. It was then necessary to remove trysail from boom and release outhaul and downhaul at clew, near boom end, to release the foot of the sail so as to lower slides in its track (after halyard moved over to mainsail) and bagging it and then stowing the bagged sail on deck safely. Everything took longer than expected.
Could not release the slide stop on the track so was forced to leave slides in track base and bag sail beside mast, rather than bringing it down below, as I'd hoped to do.
By time all finished, was nearing sunset - so sail repair finishing, followed by replacing sail slides in track, will have to be done another day. Not sure if conditions will allow that on Wednesday - we'll see...
Fog was clear to W of us at sunset but we were away from it, under cloudy sky, for quite a time. Still no wind....

11pm Unfurled the genoa completely and we're underway finally - in wind that is only up slightly so we're moving SE at 3kt in a very fine drizzle - or maybe it's the thin fog I saw on the horizon at sunset - difficult to tell in the dark.
Had a word with Robert about the wind transducer - he confirmed that, from my multimeter measurements, the masthead unit is no good so I have to use a spare if I want wind info - but I'll try to mount it on the stern steel arch somehow. Can't find the base section with its cable - will search again tomorrow.
Need to get to sleep - to my bunk....

5am Wed LT (1900Z Tues) Wind very light and from SW - struggling (and mostly failing) to make SE course - need a stronger wind - presently only just under 10kt, I reckon. A frustrating day.

1900GMT (= 5 a.m. LT) - end of Day 216. We drifted 25 n.ml. DMG, over the 24 hr period, measured in a straight line between the two 1900 GMT positions.

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 216 (by daily DMGs):18,757 n.ml.

Distances (at 1900GMT): SW Cape, NZ: 725 n.ml ESE; Cape Leeuwin LH (SW Australia): 1739 n.ml. to NW; SE Cape,Tasmania,LH: 170 n.ml. to WNW; Hobart 166 n.ml. to NW; Melbourne (Victoria, Australia): 445 n.ml. NW.

Position & weather report for 1900 GMT posted to www.Winlink.org and www.Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV):
TIME: 2019/05/07 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 44-06.81S LONGITUDE: 150-44.92E
COURSE: 090T SPEED: 1.0kt
WIND_SPEED: 9kt WIND_DIR: SW SWELL_HT: 2.5m CLOUDS: 100%
BARO: 1000.8hPa TREND: -2 AIR_TEMP: 17.0C
COMMENT: Struggling to make course in light wind & just genoa while close-hauled

Day 215 Sun-Mon 5-6 May 2019 Rough seas, SE of Hobart, tossing us around all day

Monday 8:40am Dull grey overcast sky still, with SSE 20kt wind - feeling very chilly with a cold wind blowing. Being forced N of my planned course SE towards Stewart Island by the wind. Still only making 2kt under reduced sail, trying to go slowly so as not to be taken too far N. Forecast is for the wind to become light tonight into tomorrow, but still from SSE, and become NNW tomorrow afternoon. So it will be well over a day more before I can head towards Stewart Island.

10am Just finished a lovely session on 7160 with a lot of cheerful Aussie contacts - and John, W1QS, managed to get through as well - light copy but his signal was making it in OK from Maine, USA - excellent!

Being thrown around by the seas from time to time. Tried making scrambled egg of sorts for breakfast from a packet of dried egg - not too bad... Needed the bumstrap to keep me safe working in the galley while beating into the seas.

2:30pm Live session on ABC Tasmania this afternoon - a chat with Helen, the presenter, went fine - the phone behaved, so that was a definite plus!

Here is the link to the show, if you click at approx. 40 minutes it will be at the interview:

https://www.abc.net.au/radio/hobart/programs/your-afternoon/your-afternoon/11056996

A copy of just the interview will be posted on my website (www.svnereida.com) and on my QRZ.com page (VE0JS).

4pm Dull grey overcast still. Has been really rough all afternoon - we're sailing close to the wind, finally making due E, and banging into the seas which are often over 3m/10ft... Any loose things are jumping onto the cabin sole as we are hit by a wave... Not easy to do anything on board just now - no way I can go onto the aft deck to try to fix the wind transducer in place there - maybe tomorrow morning, when it should be much calmer with the expected light wind.

Making up some pancake mix for later.

7pm A dull day faded into a dark night... nice to have a hot meal - a tasty beef and spinach curry again. We're still in rough seas, with the close-to wind waves coming from SSE, but the wind will be backing more to SE soon, maybe becoming E at some point later, and driving us more N of the E course we've been managing for several hours now. Wind must have increased a bit because our speed is now around 3.5kt, often up to 4kt.

Realised that it's time to start wearing my warm Nepalese hat again - makes a big difference when I would otherwise be feeling cold.

Didn't fancy getting in between the two halves of my folded over damp duvet that I'd been sleeping between in my port bunk previously, so I lay on top of it instead and put my zippered 'extreme' sleeping bag (from my starboard bunk) over me - felt far better and I was soon nicely snuggled up and warm - even feeling dry. The feeling of dampness to the touch in everything is back again with the cold air temperature. Wearing my leather sea-boots feels good - keeps my feet and lower legs warm.

Back to my bunk now for a couple of hours sleep before a 9pm radio sched....

10pm Alarm went off early for the 9pm radio sched - but I didn't get up immediately - next thing I knew, it was twenty past... Jumped out of my nice warm bunk to get to the radio... Fortunately, people were still listening out for me. Great being told my signal is still getting into the Perth area of W. Australia so very well.

Having to be careful not to get thrown out of the chart table seat - it's on the starboard side and we're on starboard tack so we're heeling over to port - and more so, all of a sudden, when hit by a wave as we beat into the seas. I've a very good hinged SS arm/restraint which I bring down to keep me safe but don't always put it down when I should.

Closest point on Tasmania is now 100 miles off - so its outline is slowly disappearing from my AIS screen - I never saw any land as I passed by the SW and SE Capes 50 miles off over Friday and Saturday.

Will get back to my bunk again now - next item to get me up, apart from looking out for a change of wind direction coming up, requiring a course change and possible change of tack onto port in 4 hours' time, will be my own 5am/1900Z sched for posting updated position and weather reports along with this blog.

Tuesday 4:15am LT (Mon 1815 GMT) Trying to persuade the boat to head S or, better, just E of S, in a very light, backed wind ... Difficult! We had been heading 060T - not a good course for getting to Stewart Island. Gybed around very slowly with full genoa, pausing often. Fine, misty rain to begin with, but rain cloud now clearing away to give a bright, starry sky with a few wispy clouds overhead. Wind is now roughly from the E, but so very light it's difficult to make a close-hauled course. The best we seem to be able to make just now is 200T at 1.6kt. Hoping the wind will back some more...

1900GMT (= 5 a.m. LT) - end of Day 215. We made 47 n.ml. DMG, over the 24 hr period, measured in a straight line between the two 1900 GMT positions. Deliberately slowed down during day to avoid strong, unfavourable weather ahead.

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 215 (by daily DMGs):18,732 n.ml.

Distances (at 1900GMT): SW Cape, NZ: 750 n.ml ESE; Cape Leeuwin LH (SW Australia): 1715 n.ml. to NW; SE Cape,Tasmania,LH: 146 n.ml. to W; Hobart 140 n.ml. to WNW; Melbourne (Victoria, Australia): 420 n.ml. NNW.

Position & weather report for 1900 GMT posted to www.Winlink.org and www.Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV):

TIME: 2019/05/06 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 43-53.77S LONGITUDE: 150-14.42E

COURSE: 200T SPEED: 1.6kt

WIND_SPEED: 8kt WIND_DIR: ESE SWELL_DIR: SE SWELL_HT: 3.0M CLOUDS: 30%

BARO: 1007.9hPa TREND: 0 AIR_TEMP: 16.0C

COMMENT: Wind backed & died.Port tack now, trying to head S.Rain gone.

Day 214 Sat-Sun 4-5 May 2019 A deliberately slow day, avoiding strong weather ahead

Sunday 7:30pm Just finished my meal - made a nice beef and spinach curry earlier today so had it with some Basmati rice - tasty! Made enough for three meals probably. Had pancakes for breakfast - I've one last carton of milk to have with my cereal each morning so I've decided to save it until after passing Stewart Island. I'll try making up a batch from some powdered milk but have been unimpressed by what I've got on board so I'm not holding my breath...

Today saw murky, grey, gloomy overcast all day long - wind was light and seas have been a lot less confused than yesterday.

Spent some time on boat jobs and a lot of time on emails (just had a lot of emails resulting from rounding the 4th Cape). I'm also repeatedly checking on weather and updates.. I keep hoping the weather will become more favourable - but it really isn't! Getting away from the Southern Ocean is proving difficult.

We've been making just 2kt or less most of the day in winds for'd of the beam putting us on a close reach, which is not a good point of sail without a main in action. Later in the day, having got fed up with seeing such a slow speed for so long, I unfurled most of the genoa - actually saw 3kt for a time but it soon dropped down to 2kt. I'm trying to keep our speed down to 3kt or below - but 1-2kt is unnecessarily slow!

Tomorrow will see a Low to our NE giving stronger wind - to mid-20s or more. We're on its fringes so winds aren't expected to get much stronger. The Low seems to be stuck in the Tasman Sea, pretty well stationary in between New Zealand and Australia, but will eventually dissipate by Thursday. By Tuesday, we should be able to lay a course for Stewart Island in N-NW winds but they'll go very light mid-week - I'm hoping then to get to the mains'l repair - fingers crossed!

I spent a time trying to figure out the best way to lead a cable from the stern SS arch, where I want to fix the spare wind transducer in place, to the hard top over the companionway where the main wind display is situated. Tomorrow, I'll test it out and, if OK, will fix it in place and connect it up. I'd really like to have wind information if possible - I've done without for a lot of this voyage, but when a Cold Front comes through, with an often rapid change in wind direction, it's really useful to have it available.

Monday 3:45am Wind was building and woke me up to go on deck and reef down - furled in the genoa more because we were making over 4 kt - over the 3kt limit set to slow us down and avoid the strong weather ahead now and in a few days' time also. Took in too much and killed our speed so had to go back up and unfurl some. Low clearly intensifying not far off.

I'll be live on ABC Tasmania, at 2pm LT on Monday afternoon, for a chat with Rachel, the presenter. She's a sailor, so that should be good, and the link to a copy of the chat will be posted here, on my website and on my QRZ.com page (VE0JS).

I'll be missing my daily chats with Aussie radio amateurs once I'm a bit further away - they've been really friendly and helpful and it's been nice to be able to speak to so many of them over the last few weeks. Thanks for the welcome!

Haven't moved far today, so DMG will be well down - I've had to stop thinking about our average daily DMG and speed over the voyage - they're pretty awful!

1900GMT (= 5 a.m. LT) - end of Day 214. We made 45 n.ml. DMG, over the 24 hr period, measured in a straight line between the two 1900 GMT positions. Deliberately slowed down to avoid strong weather ahead.

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 214 (by daily DMGs):18,685 n.ml.

Distances (at 1900GMT): Cape Leeuwin LH (SW Australia): 1669 n.ml. to NW

NW; Melbourne (Victoria, Australia): 395 n.ml. NNW; SE Cape,Tasmania,LH: 100 n.ml. to NW;Hobart 101 n.ml. to NNW; SW Cape, NZ: 793 n.ml ESE.

Position & weather report for 1900 GMT posted to www.Winlink.org and www.Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV):

TIME: 2019/05/05 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 43-57.38S LONGITUDE: 149-08.95E

COURSE: 074T SPEED: 2.0kt

WIND_SPEED: 20kt WIND_DIR: SSE SWELL_DIR: SW SWELL_HT: 3.5m

BARO: 1019.5hhpa TREND: -2 AIR_TEMP: 16.0C CLOUDS: 100%

COMMENT: Wind gusted up before, so more genoa furled in

Day 213 Fri-Sat 3-4 May 2019 We passed the Fourth Great Cape on Friday 3rd May at 23:56 GMT = 9:56am Saturday LT! We're back in the Pacific Ocean...

Saturday 5:45am LT (Fri 1945GMT) Starry sky overhead and to the S, but some cloud towards Tasmania, to the N.
Speed has dropped from 4.5kt a short while ago to around 3.8kt - so the hope that we'll manage to pass the SE Cape well before midday is looking over-optimistic... Back to my bunk....

8:30am Overnight rain has cleared away and sky is quite cloudy but clouds are well broken with plenty of blue showing - pressure is rising rapidly - so the High is on its way... It's feeling relatively calm but with the wind clearly up a bit again - speed up again to 4.5-5kt and we're now just over 5 miles from passing SE Cape - constantly keeping an eye on that WP and our distance off!

9:56 am We passed S of the SE Cape of Tasmania and we're now back in the Pacific Ocean - the Fourth Great Cape has finally been rounded!!
Now we head for NZ's SW Cape on Stewart Island - the 'Fifth Great Cape'.
The sun is shining brightly and the clouds seem to be clearing. This is a good day!

Later: Was busy trying to see to wiring problem related to wind instrument, despite swell making it difficult (tied myself to mast support in cabin!). Finally got around wire connection problem and powered up the wind system - but not looking good. Very disappointing since I'd hoped the problem was simply one resolved by powering the system back up ... but not so. Tested voltages over and over, at different points - seem to indicate malfunction. Frustrating since it has so often been working fine, even though intermittently.
Looks as though I might have to dig out a possible spare (used) transducer (and hope it's working OK, but can possibly test that first). Would need to place it on the stern steel arch and lead the cable to the cockpit display, or down below, somehow. Convoluted installation... but might give a good enough rough indication, although wouldn't be in clean air, as is the one at the mast top.

Looking at weather ahead - not looking good with light winds and wind from SE coming up (our rhumb-line course to Stewart Island is SE), together with a Low giving stronger winds on Monday, followed by light winds again, and then a Low forming off Stewart Island, possibly developing to give strong winds and high gusts next Saturday - just as we'd be getting close to there if we kept up a good speed.
To deploy the JSD requires plenty of sea room... so presently going very slowly, hoping to avoid that scenario. Will head roughly E for next few days and see how the weather develops but hoping that, by going slowly now, the worst of that storm will pass ahead of us. It might even end up not too strong - but until nearer the time, no way of knowing.
Frustrating to have this delay as we're about to head around New Zealand and then N in the Pacific at last - but best to avoid a storm if possible. We're effectively fore-reaching now, in a wind slowly backing to SE, trying to keep our speed below 3kt - not difficult in present light conditions.

Despite the gloomy weather forecast, I did manage to have a little party on board to celebrate the Fourth Great Cape rounding - plenty of music, a nice meal, with 'treats' before and after, and a small 'Dark 'n' Stormy' for a toast.

Weather over the day was a mix of sunshine and showers and the seas have been quite confused a lot of the time with more than one swell running from different directions - so we've been tossed around a lot at times.

1900GMT (= 5 a.m. LT) - end of Day 213. We made 76 n.ml. DMG, over the 24 hr period, measured in a straight line between the two 1900 GMT positions. Deliberately slowed down around sunset to avoid likely storm off Stewart Island next weekend.

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 213 (by daily DMGs):18,640n.ml.

Distances (at 1900GMT): Cape Leeuwin LH (SW Australia): 1631 n.ml. to NW
NW; Melbourne (Victoria, Australia): 388 n.ml. NNW; SE Cape,Tasmania,LH: 67 n.ml. to NW;Hobart 90 n.ml. to NNW; SW Cape, NZ: 823 n.ml ESE.

Position & weather report for 1900 GMT posted to www.Winlink.org and www.Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV):
TIME: 2019/05/04 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 44-14.96S LONGITUDE: 148-10.76E
COURSE: 077T SPEED: 1.kt
WIND_SPEED: 12kt WIND_DIR: SSE SWELL_HT: 3.0m
BARO: 1022.9hPa TREND: 0 AIR_TEMP: 16.0C

Day 212 Thurs-Fri 2-3 May 2019 Good progress made around Tasmania - close to rounding our 4th Great Cape

Friday 5am LT (Thursday 1900GMT) Wind has piped up nicely and we're making good speed - maximising it for as long as we can and often making 6-7kt with full genoa, so good progress towards the S Capes being made. Would be nice to get safely around the SE Cape of Tasmania before the wind dies right down from SW, as it's forecast to do...

6:40am First light before dawn - rain giving increased wind so we're making good speed. Back to my bunk for sleep ...

7:30am Couldn't stay in my bunk for long - the genoa kept being backed and clearly needed to be gybed onto starboard tack as the wind slowly backed to NW more so had to get up and gybe the sail.

Rain has cleared away - decks are very wet. We had been making around 6kt but wind has dropped with rain clouds moving off so we're making just 4.5-5.5kt now.

A lone albatross swooped around astern as I was gybing the genoa - on dark grey, fixed wings, glidig effortlessly over the steep, close-to, 4m waves. Dark back, white tail, white underwings with black tips and thin black edges. Couldn't see its head too clearly as I clambered back into the cockpit, after having freed the genoa sheet (control line) which had got itself slightly trapped on the foredeck.

Will get some breakfast and make up on lost sleep later this morning.

We're a good 25 miles off the edge of the continental shelf here, so should see lesser seas than further inshore.

11am Bright sunshine again, in between the scattered clouds. The seas are still a good 4m or more and still steep-faced so we're swinging about quite a lot. Making around 5.7kt - hope we keep that up.

Just finished with this morning's radio scheds - nice to chat to the friendly, welcoming people coming up on frequency each morning.

5pm Lots of grey cloud threatening rain. Very gusty NW wind of 15-20kt. Seas are 4m or more and very close - so we're continuing to be tossed around a lot - rough conditions but making good progress - frequently seeing over 6kt and generally making around 5-5.5kt.

Presently rounding SW Cape (27 miles off) and SE Cape is due E, 62 miles off but we're heading SE so WP marking where we pass due S of the Cape is actually 74 miles off.

Spent a lot of time today, trying to resolve satphone problem (back again) - thanks for all your help, Colin!

Arranged for chat with Rachel on ABC Tasmania - to take place live on her Monday afternoon radio programme at 2pm - if phone working OK, as it was this morning...

Time for another batch of pancakes before nightfall - I'm really enjoying them and light is beginning to fade!

Saturday 4:15am LT (Friday 1800 GMT) Feeling a lot calmer than earlier with no sudden lurching of boat in rough seas. Wind has died down a lot and backed into SW, so I've been able to adjust course for due E. WP marking point due S of SE Cape is now just 22 miles off - but speed has dropped to just 3.7 kt in the light wind from astern of about 12kt, so will take at least another 6-7 hours to pass that point - and that's if wind drops no further... At this rate, means we'll pass the Cape by midday local time.

'Seeing' a cargo vessel astern - a rare event! 'Blue Alexandra', on the AIS display, about 24 ml away, making for Lyttelton N.Z. at 12kt, also heading around Tasmania.

5am Starry sky overhead and to the S, but some cloud elsewhere.

Speed slightly better now, at 4.5kt - so maybe we'll manage to pass the SE Cape well before midday? Back to my bunk....

1900GMT (= 5 a.m. LT) - end of Day 212. We made 120 n.ml. DMG, over the 24 hr period, measured in a straight line between the two 1900 GMT positions. Better DMG, reflecting good speed earlier.

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 212 (by daily DMGs):18,564 n.ml.

Distances (at 1900GMT): Cape Leeuwin LH (SW Australia): 1557 n.ml. to NW

NW; Melbourne (Victoria, Australia): 368 n.ml. NNE; SE Cape,Tasmania,LH: 43 n.ml. to NNE (WP to S: 20 n.ml. due E); SW Cape, NZ: 896 n.ml ESE.

(1419 n.ml. SE of Albany in W.Australia, 667 n.ml. SSE of Adelaide, S.Australia)

Position & weather report for 1900 GMT posted to www.Winlink.org and www.Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV):

TIME: 2019/05/03 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 44-18.00S LONGITUDE: 146-22.37E

COURSE: 090T SPEED: 4.5kt

WIND_SPEED: 15kt WIND_DIR: SW SWELL_DIR: W SWELL_HT: 3.5m CLOUDS: 30%

BARO: 1006.2hPa TREND: 2 AIR_TEMP: 16.0C

COMMENT: Starry sky overhead and to S. Lesser seas.

Day 211 Wed-Thurs 1-2 May 2019 Passing SE, well off W coast of Tasmania, towards our 4th Great Cape

Thursday 6am Poor speed in light wind from astern. Rain just started up again.

Had to spend a time at chart table overnight with the autopilot unable to keep a good course in the very light wind - we went around in a circle tree times! Had to get us back on course and re-set the AP each time - missed out on quite a lot of sleep.

7:30am Clear sky overhead, edge of a long line of a low, dark-grey, foggy-looking bank below cumulus clouds astern and another bank of clouds ahead. Pink and gold of dawn still colouring edges of clouds ahead in the E.

Wet on deck from the recent rain. Just unfurled more genoa - wind around 15kt from NNE and likely to stay around 15kt over the day, with possible gusts if under rain clouds. Making around 4kt, pounding into seas a bit.

Back to my bunk for a touch more sleep...

9:30am Had an enjoyable interview with Stuart Stansfield on ABC Radio in Adelaide, which was streamed to their website soon after, as part of the South Australian Regional programme. Phone actually worked fine (at last!)... and audio quality was very good so it all went swimmingly! The link is here

Sun is shining brightly, sky is blue, some clouds are big but well in the distance - and I'm making up some pancake mix to have soon. It's great how the lumps miraculously disappear if it's left to sit for a while!

1:30pm There's blue sky well ahead, but it's beyond the well-defined edge of the big area of grey overhead cloud - threatening light rain, possibly. About to cook my pancakes, finally.

Just had a chat with ABC Tasmania - they want an interview to go out on Monday afternoon, by which time I should be started on my way across the S end of the Tasman Sea towards the Fifth Great Cape: SW Cape of Stewart Island, New Zealand.

3pm Was just about to enjoy having my pancakes when I realised we were heeling rather a lot - things were getting a bit boisterous.... We were making 6-7kt and over, under a strong gust from a rain cloud. Nice to be making a good speed for a time! Then the cloud passed over and wind died down again - now ambling along under blue sky at around 4kt again - wind is back to being light..

Sunset - a glorious display of orange light over the W horizon in an almost clear sky - lovely to see.

Adjusted course to stay further off the coast as we near the SW Cape of Tasmania - wind might be dying as we get close to rounding S of Tasmania so don't want to be too close to land. Pity, because I'd hoped to pass close to the Mewstone and to Eddystone & Piedra Blanca Rocks (high rocky outcrops), with their colonies of seabirds, in daylight, but if the wind dies, best not to be too close to avoid a problem.

Will need to gybe overnight as wind backs to NNW from NNE.

8:30pm Had a look at Wind display in cockpit after it had gone to --- - switched it off and back on again - it came back to life with both wind speed and direction, but then speed display dropped down to 0.0. Connections and wiring there were all looking good, so made my way to mast wiring connections in main cabin, up high, beside the mast support (mast is deck-stepped). Once exposed, there was no immediate need for multimeter! The thin red power wire to the mast head transducer was loose and came out of the connecting block as I moved the cable to gain access. The boat was moving around too much to see to it easily overnight and the screw was proving very difficult to loosen - so it's high on list for tomorrow's jobs to see to in good daylight. Maybe the wind display will be coming good once more? It would be very good to have it working reliably!

Friday 5am LT (Thursday 1900GMT) Wind has piped up nicely and we're making good speed - maximising it for as long as we can and often making 6-7kt with full genoa, so good progress towards the S Capes being made. Would be nice to get safely around the SE Cape before the wind dies right down from SW, as it's forecast to do...

1900GMT (= 5 a.m. LT) - end of Day 211. We made 103 n.ml. DMG, over the 24 hr period, despite poor speed last night, measured in a straight line between the two 1900 GMT positions.

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 211 (by daily DMGs):18,444 n.ml.

Distances (at 1900GMT): Cape Leeuwin LH (SW Australia): 1454 n.ml. to NW

NW; Melbourne (Victoria, Australia): 279 n.ml. NNE; SE Cape,Tasmania,LH: 117 n.ml. to SE; SW Cape, NZ: 1007 n.ml ESE.

(1316 n.ml. SE of Albany in W.Australia, 552 n.ml. SSE of Adelaide, S.Australia)

Position & weather report for 1900 GMT posted to www.Winlink.org and www.Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV):

TIME: 2019/05/02 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 42-57.44S LONGITUDE: 144-21.93E

COURSE: 142T SPEED: 5.9kt

WIND_SPEED: 18kt WIND_DIR: N SWELL_DIR: N SWELL_HT: 3.0m CLOUDS: 10%

BARO: 1003.4hPa TREND: -2 AIR_TEMP: 17.0C

COMMENT: Speed often over 6kt in good wind

Day 210 Tues-Wed 30th April - 1st May 2019 Fast morning,very slow later, after lovely sunny day

Wednesday 6:30am Dark still. Running generator as I finish downloading latest weather files and posting latest reports - with photos which adds to time taken. Have to keep a careful eye on state of batteries, now that autopilot is in constant use but, in good wind, the Superwind wind generator more than keeps up with usage. Heeling a bit in 23kt wind on beam - giving good speed - up to 6kt!

7am First light before dawn.... Grey sky and raining a little. Pressure down at 1003hPa - Low off to W, heading SSE.

10:30am Sun getting out and grey cloud has dispersed - just broken light cloud now - but expecting heavy rain over tonight. Still making good speed SE, around 6kt, in NE wind over 20kt. Breakfast...

12:30pm Bright sunny day - clear blue sky overhead - in fact, almost everywhere except a light cloud layer dead ahead on the horizon - almost not visible. No longer making the excellent speed of before - wind has backed and eased somewhat, so now making 4.5-5.5kt.

Had been hoping to deal with wind display but we're banging about and moving too much to unscrew tiny connections or take measurements using the multimeter. Maybe later, if conditions ease further.

5:30pm Feeling so very frustrated - my Aurora system keeps going down. ABC in Adelaide was trying to get an interview with me but every 1-2 minutes, sometimes within just seconds, the call would drop. My system is the problem and it's not clear if there's anything I can do about it. Also means my weather downloads are being held up as well - so I'm not seeing up to date weather info either, just now...

Sun is shining from a blue sky with very few clouds and wind is around 17kt from NNE, so we're making a fair speed, although not the 5.5-6kt of earlier - that was very nice.

Sun is close to setting now.

8:20pm Wind has died right down, ahead of the heavy rain expected within a couple of hours. 'Calm before the storm' indeed! Not really a storm, perhaps, but expect there will be big rain clouds bringing strong wind and gusty conditions ... winds of 20-25kt, gusts up to 35kt or more and big changes in wind direction. I've furled in the genoa in advance since we had slowed right down anyway so less sail now makes little difference to our present speed but will be good when the stong wind arrives - while I'm sleeping, probably...

11pm Rain started at 10:15pm - and soon stopped... and wind died away with it - struggling to make 1kt SOG so can't get any sleep yet..having to keep adjuting AP. Occasional flicker of lightning in the clouds.

Thursday 2am (1600GMT Wed) Still hardly moving in light wind from astern - no more rain as yet.

5:30am Still not very fast in light wind from astern. Rain just started up again.

1900GMT (= 5 a.m. LT) - end of Day 210. We made 83 n.ml. DMG, over the 24 hr period, measured in a straight line between the two 1900 GMT positions. Disappointing - very slow overnight, after fast speed made in good wind during early Wednesday morning. Clearly furled in genoa far too much, too early in view of conditions overnight to now.

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 210 (by daily DMGs):18,25341 n.ml.

Distances (at 1900GMT): Cape Leeuwin LH (SW Australia): 1371 n.ml. to WNW; Melbourne (Victoria, Australia): 222 n.ml. NNE; SE Cape,Tasmania,LH: 214 n.ml. to SE; SW Cape, NZ: 1103 n.ml ESE.

(1321 n.ml. SE of Albany in W.Australia, 452 n.ml. SSE of Adelaide, S.Australia)

Position & weather report for 1900 GMT posted to www.Winlink.org and www.Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV):

TIME: 2019/05/01 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 41-42.78S LONGITUDE: 142-46.35E

COURSE: 131T SPEED: 2.2kt

WIND_SPEED: 12kt WIND_DIR: SWELL_DIR: NE SWELL_HT: 3.0m CLOUDS: 100%

BARO: 1011hPa TREND: AIR_TEMP: 17.0C

COMMENT: Slow progress - wind not as strong as expected. Raining.

Day 209 Mon-Tues 29-30 April 2019 Happy 1st of May to one and all !

Happy Mayday! Will you be dancing around the maypole today?

9:45am Overcast sky - possible rain later but fairly bright just now. Wind has finally picked up a bit, so we're making 5kt or more - that's better!

Just finished a long radio session - lovely to make so many contacts from so many different places in the Australian mainland, many of them familiar voices now, and head SE towards Tasmania's southern capes.

1pm Had a great two-hour sleep after the usual 9am (2300Z) radio session had finished. That lasted quite a time and I was feeling quite tired beforehand so I got straight back to my bunk to catch up on the sleep my body felt was missing - probably still making up for the sustained effort needed when bringing the JSD back in on Sunday. So I'm now having a very late breakfast!

We're going very well now, heading ESE towards the NW tip of Tasmania in a good N wind - making around 5.8kt - far better speed, for a change - would be good to make a fair distance while we can.
Sun isn't quite getting through the thin overcast but it's quite a bright day.

4pm Been busy with more radio scheds, chatting to quite a few people - usual sociable evening!
Seas are up with the stronger wind and they're on the beam, so we're moving around a lot. Pressure has dropped to 1003hPa as the Low to the W moves closer, on its way SSE.

Sunset - sat in the cockpit for quite a time, just enjoying and absorbing the scene - the sun going down beneath the clouds, shining brightly for a time, a couple of rather small, dark birds flying nearby - not sure what kind so I need to look at them carefully in better light tomorrow.
Saw an albatross earlier today - a different one from those seen before (but definitely not a Wandering or Royal), so another challenge to identify it when seen next time. We're close to several islands and rocky outcrops where the birds breed and there are some birds that are special to this area - so not too surprising that those I'm seeing seem different from those seen previously. A pair of storm petrels circled around for a time also.

Getting to sleep early tonight, hoping not to feel I've had too little by dawn.

1900GMT (= 5 a.m. LT) - end of Day 209. We made 110 n.ml. DMG, over the 24 hr period, measured in a straight line between the two 1900 GMT positions.

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 209 (by daily DMGs):18,258 n.ml.

Distances (at 1900GMT): Cape Leeuwin LH (SW Australia): 1307 n.ml. to WNW; Melbourne (Victoria, Australia): 203 n.ml. to NE; SE Cape,Tasmania,LH: 295 n.ml. to SE; SW Cape, NZ: 1181 n.ml ESE.
(1166 n.ml. ESE of Albany in W.Australia, 373 n.ml. SSE of Adelaide, S.Australia)

Position & weather report for 1900 GMT posted to www.Winlink.org and www.Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV):
TIME: 2019/04/30 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 40-40.32S LONGITUDE: 141-33.33E
COURSE: 139T SPEED: 5.0kt
WIND_SPEED: 21kt WIND_DIR: NE SWELL_DIR: NE SWELL_HT: 3.5M
BARO: 1001.2hPa TREND: -2 AIR_TEMP: 17.0C
COMMENT: Dark. Poundimg into seas - slightly upwind course

Day 208 Sun-Mon 28-29 April 2019 Making for Tasmania; weather looking a bit mixed ahead

7am Dawn almost breaking. Dark grey mass of cloud ahead with deep orange line of light below. Bright silver crescent moon high up above. Seas well down.

Just gybed the genoa in the twilight of first light - onto port tack now. Still very slow progress - struggling to make way downwind in very light wind. Wind should pick up over the day - but very slowly and not by much, so it will be another slow day. Must pack JSD away soon but getting back to my bunk now for some more sleep in present calm conditions.

10:30am Having breakfast after a long radio sched - lovely to chat to so many contacts in different parts of Australia - from Perth and Albany in West Australia to Flinders Island in the Bass Strait and up to near Brisbane. We're close enough to mainland Australia for part of the coast to show up on my AIS screen 120ml away now - Cape Banks in S.Australia, close to the border with Victoria. First land I've seen show up on the screen there since the Falklands, soon after Cape Horn!

Sun is trying to get through broken cloud cover - it could turn into a pleasant, sunny day. Wind is still light, so making just 3.5-4kt. Wind instrument has just gone down - yet again, it's showing 0.0kt wind speed. As soon as I've packed away the series drogue (JSD), I must get out the multimeter and do some measuring of voltages - there must a bad connection somewhere on a thin yellow data wire, so I must try to find it. There aren't too many possible places to check, fortunately.

1:45pm Just finished stowing JSD - had to make sure it will run freely when deployed and, having lost second bag to Neptune on deploying last time, having to use a sail bag - so needed to make sure it was well lashed down on the aft deck beside first bag. Good to have a clear cockpit again.

Very cloudy sky - looking like rain clouds but, so far, no rain, but chilly. Wind still light - only making 4kt. Seas not bad - about 3m or so. Pressure has slowly been dropping - now 1017hPa.

Will get out multimeter to look at wind display problem after having some food - hot soup and then some pancakes - need hot food to warm up.

Later: Not sure where the time went (probably in dealing with emails, quite a long time spent looking at weather and route coming up and a long radio session on 7163/66) but will have to look at wind instrument problem tomorrow - display still often giving a reading OK but then goes down again - most likely place for a connection problem is at mast base inside main cabin.

Suddenly got a lot more rough as wind increased a bit over the afternoon, giving better speed for a time, but wind has been less overnight than expected - DMG was disappointing when I went to record it just now and SOG of 3.8kt was far less than the 5kt in stronger overnight wind that I was hoping for.

The pancakes were excellent though!

Weather looking not quite as good ahead as hoped for - several light wind patches are likely. One as we make our way S off the W coast of Tasmania, another as we round the SE Cape (possibly with a light headwind) and a ridge of High pressure dropping down over us, moving E, as we begin to cross the S end of the Tasman Sea towards Stewart Island, New Zealand. Hopefully, things will change for the better... All we can do is to keep on going - but further off the Tasmania coast than I had routed us initially. There are some high mountains there and wind is likely to be better further off, rather than closer to the coast.

1900GMT (= 5 a.m. LT) - end of Day 208. We made 90 n.ml. DMG, over the 24 hr period, measured in a straight line between the two 1900 GMT positions.

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 208 (by daily DMGs):18,148 n.ml.

Distances (at 1900GMT): Cape Leeuwin LH (SW Australia): 1210 n.ml. to WNW; Melbourne (Victoria, Australia): 248 n.ml. to ENE; SE Cape,Tasmania,LH: 403 n.ml. to SE; SW Cape, NZ: 1287 n.ml SE.
(1068 n.ml. ESE of Albany in W.Australia, 289 n.ml. S of Adelaide, S.Australia)

Position & weather report for 1900 GMT posted to www.Winlink.org and www.Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV):
TIME: 2019/04/29 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 39-40.08S LONGITUDE: 139-35.40E
COURSE: 118T SPEED: 3.8kt
WIND_SPEED: 18kt WIND_DIR: NNW SWELL_DIR: NNW SWELL_HT: 2.5m
BARO: 1007.4hPa TREND: -2 AIR_TEMP: 17.0C
COMMENT: Dark. Wind not up as much as expected

Day 207 Sat-Sun 27-28 April 2019 JSD is brought in; underway to Tasmania - as wind goes very light

Looked as though both wind and seas would be a lot less by Sunday afternoon, so the plan was to bring in the JSD by sunset and get underway by nightfall...

The hope is, wind permitting, to round the 4th Great Cape - SE Cape of Tasmania - by next weekend, leaving the 5th Great Cape - NZ's SW Cape, near Stewart Island - to be rounded the following weekend or soon after - as said before: a plan made "at low water in wet sand"... We'll see how it pans out.

5am Sunday LT (1900GMT Sat) Conditions are slowly moderating. Getting back for more sleep after posting reports - no rush to get up early!

11:30am Just went up on deck, all ready to try to get the JSD in early, while winds seemed to be somewhere between 15-18kt. Got organised and then realised a rain cloud had spread over bringing not only a shower but also stronger wind - well over 20kt... So came back down to wait for raincloud to disappear and, hopefully, lighter wind to prevail.

Midday Back up to try again after rain stopped and wind less - but still too much wind at around 18kt.
Went to look at wind-steering rudder, having noticed tiller arm was still and no longer madly swinging about. To my delight, found the rudder had fallen off! My work releasing the pin and knocking it through as far as I could must have been of use and its motion in swinging about violently and sometimes knocking into the stern of the boat must have caused the pin to work free so the rudder could drop down - great! No further effort needed on my part... Good news! One job crossed off my list.

2pm Break - shower has come in with wind over 20kt - not getting anywhere, so time for a quick break while it passes over - probably 10-15 minutes.

Now bringing in second half of the line. The good news is that it gets easier, the more is brought in. The bad news is, as kept happening at the start, that when the knotted end of a splice gets trapped under the wrap below it, it just will not come free. Had to use a rolling hitch on the line leading to the winch to get one free - just couldn't get enough slack on the line below, around the winch, to free it - they're very bulky knots for obvious reasons. Seems not to be happening now, with the braided nylon line of the second half, and often getting enough slack to pull in more than one cone at a time, in less wind.

2:45pm DONE!!! All in - now to get underway...!
Line had seemed to go on forever as I was pulling it in around the winch... but eventually I decided that maybe I could get the remaining portion of line in from the stern, pulling it in by hand - that worked fine and was a lot quicker than using the winch. Lovely to hear, and then see, the chain weight finally coming up...

Cockpit is now full of line and cones - need to re-pack it but will have to wait for daylight tomorrow - no strong wind or weather expected so OK to leave it there overnight but must deal with it urgently in the morning.

7pm Dark. While it was still daylight, cooked a big meal in pressure cooker - handy for volume. Ham, potatoes, large onion, dried peas, tomato paste, green beans - enough for three days at least and can always add to it if I fancy. Nice to have something ready, just to heat up. Might add some tomatoes and chick peas.

Will catch up on some sleep now before the usual radio sched on 7163 in 2 hours' time. Didn't get enough last night and feel quite tired after an early start on the JSD retrieval and a lot of sustained effort needed to bring it all in. Needed to keep a constant tension on the line since the self-tailer on the winch can't be used. Always holding on like mad with both hands to stop line from slipping back as tension came on with the motion of the boat. We were rolling around a lot all the time in the prevailing 4-5m seas...

10:30pm Had a good sleep before and then a long session on radio with plenty of contacts - both US and Australia. Wind has really died now - we're struggling to make 2kt, often below, and AP is struggling to keep our course.

Just spoke to Robert to let him know that AP is behaving fine - but wind instrument has gone down again - showing 0.0kt for wind speed although apparent direction is fine. Need to get out the multimeter and do some measuring of voltages tomorrow in daylight - there seems to be a bad connection somewhere - problem is to find it!

5am Monday LT (1900GMT Sun) Dark night. Still struggling to make way on course in light wind from WNW.
Just got an email from Robert Galley - following my suggestion- they were having a celebratory, sunset 'AP braai' with boerewors, in Glencairn, not far from Simon's Town, a glass of wine in hand. Thanks a lot for your help and support, Robert! Sounds great - I'm missing the boerewors!

1900GMT (= 5 a.m. LT) - end of Day 207. We made 37 n.ml. DMG, over the 24 hr period, measured in a straight line between the two 1900 GMT positions. 14hrs underway (very slowly!), 10hrs lying to JSD.

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 207 (by daily DMGs):18,058 n.ml.

Distances (at 1900GMT): Cape Leeuwin LH (SW Australia): 1126 n.ml. to WNW; Melbourne (Victoria, Australia): 317 n.ml. to ENE; SE Cape,Tasmania,LH: 492 n.ml. to SE; SW Cape, NZ: 1378 n.ml SE.
(984 n.ml. ESE of Albany in W.Australia, 243 n.ml. S of Adelaide, S.Australia)

Position & weather report for 1900 GMT posted to www.Winlink.org and www.Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV):
TIME: 2019/04/28 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 38-57.08S LONGITUDE: 137-54.17E
COURSE: 119T SPEED: 2.4kt
WIND_SPEED: 9kt WIND_DIR: WNW SWELL_DIR: W SWELL_HT: 3.0m
BARO: 1022.5hPa TREND: 0 AIR_TEMP: 16.0C SEA_TEMP: 15.0C
COMMENT: wind very light - slow progress almost dead downwind

Day 206 Fri-Sat 26-27 April 2019 Conditions too strong to retrieve JSD - tomorrow, hopefully

Saturday 7am LT Twilight, first light beginning, dawn not too far off. Donning foulies and getting ready to go on deck to retrieve JSD and get underway - will take some time, so best to start now.

Still no error messages seen, so I'm hoping the AP problem has been dealt with.

10:50 Problem getting JSD back on board - wind a bit too strong and seas a bit too big and close. Leader line all came in fine but line with cones on is proving difficult - resting for an hour or so and then having another go.... JSD line just jumped under life-raft and threatened to set it off - had to get quickly to stern and move shackle and deployment line fixed to boat up and away from the deck and onto the cradle itself - don't want the liferaft to suddenly inflate unwanted.

2pm Have spent quite a time on deck, trying to bring in the JSD but conditions are still too strong - brought in several cones earlier but then lost my grip and they all went back out again.. (Just one turn around winch is as many as will work without cones getting too caught in a wrap. Last time, I used two turns and that worked fine but that didn't work well today) Now have just eight cones (of 124!) inboard - at great risk to fingers and nails which are still intact, but only just! Will have to wait for lighter wind (and getting on with Wind instrument terminals' replacement in the meantime). Wind must be in mid-twenties now and seas 5-6m.

Frustrating! Means I'm possibly missing the beginning of a nice 'weather window' for getting down to Tasmania before headwinds (from SE) occur as a Low forms near here. Present wind is perfect for sailing SE!

Time for a late breakfast and maybe some coffee would be nice.

3:30pm Decided lunch was more appropriate - the rest of the Chicken Gumbo I didn't much enjoy two nights ago was much improved by heating it up with some condensed mushroom soup and made a good meal.

5pm Wind display has been frequently off or misbehaving. Tried to move the tiny spade terminals up and down last night, in an effort to get a better connection and stop the erratic display - but only managed to lose the data completely...! Have just now replaced the data/yellow cable tiny spade terminal - was badly crimped and had come loose, so clearly must have been giving an ongoing problem. All the other terminals seem good and firm.

Hopefully, that will resolve the problem of the erratic wind information that's been seen for quite some time. Of course, without the speed instrument available, the wind direction and wind speed are just the apparent ones - but that's fine - I can roughly judge the 'true' values well enough.

I'll have another go at bringing in the JSD now - light is beginning to fade and it's a dull, grey day anyway.

5:20pm Well that was the idea - until I realised the wind strength is 24kt - it would be no easier to bring it with that wind blowing than earlier...so I left it alone and checked the weather update. Looks as though both wind and seas will be a lot less by tomorrow afternoon, so I'm hoping to bring in the JSD by sunset and get underway by nightfall - we'll see how that turns out..

10pm A nice relaxed evening with lots of 'radio play', chatting to people. Started with Jim, WB2REM, and Tony, VK2RI and then several others who came by to say '73' and have a brief, or longer, chat - all very nice and sociable!

Tony mentioned having a port just before settling down for the night, and Colin, VK6CI, had mentioned having a glass of wine around sunset (two hours earlier in Perth area than here, in Sydney time) - and it suddenly occurred to me that I was not sailing but 'hove-to' effectively - so I promptly poured myself a very nice G&T (Thanks, Randy!).

The hope is to round the 4th Great Cape - SE Cape of Tasmania - by next weekend, leaving the 5th Great Cape - NZ's SW Cape, near Stewart Island - to be rounded the following weekend or very soon after, depending on wind direction and strength. That's the present plan.... made "at low water in wet sand"...

Then, we're back in the Pacific! (The Tasman Sea, I suppose, is in the Pacific Ocean so rounding Tasmania brings me back there, although, in my mind, it's rounding NZ that counts more)

Time to get some sleep....

5am Sunday LT (1900GMT Sat) Conditions are slowly moderating. Getting back for more sleep after posting reports - no rush to get up early!

1900GMT (= 5 a.m. LT) - end of Day 206. We made 35 n.ml. DMG, over the 24 hr period, measured in a straight line between the two 1900 GMT positions.

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 206 (by daily DMGs):18,021 n.ml.

Distances (at 1900GMT): Cape Leeuwin LH (SW Australia): 1090 n.ml. to WNW; Melbourne (Victoria, Australia): 352 n.ml. to ENE; SE Cape,Tasmania,LH: 524 n.ml. to SE; SW Cape, NZ: 1412 n.ml SE.

(948 n.ml. ESE of Albany in W.Australia, 245 n.ml. SSW of Adelaide, S.Australia)

Position & weather report for 1900 GMT posted to www.Winlink.org and www.Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV):

TIME: 2019/04/27 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 38-49.97S LONGITUDE: 137-08.23E

COURSE: 061T SPEED: 1.4kt

WIND_SPEED: 19kt WIND_DIR: SW SWELL_DIR: SW SWELL_HT: 4.0m

BARO: 1022.6hPa TREND: 0 AIR_TEMP: 15.0C SEA_TEMP: 15.0C

COMMENT: Lying to JSD still - conditions slowly moderating

Day 205 Thurs-Fri 25-26 April 2019 Lying to JSD, well W of Bass Strait, working on AP problem

Friday 11am Had radio chat earlier on usual 7160 sched at 2300Z, discussing how things had gone with autopilot problem and trouble-shooting. Getting a lot of support over ham radio - very much appreciated and it feels as though there are a lot of friendly people out there, happy to give me what help they can.

Back down below now after removing link from Depth and Wind instruments to Seatalk bus. (That step had been agreed with Robert in S.Africa earlier in night by telephone, after telling him that error messages were still appearing after disconnecting the plotter in the cockpit from the Seatalk bus.) Not normally difficult once the instrument panel had been removed but big seas still running at 7-8m and causing boat to lurch and heel each way suddenly and often were definitely not helpful.

I thought wind was easing but, as I removed Wind display, it showed wind had gusted up to 34kt. No more wind info from now on unless I find it can go back into the system without causing any error messages.

11:50am Just removed Multi-display from Seatalk - got three error messages a few minutes apart beforehand so, clearly, removing just the Depth and Wind didn't make a difference - waiting now for any further error messages to appear on the Chart Plotter...
Time for breakfast... Have had nothing so far this morning.

12:25pm Maybe no breakfast just yet - soon after I wrote that, the system beeped again - another error message "Heading Not Available" - the usual one.. And again now, as I write this... Will remove the Speed display Seatalk link now.

Later Took out Speed and replaced Multi into Seatalk system - have had no error messages for several hours, so looking as though Speed instrument is causing the problem of corrupted data circulating. Replaced Wind into Seatalk and waited for some time ... no error messages. Replaced Depth and waited for some time... No error messages. So it seems that not having the Speed in the system is the key to the AP working well. The test will be tomorrow when I get underway after bringing in the JSD.

While I waited to see if any error messages would turn up, treated myself to some pancakes with maple syrup - definitely morale-boosting!

Also, went up on deck to get some fresh air and enjoy the scene nearing sunset. A big swell running still, so big waves still approaching Nereida's stern. A few birds have been around, over the last day or so. Saw an albatross at one point - yellow-nosed or other? Wasn't able to ID it, also other birds, ...smaller - prions possibly.

8pm Went to look at the Wind display which was, not unusually, misbehaving. Tried to move the tiny spade terminals up and down in an effort to get a better connection and stop the erratic display - but only managed to lose the data completely...! Have some replacement terminals of the same type so need to cut the cable and replace /crimp them on tomorrow - maybe that will resolve the problem of the erratic wind information that's been seen for quite some time? Certainly worth trying.

5am Sat (1900GMT Friday) Still no error massages seen so, hopefully, the AP problem has been dealt with. Very tempted to bring in drogue now, although still dark - need to get underway (and test the AP) before we lose the wind completely - pressure shot up during the evening. It's now 1024hPa meaning High pressure is over the region - and meaning lighter winds soon, although not too bad now - 15kt or so.

1900GMT (= 5 a.m. LT) - end of Day 205. We made 30 n.ml. DMG, drifting, while lying to JSD over the 24 hr period, measured in a straight line between the two 1900 GMT positions.

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 205 (by daily DMGs):17,986 n.ml.

Distances (at 1900GMT): Cape Leeuwin LH (SW Australia): 1060 n.ml. to WNW; Melbourne (Victoria, Australia): 385 n.ml. to ENE; SE Cape,Tasmania,LH: 543 n.ml. to SE; SW Cape, NZ: 1433 n.ml SE.
(918 n.ml. ESE of Albany in W.Australia, 269 n.ml. SSW of Adelaide, S.Australia)

Position & weather report for 1900 GMT posted to www.Winlink.org and www.Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV):
TIME: 2019/04/26 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 39-04.62S LONGITUDE: 136-26.87E
COURSE: 073T SPEED: 1.3kt
WIND_SPEED: 15kt WIND_DIR: WSW SWELL_DIR: WSW SWELL_HT: 5.0m
BARO: 1023.8hPa TREND: 0 AIR_TEMP: 15.0C SEA_TEMP: 15.0C
COMMENT: Lyiing to JSD overnight. Wind and swell down from before.

Day 204 Wed-Thurs 24-25 April 2019 Thursday is Anzac Day - remembering those who were killed in too many wars

Thursday 8:30am (2230 GMT Wed) Have been sleeping at chart table overnight, to be ready to re-set autopilot (AP) as and when needed. In fact, the error messages have come up very few times, mostly near the beginning of the night, so I have got a fair amount of sleep.

It still seems the only way to try to resolve the problem is to stop the boat by deploying the JSD again ready for the strong conditions (big 8m/26ft seas expected) so I can try to look at various possible sources of the problem and deal with it without being underway and the AP continually going down.

Had a long radio chat earlier with Tony, VK2RI, and others, about trouble-shooting options for both AP and radio problems - he'd been in contact with Robert in S.Africa who knows my AP system well. Radio problem will have wait for calmer conditions - and AP problem is the more urgent just now, anyway.

Noon - JSD was deployed in building 6m seas and wind already over 30kt. Took upper bag with it as it ran out (straps and/or stitching not strong enough) so lost bag to Neptune... Damn! Had already had a wave splashing over stern with some water getting below - not too much but still a nuisance. Clear hanging screen beside chart table doing a good job protecting the area.

4:45pm Wind around 35kt, seas 7-8m - being thrown around a lot, so difficult moving around the cabin and doing jobs.

Have been trouble-shooting AP problem, with Robert's help over satphone - looked at course computer - seems fine. A problem in big seas is sliding around when waves move the boat around while trying to work - was good to be able to wedge myself in place while dealing with course computer! Disconnected second chart plotter, in cockpit, from Seatalk bus - a possible source of corruption in system.

5am Friday (1900GMT Thurs) Have been watching to see if error messages arrived - a few have done, so next step, in daylight, will be to disconnect other possible sources of corruption in the system data circulating in the Seatalk bus - Depth and Wind displays are next on list of suspect items...

1900GMT (= 5 a.m. LT) - end of Day 204. We made 55 n.ml. DMG, over the 24 hr period, measured in a straight line between the two 1900 GMT positions.

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 204 (by daily DMGs):17,956 n.ml.

Distances (at 1900GMT): Cape Leeuwin LH (SW Australia): 1044 n.ml. to WNW; Melbourne (VIC, Aus): 407 n.ml. to ENE; SE Cape,Tasmania,LH: 548 n.ml. to SE; SW Cape, NZ: 1440 n.ml SE.

(902 n.ml. ESE of Albany in W.Australia, 296 n.ml. SSW of Adelaide, S.Australia)

Position & weather report for 1900 GMT posted to www.Winlink.org and www.Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV):

TIME: 2019/04/25 19:00 LATITUDE: 39-27.74S LONGITUDE: 136-01.77E

COURSE: 035T SPEED: 1.6kt

WIND_SPEED: 30kt WIND_DIR: 215T SWELL_DIR: SW SWELL_HT: 7.0m

BARO: 1016.6hPa TREND: -2 AIR_TEMP: 15.0C SEA_TEMP: 16.0C

COMMENT: Drifting while lying to JSD. Still working on problem with instruments & AP

Day 203 Tues-Wed 23-24 April 2019 Problem with autopilot - will need to stop to try to fix it

Wednesday 10:30am Having breakfast after radio session on 7160. Feeling rather tired so will take a quick nap before starting on boat jobs - must not have slept too well last night.

Wind has backed more to W, from WNW, so have had to change course a bit to keep the sails filled - we're not far off heading dead downwind.

Sun is getting out between scattered white clouds after earlier (overnight) rain. Swell has increased a lot from yesterday's relatively calm 3m seas - going to make working on removal of wind steering rudder that much more difficult, maybe impossible, with the seas coming onto the stern where I'll be working at water level - I'll try it and see how it goes but we're rolling around a lot now....

Will try lashing the liferaft before getting back to the rudder removal.

2:20pm About to head to the stern after having donned boots and overtrousers, to see what I an achieve there.

4pm Not getting very far today - seas were too big to allow me to work safely off the stern on removing the rudder. Autopilot (AP) is working fine mechanically but "Heading Not Available' is frequently coming up on instruments (plotter display) with occasional 'Position fix lost' - which then causes AP to go into 'Standby' mode - and we start heading well off course. Just had 'Seatalk failure' message on AP display- putting AP into 'Standby ' mode again... Another time, AP display showed NO SPEED message - and went into 'Standby' yet again...

9:45pm Just finished a long radio discussion revolving around present instrumentation problems and how to overcome them. Many thanks to Tony, VK2RI, and several others on frequency who were trying to help - much appreciated! Can't continue for long like this - the AP keeps going down when error messages come up and I have to be close by (and awake) to turn it back on from 'Standby' and reset the course quickly. Amazing how fast we start heading upwind and on to a NNW course.

With stormy weather coming in later tomorrow, it seems the only way to try to resolve the problem is to stop the boat by deploying the JSD again ready for the strong conditions (big 8m/26ft seas expected) so I can try to look at various possible sources of the problem and deal with it without being underway and the AP continually going down.

Later: Spoke to Robert in Glencairn, S,Africa, who knows the boat's instruments well from when we were in Simon's Town a few years ago. He has suggested first checking the course computer and then, if that looks good, changing out the fluxgate compass - I think I have an old one that might still be good (fingers crossed!). Those simple steps very much depend on the exact wording of the 'Seatalk Failure' error message - fingers crossed again... (Later: That's looking good in that it's just 'Seatalk Failure' and not 'Seatalk 1 (or 2) Failure')

Having a Chicken Gumbo tonight (another freeze-dried meal). Not one that I'd buy again... not keen on the 'Gumbo' mix of ingredients so I'm glad I don't have another one. As if I didn't have enough on my mind, I managed to spill some of the dry contents of the packet just after opening it and, in trying to clear it up from the floor in front of the stove, must have leaned against the stove and at one point an stopped it from gimballing - and my freshly-made soup in a mug spilled all over me... Grrr!!!

5am LT Thursday (1900GMT Wed) Been sleeping at chart table to be ready to re-set AP when needed - not too often, so have been getting some sleep.

1900GMT (= 5 a.m. LT) - end of Day 203. We made 95 n.ml. DMG, over the 24 hr period, measured in a straight line between the two 1900 GMT positions.

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 203 (by daily DMGs):17,901 n.ml.

Distances (at 1900GMT): Cape Leeuwin LH (SW Australia): 998 n.ml. to WNW; Melbourne (VIC, Aus): 460 n.ml. to ENE; SE Cape,Tasmania,LH: 582 n.ml. to SE; SW Cape, NZ: 1474 n.ml SE.

(857 n.ml. ESE of Albany in W.Australia, 339 n.ml. SW of Adelaide, S.Australia)

Position & weather report for 1900 GMT posted to www.Winlink.org and www.Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV):

TIME: 2019/04/24 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 39-54.58S LONGITUDE: 134-54.58E

COURSE: 075T SPEED: 4.8kt

WIND_SPEED: 20kt WIND_DIR: W SWELL_DIR: W SWELL_HT: 5.0m

BARO: 1017.5hPa TREND: -2 AIR_TEMP: 17.0C SEA_TEMP: 17.0C

COMMENT: Problem with instruments - AP often going down & needing re-setting

Day 202 Mon-Tues 22-23 April 2019 Time zone change - 2hrs on, to E.Australian time.

Changed our local time into Eastern Australia time, GMT+10hr. Means a two-hour jump from the previous Western Australia time (Perth etc) but will feel more in line with sunset and sunrise soon enough. Tuesday 6am EST (really should be 5am LT!) Dark. Bright moon, shining hazily through thin overcast - no stars visible. Gently rolling around in 3.5m/12ft swell. We're now sailing rather slowly, skirting a High pressure system along 40S, until the 'Anzac Day'/Thursday storm system has passed by - late Friday, perhaps - before turning to head SE towards the SE Cape of Tasmania. Preparing this report, and weather/position report posted to winlink, and then back to bunk for short sleep before dawn. 9:30am EST Bright day with sun just making it hazily through thin layer of overcast. Seas fairly well down but still quite rolly at times. Very short radio session after breakfast before getting on deck to pack JSD away - will take a time. 1pm Still very overcast and very little sun now - cloud layer is thicker. JSD is now stowed back in its bags at the stern, ready to deploy, if needed again - I hope not! Found that one of the liferaft brackets has come apart - welded joint clearly not strongly enough made. I'd wondered why the liferaft was moving slightly and had dropped a little onto the deck - now I know.... Will see if I can lash it somehow - it's held in place by the sturdier upper bracket but could do with something holding it lower down, to prevent any movement. Tried listening to the Pacific Seafarers' Net - heard Fred, W3ZU, and Jane, NH7TZ, in the distance. but not well enough to make contact, especially with all the static noise on frequency. Should get better once we're well into the Pacific. Now for trying to remove the windsteering rudder - a wet job! 5pm Close to sunset. I have to say that leaning out upside down over the back of the boat, with a swell running, is not my favourite pastime! Spent quite a time, with pliers and cutters, getting rid of wire I'd added (very securely!) to the pin (often below the water) that holds the wind steering (Fred!) rudder in place. Finally managed it only to find the pin wouldn't budge. Banged it with hammer and pushed it back through its hole as much as I could from that side - but then found the other end of the pin was bent and difficult to get hold of in order to pull it out. Decided I needed to rotate it in order to help get it out - but that was not easy with it being down below water level astern of the boat. I needed something bent, not straight, to insert into the horizontal ring, in order to rotate the head - will see what I can find for that tomorrow, hopefully. (Photos show the problem area - rudder shaft bent to one side, so rudder now well out of alignment, and retaining pin bent at head end.) Looked at the life-raft problem - decided it needs two shackles to be added to a support bracket, to take lashings without them chafing, to hold the life raft in place.. tomorrow also. 10pm Time to get to my bunk at the end of a very slow day in very light winds - often only 7kt or so... Got another job done tonight, after dark, and that was to dry out the floor of the head from the water that had accumulated there - presumably from when we were 'pooped' and water got down below and into that area. With the shower pump not working, it had to be removed bit by bit using a cloth, after lifting the washboard out of the way and cleaning it and the floor beneath also. Good to have that job done. Also spent a little time earlier cleaning in the galley area and re-stocking and re-organising the galley dry locker - found a few tins of beef I didn't realise I still had - excellent! 1900GMT (= 5 a.m. LT) - end of Day 202. We made 77 n.ml. DMG, over the 24 hr period, measured in a straight line between the two 1900 GMT positions. Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 202 (by daily DMGs):17,806 n.ml. Distances (at 1900GMT): Cape Leeuwin LH (SW Australia):913 n.ml. to WNW; Melbourne (VIC, Aus): 553 n.ml. to ENE; SE Cape,Tasmania,LH: 659 n.ml. to SE; SW Cape, NZ: 1547 n.ml SE. (773 n.ml. SE of Albany in W.Australia, 409 n.ml. SW of Adelaide, S.Australia) Position & weather report for 1900 GMT posted to www.Winlink.org and www.Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV): TIME: 2019/04/23 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 40-04.39S LONGITUDE: 132-53.48E COURSE: 092T SPEED: 4.8kt WIND_SPEED: 20kt WIND_DIR: WNW SWELL_DIR: WNW SWELL_HT: 4.0Mm BARO: 1019.3hPa TREND: -2 AIR_TEMP: 16.0C SEA_TEMP: 16.0C COMMENT: Wind slowly increasing.