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S/V Nereida sails around the world

HAPPY CANADA DAY! ....Monday 1st July

Monday 8am NZT (Sun 2000GMT) Hope my Canadian friends are having a good long weekend holiday!
It's mainly bright and sunny now, but with quite a few big clouds around, giving the usual gusts under them, with lulls in between, so our speed is up and down - varying a lot - the story of the last few days. Presently heeled a lot under one of them, making around 5.4kt (actually seeing result of swell - up to 6.4kt or more on a wave and then down to 4.2kt on its backside)

2:40pm Wind died right down again - to just 8kt, in a very light shower, with a big cloud overhead and off to port - but back up again now, so making rather better speed on a close reach. Not seeing any birds today - will look out around sunset when, if they're around, that's when they'll usually be seen. Posting a photo of bird I probably saw yesterday - Parkinson's Petrel - from the excellent, beautifully illustrated, bird book - 'Albatrosses, Petrels and Shearwaters of the World' by Derek Onley and Paul Scofield.
Pancakes for Canada Day today...

4pm Wow .... Nutella and raspberry sauce made for a very rich combination on those pancakes...!
No birds seen... but a faint rainbow seen before sunset, as sun was getting low.

5:30pm Drifting around in circles yet again....! Very frustrating...! Wind just died.

5:50pm Finally back on course at 3.5-4kt, moving in a straight line - great!

8pm Wind down to SE 8kt ... this will be a slow night....

9pm More going around in circles - several times - impossible to stop it in such light wind giving almost no boat speed, once genoa starts flapping and then gets backed, along with mainsail... round we go... Grrr!!!

Tuesday 4am NZT (Mon 1600GMT) Well before dawn and a good wind at present so a fair speed being made under a mainly clear, starry sky.

6:45am Bright sunshine. Clear overhead, some cloud on horizon - lined up along the wind direction - as in Trades. Sailing close to wind, so heeled all the time and often pounding into the seas - not a very comfortable or fast point of sail!
Also, being on starboard tack means I'm being leaned inboard from the chart table seat - I'm making good use of the hinged steel restraint that gives an arm rest there and stops me from falling off the seat and onto the floor!
Boat speed is still varying up and down quite a bit both with swell and as wind changes. Hopefully, it will be up more than down today.
____________________________________________________

A note from Allen, ZL1AYH, about the eclipse around 1800GMT on 2nd July (see photo of map posted yesterday showing path of ecipse):
" It will reach Chile but at sunset and the totality is shorter. In fact the Astronomers there are rather excited as it is the first time a total eclipse has ever passed over the (newer) largest telescopes in the world."

*****************************************************
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!
***************************************************

1900GMT (= 7 a.m. NZT) - end of Day 271. We made 82 n.ml. DMG, measured in a straight line between the two 1900GMT positions. Going round in circles in little wind doesn't make for a good DMG!

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 271 (by daily DMGs):22,007 n.ml

Distances (at 1900GMT): East Cape, N.Z.: 1423 n.ml. to SW; Tahiti: 713 n.ml. to NNE; Tubuai (Iles Australes): 430 n.ml. to NE

Position, as posted to www.Winlink.org and www.Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV):
TIME: 2019/07/01 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 28-24.37S LONGITUDE: 155-16.79W
COURSE: 055T SPEED: 5.2kt
WIND_SPEED: 12kt WIND_DIR: SE SWELL_DIR: SE SWELL_HT: 2.5m CLOUDS: 10%
BARO: 1027.6hPa TREND: 0 AIR_TEMP: 20.0C SEA_TEMP: 25.0C

HAPPY CANADA DAY! ....Monday 1st July

Sunday 8:30am NZT (Sat 2030GMT) The Cape petrel I saw an hour ago together with an all-dark bird is no longer in sight now. It was definitely attracted to 'Nereida' and kept circling around before settling for a rest in the water nearby. Further N than I'd expect to see one but they are seen as far N as 25S (we're about 30S now). Also not seeing now the other bird seen yesterday also - solitary, all-dark, slim-winged, mainly gliding with only occasional flaps of wings - that was also circling around not so very far away early today.
Choice of ID for that bird seems to be between Flesh-footed or Short tailed Shearwater or Parkinson's Petrel... Similar in size and all three are all-dark birds but without clear view of bill and feet, not possible to distinguish between them. Most likely, from distribution notes and slim wings, to be a Parkinson's Petrel.

The cloud cover seems quite thin, although there is an area of dark grey cloud off to port which looks more like a rain cloud. Wind is lighter and so we've slowed down - it's not looking as though we'll be getting today the same gusty conditions under big clouds that we've had over the past few days. Forecast is for light wind over today.
Quite a big southerly swell is very noticeable, at 4m every 8-9 seconds, and then there's a small surface wind chop on top of that.

Midday 8kt of SE wind under bright but mainly cloudy sky ... slow! About to have a nap - have cooked beans for soup and will complete making it later. On reflection, realise I got to sleep late last night - not enough ... so time to make up for that.

3:35pm 12 kt of S wind and sun getting quite low already in a mainly clear sky with few clouds. Cabin temperature 22.6C/70F and sea temperature well over 24C/75F - getting warmer!

8pm Wind keeps dying - we went round in a circle just before - no wind = no steerage... Just managed to gybe around and get back on course... but sails keep flapping as wind disappears.

10.45pm - Galloping along at speed now.... in wind under a rain cloud, well heeled and noisy...

11:45pm Wind died away completely after another rain squall - went around in a circle again... Now almost back on track, but not quite - difficult keeping course when no wind to give speed - drifting NE at 2-3kt, waiting for the wind to fill back in... Speed dropping...
Seems this is the pattern for tonight... Slow, slow, quick, quick, slow....
Must get to sleep, if I can....

Monday 6am NZT (Sun 1800GMT) Bright sunny day with a few clouds around - still gusty under them, with lulls in between, since the clouds around are still big... Low DMG as a result :( Still seeing big region of wind from SE quadrant ahead for next few days - all the way to Polynesia - excellent!
____________________________________________________

A note from Allen, ZL1AYH, about the eclipse around 1800GMT on 2nd July (see photo of map here showing path):
" It will reach Chile but at sunset and the totality is shorter. In fact the Astronomers there are rather excited as it is the first time a total eclipse has ever passed over the (newer) largest telescopes in the world."

*****************************************************
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!
***************************************************

1900GMT (= 7 a.m. NZT) - end of Day 270. We made 91 n.ml. DMG, measured in a straight line between the two 1900GMT positions. A slow day yesterday - lots of light wind in between gusts under clouds.

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 270 (by daily DMGs):21,925 n.ml

Distances (at 1900GMT): East Cape, N.Z.: 1344 n.ml. to SW; Tahiti: 789 n.ml. to NNE; Tubuai (Iles Australes): 512 n.ml. to NE

Position, as posted to www.Winlink.org and www.Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV):
TIME: 2019/06/30 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 29-16.17S LONGITUDE: 156-27.75W
COURSE: 055T SPEED: 5.5kt
WIND_SPEED: 15kt WIND_DIR: SSE SWELL_DIR: SSE SWELL_HT: 3.0m CLOUDS: 30%
BARO: 1024.5hPa TREND: 2 AIR_TEMP: 20.0C SEA_TEMP: 24.0C
COMMENT: Gusts under clouds still, but not too many clouds. Sunny day.

Saturday 8am NZT (Friday 2000GMT) Bright sunny day with quite a few large clouds around - so might be in for another gusty day. Swell still a good 3.5m/12ft from S, so plenty of motion but not too bad.

Finishing my breakfast cereal with nuts, seeds and dried fruit, with a glass of pineapple juice on the side (along with vitamins C and D), having posted my daily reports.

1:30pm Sky has a lot of cloud cover now and we're often rushing along at speed, heeled over on a close reach. Wind, from SE, is around 15kt, but much more in gusts - varies a lot under the clouds in strength and a little in direction. Sun is often getting out.

Actually saw two birds just now, as I trimmed the sails - possibly petrels, seemed to be all-dark, swooping around on slim, fixed wings. Hadn't seen any earlier today and put that down to lighter wind and maybe getting closer to tropical waters. Certainly, the water colour, when the sun was shining, was hinting at the lovely deep turquoise blue of the tourist brochures. We're presently well-heeled in the stronger wind under a cloud, so I'm sitting on the port (leeward) bunk - but on a cushion with a sheet of plastic below it, protecting it (and me!) from the settee which is still very damp from the knockdown. Cabin temperature is 21C, so air is not warm enough yet to dry much out.

Have spent a time clearing up a bit but can't do much with a lot of clothing and bedding which are still very damp from seawater - or from the sea air, which has almost the same effect.

Finished the lentil soup I made the evening before last, so now soaking some small white and larger pink beans ready for a thick, hearty meal-in-one soup. Will probably add a little barley together with chopped tomatoes & green beans, along with either chicken, ham or beef - I'll see what takes my fancy at the time.

Think I'll get some pancake mix ready for later - so easy to cook and very enjoyable although the maple syrup is finished - but maybe I'll use some honey instead, with a little of the raspberry sauce from Hobart. Think that's really meant for dribbling over ice cream - but there's none of that within quite a few hundred miles of here. I reckon some Nutella would work quite well as a chocolate flavour on the pancakes and might work very well with the raspberry sauce also.

It's really great that, for once, the weather is playing ball! The big, deep 1040hPa High over New Zealand, slowly drifting E, is giving this big area of settled SE wind that we're benefitting from. As we move NE, wind will slowly become more ESE, then E - at which point we'll be heading N towards Tahiti in strong SE Trades and then on towards Hawaii, crossing the Equator and the ITCZ (Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone - or Doldrums) which is usually somewhere around 8N, on the way.

7:45pm Had a very enjoyable ham radio session on 7160 - lots of contacts with New Zealand and Australia. Batteries kept well up by wind generator (Superwind) so no power problem nowadays.

Was told by Al, ZL1AYH, that there will be a solar eclipse along my path around 1800GMT on Tuesday 2nd July ... Must look out for that on Wed morning (NZT) - hope it's not too cloudy! That's just past sunrise for my position near here.... Will check on path it will be taking - at best, I'll see a good partial eclipse, not totality.

9:30pm Wind keeps dying down a lot more than coming up under a cloud - not so many clouds now, perhaps? Means we've slowed down a lot.

Have had some useful suggestions by email on use of spinnaker halyard as topping lift and ways to avoid chafe... looking into them!

Sunday 6am (Sat 1800GMT) Sun rose a short while ago and is shining brightly through one of the few gaps in the light grey cloud that's covering most of the sky.

We've been at slow speed most of the night - wind now is only 9-10kt and we're making up and down around 4.4kt - slow progress just now...

Running generator for an hour, along with water-maker, and charging computer and iPhone - regular early morning events.

Pancake mix is waiting to be cooked for breakfast - didn't get around to frying in last night's rough seas - calmer now.

Speed has dropped again while I've been writing - to around a mere 3.7kt - we shan't be breaking any distance records for today's DMG!

Just had a note from Allen, ZL1AYH, about the eclipse on 2nd July:

" It will reach Chile but at sunset and the totality is shorter. In fact the Astronomers there are rather excited as it is the first time a total eclipse has ever passed over the largest telescopes in the world."

7am Lovely to see a Cape petrel attracted to 'Nereida' - kept circling around and then settled in water nearby. The other bird seen yesterday - solitary, all-dark, slim-winged, mainly gliding with only occasional flaps of wings - was also circling around, not so very far away. Shearwater? Petrel? Must check in my bird book...

I was on deck, checking direction of wind and swell, using ship's compass - one reason I keep a note of current Magnetic Variation all the time in my ship's logbook- presently standing at 18E, so 18 degrees needs to be added to compass readings to give True directions. (I can never understand why anyone even thinks of quoting a Magnetic course to others a distance away.... Only time it would be appropriate is to give a 'course to steer' to a helmsperson at the wheel, watching the ship's compass. )

*****************************************************

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!

***************************************************

1900GMT (= 7 a.m. NZT) - end of Day 269. We made 109 n.ml. DMG, measured in a straight line between the two 1900GMT positions.

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 269 (by daily DMGs):21,834 n.ml

Distances (at 1900GMT): East Cape, N.Z.: 1254 n.ml. to SW; Tahiti: 869 n.ml. to NNE; Tubuai (Iles Australes): 601 n.ml. to NE

Position, as posted to www.Winlink.org and www.Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV):

TIME: 2019/06/29 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 30-06.08S LONGITUDE: 157-54.63W

COURSE: 055T SPEED: 4.4kt

WIND_SPEED: 13kt WIND_DIR: S

SWELL_DIR: S SWELL_HT: 4.0m SWELL_PER: 9s CLOUDS: 95%

BARO: 1024.9hPa TREND: 0 AIR_TEMP: 20.0C SEA_TEMP: 24.0C

COMMENT: Dull, grey day with good-sized S swell and wind chop on top.

Friday 8:45am NZT (Thurs 2045GMT) Wind has just picked up and we're now galloping along at around 6kt. Looks as though this could be a gusty day with spurts of speed and lulls in between. Sky has lots of large, light grey clouds, with sun getting out between them, and several light showers can be seen falling not so far away - there's even a faint rainbow in the distance, well astern. Cabin temperature just got up to 20C/68F but it feels cool - not discarding all my fleeces just yet.

Albatross and a few other birds are soaring around nearby.

Have been chatting twice daily to cruisers in the Fiji area on S.Pacific Cruisers net - they're all hunkering down for a big 'blow' expected in two days' time - several moved anchorage to be protected from the expected wind (and seas) direction - up to 50kt gusts forecast this morning for Sunday. I'm also in contact with a Net in French Polynesia. Means I can keep in touch with cruising friends down this way - lovely to have a long chat with friends last seen in Mexico a year or more ago, before they started on their Pacific crossing.

SSB/HF radio on board cruising boats is, to my mind, an essential, both for safety reasons and for communication. The Nets provide a useful way for a group of people to share information on events/places in the area and help each other dealing with equipment problems, as well as sharing weather info and, most importantly, warnings of dangers. Not something that can be done via a one-to-one personal telephone/satellite connection.

Most of the day was a repeat of this morning's strong wind in a prolonged gust, speeding along and heeling well to port under a cloud, possibly bringing some light rain, with the time in between gusts spent struggling to make way in light wind .. until the next acceleration was felt starting up, as we came under the influence of another big, grey cloud. All in quite a big S swell which had us rolling around a lot, very often.

8:30pm Just had to adjust our course to 070T (from 060T) and ease the mainsheet - wind has dropped and veered far more to S, from SSE-SE over most of the day, so sails were nearly backed a few times before I got on deck to sort things out.

Dark night with no moon and only very hazy stars seen. Still some thin clouds around but not so many large ones as earlier during the day, so mainly just ambling along at low speed - around 3-4kt only.

Saturday 3:30am NZT (Fri 1530 GMT) Sailing well in wind from SSE-SE, so adjusted heading to get back on rhumb-line course to 25S 150W - just SSW of Tubuai, in the Iles Australs of French Polynesia. We were making 5.8kt when adjusted course, but now wind is down again, so speed has dropped to around 5.3kt. Swell clearly well up, judging from SOG which varies a lot depending on whether we're being taken along by a wave or slowed down, as we drop down on the back of a wave.

Mainly clear sky, with stars of Southern Cross 'pointers' clear astern and bright crescent moon high up, almost dead ahead, behind the sails.

Checked for, and replied to, emails - back to my bunk ....

6:45am Bright sunny day with a few clouds around - maybe 20%. Swell still a good 3.5m/12ft from S, so plenty of motion but not too bad.

Having my breakfast cereal with nuts, seeds and dried fruit, with a glass of pineapple juice on the side (along with vitamins C and D), while I get reports ready for posting after 1900z.

*****************************************************

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!

***************************************************

1900GMT (= 7 a.m. NZT) - end of Day 268. We made 118 n.ml. DMG, measured in a straight line between the two 1900GMT positions. Disappointing - I'd hoped for better but we too often slowed down a lot in between the frequent strong gusts.

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 268 (by daily DMGs):21,725 n.ml

Distances (at 1900GMT): East Cape, N.Z.: 1145 n.ml. to SW; Tahiti: 973 n.ml. to NNE; Tubuai (Iles Australes): 712 n.ml. to NE

Position, as posted to www.Winlink.org and www.Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV):

TIME: 2019/06/28 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 31-05.85S LONGITUDE: 159-41.21W

COURSE: 056T SPEED: 5.3kt

WIND_SPEED: 16kt WIND_DIR: SSE SWELL_DIR: S SWELL_HT: 3.5m CLOUDS: 20%

BARO: 1025.3hPa TREND: 1 AIR_TEMP: 20.0C SEA_TEMP: 23.0C

COMMENT: Not too many clouds around so maybe less gusty today?

Midday Friday 28th June Two photos that were taken soon after sunrise this morning - around 6am NZT (Thursday 1800GMT) A stop-start day today - sailing at speed under frequent big clouds, often bringing showers, but slowing right down in very little wind in between... But at least the wind is, and will be, consistently from SE, which is great for heading ENE over the next several days.

Thursday 8:45am NZT (Wed 2045GMT) Urgent job of the day - getting to course computer in aft cabin with spare control head and long spare cable and connecting up.

Heaved to a while ago - need peace and quiet and no distractions while working on autopilot wiring problem... Will take a time to get work done and we're slowly drifting hove-to in the meantime.

With course computer off and plotter on, have had no error messages on the plotter - it's been peaceful! Will switch off plotter while working to avoid shorting or damaging it.

2pm About to get underway again... Bright sunny day with quite a few big clouds around, giving frequent gusts and occasional light showers.

3:45pm NZT Sun is just setting. Pleased to say we're sailing under autopilot - with no beeping plotter giving error messages and no 'No Pilot' coming up on the AP control head display. The other good news is I did a bit more connecting up - of the Depth, Wind and Speed instruments to power in the cockpit - so they are all working now, in 'stand alone' mode, not connected to the Seatalk bus, so plotter not affected. Unfortunately, getting no wind direction, only speed.

Saw several birds this afternoon - including a black-headed, grey-bodied Light-mantled Sooty Albatross and a couple of other albatrosses, as well as several all-black birds - could be White-chinned petrels since we are just within their range although these seem slimmer and generally lighter-looking, soaring on fixed wings most of the time. Hoping to see them again tomorrow, to note more detail for ID purposes. Seems the Black-browed albatross is also common here so must take careful note of bill colour of birds seen, to separate them. They're very different, with Black-browed having a yellow bill, which is very distinct from the mainly black bill, with yellow lines on it, of Buller's - as shown in my photos posted off Timaru.

7pm Wind is clearly dying - sails are beginning to flap in the light air and our speed drops right down, at times, to almost nothing.

Friday 5:20am NZT (Thurs 1720 GMT) Sky quickly getting light, with orange-pink light preceding sunrise showing below broken, small grey clouds on E horizon, clear sky overhead. Pressure is well up at 1023hPa, sea temperature is 22C/72F and air in cabin is less - at 19C/66F.

Wind still down around 10kt, from SE - apparent wind is just for'd of the beam.

We're making steady but not spectacular progress ENE, on a course of 060T.

Running generator and water-maker for an hour - mainly trying to get water tank filled although gauge is not showing how full the tank is. It was showing 1/4 full over a week ago but now shows nothing and if I leave the water-pressure pump switched on, it often comes on again as though there's little water in the tank. It has started to make funny noises, so maybe it's now faulty or there's an airleak in the system. I have a foot-pump back-up to get water from the tank but that won't help for showers. Must check to see if I've a black shower-bag stored somewhere.

6am Sun rose ten minutes ago and there were large pink clouds to W, in sky over opposite horizon, and a slim, silver, crescent moon high up overhead.

Albatross and a few other birds are soaring around nearby.

****************************************************

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!

***************************************************

1900GMT (= 7 a.m. NZT) - end of Day 267. We made 55 n.ml. DMG, measured in a straight line between the two 1900GMT positions. Lost 7hrs while hove to, fixing AP and also Wind/Depth/Speed in cockpit.

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 267 (by daily DMGs):21,607 n.ml

Distances (at 1900GMT): Wellington, N.Island, N.Z.: 1254 n.ml. to SW; East Cape, N.Z.: 1027 n.ml. to SW; Christchurch, S.Island, N.Z.: 1387 n.ml. to SW; Tahiti: 1083 n.ml. to NE

Position, as posted to www.Winlink.org and www.Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV):

TIME: 2019/06/27 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 32-03.14S LONGITUDE: 161-41.85W

COURSE: 059T SPEED: 5.0kt

WIND_SPEED: 11kt WIND_DIR: SE SWELL_DIR: SSW SWELL_HT: 3.0m CLOUDS: 70%

BARO: 1023.5hPa TREND: 2 AIR_TEMP: 19.0C SEA_TEMP: 22.0C

COMMENT: Sunrise 1 hour ago. Wind very light.

Wednesday 10am NZT (Tues 2200GMT) Wind backed to SE soon after dawn so we're on a close reach now, making 5kt in wind around 15kt. Earlier grey clouds have given way to a bright sunny day with just a few big puffy white clouds.

Finished with the early morning radio Nets and posting reports, so time for breakfast now.

Plotter continuing to beep often - still waiting to find out which instrument to take out of circuit in order to lose that annoying and frequent noise..

11:20am Blue sky with just a few clouds - 10% perhaps - but air feels cold. Big SSW swell - easily 4-5 m/15ft but very well spaced apart. Also smaller SE swell - giving choppy seas from mix of swell directions.

Just had to re-boot the Aurora terminal - wasn't giving wifi signal as it should have done - OK now.

About to see if I can get some sleep despite the beeping plotter... Feeling too tired to do much clearing up, as I should be.

1:20pm Did manage some sleep, so that's good, but not enough.

Clear blue sky with a few small clouds and bright sun - feels as though the Tropics aren't too far away although cabin temperature is only 20.6C so not exactly getting to Tropical temperatures just yet. Making 4.5-5kt in a SE wind.

Dug out some rubber gloves - now to clear out the water that collected under the head washboards during some rain a few nights ago and has been sloshing around ever since... Have put out a Couple of very wet towels to dry in the cockpit... Maybe, slowly, I can put out some of the still-damp things to dry.

3:30pm Sun getting low now - that's one problem with not changing my clock yet - sunset comes rather early! Sky fairly clear - still with only one-third cloud cover. Swell still noticeable from SW at well over 3m/10ft. Pleasant sailing conditions ... and likely to continue for several days more.

Finished drying off under washboard in head - nice to have that job done and out of the way.

Checked into Pacific Seafarers' Net on 14300kHz a short time before.

More than ready for some food now - just needs heating up - some chilli con carne plus some extra sweetcorn with a mug of soup before and a small chocolate brownie afterwards.

8:30pm Went rushing up on deck on hearing the horrid noise of the boom crashing around and the sails slatting... The wind had totally died but we were still in a 3-4m SW swell - so we were rolling around with very little wind in the sails and the boom trying to swing from side to side. I wondered where the wind was and saw that the wind generator blades were not turning. Realised that the problem was possibly due to a passing rain cloud since the decks were wet... and so the SE wind finally came back and we're underway ENE again but not very fast, with wind only just over 10kt.

11:45pm A long session on 7163 - nice to renew contacts with familiar people but I was happy to get back to my bunk. Managing to sleep and ignore the plotter beeping - it usually goes away after a time...

Spoke to Robert in S.Africa earlier in the evening about the plotter/AP problem - advice given was to wire an AP control head totally independently to course computer in hope that resolves problem... Too complicated to try to troubleshoot existing installation without knowing exact wiring details, so best to take it out of use entirely. Will tackle that first thing tomorrow - in daylight.

Thursday 6am NZT (Wed 1800GMT) Dawn breaking - sun rising below grey clouds on horizon dead ahead. scattered cloud around, sailing well in ESE wind.

Frequently getting error messages on AP and plotter displays - including 'No pilot' on AP display/control head. Urgent job of the day - getting to spare control head and cable and accessing course computer in aft cabin....

7am Heaved to a short while ago in slight rain and increased wind from big cloud - need peace and quiet and no distractions while working on problem..... Have spare control head(s), now need to dig out spare cable to connect up. Will take a time to work on connecting up and we're gently and slowly drifting hove-to in the meantime.

****************************************************

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!

***************************************************

1900GMT (= 7 a.m. NZT) - end of Day 266. We made 102 n.ml. DMG, measured in a straight line between the two 1900GMT positions.

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 266 (by daily DMGs): 21,552 n.ml

Distances (at 1900GMT): Wellington, N.Island, N.Z.: 1199 n.ml. to SW; East Cape, N.Z.: 973 n.ml. to SW; Christchurch, S.Island, N.Z.: 1332 n.ml. to SW; Tahiti: 1136 n.ml. to NE

Position, as posted to www.Winlink.org and www.Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV):

TIME: 2019/06/26 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 32-34.42S LONGITUDE: 162-35.09W

COURSE: 273T SPEED: 0.7kt

WIND_SPEED: 12kt WIND_DIR: SE SWELL_DIR: SW SWELL_HT: 3.5m CLOUDS: 60%

BARO: 1021hPa TREND: 2 AIR_TEMP: 19.0C

COMMENT: Hove to in SE wind and light rain - need to fix AP / plotter problem

Tuesday 8:10am NZT (Mon 2010GMT) Sun trying to get out between a few breaks in cloudy sky - some small blue patches. Rolling around downwind in 3m seas and wind from WSW-SW of ~15kt. About to go on deck to gybe onto our preferred course of 075T and shake out more sail to speed us up - very slow just now and genoa not being very effective - keeps collapsing. Likely to need to pole it out but will wait until we've gybed and are on course to decide on that.

10am Grey skies and no hint of sun...
A big problem with the topping lift gone - had to shake out 2nd reef before the boom was high enough, with wind in enough sail, to pass over the bimmini framework - no way could I lift it up to get it over with the 2nd reef still tied in. I've now left it on the framework, supported partly by it, while I think through the situation - not ideal since we're running downwind and the boom should be sheeted out as far as possible to maximise speed. We can only make due E with difficulty, as things are.
Wondering about using the spinnaker halyard brought aft around the mast - but chafe will be a problem if I do that. Only other available choice is the 2nd genoa halyard.... but I'd prefer to keep that in reserve for the genoa, in case of a problem of failure with the present genoa halyard. Also, the spinnaker halyard is slightly thicker, so should be stronger. Took away the old topping lift from the boom end.
Having some breakfast while I ponder my options, in case I've overlooked something.

11:30am Some good news - the Low that was threatening is definitely no longer a threat - and maybe does or will not even exist - in any weather model! Means that we can head directly to a WP at 155W, or even 150W, and head N up the Pacific, roughly toward Hawaii via Tahiti, from there - in SE Trade winds initially.

Decision - go with spinnaker halyard - and keep fingers crossed it lasts and doesn't chafe through until after my return...

2:20pm Unbelievable how long some things take! The nice thing was working with so many birds around - albatrosses and petrels. Took a time freeing the spinnaker halyard so it would lead well around the mast top, then taking it back, keeping tension on so it didn't get tangled anywhere, attaching to aft end of boom and then coming back to mast, keeping tension on the spare line for as long as possible and finally winching in and closing the mast jammer... Job completed, with the boom held just nicely above the bimini framework and its weight taken by the spinnaker halyard - now under the title of 'topping lift'.
So then the mainsail could be sheeted out to where it needed to be for running downwind and a preventer firmly attached to the boom end to keep it in place before making a course adjustment.
Next job was to raise the pole to starboard, ready to take the genoa and go 'goose-winged' (or 'wing-on-wing') - another long job, especially rolling around in present 3m/10ft seas. Finally done and waiting to be used. The beauty of the system using three lines (up, fore, aft) is that the pole is independent of the sail and can be left in place if the sail is wanted on the other side for a time.
With the genoa upwind ('to weather'), held firmly on the pole, and the mainsail sheeted out downwind ('to leeward') we can sail on a much broader reach (more downwind) than otherwise - the genoa works well, held on the pole, and is not blanketed by the mainsail. Time to furl it in a little and take it over before adjusting our course some more. Then some lunch... I've worked hard for it!

3:30pm Still a fair number of birds around. Wind from WSW at 12-15kt. Another excellent job done - climbed up and removed a bit of string caught around the Superwind hub - wasn't too difficult, despite swell, and the windgen's blades are now spinning merrily again. Good to have its help charging the batteries.

4pm Suddenly today, have been getting 'Heading Not Available' messages on plotter.... On and off, beeping continually... Damn!!!

11pm Wind has died right down overnight - we're creeping along at 2-3kt - probably all night long.
Will turn off plotter so I can sleep - sometimes silent for a long time, other times it sounds every few seconds... Often it stops by itself. I'm suspecting one of the two AP control heads must be causing the problem now but not sure which one can be safely disconnected without causing an AP control problem.

Tuesday 2:15am NZT (Mon 1415GMT) Wind died, so very little boat speed and difficult to maintain our course.
Having to sleep in snatches at chart table in between dealing with frequent "Heading Not Available" messages that come up on plotter - often self-correcting but not always... Turning off the plotter didn't work - then got NO PILOT messages on AP control head!
We're drifting due N at just over 1kt, with bow pointing 057T. Wind has backed to S, it seems, judging from our drift. Time to take genoa off the pole and to port, if so.

3am Very wet on deck - it clearly rained a short while ago. A lovely starry sky, moon high and just out from behind clearing clouds to NE.
Took the genoa off the pole and over to port and took up on the mainsheet to bring the mainsail more aft - we're nearly on a beam reach now. Speed is better - 3.5-4kt instead of 1-2kt - and so is our course - no problem making our preferred course of 062T now. Wind is about 12-15kt from S-SSE.

5am Still trying to get somewhere with plotter error message problem. Trying to make contact with my reliable Raymarine person in SA but no joy so far. Now seems clear to me that one of the two AP control heads (one of which, in cockpit, is not very easy to access behind) must be causing the problem - but so far I'm not clear which one to disconnect - so very little sleep overnight... I'm tired!!!

6am Daybreak a short while ago. Wind had died back down again and we were making only 2-2.5 kt and struggling to keep on course. Went on deck to find that wind has backed more - to SE - so we're on a close reach now. Sheeted in mainsail and our speed increased immediately - making around 3.5-4kt now, in wind of just over 10kt.
Lots of grey clouds around - some showers not far away.

 

****************************************************
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!
***************************************************

1900GMT (= 7 a.m. NZT) - end of Day 265. We made 77 n.ml. DMG, measured in a straight line between the two 1900GMT positions. Very slow overnight in light wind.

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 265 (by daily DMGs): 21,450 n.ml

Distances (at 1900GMT): Wellington, N.Island, N.Z.: 1104 n.ml. to SW; East Cape, N.Z.: 872 n.ml. to SW; Christchurch, S.Island, N.Z.: 1237 n.ml. to SW; Tahiti: 1235 n.ml. to NE

Position, as posted to www.Winlink.org and www.Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV):
TIME: 2019/06/25 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 33-27.13S LONGITUDE: 164-19.78W
COURSE: 060T SPEED: 4.1kt
WIND_SPEED: 12kt WIND_DIR: SE SWELL_DIR: SSW SWELL_HT: 2.5m CLOUDS: 80%
BARO: 1019.4hPa TREND: 2 AIR_TEMP: 19.0C
COMMENT: Wind backed to SE at daybreak

Monday 8:30am NZT (Sun 2030GMT) Very dull, overcast sky. Wind from NNW now and seas still very choppy with only a 5-second interval but down from last evening. Wind supposed to be around 23-26kt, according to weather files, but seems to be quite a lot less - nearer 12-15 kt, I'd say. We're only making around 4.6kt so will unfurl genoa. Still thinking about untying a reef - maybe after breakfast...

9:15am Glad I didn't unfurl the genoa or let out the third reef - wind now up to 25kt or more - the forecast was right! I actually furled in genoa to the third reef mark - ready for a possible 'blow', with wind possibly increasing even more in gusts - to over 30kt.

Plenty of birds around, enjoying the strong wind - one albatross looks like a Laysan but I need to check. Has a lot of black markings on its underwing and a yellow bill.

Noticed the topping lift is trailing behind in the sea - seems to have parted near the mast head. Must retrieve it when things calm down but no rush for time being since not using motor and no chance just now that it will get tangled in prop but must get it in very soon. Has been doing a good job supporting the boom since the problem with the kicker several months ago when its rivets let go - but clearly not up to the task in the rough conditions encountered over the last few months. Its absence will cause a problem from time to time - no way I can replace it, unfortunately.

CHUN I NO.11 - nos 2,4,6,7 are all fishing boats (Chinese?) about 4-7 miles off - one due to pass pretty close..... Hope they keep clear!

....The one that was about to get within one mile has now slowed right down - presumably to let us pass ahead and avoid a close encounter - excellent!

..... A second that was due to get close has turned around to head S.

Called both on VHF radio but no reply although they must have heard me calling since within 3 miles. Had a look but neither is visible in these seas.

Wind still well up, seas have increased as well and we're now making about 4.6kt.

The Superwind is living up to its name and putting in up to 14A in this strong wind.

Time for breakfast - still not had that yet....

12:20pm Think we're into a lull, although I'm hoping it's an improvement in conditions from now on... Just had a couple of hours of hell - in 35-40kt winds, big seas, at 4-6m & 8 secs interval, well heeled and being tossed around by each successive foam-swept wave which frequently washed over the decks and into the cockpit.... As soon as I went to ease the mainsheet, I got totally doused with water twice in quick succession - TG this time I'd raised the hood on my foulie jacket so didn't get too much down inside. All very unpleasant and I have to say I was constantly worried and wondering if we'd be OK for much longer, we were being heeled and tossed around so very much. Felt very much like survival mode.... Definitely one of those times when you wonder what you're doing out here!

I noticed the Superwind was not turning any more - looks as though a short piece of line has got caught around its hub. Hope I can release that once we're into calm seas sometime soon.

With the topping lift gone, and having eased the mainsheet to try to heel less, the boom was moving a lot. I think it was being held by the bimini steelwork when it was centred but easing meant it was no longer supported and the vang/rod-kicker was loose and not working to give the support it is designed to. (It's a gas-filled system that pushes up to support the weight of the boom and a pulley system on it is tensioned to keep the boom down as required.)

A big bang! ...Just got really knocked sideways suddenly by a big wave - we didn't quite broach but a near thing...

12:45pm Wind still abated... hope it stays down! Might just be a lull.. A lot quieter but wind still in mid-20s.

The Chinese fishing boats are still around but keeping a distance away - 6 miles or more..

Time to grab some brunch and check weather info again... I'm not in a rush to shake out any reefs just yet...

Once this Front has passed over, the wind is likely to back quite quickly to NW, eventually easing and coming from W by midnight, then easing further and becoming WSW-SW 17kt tomorrow, if the forecast is correct.

3pm Wind seems to have died right down so we're struggling to make our course with little boat speed. Need more canvas but I'm worried in case the forecast winds of 26kt should arrive again - with higher gusts... Raining now...

Unfurling some genoa would help speed, and not too difficult to furl in again if needed.

Light beginning to fade early with so much grey cloud.

6pm More rain - haven't had much for some time - good to wash the salt off the boat!

Wind back up, around 25kt, with higher gusts, so good to have third reef in still. Genoa also still well furled. No problem making our course of 070T with boat speed back up to 5.5-6kt.

Just had another knock from a slightly breaking wave on the beam - always a slight shock when it happens - unexpected ... and boat jerks suddenly sideways, to leeward (downwind).

Radio has been going well over today - have spoken (on 14165) to Rick, VE7TK, in Victoria B.C., with excellent signals both ways just after sunset, to California, Oregon and Arizona and also to Melbourne, Australia, and then, just after dark, on 20m, to Fiji (on the S. Pacific Cruisers Net, on a maritime frequency).

Running generator - with windgen jammed by string, and so not turning, having to be extra careful to keep an eye on battery state of charge.

10pm Feels relatively calm now, with wind well eased from its earlier intensity and seas a lot more gentle, although still rolling us around. Sails still well-reefed overnight in case of possible gusts. Should be fine to shake them out in the morning, when weather will definitely be more settled.

Tuesday 3am NZT (Mon 1500GMT) Dark night with little help from moon behind thick cloud layer in light rain. Was woken by noise of boom trying to gybe and banging into bimini frame - wind had backed a lot, to W, so running downwind now. Struggled into foulies and boots.

Bimini frame was stopping the very low boom from gybing - a good thing but had to get boom onto a tensioned preventer and ease mainsheet more for a run. Clearly, gas-filled rod-kicker is no longer pushing up on boom to help keep it in place correctly - reason for having attached topping lift some months ago to keep it above framework.

Retrieved broken topping lift from trailing in sea from aft end of boom (along with several bright, tiny, phosphorescent beings that had, unfortunately for them, attached themselves to the line). Unfurled a lot more genoa - need more sail but will wait until daylight to shake out third reef in main. Slow now, running in lighter wind.

Battery charge is fine for now. Back to my bunk for some more sleep.

Tuesday 7am NZT (Mon 1900GMT) Mainly cloudy sky with a few small blue patches - cloud beginning to break. Rolling around downwind in 3m seas from WSW-SW of ~15kt. Need to gybe onto our preferred course of 075T and shake out more sail to speed us up - very slow just now and genoa not being very effective - keeps collapsing. Likely to need to pole it out but will wait until we've gybed and are on course to decide on that.

****************************************************

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!

******************************************************************************

1900GMT (= 7 a.m. NZT) - end of Day 264. We made 96 n.ml. DMG, measured in a straight line between the two 1900GMT positions.

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 264 (by daily DMGs): 21,373 n.ml

Distances (at 1900GMT): Wellington, N.Island, N.Z.: 1022 n.ml. to SW; East Cape, N.Z.: 796 n.ml. to SW; Christchurch, S.Island, N.Z.: 1157 n.ml. to SW; Tahiti: 1301 n.ml. to NE

Position, as posted to www.Winlink.org and www.Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV):

TIME: 2019/06/24 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 33-52.28S LONGITUDE: 165-46.66W

COURSE: 043T SPEED: 3.3kt

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

BARO: 1014.1hPa TREND: 0 AIR_TEMP: 20.0C

COMMENT:Downwind;need to gybe onto 075T & shake out reefs.

Sunday 10:30am NZT (Sat 2230GMT) Overcast sky has given way to broken cloud so seeing some blue sky and bright sunshine.

With the cabin temperature reaching just over 20C/68F, I've removed two top fleece layers and a thick lower one - at last! Nice to have less thicknesses on - not such a Michelin man now.

Reduced sail earlier in 20+ kt wind from N - down to 1st 'reef' mark in genoa and 2nd reef in main. Seas rough still and washing the decks frequently.

1pm Back down below after long session on deck under cloudy sky - sunshine gone. Wind 25kt, gusting 35kt - was definitely over 30kt. We had been really well heeled for quite a time. Very difficult moving around or doing anything with big seas on the beam banging into us and rolling us around, especially when heeled like that. Decided time to reef down mainsail again - to 3rd reef... and also furled in genoa some more. Decks were frequently under water - toe-rails especially were often well awash as seas came onto us and heeled us over.

Expecting wind to begin to back towards NW soon. Will try to follow it around (how I miss Fred when doing that!) so we end up heading NNE, finally.

The Low that was threatening next Tues/Wed, and losing me sleep, seems to be less of a worry now and is expected to head more ESE so we should, hopefully, be able to keep well out of its way as it passes us.

Think I need a short nap to make up for lost sleep...

3:40pm Happy that Aurora is now back receiving weather and other emails. Had been getting "No mail on server" messages which was clearly not so since weather downloads come in several times each day. Presently catching up with download of 16 emails...!

9pm Seems the Low that was threatening is possibly no longer forecast to cause a major problem....

Monday 4am NZT Wind has died down a bit but seas still up. Totally overcast sky with moon's position just discernible by faint patch of light from above cloud layer - not managing to light up sky to any useful extent ...pretty dark on deck.. Wind on the beam more, from NW-WNW direction. Boat only making 4kt in the lighter wind. Will release the reefs in daylight - only 4 hours away. Thought about unfurling to full genoa but found more wind than expected, so leaving until daylight also.

Water sloshing around in the head below the washboard - will need to remove that when light enough - presume it's from cockpit hard top which is leaking around the damaged port pane in the windscreen - was letting in water often when waves washed over it yesterday in the rough seas.

7am NZT (Sun 1900GMT) Very dull, overcast sky. Wind from NNW now and seas still very choppy with only a 5-second interval but down from last evening. Wind supposed to be around 23-26kt, according to weather files, but seems to be quite a lot less - nearer 12-15 kt, I'd say. We're only making around 4kt so will shortly untie a reef and unfurl some genoa, hoping to pick up speed.

****************************************************

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!

***************************************************

1900GMT (= 7 a.m. NZT) - end of Day 263. We made 117 n.ml. DMG, measured in a straight line between the two 1900GMT positions.

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 263 (by daily DMGs): 21,277 n.ml

Distances (at 1900GMT): Wellington, N.Island, N.Z.: 928 n.ml. to SW; East Cape, N.Z.: 700 n.ml. to SW; Christchurch, S.Island, N.Z.: 1066 n.ml. to SW; Tahiti: 1391 n.ml. to NE

Position, as posted to www.Winlink.org and www.Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV):

TIME: 2019/06/23 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 34-23.83S LONGITUDE: 167-36.49W

COURSE: 071T SPEED: 4.2kt

WIND_SPEED: 15kt WIND_DIR: NNW SWELL_DIR: NNW SWELL_HT: 3.0m SWELL_PER: 5s

CLOUDS: 100% BARO: 1015.5hPa TREND: 0 AIR_TEMP: 20.0C

COMMENT: Sailing: ENE in NNW wind - down a bit... Seas still lumpy and rough but less so

Saturday 11am NZT (Friday 2300GMT) A bright sunny day with plenty of broken cloud. Making good speed E in N wind but seas are a bit rough - lumpy with two different swells, one from NE at 2m and another from S at 1m

Will be celebrating 'official' crossing of the Date Line later - but will keep to NZT for moment - very convenient and puts off repeating a day & going backward in time for a while. Date Line is very 'wiggly' anyway - there are places to the NE of here which also keep to NZT - so I'm in good company!

Time for a quick nap - sails should be fine - wind expected to be consistently from N over today and tonight but I'll probably take in a reef at sunset since wind is likely to have increased enough to need that by then.

3:45pm Cabin temperature is just over 20C/68F and I'm beginning to feel over-heated...! Will be removing one or two layers very soon - great!

Wind is N at around 17kt and we're making good progress ENE. Sun is beginning to get low and I'll be tying in the first reef before dark - wind is expected to increase more overnight and we're heeling a lot already, so time to reef down a bit.

4:45pm Darkness is nearly here - rather early, with a lot of grey cloud everywhere now from the Front approaching. The first reef is tied in - always takes a time getting it seen to. Slows us down from the previous 5.8kt we were making but with the wind expected to pick up to 20kt overnight and stay there, so best to tie it in now while I can easily see what I'm doing. Tomorrow afternoon, it's likely to increase to 25kt and even more overnight, staying well up overnight into Monday, with heavy rain likely at times, as the Front passes over.

7pm Enjoying a small 'Date Line' celebration... Cashews, chunks of feta cheese with black Kalamata olives, and a very tasty pate de campagne on crackers... All accompanied by a glass of Pinot noir and some very nice, relaxing music.

Midnight Still going quite well, although not fast enough .... I don't like seeing the wind dropping as it has now..... our speed drops right down with it... It's supposed to be about 22kt...!

Sunday 6:30am NZT (Sat 1830GMT) Sunrise not far off. Heeling a lot, so time to reduce sail in 20+ kt wind from N - down to 1st 'reef' mark in genoa and 2nd reef in main. Seas rough still and washing the decks frequently.

****************************************************

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!

***************************************************

1900GMT (= 7 a.m. NZT) - end of Day 262. We made 125 n.ml. DMG, measured in a straight line between the two 1900GMT positions.

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 262 (by daily DMGs): 21,160 n.ml

Distances (at 1900GMT): Wellington, N.Island, N.Z.: 817 n.ml. to SW; East Cape, N.Z.: 583 n.ml. to WSW; Christchurch, S.Island, N.Z.: 960 n.ml. to SW; Tahiti: 1471 n.ml. to NE

Position, as posted to www.Winlink.org and www.Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV). Abbreviated version today:

TIME: 2019/06/22 19:00

LATITUDE: 34-48.33S

LONGITUDE: 169-55.80W

COURSE: 082T

SPEED: 5.5

COMMENT: Sailing: ENE in N wind still. Seas lumpy; on close reach

Friday 8:20am NZT (Thurs 2020GMT) Creeping N at around 2kt in light air from ESE and a slight 2m SE swell. A bright sunny day with just a little cloud, mainly ahead, and an albatross gliding not far away...

Coming up to Midwinter solstice down here, so shortest day today - but getting warmer slowly, as we head further N....

Midday Not seeing much benefit having hoisted full main - we didn't seem to have increased speed at all with it raised, with 1st reef shaken out. Took a lot of effort (my electric drill winch 'cranker' has stopped working since the knockdown) but finally got it there - to find we're still only making just over 1kt, headed just E of N. Being close-hauled doesn't help our speed but I want to avoid heading W as much as possible in what is effectively an E wind..
Doubt we'll get over the Date Line today!
Albatross still circling around - looks very much like a Buller's albatross (mollymawk) but couldn't see the bill well enough to be sure (see photos posted two days ago)
All very calm and peaceful. A good time to do things not possible in bigger seas and winds - I was finally able to untangle the starboard lazyjack line from having got itself (again) around the mast deck-light fitting. Also trying get a few other small odd jobs done - including making a beef stew for the next few days' meals.

Time for a quick lunch and then maybe a short sleep is in order... Got to sleep late last night, worrying about the wind direction, and was up early.

2:45pm No sleep - weather next week is increasingly becoming a concern. Downloaded fresh weather files. Quite apart from being trapped in the present High pressure system, with its light air so we're not really getting anywhere, there's a Front coming within a couple of days, likely to be gusting to 30kt or more for a time, so not very pleasant but not too bad. Then there is a deepening Low, with an associated Front, coming after that and likely to cross our path if we continue heading NE as planned- in order to avoid its strongest winds and seas, we'll need to keep up a good speed as much as possible, hoping to get ahead of it to the NE as it passes our position, heading SE. It's expected to develop a lot as it gets closer.

6pm Wind has really died down - there's no steerage so I found it impossible to persuade the boat to come about when the sails were backed. Furled in the genoa and drifted in wind of 5kt or so. No moon yet and cloudy, so very dark night.

8:15pm A little N wind so got underway - sailing due E now with full main and genoa - making just under 2kt. Moon just rising from behind low cloud. Sea fairly calm - just a slight SW swell. Time for some food - had nothing since cereal and scrambled eggs for breakfast...
8:30pm Well... we did start to sail - but then the wind died again and we ended up with sails backed, hove-to.. Takes time to get out of that - when the windgen blades aren't turning, the wind must be well under 7kt. Started off again - hoping to keep creeping forward - the moon is still partly hidden by clouds in the E but will soon be giving a good light. Making around 1kt almost due E on a beam reach.

10pm Wind has actually filled in a bit - we're now making around 3.5kt due E... speedy!! Hope it stays and isn't just a gust.

Saturday 4am NZT (1600GMT Fri) Moon shining quite brightly - a few clouds around but not many. Wind from N now and we're making better speed due E - around 4.5 kt, with full main & genoa. Pitching and banging into waves a bit.

7am WE CROSSED THE DATE LINE A SHORT WHILE AGO - now at 172 27.39'W. Keeping to NZT for time being - very convenient and puts off 'losing' a day & going 'backward in time' for a while. Date Line is very 'wiggly' anyway - there are places to the N of here which also keep to NZT - so I'm in company!
Bright sunshine in between a lot of broken cloud, much of it thin. A real mixed swell giving very lumpy, rough seas - S at 2m and N at 1m. A lot of pounding/banging into the seas - very uncomfortable. Continuing due E under full canvas. Moon still visible, high up.

Photos are showing position of Date Line and Nereida's full mainsail, with repaired leech edges high up.

****************************************************
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!
***************************************************

1900GMT (= 7 a.m. NZT) - end of Day 261. We made 29 n.ml. DMG, measured in a straight line between the two 1900GMT positions. Drifted around, N then E, most of the time, in High...

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 261 (by daily DMGs): 21,035 n.ml

Distances (at 1900GMT): Wellington, N.Island, N.Z.: 710 n.ml. to SW; East Cape, N.Z.: 646 n.ml. to WSW; Christchurch, S.Island, N.Z.: 856 n.ml. to SW; Tahiti: 1603 n.ml. to NE

Position, as posted to www.Winlink.org and www.Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV):
TIME: 2019/06/21 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 34-59.05S LONGITUDE: 172-27.39W
COURSE: 087T SPEED: 4.5kt
WIND_SPEED: 11kt WIND_DIR: N SWELL_DIR: S SWELL_HT: 2.0m CLOUDS: 90%
BARO: 1019.5hPa TREND: 0 AIR_TEMP: 18.0C
COMMENT: Underway from 8pm NZT, Wind up a bit by 10pm so SOG 3.5kt.

Thursday 8:45am NZT (Wed 2045GMT) Full daylight since well before 6:30am NZT. A repeat then exactly of what I wrote yesterday! 'Showery, gusty conditions with plenty of rain clouds around.' - except that the clouds have suddenly mostly cleared away so the gusty conditions should be a thing of the past for now.

Wind from SSE now around 12kt and expected to lessen and back slowly over the day as High pressure builds further. Will need to keep an eye on wind direction - a nuisance not to have any wind information on display anywhere, but the change is expected to be very slow so no big problem monitoring it.

Seas are still around 3m/10ft, although less close and with two totally different swell directions - from both SE and WSW - the sea state is still quite confused and choppy. But, with the lighter wind, there are no tumbling crests so we're not being hit suddenly and so no sudden lurches to catch me unprepared.

While I was spending time studying the swells, there were several albatrosses soaring around in the bright sunshine. Unusually, I saw one flapping its wings several times as it flew close to the sea surface. They are normally seen just gliding around, using the uplift from the waves and rarely needing to flap their wings.

10:40am That large patch of blue sky and bright sunshine didn't last long - we're back into almost total overcast, although quite bright, and gusty conditions again. I'm so glad that 1st reef is still in! We're heeling well in the present gust and making over 6kt with seas occasionally coming on deck...

4pm Sun already low in the W. Had a very good map earlier - didn't realise how tired I was but clearly needed it. Running generator and watermaker after checking in with Pacific Seafarers' Net. Seas are a lot easier now, although still from two directions - WSW predominant one and a smaller one from E and wind is down to around 10kt from SSE, so boat speed well down. Wind expected to die down to around 7 kt or less over coming 24hrs or more - centre of H will be passing over us as it heads SE slowly.

4:25pm Conditions looking more settled now although still a few big clouds around - about 30% cover. Would be shaking out the first reef but sunset now - so will leave overnight and shake out at first light in the morning. Compromising with a bit of sail trimming - always a good thing to do.

4:50pm As if to confirm a good decision - we've a big grey cloud over most of the sky, wind has increased a lot and light rain has fallen. We're making 5-6kt now and heeling a fair amount. There's a lot more cloud around than just a short while earlier. I've just been to the mast to check on some lines there and will make some pancakes while there's still a little light - fading fast...

A few minutes later - wind has now died right down again, so boat speed has dropped,but good to know that if another rain cloud comes over during the night, we'll not be over-canvassed with the first reef in.

A few albatross seen circling around again, despite the light having almost completely gone. Maybe the same ones as seen earlier today. They must be about to settle for the night.

Air temperature is just over 19C now - slowly getting higher each day as we head N.

7pm Enjoying some chocolate with my last Dark 'n' Stormy of this voyage after a very nice celebratory meal of chicken and asparagus in white sauce followed by pancakes with maple syrup (almost finished) - all in celebration of crossing the Date Line imminently - we're now at 173 10'W, so another 40' to go before crossing it at 172 30'W. It's actually 40 miles away along our present course so likely not to be until around dawn tomorrow but no worries - anticipation is good! Maybe I'll be able to enjoy a celebratory breakfast as well.

Future celebrations, apart from arrival, will be on crossing the two Tropics (Capricorn at 23.5S and Cancer at 23.5N) and the Equator -I have something else left for those parties!

The sky was clear and full of stars a short while ago - but suddenly we were galloping along at speed - another cloud had come by... Now we're back to crawling at a snail's pace, after it passed over... A real stop and start night, this will be.

4:30am We've gone around in several circles - wind is so light and has clearly backed a lot, so it's difficult to know where exactly it's coming from, except maybe somewhere between E and N ....! According to forecast, it should be 7kt from ESE but doesn't seem to be. We're making such little speed, maybe better to down sails and just drift - trying to ignore fact that it would seem to be to NNW-NW since low speed doesn't exactly get us very far in several hours even....so it's of little consequence which way we drift. We're presently making 354T at ~1.5kt.

6:30am Bright moon high up in clear sky overhead as first light increases before sunrise and stars fade. Venus low over pink-orange-coloured E horizon above long, low, grey cloud which is seen all around, low on horizon. Everywhere else, a clear sky.

We're creeping along at 2.4kt due N in ESE wind that is hardly turning the windgen blades, it's so light - around 5-6kt maybe and only just able to make the tiny ripples on the water surface that show its true direction.

Wind is forecast to back further and stay very light over next 24hrs - so we'll probably be forced to head either NNW-NW or ESE-SE - neither of which is in keeping with my preferred ENE course.

The aim is to reach 27S 155W if at all possible - and preferably not be overtaken before then by a strong Low system heading SE towards us early next week. Until then the winds are clocking all around - soon to N, then W and finally E, sometimes quite strong in between the lighter wind.

Seems to me we've a 50-50 chance of making our WP in good time.... A very frustrating few days coming up - yet again!

And we still haven't crossed the Date Line - maybe not for another slow day or two....

****************************************************

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!

***************************************************

1900GMT (= 7 a.m. NZT) - end of Day 260. We made 66 n.ml. DMG, measured in a straight line between the two 1900GMT positions.

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 260 (by daily DMGs): 21,006 n.ml

Distances (at 1900GMT): Wellington, N.Island, N.Z.: 671 n.ml. to SW; East Cape, N.Z.: 432 n.ml. to WSW; Christchurch, S.Island, N.Z.: 828 n.ml. to SW; Tahiti: 1632 n.ml. to NE

Position, as posted to www.Winlink.org and www.Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV):

TIME: 2019/06/20 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 35-13.94S LONGITUDE: 172-57.84W

COURSE: 000T SPEED: 2.1kt

WIND_SPEED: 6kt WIND_DIR: ESE SWELL_DIR: SW SWELL_HT: 2.0m CLOUDS: 10%

BARO: 1022.8hPa TREND: 0 AIR_TEMP: 19.0C

COMMENT: Wind backed to ESE and dropped well down...

Wednesday 9:15am NZT (Tues 2115GMT) Showery, gusty conditions with plenty of rain clouds around. Wind from S now around 20kt and expected to lessen slowly over the day as High pressure builds.
Seas still close together at 6 seconds and most are just over 3m/10ft high but only the occasional bigger one, nearer to 4m, knocks us about harder. I'm mostly feeling fairly gentle rocking from side to side as we sail along with wind just abaft the beam.
Noticing that dawn is coming earlier as we head E - today, at 7am, it was very light and past sunrise already.
Was nice to chat to cruising friends on SSB/HF radio earlier - on their way to Fiji from New Zealand but pausing for a few days inside Minerva Reef. a very pleasant stop-over on the way.

2pm Showery, cloudy day has given way to bright sunshine and fewer clouds. Pressure has risen to 1020hPa and wind is definitely slowly getting less. Seas are still a bit rough and giving a 'boisterous' ride at times. Full genoa... and soon the 2nd reef will need to be shaken out - having a 'cup of tea' in the meantime! (Actually, a mug of broccoli & cauliflower soup - very tasty.)
With help from Luis Soltero of GMN (via Colin, VK6CI), the missing 'send' and 'save' buttons on the XGate emailing software have been very easily brought back into view and use - excellent! Simple to do when you know how! Thanks to both for their help and special thanks to Luis for the loan of the Aurora terminal and the Iridium airtime given and being made good use of.
Temperature has got up to just over 18C again - we're definitely slowly getting further N into warmer climes... but I'm still waiting to remove several fleeces and looking forward to replacing with shorts and T-shirt...

6:45pm Sun was setting around 4:30pm tonight so it's been dark now for quite a time. The wind is dying, it seems - the sails are flogging a bit at times, from not enough wind to keep them filled as the waves move us around from side to side, and the boom jerks as the mainsail goes slack and then fills a short while later with the wave movement - it's held in place by the preventer... Lots of cloud still around to give gusty conditions at times, to add in to the mix.. Difficult to see where the wind is coming from, although I looked at the windgen and it indicated the direction was no different from earlier - so what I'm noticing is due to the combination of light wind with the wave motion. Our speed has definitely dropped ...

10pm Finally shook out the 2nd reef which could have come out earlier, but with gusty conditions, took my time - speed is up nicely now, in wind just over 15kt. Need daylight to shake out 1st reef - strong sail tie is in too well to release at night.
Lovely moonlit night - was very pleasant working on deck, although took a time winching up the halyard in a good 3m/10ft swell. Will need to keep an eye on wind direction tomorrow - forecast to back slowly to SE by evening, maybe ESE.
To my bunk now - nice to feel Nereida sailing smoothly and well.

11:20pm Well, to my bunk was the plan - but actually spent a good long time first chatting to a lot of US ham radio contacts in Florida, Virginia, Ohio, and many others elsewhere, including a few from Canada and even from the islands of Barbados and Roatan... Good that the batteries are holding charge fine now and the wind generator (Superwind) is doing such a good job helping to put in the amps also. Now... to my bunk... I must get some sleep!

Thursday 5am NZT (Wed 1700GMT) Cloudy sky with moon not getting through much - too few breaks in cloud. Still managing to light up the scene a little, which is not as dark as it would otherwise be. Wind from S still and around 12kt, so we're making just under 5kt - likely to become less over the day coming up...
Speed just went up to over 6kt for a time as wind increased under a cloud giving light shower...Glad didn't shake out 1st reef - heeling plenty as it is, in gust! Pressure quite high at 1020hPa but has levelled out.
A bit more sleep before dawn breaks.... Difficult getting into windward bunk (starboard) when boat heeling to leeward a lot.

Photo was taken by Allan Sutherland, at Primeport Timaru, of Nereida on a mooring buoy in the harbour there, just over a week ago. Thanks for sending, Allan!

****************************************************
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!
***************************************************

1900GMT (= 7 a.m. NZT) - end of Day 259. We made 116 n.ml. DMG, measured in a straight line between the two 1900GMT positions.

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 259 (by daily DMGs): 20,940 n.ml

Distances (at 1900GMT): Wellington, N.Island, N.Z.: 610 n.ml. to SW; East Cape, N.Z.: 377 n.ml. to WSW; Christchurch, S.Island, N.Z.: 763 n.ml. to SW; Tahiti: 1697 n.ml. to NE

Position, as posted to www.Winlink.org and www.Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV):
TIME: 2019/06/19 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 35-50.58S LONGITUDE: 174-06.26W
COURSE: 070T SPEED: 5.5kt
WIND_SPEED: 12kt WIND_DIR: S SWELL_DIR: SSW SWELL_HT: 3.0m CLOUDS: 95%
BARO: 1021.6hPa TREND: 0 AIR_TEMP: 17.0C
COMMENT: Gusty -speed up & down - occasional showers. Wind backing slowly

Tuesday 6:15am NZT (Mon 1815GMT) Peaceful downwind sailing under blue sky with a fair amount of scattered white cloud. Our speed still seems to be around 5.5kt in wind from SW quadrant that I thought was possibly getting lighter but is not - just the misleading 'smooth' effect of sailing downwind. Difficult knowing exact wind speed without an instrument to show it.

10am Checked in with a couple of morning radio Nets - Aus&NZ. Ran generator (still putting in plenty of charge - great to see that) and ran watermaker at same time. Filled water bottles directly, as usual, and rest went into tank.

Midday Sun still shining nicely but feeling cold. Cleared up and now going to have a short sleep. Wind is SSW, expected to back slowly to become S quite soon.

2:30pm Rain in SW wind up to over 20kt and rough 3m, 5sec, seas, both increased under raincloud - swinging around a lot... Furled in some genoa. Showery conditions - plenty of grey clouds around. Wind eased soon after rain stopped - unfurled some genoa to speed up.

5pm Sunset half an hour ago - dark now. I soon realised we were into difficult, unpleasant, gusty conditions - furled genoa partly back in again to allow for the strong gusts when they arrive.

A wave just broke over and into the cockpit - some water getting down below, onto the companionway steps and the cabin sole nearby...

The main problem is caused by the steep, short seas, only 5-6 seconds apart..... Running downwind is normally an enjoyable experience but with these rough seas swinging us around so much, the main is far too often backed. A very unpleasant and uncomfortable feeling when that happens and a good thing the preventer does its job of holding the boom from crashing over to the opposite side of the boat..

Looks as though I'm going to have to suffer these conditions overnight and on well into the morning...and even then, the wind might be abating but the seas will stay well up over most of the day. This will definitely be a case of getting through as best I can.

Having a problem with the 'send' button having disappeared in the XGate email software! Makes it a bit difficult posting emails without it. Hoping to resolve the problem.

Tuesday 5am NZT (on 1700GMT) Bright, but waning, moon shining high overhead in between some scattered large white clouds and a very bright star - planet? - a touch lower but still very high in W. Seas still well up and swinging us around a lot but wind must have backed more into SSW since not threatening to back mainsail any longer - that's a relief! Making a fair speed with double reef in main and very small genoa - will unfurl some more around dawn when I can see better - under 3 hours away. Not surfing on waves as much as earlier - often saw 12kt, or even 15kt once or twice, occasionally then. Now only just over 8kt at times.

Pumped the bilge - needed it, especially after a wave had come into cockpit and some water got down below. ...

Oops ...! Just saw 10.2kt SOG as we were hit hard on starboard beam by a tumbling wave and knocked to port as I was typing this....

Back for some more sleep, leaving computer to finish downloading some weather files... no urgency...

****************************************************

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!

***************************************************

1900GMT (= 7 a.m. NZT) - end of Day 258. We made 129 n.ml. DMG, measured in a straight line between the two 1900GMT positions. (Even better than yesterday's 127 n.ml!)

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 258 (by daily DMGs): 20,824 n.ml

Distances (at 1900GMT): Wellington, N.Island, N.Z.: 500 n.ml. to SW; East Cape, N.Z.: 255 n.ml. to WSW; Christchurch, S.Island, N.Z.: 650 n.ml. to SW; Tahiti: 1814 n.ml. to NE

Position, as posted to www.Winlink.org and www.Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV):

TIME: 2019/06/18 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 36-39.59S LONGITUDE: 176-17.09W

COURSE: 061T SPEED: 5.7kt

WIND_SPEED: 20kt WIND_DIR: S SWELL_DIR: SSW SWELL_HT: 4.0m CLOUDS: 80%

BARO: 1017.6hPa TREND: 0 AIR_TEMP: 16.0C

COMMENT: Showers. Good progress - 129 n.ml.DMG

(I'm quite a few days behind on the really important world news of the day...!)
------------------------------------------------------------------

Not only are we now N of 40S ... but we also just passed over the 180 Meridian - so we're now in the western hemisphere.
____________________________________________________________________________________________
Friends Steve and Danny on board 'Tikka' are sailing all around Britain in difficult conditions, fundraising for 'Children in Need'. If you are anywhere near the many ports where they are stopping overnight or waiting out the stormy weather they have often been experiencing, go meet them and help their fund-raising efforts.
Google 'Tikka's Travels' to find out more (or click here). They have reached Ireland and are about to sail N to Scotland - do support them if you can. ____________________________________________________________________________________________

Monday 8:30am NZT (Sun 2030 GMT) A very pleasant, sunny day. Seas were quite rough but seem to have died down now, with less wind also than overnight. Making 5-5.5kt in SW wind around 15kt. Just a few clouds in sky - pleasant morning - time for breakfast.

11am NZT (GMT-12 hr) We're close to crossing the 180 degrees Meridian that divides the Eastern hemisphere from the Western hemisphere - labelling of longitude lines will change from E to W. But the Date Line is still 7.5 degrees further away to the E from here, so there's no change in time zone from NZT until we cross the line of longitude at 172.5W - probably in over three days' time. Have just been exploring the Date Line positioning - and very wiggly it is, too!
Think I'll have my Meridian-crossing party today and postpone the confusion of crossing the Date Line to another time... Keeping to NZT will work fine until we cross into Polynesia (at the Austral Islands) where the time zone everywhere is GMT-10 hrs.

12:20pm Just got the important world (basketball) news of the day - well done, Raptors! All Canada is celebrating! Beat the Oakland Warriors at an away match in the Bay area.

2pm Just passed into Western hemisphere! Now in W longitudes, as well as being N of 40S - all good.

6:20pm Moon rose an hour or so ago, with bright Jupiter not far off, after sun had not long set.
Finished chatting on a few Nets - both ham and Cruisers' radio Nets - contacts from Fiji to Melbourne to Hawaii to Bay of Islands. All very sociable.
Coast leading N to East Cape of North Island, New Zealand, is still just visible in top left corner of AIS screen, 96 miles off - definitely last land to be near enough to 'see' for quite a time.. maybe for over two months..
Celebrating crossing the Meridian with a small glass of Pinot Noir (thanks, Elaine!) and some cashew nuts, before a big bowl of hot, thick bean & barley & ham soup, followed by some chocolate. Soon enough, I shan't be looking for hot soups, with the expected/hoped-for rise in temperature over the next few weeks.

11:30pm Wind not as strong as expected but definitely backing slowly. Will need to change course a little to compensate before gybing eventually onto starboard from port tack - around dawn, maybe. Getting to sleep.

Tuesday 2am (Mon 1400GMT) Back down below after gybing onto starboard tack in SSW wind. Moon shining so brightly, no headlamp was needed to see what I was doing. Seas are easily 3m and close-to, as I've come to expect hereabouts, with steep faces but always pleasanter to be running downwind. We're making around 5.5 kt on 063T - good to be making some better Easting - we need that just now, while we can.
Back to my bunk again...

6:15am Had to get out of my bunk to tension the genoa to stop it from flogging in the wind shadow of the mainsail - sounds a lot more peaceful without all that noise...
Dawn light is just starting up in the East and the bright full moon is just going down behind a few clouds over the W horizon. A bright star is close to the E horizon - possibly not Mercury (?) since it could be too far from the sun (usually only seen nearby within half an hour of sunrise/set), but maybe Venus, since Jupiter was seen near the E horizon last night at sunset so would not still be there now.
Our speed still seems to be around 5kt in wind from SW quadrant that feels as though it is getting lighter.
Time to prepare my reports for posting. Photos are of albatross (almost certainly a Southern Buller's, from head colouring and thick yellow base to upper yellow line on bill), that came close to 'Nereida' last week, off Timaru, in no wind.

****************************************************
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!
***************************************************

1900GMT (= 7 a.m. NZT) - end of Day 257. We made 127 n.ml. DMG, measured in a straight line between the two 1900GMT positions. A lot better...!

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 257 (by daily DMGs): 20,823 n.ml

Distances (at 1900GMT): Wellington, N.Island, N.Z.: 373 n.ml. to SW; Napier, N.Island, N.Z.: 237 n.ml. to WSW; East Cape, N.Z.: 133 n.ml. to W; Cape Palliser LH, N.Island, N.Z.: 366 n.ml. to SW; Christchurch, S.Island, N.Z.: 526 n.ml. to SW; Tahiti: 1942 n.ml. to NE

Position, as posted to www.Winlink.org and www.Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV):
TIME: 2019/06/17 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 37-41.39S LONGITUDE: 178-39.23W
COURSE: 064T SPEED: 5.4kt
WIND_SPEED: 18kt WIND_DIR: SW SWELL_DIR: SW SWELL_HT: 3.0m CLOUDS: 10%
BARO: 1011.9hPa TREND: 0 AIR_TEMP: 16.0C
COMMENT: Full moon setting as dawn breaks. A bit rolly, sailing downwind.

Sunday 9am NZT (Sat 2100 GMT) Sunny day with broken cloud and seas nothing like as bad as overnight, although still a bit rough. Running generator, inverter and watermaker - and using radio at same time. With batteries behaving so much better and accepting a good charge, and Superwind putting in plenty of power when there's good wind, the power situation has changed totally, although I'm still being careful and monitoring the battery state carefully.
Looks as though wind will continue around 15kt from WSW-W during the day but will increase overnight - maybe becoming quite strong, at 30kt or more - so I'm likely to reef down at sunset.
Getting some more sleep - very disturbed last night...

3:30pm Just finished a long session on deck, stowing the pole and dealing with a lot of lines. Full genoa is back out now. The lazyjack lines had both got twisted around high up mast fittings and also took a time to disentangle. Swell is quite noticeable at 2-3 m and quite close.
It's been a very pleasant day of sunshine and just a few clouds, so very relaxing - in contrast to last night. Had a good sleep earlier, so feeling refreshed.
The latest forecasts give "westerly 25 knots everywhere this evening... Monday southwest 25 knots... Gradually easing everywhere Tuesday southwest 20 knots." (for Castlepoint) and " Southwest 20 knots, gradually changing northwest 20 knots after midday. Turning Monday morning southwest 20 knots, rising in the south Tuesday morning southwest 30 knots,becoming everywhere Tuesday afternoon southwest 35 knots with rough sea. Easing everywhere Tuesday evening southwest 25 knots. Southwest swell becoming heavy Tuesday,easing Wednesday." (for Portland)
At present we're still in the N of Castlepoint weather area but not far from entering the S of Portland area. So it looks as though we're expecting W 25kt this evening and overnight, with sea rough at times, becoming SW 20-25kt in the morning and then rising to SW 30-35kt on Tuesday.

4:30pm Sun getting low - sunset is imminent and with just a few cumulus around, it's beginning to be colourful - several pink clouds already.
Feeling lazy today so didn't let out the 2nd reef as I would have, had I been in a race - but I'm not and felt like taking it easy today. Wind can't be more than 15kt just now, if that, and we're making around 4-4.5 kt, heading NE still.
Time for some food - had very little so far today so it's my thick soup followed by pancakes and dried fruit.

7pm Wind up nicely - making 5.5-6.5 kt. Bright moon in mainly clear, starry sky. Swell up also, but not too bad

Monday 12:30am NZT (Sun 1230GMT) A lovely night! Moon is shining so very brightly, lighting up the seascape and giving a broad path of light on the sea surface towards Nereida. A few clouds - some large cumulus ahead, none overhead and not many stars easily seen, since the moonshine is blotting them out. We're sailing well at ~6.3kt in SW wind of ~20kt, with waves carrying us forward frequently at over 7 or 8 kt briefly. Last night, I was seeing speeds of over 10kt when carried forward on a wave, they were so much bigger and rougher...

We're getting very close to the official Date Line (at 180E/W). Our present longitude is 179 10'E - which puts it just under 40 miles due E of us, but on our present course, will be crossed 73 miles ahead - in roughly 12 hours' time, if 6kt maintained - midday Monday NZT. It will be simpler to stay in NZT for a while but officially, we'll move from being ahead of most people to being a day behind...Friends in B.C., W coast of USA and Mexico (Baja) will be 5hrs ahead, instead of 19 hrs behind. We'll be repeating a day!

Monday 2am NZT (Sun 1400GMT) Just about to get back to my bunk after several long chats on HF radio! On for long enough on 20m to catch up with W.coast US friends during their start of day, as well as Aus stations in Victoria and Queensland about to get to bed just before their midnight and a Perth station during their mid-evening... Back to sleep - we're still sailing pleasantly in WSW wind at 5-6 kt.

6:30am First light before dawn, increasing rapidly. Seas quite rough and close at every 7 seconds - heeling us over... Surfing briefly at over 8kt but generally making around 6.3kt in SW wind just over 20kt, although might be lessening. Just a few clouds in sky - pleasant morning.

Photo shows relative size of Royal albatross compared with smaller albatross ('mollymawk') - seen off Timaru last week. Very few birds seen now, although did catch sight of a Royal soaring in the distance earlier yesterday.

Just passed N of 40S - definitely out of Southern Ocean now - but seeing S.Pacific Lows, often breeding in Fiji and heading SE, instead! Hope to get away from those soon.

****************************************************
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!
***************************************************

1900GMT (= 7 a.m. NZT) - end of Day 256. We made 119 n.ml. DMG, measured in a straight line between the two 1900GMT positions.

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 256 (by daily DMGs): 20,696 n.ml

Distances (at 1900GMT): Wellington, N.Island, N.Z.: 250 n.ml. to SW; Napier, N.Island, N.Z.: 124 n.ml. to WSW; East Cape, N.Z.: 106 n.ml. to NNW;Cape Palliser LH, N.Island, N.Z.: 242 n.ml. to SW; Tahiti: 2060 n.ml. to NE

Position, as posted to www.Winlink.org and www.Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV):
TIME: 2019/06/16 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 39-17.72S LONGITUDE: 179-34.77E
COURSE: 033T SPEED: 6.3kt
WIND_SPEED: 25kt WIND_DIR: SW SWELL_DIR: SW SWELL_HT: 3.0m SWELL_PER: 7s CLOUDS: 10%
BARO: 1007.7hPa TREND: 2 AIR_TEMP: 15.7C
COMMENT: Wind up a bit more.Rough, close seas every 7sec. Passing N end Hawkes Bay:Portland Island.

Saturday 9am NZT (Fri 2100 GMT) Underway finally, after lying hove-to overnight in light NE wind, becoming SSE by dawn. Still feeling peaceful and calm, rocking gently in slight swell in light wind and sailing slowly until wind picks up. Expected to become SW soon - forecast to do that around midday, becoming strong - to around 25kt.

Blue patch of sky overhead and broken white cloud after overnight rain making everything on deck very wet. Sun definitely trying to get out - nice!

Cooking another fresh lot of a thick bean and barley soup, ready for later - always nice to have something like that ready - especially if forecast strong conditions arrive later today and over Mon/Tues, when things will be far less calm and peaceful...

10:15am SE corner (Cape Palliser) of N.Z.'s North Island, at E end of Cook Strait, is still visible on AIS screen just over 25 miles away. Once that disappears, later today, likely not to see land on screen, and certainly not by eye, for quite a time. Maybe not until reaching French Polynesia.

Have been leaving 2nd reef in, expecting 25kt winds quite soon - the local Castlepoint forecast gives:"rising to southwest 25 knots south of Cape Palliser late Saturday morning, and further north early afternoon. Sea becoming rough. Southeast swell 3 metres, easing."

We're presently due E of Cape Palliser - so might expect 25kt wind around midday - not long now.

11:15am Just spoke to Taupo Maritime Radio to clarify the boundaries of the coastal weather forecast areas - we're right in middle of Castlepoint which stretches from Cape Campbell (S.Island), across Cook Strait, and on to Cape Turnaround (N.Island). The next area is Portland, which stretches up to East Cape. I was told that newly-updated weather is at 1230 NZT so I'll wait for that to see whether or not to shake out the 2nd reef. If 25kt wind is expected soon, that will definitely not happen! Have full genoa now which can be furled in to reduce sail fairly quickly, if needed.

I often quote a sailing instructor from when I was starting out learning to sail: "If you're thinking of reefing, do it! If you're thinking about letting out a reef - go have a cup of tea!" Better to have a reef tied in that turns out not to be needed, and have to let it out, which is fairly easy, than struggle to get one in when you've left it too late.

Opening a big tin of ham to dice and add into the bean and barley soup together with chopped green beans and some bouillon.

2:30pm 25 kt SW wind expected this afternoon - sometime... Easing to 15kt tomorrow morning.

Sun getting out often.Will take a nap while it's still peaceful.

5pm Well, took an age getting it all organised but finally poled out the genoa to starboard. Have eased the mainsheet to port and taken in on the preventer - we're running downwind 'goosewinged' (aka 'wing on wing'). Just in time since getting dark now.

Was needed since heading NE in SW wind was making the headsail/genoa flog often in the wind shadow of the mainsail - not good for it and not an efficient way to sail. The swell has built up quite a lot from SW and added to the 'interest factor' while sorting out the pole on the foredeck. The cleat that is normally is used for the downhaul is now taken up by a first reef line (that line's cleat having broken some time ago) so I had to figure out another way to hold the downhaul in place - not too difficult once I'd removed an unused line from another cleat nearby to use in its place for the time being.

Very grey, rainy-looking sky as darkness fell but we've not had any rain since last night and the decks are dry - certainly made the job pleasanter than if it were raining. I'm more than ready for some of my thick soup which is all ready for heating up.

9:45pm Really rolling and swinging about in rough seas and strong wind while making good speed goosewinged - sails keep being backed for a short time until boat gets back on course after being pushed to one side by a wave... Very uncomfortable and a big concern.

11pm The main just got backed well and truly - even full lock on the wheel couldn't get us back on course again.... The poled-out genoa was shaking furiously and we were well heeled to port.... The wind was clearly well up - gusting well over 30kt.

I furled in a lot of genoa and then moved to the mainsheet and preventer, controlling the boom as it was first centred and then went over to starboard a little. Suddenly, it swung back over to port and we seemed to be under control at last - but heading E in the strong SW wind, rather than NE, dead downwind, as we had been. I released the mainsheet more and took up on the preventer, to de-power the main, noticing how steep and rough the frequent oncoming waves were. That's why running downwind as we had been hadn't worked well, so we're now at more of an angle and I'm hoping that will work better. This will be a long night ahead until the wind eases in the morning, if the forecast is to be believed. Getting to my bunk, wearing my foulies, but hoping all will be fine overnight...

Sunday 4am NZT (Sat 1600GMT) Have had a good sleep despite wind and seas. Wind has not gusted up again and has stayed around twenty-something knots but seas are still quite rough and rolling us around all the time. The mainsail has very occasionally given a hint of starting to be backed but has instantly recovered and not caused a problem as happened earlier. There's water in the bilges (mainly from all the condensation I've been noticing, I think, with just a little from the rudder area, maybe) and so the float alarm has been going off every time we heel a lot to starboard - which is often in these rough seas - so I've just pumped the bilge.

4:45am The wind is slowly veering - now nearing WSW - so I'll need to gybe the mainsail soon onto port tack - that will allow us to get back on course. It's a relief that the wind has stayed down. although still above 20kt, so our speed has been good overnight.

5:30am Back down below after deciding needed to gybe sooner rather than later. All done but took a long time centring the main in order to gybe safely - strong wind in the sail - had to fight against it and then later try to attach a starboard preventer - not so easy to find an out-of-place line end in darkness. Moon was setting so although had benefit of its bright light earlier, not so now. But all finished at last and now on NNE course - seas still very rough and wind must be easily well over 20kt still.

Time for a short rest before 1900Z reports made... This has not been a particularly enjoyable night, but the good news is that on port tack I don't get thrown out of the (dryish) starboard bunk while resting there!

****************************************************

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!

***************************************************

1900GMT (= 7 a.m. NZT) - end of Day 255. We made 110 n.ml. DMG, measured in a straight line between the two 1900GMT positions. Despite not getting underway for two hours into the 24 hr period.

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 255 (by daily DMGs): 20,577 n.ml

Distances (at 1900GMT): Cape Palliser LH, N.Island, N.Z.: 138 n.ml. to SW; Wellington, N.Island: 153 n.ml. to SW; Christchurch, S.Island: 290 n.ml. to SE; East Cape, N.Z.: 195 n.ml. to N;

Position, as posted to www.Winlink.org and www.Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV):

TIME: 2019/06/15 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 40-57.58S LONGITUDE: 178-09.80E

COURSE: 033T SPEED: 5.1kt

WIND_SPEED: 20kt WIND_DIR: W SWELL_DIR: WSW SWELL_HT: 4.0m CLOUDS: 40%

BARO: 1002.3hPa TREND: 2 AIR_TEMP: 15.7C

COMMENT: Gybed - heading NNE. 75ml ESE from Castle Pt.

Friday 8:30am NZT (Thurs 2030 GMT) Overcast sky. Wind has died so speed has dropped right down after last night's good wind and speed. Wind still from ENE so course is between N and NNE. Forecast is for wind to veer more S so course change more to NE can be made - -but might not happen until much later today so might have to head S for a time to keep well off coast.

Very little sleep overnight - disturbed by plotter problem. AIS is showing position relative to coast - good to see that when plotter not on. Plotter is presently only staying on for just long enough to see position on chart.... All very frustrating .. especially with weather not playing ball as well...

9:15am Gybed around to stay well away from NZ coast.. Expecting light NE winds so best to keep well away from a lee shore. Wind must be NNE - making course of 130T.

Getting to my bunk - will make up on missed sleep!

1pm Decided to heave to for a time. Stopped the boat from sailing SE - now drifting NW at around 1kt. A lot more relaxing and means I can work on wiring/breaker problem without any concerns - with autopilot either in Standby or switched off.

Later: I found that with the Multi-display turned off, plotter stays on - I'm feeling a lot better knowing that plotter is working. Although it means certain info is unavailable, at least I can now see where the boat is, along with our course, track and speed and charts of the area... All good!

I'll have to work on the 'stand alone' idea for Depth, Wind and Speed displays in the cockpit.

Seeing quite a few spots of corrosion behind chart table switch panel - must get out spray and clean it up where possible.

5:20pm End of a grey, showery day - light fading fast. Very few birds around today, in the light wind.

Making a fresh, thick bean and barley soup and about to make some pancakes. Running out of maple syrup so will soon have to find an alternative - thinking of a bottle of some very fruity raspberry sauce I discovered on board that I got in Hobart's Saturday Farmers' Market a few years ago and have never opened - should be fine.

8:30pm Lovely and peaceful and calm.... Rocking gently in slight swell with very little wind, still hove-to. Expecting wind to veer to S overnight and then SW by morning, becoming strong, around 25kt, by midday.

Saturday 5am NZT (Fri 1700 GMT) Lovely deep sleep in calm conditions - still hove-to in light wind, now from SSE. Castle Point 35 miles to NW. Drifting NNW at around 1kt. Will wait for daylight to get underway NE - wind should start increasing slowly. Back to bunk for a touch more sleep.

7am Still hove-to, now drifting NNE, 34 miles SE of Castle Pt LH. Wind not up by much to make much speed downwind - which we shall be since plan is to head NE. Now have SSE wind, set to veer to SW later in morning... Shall have breakfast and finish preparing soup for later, while running generator & water-maker. Will then get going - slowly, probably, until wind picks up - forecast to do that around midday.

Link to Wed 12 June ABC S.Australia interview:

https://abcportal-my.sharepoint.com:443/:u:/g/personal/stansfield_stuart_abc_net_au/EVGqRK6HLWFFpAUFKVfPMRoBVcVRgVTIxiKyi1dNN23wOg?e=4%3aN7A3iB&at=9

****************************************************

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!

***************************************************

1900GMT (= 7 a.m. NZT) - end of Day 254. We made 24 n.ml. DMG, measured in a straight line between the two 1900GMT positions. Drifted around, NW mainly, while hove-to, after sailing SE for a time yesterday.

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 254 (by daily DMGs): 20,467 n.ml (includes 96 n.ml. for Day 253 & 24 n.ml. for Day 254)

Distances (at 1900GMT): Castle Pt LH, N.Island, N.Z.: 25 n.ml. to NW; Wellington, N.Island: 59 n.ml. to W; Christchurch, N.Z.: 178 n.ml. to SW; East Cape, N.Z.: 271 n.ml. to NNE; Chatham Islands, N.Z.: 342 n.ml. to SE.

Position, as posted to www.Winlink.org and www.Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV):

TIME: 2019/06/14 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 41-48.13S LONGITUDE: 176-00.47E

COURSE: 025T SPEED: 0.7kt

WIND_SPEED: 12kt WIND_DIR: SSE SWELL_DIR: SW SWELL_HT: 2.0m CLOUDS: 100%

BARO: 1001.5hPa TREND: 0 AIR_TEMP: 15.0C

COMMENT: SE of Cook Strait. Still hove to. Drifting. About to start heading NE.

Thursday 10:30am NZT (Wed 2230GMT) A dull, cold, grey day but the wind is up. New Zealand's South Island coast is 100 miles off to NW - still just showing in top left corner of AIS screen. We're well heeled over in good wind (for a change!), on a close reach, heading NNE and trying to make more easting when possible.
Really missing the wind direction display down below. That would help me to be more efficient sailing close to the wind - have to keep looking out to see where the Superwind (wind generator) or mast-top Windex are showing the apparent wind to be coming from.
Looks as though we'll be well off Chatham Islands as a result of the forecast winds which are presently from E, which is exactly the direction I'd been hoping to sail in. We're likely to be roughly on this northerly course all today. If wind backs slightly tonight and into tomorrow, as forecast, we'll end up being forced to head due N and, if getting too close to North Island, we'll later have to head SE for a bit until the wind veers again. Forecast wind direction for tomorrow night onward is good, allowing a course to be laid more to NE, then E, although the wind is likely to turn light overnight tomorrow. Win some, lose some!

Being on starboard tack means I have a practical problem due to heeling to port. That's where the bunk and bedding are still damp from our knockdown but it's also the best place to be. I've had to lay some plastic over the damp port settee so I can sit there in comfort - it's impossible to sit and relax on the opposite (dry) settee when heeled over as much as we are, sailing upwind. Sleeping there is just about OK with the lee cloth in place to prevent me from falling out of the bunk! It's also a lot more difficult moving about doing anything when heeled over like this, pounding into the waves on occasion.

5pm Light fading at the end of a dull day. Just finished watching birds nearby, after taking in 2nd reef in mains'l and furling some genoa - sailing close to the wind of 20kt, we were heeling in rough seas far too much with so much canvas out, so it was time to reduce sail - especially with night coming on very soon. Took a time to organise, but once done, it was time to watch the birds enjoying the strong conditions. Always a thrill to see a Royal albatross in with the others - a Sooty was seen again and, of course, Cape Petrels ... the usual gang!
Now sailing across the Cook Strait but 100 miles off to its SE. The Strait, between North and South Islands of N.Z., is showing clearly in the top left corner of the AIS screen.
I'm waiting to see if the wind backs little, as forecast. Would be good if we can maintain our present course of NNE overnight, without worrying about getting too close to land.
Enjoyed a hot bowl of thick soup - great to have it ready & just needing heating up in the cold cabin.

Friday 12:45am NZT (Thurs 1245GMT) It's well gone midnight and I've just spent over an hour trying to persuade the plotter to stay on and its circuit breaker not to trip - without success... It keeps firing up for a few minutes, and then the breaker trips. Have taken out cockpit instruments one by one - no joy. Have cleaned breaker spade terminal and another connection that was possibly damp ... no joy. After cleaning the breaker terminals, the red LED came on instantly, which it hadn't been, there having been a distinct pause previously before that happened and then the plotter would come on... This seems, to my mind, connected to the fact that everything is very damp just now - the air is damp and there's a lot of condensation everywhere... When the air is dry, this problem goes away... Will have to investigate more in daylight. Getting back for some sleep now.... but will set an alarm to wake me up to keep an eye on things. We've plenty of sea room just now and no ships nearby.

1am Tried switching on again before getting to my bunk - plotter has stayed on now, seems OK....

4am Plotter off again after staying on for a good few hours ... Grrr!!! ... left it... Running generator.

7am Total overcast - first light now, daylight increasing. Wind dying but speed dropped right down after good overnight wind and speed. Still from ENE so course between N and NNE - waiting for wind to veer more S so course change more to NE can be made. Trying to keep well off coast - SE portion of North Island, at E end of Cook Strait, between Castle Pt and Flat Pt, is 50 n.ml. off.
Very little sleep overnight - disturbed by trying to deal with plotter problem. AIS is showing position relative to coast - good to see when plotter not on. Plotter is presently only staying on for just long enough to see position on chart.... All very frustrating .. especially with weather not playing ball as well...

Posting some bird photos from Monday and Tuesday that I got ready earlier.

****************************************************
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.cdue tom/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!
***************************************************

1900GMT (= 7 a.m. NZT) - end of Day 253. We made a fair distance between the two 1900GMT positions but unable to measure, due to instruments misbehaving just now.

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 253 (by daily DMGs): 20,347 n.ml + some for last 24hr.
Distance to nearest coast of N. Island (between Castle Pt & Flat Pt): 50n.ml. (at 1900GMT)

Position, as posted to www.Winlink.org and www.Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV):
TIME: 2019/06/13 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 42-10.96S LONGITUDE: 176-13.27E
COURSE: 015T SPEED: 3.0kt
WIND_SPEED: 10kt WIND_DIR: ENE SWELL_DIR: NE SWELL_HT: 3.5m CLOUDS: 100%
BARO: 1009.3hPa TREND: -2 AIR_TEMP: 15.0C SEA_TEMP: 14.0C
COMMENT: Almost past Cook Strait. Wind down, speed down, plotter down



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