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S/V Nereida sails around the world

Please note - apologies, but emails are mostly not being replied to now in order to conserve battery power - a lot less power is needed to download them (please make them short) than to send replies to them. Many thanks to so many of you for sending supportive messages - much appreciated!

Wednesday 8:30am NZT (Tues 2030GMT) E end of Banks Peninsula, near Lyttelton and Christchurch, 100 miles off, just showing in NW corner of AIS screen - last sighting of NZ S. Island. Next land will possibly be Chatham Islands (NZ) - 350 miles to E of here - before reaching a Polynesian atoll somewhere well to the N.

Sky clear overhead but some thin cloud on horizon - low sun trying to shine through - very watery. Heavy dew - everywhere very wet.

Was forced to change tack at daybreak in very light, shifty wind that finally settled down. Heading NNW now at around 1.5kt in 7kt wind - just holding course. Will be in these light NE winds for rest of today, it seems, although a chance they'll reach over 10kt at times. Will need to run generator more frequently since windgen will not be putting in much power to batteries today.

To my bunk for some more sleep - had a very disturbed night, needing frequent checking on wind and course.

Midday Sun has been trying to stay out, despite increasing cloud - actually felt warm in the companionway, with the sun shining on me! The good news of this morning was the increase in wind strength to just over 10kt, meaning we've been able to make due N, rather than NNW, in the NE wind. The wind might well have veered a little more to ENE also, which has helped our course-making.

So long as we can make somewhere between E and N, I'm fairly happy with our course although, for the two weeks or so, E is preferred to N. That's simply because this is where heading E is feasible, due to the W winds often encountered down here, as opposed to the SE or NE winds found further N - impossible to head E once in those winds.

Just had a call from Stuart Stansfield, of ABC S.Australia Radio in Adelaide, who had been told I'd had a few problems recently, since our last radio chat. Of course, since talking to him when S of Adelaide, I had the knockdown on 15th May NZT, with all the resultant damage and problems that caused, including mainsail damage and instrument and battery problems.

1pm Increasingly grey cloud everywhere. Sun has disappeared and it's feeling chilly, but wind still 10kt or more and our course is just E of N. Have been trying to 'pinch' closer to the wind but that kills our speed completely if too much. Nicer not to be heading W of N though, if at all possible.

4pm Was just 20 mins into a nice nap when sails started flogging - wind had shifted to NNE - had to get on deck and gybe the genoa. Now making around 2 kt ESE in 11kt of wind, close-hauled on port tack.

50 miles due S of Mernoo Bank - a good fishing ground but gets nasty seas in rough weather - very shallow.

Wind has now died back to 8kt .. difficult to hold close reach - only making SE course now. Dull, damp day.

5:30pm Gybed around again onto starboard tack -instead of making SE, we're now making just E of N - a lot better.

Put on generator to charge - so had power to get on HF radio and contact Anza Net on 14183 kHz. Net Control was Tex, VK1TX, and he took a list of anyone wanting to make contact with me a little later - that makes my use of the radio minimal, so better use of battery power.

Spoke to Rick, VE7TK, in Victoria - seems they're getting some warm summer weather today in B.C. - wish I were there, as I should have been by now, to enjoy it!

Later: More radio - this time on 7163 - good to chat to Jim, WB2REM and others. Charged with genaet afterwards. Making good course - still just E of N.

Thursday 5:10am NZT (Wed 1710GMT) Starry sky with a little cloud. Wind up to 13-16kt so makig a decent speed, although still on a close reach - heading NNE now, sometimes at 5kt or more in gusts. NZ's South Island coast line 100 ml off to NW on AIS screen.

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

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 252. We made 51 n.ml. DMG, measured in a straight line between the two 1900GMT positions. Light wind all day, some 'jiggling', better wind only overnight.

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 252 (by daily DMGs): 20,347 n.ml.

Distances (at 1900GMT): Timaru, S.Island, N.Z.: 188 n.ml. to WSW; Christchurch, N.Z.: 120 n.ml.. to W; Wellington: 140 n.ml. to N; Chatham Islands, N.Z.: 330 n.ml. to E.

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

TIME: 2019/06/12 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 43-41.00S LONGITUDE: 175-27.36E

COURSE: 027T SPEED: 4.2kt

WIND_SPEED: 16kt WIND_DIR: E SWELL_DIR: NE SWELL_HT: 2.5m

BARO: 1014.6hPa TREND: 0 AIR_TEMP: 14.0C SEA_TEMP: 14.0C

COMMENT: Wind increased & veered, better course.100ml off NZ coast

Please note - apologies, but emails are mostly not being replied to now in order to conserve battery power - a lot less power is needed to download them (please make them short) than to send replies to them. Many thanks to so many of you for sending supportive messages - much appreciated!

Tuesday 10am NZT (Mon 2200 GMT) Late posting of last report (some nice bird photos will have to wait to another time) due to finding that instruments had shorted, so usual plotter alarm set for 1900Z didn't go off to alert me to the time... Fortunately, the autopilot is on a separate circuit with the fluxgate compass, so it kept going.

Switched the plotter & instruments back on - but they only lasted five minutes before the circuit breaker tripped again. Will shortly disconnect the cockpit instruments, hoping that will help, as it did last time.... Fingers crossed. No hazards ahead to worry about as we continue to try to head E. Chatham Islands are still nearly 400 miles off - so about four days away.

Helpful, for trouble-shooting instrument problem, that seas are calming down a little as the wind eases somewhat - it's forecast to die down slightly over today, backing to NNW, before veering to NNE tomorrow, when it will become very light until well into Wednesday, veering further to NE overnight into Wednesday when it will stay from NE - very unhelpful! We'll need to head NNW-NW then rather than heading further S.

Time for a late breakfast - maybe some more pancakes to cheer me up? I need something! Feeling very frustrated just now... It's chilly and the sky is very dull and overcast, which doesn't help - amazing how a bit of sunshine always cheers us all up.

I'm taking vitamins C and D daily to keep in good health despite no fresh fruit and no sunshine on my skin... (Tinned tomatoes are said to keep their vitamin C content well) Can't wait to get to the warmth and sunshine of the Tropics, once we finally start heading N, rather than E, as we must while we have the chance of westerly winds.

Midday Had breakfast - almonds, seeds and dried fruit with dry cereal - works fine! Keep counting food items - realised I have 11 cartons of fruit juice left - that equates to one per week plus a little for a celebratory drink when we cross the Date line (quite soon) and Equator (and maybe Tropics of Capricorn and Cancer!) Also have enough small chocolate bars for two a week - added to plenty of chocolate almonds and chocolate 'bark' - I shan't have any problem appeasing my 'chocoholic' addiction!

In no hurry to check the cockpit instruments - interesting to note that if the outcome is in doubt, I don't rush to get there, but if the outcome is almost certainly expected to be good, I'll rush to confirm. I'm hoping for a good outcome but have serious doubts - so keeping my hopes high for longer by taking my time to find out - and having some nice hot soup and making up some pancake mix in the meantime. I'll investigate in the cockpit while that stands.

1:20pm YIPPEE!!! Plotter and multi back up again once I'd disconnected the Depth/Speed/Wind instruments in the cockpit. Will now add Speed, then Depth to see if they give a problem. I'm rather assuming that Wind is the culprit - but will soon find out.... Either way, I'll celebrate as soon as I've done that with some pancakes - the mix is all ready, waiting...

3pm About to make my pancakes... Re-connected the Depth, Speed and then Wind displays - all good, meaning no tripping of circuit-breaker - but did find the connections to wind transducer were loose so tightened them before re-connecting it into the circuit. All looking fine on plotter now - fingers crossed... There's 9kt of wind and sea temp is 12.4C/22F.

Still have no wind direction reading on display - so transducer might well have a fault there. Using wind generator to show me where apparent wind is coming from - can see that from near chart table when there's daylight and I shine a light on it at night. Otherwise, I use the Windex but that's not so easy to see.

5pm Light is fading and the wind with it - the wind generator hasn't turned for quite a time - a sign of wind below 7-8kt. Was busy in the cockpit when I noticed an all beige-grey bird resting in the sea close by - maybe a young albatross? Although with no obvious parent nearby, as they are usually. Clearly it was keeping a good eye on the boat - with so many fishermen around, they clearly learn to associate boats with easy food. We've been followed by birds a lot, often on the sea surface, sometimes paddling furiously to come close.

Will look over my photos to see if any are worth keeping - it's really difficult to get a good shot, even when they're in the water so close by - and the big swell doesn't help. Often just as I go to take the photo, the bird disappears behind the top of a big wave.

6:20pm Just enjoyed a bit of radio 'play'! Initially with good clear stations in Dunedin, N.Z., and then with Phillippe, FK4QX, in Noumea, New Caledonia, and then Ian, VK3MO, in Melbourne and Mike, K6MYC, in California.

9:30pm Looks as though expect light wind of ~8kt all night - mainly from N, so should be able to maintain E-ENE course at 2-2.5kt until morning, when wind will veer more E so likely to have to change course - to N, perhaps.

11:30pm Another quick 'play' on the radio - chatted to several familiar contacts - nice to do that before getting to my bunk. Will need to get up often over the night due to the wind expected to veer so needing to check on our heading and maybe change course, as a result.

Wednesday 5:10am (Tues 1710GMT) Got up from my bunk to check on wind direction. Banks Peninsula is still just showing on the AIS screen - just under 100 miles off to the NW - last hint of NZ close by. Moon and stars are shining hazily through the very damp night air.

Had to start up generator in 9 kt of wind that looks, from direction windgen is facing, to be coming from NNE now. Our course has changed from ENE a few hours ago to due E and now to ESE. I changed the heading by 10 degrees to give a slightly better speed - from the less than 1 kt I was seeing before to around 2.5kt.

Very difficult to know what to do for the best in these conditions of a veering, very light wind... If we were to drift, it would be downwind - SW - but by continuing to sail, however slowly, it's in roughly the right direction - although I'm waiting for the wind to veer more, at which point we'll have to tack and head N - better than heading more S.

Back to my bunk for a little more sleep... after turning off the generator which has run now for 30 minutes.

6am Up again - wind had backed genoa - had to sort us out and get us sailing SE in 7-8kt wind - from NE? Will need to head N-NW quite soon, it seems.... To my bunk....

7am Daylight increasing. Sky clear overhead. Heavy dew - decks very wet.

Forced to change tack in very light, shifty wind. Finally settled down, heading NNW now in 7kt wind - just holding course. Will be in these light NE winds for rest of today, it seems, possibly reaching over 10kt at times. Really testing my patience...!

Will post photos later - must get some more sleep now.

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

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 251. We made 53 n.ml. DMG, measured in a straight line between the two 1900GMT positions. Some light wind, some drifting in little wind...

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 251 (by daily DMGs): 20,296 n.ml. (N.B. To Day 249:20202 n.ml.; Day250:41 n.ml.; Day251:53 n.ml.).

Distances (at 1900GMT): Timaru, S.Island, N.Z.: 170 n.ml. to W; Christchurch, N.Z.: 125 n.ml. approx. to NW; Chatham Islands, N.Z.: 340 n.ml. to E.

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

TIME: 2019/06/11 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 44-31.26S LONGITUDE: 175-13.28E

COURSE: 340T SPEED: 1.3kt

WIND_SPEED: 7kt WIND_DIR: NE SWELL_DIR: N SWELL_HT: 2.0m CLOUDS: 10%

BARO: 1005.4hPa TREND: 0 AIR_TEMP: 14.0C SEA_TEMP: 13.0C

COMMENT: Changed tack - difficult holding course in light wind

Please note - apologies, but emails are mostly not being replied to now in order to conserve battery power - a lot less power is needed to download them (please make them short) than to send replies to them. Many thanks to so many of you for your supportive messages - much appreciated!

Monday 8am NZT (Sun 2000 GMT) Dawn.... Very peaceful with almost no wind... Drifting very slowly at around 0.5kt in 6-7kt wind from everywhere but must be mainly from SSW since our drift is NNE. Expecting another day of drifting in almost no wind - wind not expected to come up until late tonight.

Enjoyed pancakes with maple syrup for breakfast - calm conditions make cooking that much easier, so got a big 'hearty' soup going, having soaked the beans (navel and pink kidney) overnight.

1pm A lot of sunshine and pressure has jumped up to 1013.7hPa since dawn.

A lot of birds astern of the boat. Large Royal albatross pair, several smaller albatrosses and a flock of gulls, with a pair of Cape Petrels circling as well. No wind for them to soar on, so the birds tend to rest - probably hoping we're a fishing boat and will put out something for them to feed on.

Was pleased to find the mainsail halyard problem was easily fixed. In repairing the starboard lazyjack, I'd overlooked that the halyard was stowed off to one side while out of use, to stop it slapping on the mast or getting caught around a mast step. So it didn't take long to lower the mainsail and sort out that problem. With so little wind, better to have the mainsail lowered anyway to prevent the wear and tear on it if it were flapping around in the variable light gusts. I'd like to unfurl the genoa and release the leech line which is far too tight but I worry that the wind might get up and make dealing with it difficult

A pot of bean and barley has just finished cooking - plenty for several days' meals. Will add diced ham and green beans, along with chopped tomatoes for variety.

4:40pm Sun getting very low and changing to deep orange-yellow as birds fly around for their last chance before dark. Was lovely to see the great Royal albatross pair in with the other albatrosses - they are so noticeably larger and more white-bodied than the others which are often called 'mollymawks'. Also delighted to see a solitary Sooty albatross - distinctively all-dark and very different from the others.

Swell has been very large at times - 5-6m from SW.

Unfurled the genoa and lowered it a little to get at the leech-line cleat. Impossible to reach normally and the leech line has, for a long time now, been far too tight and has torn both the leech cloth around the line, as well as the UV strip. In the end, having found it totally impossible to release the leech line from the cleat, I had to cut it - had been hoping to avoid that.

Wind still too light to sail - 5-6kt from NE now - we're drifting at 0.1-0.3kt due S.. If wind direction stays NE, will make it impossible to head E so will probably end up having to head ESE or SE, since land - Banks Peninsula - is to the N, just 24 miles off now.

8pm Sailing! ... in NNE wind of 12-14kt with full genoa and two reefs in main. Was hoping to shake out 2nd reef but a sail tie is proving very difficult to untie - need daylight to sort out the problem so it will have to stay until then.

Wind display seems to be giving a wrong direction which resulted in us going around in a circle twice until I realised where the wind was and bore off a little to prevent backing the genoa again. We're very close-hauled, trying to head E but with the present wind direction, the best speed we can manage is 3-3.5kt or so but better to go a bit slow than head more S. Speed should improve if the wind backs overnight, as forecast.

Will have some of my fresh thick soup and get to my bunk. Will be up frequently to check on wind direction and shipping. There are quite a few ships travelling up and down the coast here - 'Melbourne Spirit' will be passing astern 7.5 miles off within the hour .

Tuesday 2am NZT (Mon 1400GMT) 19kt of wind from N-NNE - trying to pinch to give a better course, with wind seeming to have backed a little from earlier - difficult with wind display no longer giving direction correctly... Making 104T/ESE at around 3.5-4kt, close-hauled, although boat heading is 090T - a lot of leeway. COG often down to 120T when speed drops. Not feeling too happy with COG (or resulting SOG) but not much choice if want to keep heading E, as we need to. Weather ahead not looking very helpful, with light winds again and even NE-E headwinds coming up over next few days.

Back to my bunk for a bit more sleep.

8:15am NZT (Mon 2015 GMT) Late posting of report (bird photos next time) - instruments shorted so 1900Z alarm set on them didn't go off, as it normally does... Will disconnect cockpit instruments to see if that helps, as it did last time.... Never a dull moment...

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

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 250. We made about 50 n.ml. DMG, measured in a straight line between the two 1900GMT positions. Drifted around - NNE and then in a circle - most of the time, until got sailing soon after sunset.

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 250 (by daily DMGs): 20,202 n.ml. + 50-60n.ml.?

Distances (at 1900GMT): Timaru, S.Island, N.Z.: just over 100 n.ml. to W; Christchurch, N.Z.: 80 n.ml. approx. to NW; Chatham Islands, N.Z.: just under approx. 400 n.ml. to E.

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

TIME: 2019/06/10 20:06GMT LATITUDE: 44-30.16S LONGITUDE: 173-59.65E

COURSE: 100T SPEED: 4.4kt

WIND_SPEED: 20kt WIND_DIR: N SWELL_DIR: N SWELL_HT: 4.0m

BARO: 1008.9hPa TREND: -2 AIR_TEMP: 14.0C SEA_TEMP: 13.0C

COMMENT: Instruments gone down (shorted) but AP OK.

Please note - apologies, but emails are mostly not being replied to now in order to conserve battery power - a lot less power is needed to download them (please make them short) than to send replies to them. Many thanks to so many of you for sending supportive messages - they're much appreciated!

Sunday 8am NZT (Sat 2000 GMT) Sunrise - lovely colours in the E sky, enhanced by the low cloud there - clear everywhere else. Heading E towards the Chatham Islands in slowly increasing 15kt WNW wind. Seas a little less rough than overnight but a noticeably big swell from SW.

10:45am Wind has slowly increased to around 20kt from WNW and seas have got rougher and increased along with it. Decided to leave sail plan as is, since making fair speed and wind might increase further

11:30am Getting to my bunk to make up on lost sleep overnight. Generator has finished and wind generator is now running - I'd forgotten to switch it back on after checking to see if there are any bad batteries in the bank yesterday morning - no wonder the batteries needed charging fairly soon. (Good news from my testing was finding that none of the batteries seem to be very bad - no one battery lost its charge under load more quickly than the others - all showed an equally slow reduction in voltage under load.)
Seas are quite rough still - probably result of NW wind/swell opposing the SW swell from earlier SW wind.
Sun is shining through and between a lot of light cloud - all very pleasant.

5:30pm An albatross flew past as I sat enjoying a lovely sunset over clearly visible mountain peaks behind the coast around Timaru in the W, around 5pm. Mountains and/or high hills of the Banks Peninsula are also visible to the N, 32 ml off - behind there lie the city of Christchurch and the port of Lyttelton, just over 50 miles away, as the crow flies.
Tried to release the third reef earlier - but, although I could not not see any lines caught and the sail and all lines were seemingly free to move, when I tried to winch on the halyard to hoist the sail, it went so far and then became exceedingly difficult to budge - the halyard ended up bar tight, sure sign of a problem.
I can only think the problem lies at the top of the mast. If the wind eases a lot more, as forecast to do overnight and tomorrow (winds expected around 2-4 kt for a time over the day), I'll try dropping the mainsail and try 'working' the mast top sheave. I already tried dropping the sail back down a small amount to relieve the tension in the rope - seemed to hoist more easily afterward to begin with but, again, soon got too tight with further winching and became very difficult to move. I hope there's not a major problem with the pulley block up there. We're presently sailing with less than half the sail area available, but despite that we're making 4-5kt in 15kt wind - but that's slowly getting lighter.

8:30pm Wind down to 10kt and our SOG is down to around 3kt. Looking at the weather ahead, decided to head N of the Chatham Islands now, rather than S of them - prefer not to be on a lee shore in the strong conditions expected when close to there.
About to make some soup and then prepare some pancake mix for tomorrow morning, before settling down for the night.

11:30pm Had to furl in genoa - wind down to around 5kt, so just drifting with no steerage - have lashed the wheel to starboard in hope that we'll go around in a circle, rather than perhaps backwards (due W), or maybe due S or N - no way to end up steering in direction intended, so trying to minimise drift. Getting to my bunk - this is really frustrating!

Monday 5:20am (Sun 1720GMT) Dark. Drifting very slowly at around 0.5kt in 6-7kt wind from mainly NNW, according to wind instrument - but actually from everywhere, or maybe SSW, as we roll a little in the slight swell. Seeing orange glow on NW horizon - Christchurch, behind Banks Peninsula? Turned on generator for 45 mins - was down to 11.88V before starting - needed it. 5mins later, was putting in 101A at 14.0V. After 45mins, was putting in 46A. Batteries are definitely accepting charge a lot better now - pleased to see that.

7:30am Back to my bunk after posting this... as first light, well before dawn, starts. Very peaceful with no wind... Not going very far again, today...

 

****************************************************
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 249. We made 51 n.ml. DMG, measured in a straight line between the two 1900GMT positions.

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 249 (by daily DMGs): 20,202 n.ml.

Distances (at 1900GMT): Timaru, S.Island, N.Z.: 76 n.ml. to W; Christchurch, N.Z.: 53n.ml. to NNW; Cape Saunders/Dunedin, N.Z.: 132 n.ml. to SSW; Chatham Islands, N.Z.: approx. 435 n.ml. to E.

Position, as posted to www.Winlink.org and www.Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV):
TIME: 2019/06/09 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 44-21.72S LONGITUDE: 173-01.42E
COURSE: 024T SPEED: 0.4kt
WIND_SPEED: 7kt WIND_DIR: SSW SWELL_DIR: SW SWELL_HT: 2.0m
BARO: 1009.7hPa TREND: 2 AIR_TEMP: 14.0C SEA_TEMP: 13.0C
COMMENT: wind very light - drifting S of Banks Peninsula

Day 248 Fri-Sat 7-8 June 2019 GMT ... Repairs ongoing in Timaru

Please note - apologies, but emails are mostly not being replied to now in order to conserve battery power - a lot less power is needed to download them (please make them short) than to send replies to them. Many thanks to so many of you for sending supportive messages - they're much appreciated!

Saturday 9:45am NZT (Fri 2145 GMT) Wind less than the 24kt of earlier... down to 13-16kt now. Sun is shining... clouds clearing... Pressure has jumped up to 1000.5hPa from 996hPa two hours ago.

2:45pm Wind still strong - very gusty - often well over 20kt but down to 10kt in lulls.

Thinking about leaving - Magnus, Timaru Pilot, says the N wind forecast to follow this S-SW wind could come in anytime tomorrow from morning onward - no telling! So I'm thinking to leave just before midnight. I'll be able to check on conditions outside the harbour when Magnus goes out to guide in a couple of ships due to berth here tonight - 8pm and midnight

Have been busy improving the sail repair lower down... Some stitching and some patching with sail repair tape, now I've found the missing roll.

6pm Sunset was glorious, around 5pm,but I was too busy by then, clearing up down below, to be ready for possible passage-making tonight, to photograph it.

Was busy on deck all afternoon. Lashed boom to mast with sturdy Spectra line and spent rest of time repairing mainsail more with a mix of stitching and use of sticky-backed sail repair tape. Was unusual for the boat to be heeling as it was in the frequent strong gusts hitting us.

Just listened to the weather forecast for this area - Rangitata (named after nearby river). SW easing to 25kt tonight, becoming N 10kt by morning, then light variable...

7pm Chatted with Gordy - mainly about weather. As was finishing, got phone call from Pilot Magnus - to say wind was dying, so if I wanted to get away ... it was now or never! He said I had an hour to move away before a big ship was due to enter the port - I rushed to get ready, raise sails and drop the buoy mooring line - wind was definitely becoming very light but we just managed to drift very slowly N out of the harbour and avoid both the lit buoys and the incoming ship. Was essential to hand steer all the way until well away from the harbour entrance in the light and fickle wind.

10:20pm Very rolly in quite big swell and very little wind. Weather forecast said 25kt SW winds now - maybe more wind further out to sea... so not keen to head out any faster. Will see what tomorrow brings... just happy to have managed to get away from the port and be underway once more. But very many thanks to Timaru port, and to Magnus in particular, for their generosity in allowing me to lie to the buoy for as long as it took, while my repairs were being done.

Trying to head E now but it's a bit of a struggle in such light winds.

11:20pm NZT Wind has veered WNW so had to gybe the sails. A 6kt wind makes for difficult course-keeping...

Sunday 3am Lights of Timaru still visible astern under clear starry sky - setting crescent moon, looking large and deep yellow, hanging just above the town. Runnning generator for autopilot use - putting in lots of amps.... Great! Will need to keep a good eye on state of battery charge.

Wind better now - 10kt from WNW. Still slow - haven't yet shaken out third reef in mainsail that was used when leaving port. Will do that in daylight soon - no sign of any strong wind so no real need for third reef, but taking it easy...

7am Dawn light colouring the E sky - a little low cloud there but nowhere else. No sign of land now. Gentle conditions as we head E towards Chatham Islands in slowly increasing 15kt WNW wind. Swell a little less than earlier in the night. Feeling a little sad to be leaving Evans Bay in Timaru port and this part of New Zealand - some very kind people there who would have liked to have helped if they could - but understood they couldn't.

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

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 248. We made 25 n.ml. DMG, since leaving Timaru, measured in a straight line between the two positions.

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 248 (by daily DMGs): 20,151 n.ml.

Distances (at 1900GMT): Timaru, S.Island, N.Z.: 25 n.ml to W; Chatham Islands, N.Z.: approx. 490 n.ml. to E.

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

TIME: 2019/06/08 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 44-22.15S LONGITUDE: 171-50.95E

COURSE: 090T SPEED: 3.6kt

WIND_SPEED: 14kt WIND_DIR: WNW SWELL_DIR: SW SWELL_HT: 3.0m CLOUDS: 5%

BARO: 1007.7hPa TREND: -2 AIR_TEMP: 11.0C SEA_TEMP: 13.0C

COMMENT: Underway.Sailed off Timaru buoy 7:30pm -just enough wind.

Please note - apologies, but emails are mostly not being replied to now in order to conserve battery power - a lot less power is needed to download them (please make them short) than to send replies to them. Many thanks to so many of you for sending supportive messages - they're much appreciated!

Friday 9:30am NZT (Thurs 2130 GMT) No wind overnight, nor now - wind died totally after coming up a bit around sunset yesterday.

Getting worried about how I'll get away from here - can't drift around with no steerage in the harbour entrance with big ships possibly entering or leaving. Weather files say there's a SW 14kt wind now - but that's not happening here...

Need to get mainsail repair finished to be ready to leave at a moment's notice from Sunday onward - if a suitable breeze comes up then, must be ready to take advantage of it and get going immediately...

Before going on deck, ran generator - seems to be putting in more than before - saw 95A going in initially and only dropped to 45A after 45 minutes run time - good news! Hope that continues...

2:30pm Finished putting everything back in cockpit locker after filling diesel tank from jerry cans kept there... always takes a lot longer than expected.

300 litres in tank plus 25l 'emergency' fuel in reserve. If take 75 days to Victoria, B.C.,(hopefully less, maybe 60 days...?!), that gives 4 litres/day - roughly four hours of generator run time per day - should be plenty, especially since wind generator will be putting in charge a lot of the time.

Still no wind in harbour - but some outside, judging from sea surface appearance. Overcast sky since mid-morning.

On to mainsail repair...

5:20pm NW wind now - perfect direction for sailing away. Just got back down below as light was fading - finished sewing each end of tabling over top torn area of mainsail, so that's done now. Not enough light to continue on - want to improve the middle tear repair. Need to stitch that tomorrow, if weather permits, and maybe reinforce with more material.

Only other job, apart from clearing up, I need to get done is lashing the boom to the mast again - the lashing has been missing since reinserting the sail slides so I could hoist the mainsail so I need to remember to do that also tomorrow - shouldn't take long but now the mainsail is back in use, it's an important safeguard..

Warming up the lentil soup, to be followed by tuna and chick peas with mayonnaise - simple to prepare!

6:30pm Wind has died again... Pressure rose a lot earlier but has been dropping for the last six hours - now 996.1 hPa.

With a lot of timber being moved over the last few days from the open storage area close to our E over to the ship loading area close by to our SW, I noticed the boat is now covered in wood dust - need to get to sea so it can be washed off!

Saturday 7am NZT (Friday1900GMT) First light - dawn not far away. Strong S wind arrived soon after 6am. Now around 24kt here in the protected harbour area - a lot stronger out to sea ... and with a big swell, according to the weather forecast. Expected to continue throughout today, easing later this evening and into Sunday. A good wind direction for making for the harbour entrance to the N of our position. Pressure still low at 996.8 hPa.

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

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!

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

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 247 (by daily DMGs): 20,126 n.ml.

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

TIME: 2019/06/07 19:00GMT

LATITUDE: 44-23.37S

LONGITUDE: 171-15.69E

WIND_SPEED: 24kt

WIND_DIR: SSW

CLOUDS: 100%

BARO: 996.8hPa

TREND: 2

AIR_TEMP: 11.0C

SEA_TEMP: 12.0C

COMMENT: Tied to mooring buoy in Timaru Hbr, N.Z.

Please note - apologies, but emails are mostly not being replied to now in order to conserve battery power - a lot less power is needed to download them (please make them short) than to send replies to them. Many thanks to so many of you for sending supportive messages - they're much appreciated!

In answer to several queries - it's OK to be stopped for repairs (anchored, drifting, hove-to, tied to a buoy), so long as no contact with shore or people or not tied to shore - so we're still 'solo, nonstop, unassisted'....

Wednesday was a lovely sunny day but I spent most of it down below. A lot of time was spent dealing with the generator while charging the batteries individually at a high voltage, having disconnected the other batteries as well as everything taking battery power, in case the high voltage should 'kill' them. A careful, frequent check on battery temperature and voltage was made while charging each battery - very little increase in temperature was seen, in fact. Unfortunately, having spent so much time on that, it didn't seem to have achieved anything noticeable. I'll confirm how things stand tomorrow when I next charge using the generator. I'd been hoping to improve the condition of the batteries which seem to be sulphated.
I also spent time trying to find a suitable nut to screw onto the dangling end of the lifeline, to use as a stop for some line to bridge the gap - but couldn't find a suitable one. Eventually, I used wire to make a triple loop using a convenient hole in the end of the lifeline fitting to join the lifeline end onto the stern arch support. I'm hoping the wire will be strong enough but I don't plan to test it too energetically! I might use some Spectra line from a stanchion as a safety back-up, also.
Looked at moving the GPS fitting from its present position to see if it can acquire a signal. Have released some cable down below... but it's another matter getting it to move at the top of the pole - I'll work on that again tomorrow - and must add some more lashing to hold the top plate securely to the pole.
Ready for use in 'tabling' around the top mainsail tear, I tried to heat seal the edge of the material I'll be using using a butane lighter - was very slow and wasn't too successful but will probably work OK if I take more care - needs plenty of patience! I found the needles I'd used mending the sail last time - totally rusted after having ended up hidden away on the opposite side of the cabin in the knockdown... I've several more, fortunately.
I enjoyed hearing some birdsong carry across the water from on shore, this afternoon - very musical, it was. It feels a bit weird being here but making no contact with people on shore - we're truly in Quarantine! Have heard church bells sounding several times - more music, of sorts.
Very cold again, tonight - 11C/52F in the cabin. I'm off to my warm bunk...

Thursday 8am NZT A calm, chilly but lovely sunrise over the timber piled high on the dockside nearby. Snow on the hills and mountains not so very distant... Time for a quick breakfast and then on with work before the bad weather gets here - later today, possibly.
Getting a lentil soup made, ready for having later today - hot, thick soups are a necessity in present temperatures .... Must find some gloves - fingers are frozen.

Midday Gordy, who was fishing not so far away when I nearly went into the long, rocky, unlit breakwater early last Friday, came over on his way back from his daily fishing to offer me some fresh fish. Had to refuse, of course ... great shame ....would have been nice! (Later, he told me that if I'd accepted, he'd have also given me fresh veggies...) Stayed close by for a short chat.
Heat sealing the material edges for the mainsail leech 'tabling' went better with a new butane lighter.

5:30pm Light nearly gone. Wind has been increasing since just before sunset - expecting southerlies overnight, Gordy said.
A productive day - good sunshine again over most of day - was pleasant working on deck. Didn't get anywhere with moving the GPS although it should be seeing the satellites so seems it probably got damaged in the knockdown. Lashed top plate and wired some small items that needed it. Spent time sewing 'tabling' around leech tear at top of mainsail - a lot done but ends need to be worked on still. Double-sided 'basting' tape was useful for holding material in place ready for sewing. Was pleased to spot the roll of sail repair tape I couldn't find yesterday - it was up in the cockpit, ready for use.
Looking forward to some hot lentil soup - heating it up now, as air temperature drops - it's 11C in cabin.

7:30pm Had a quick chat with Gordy on VHF - he's been fishing out of Timaru (part of a family of fishermen) for last 55 years - knows where to go for which fish when... Now, in winter, he fishes 5am - 5pm. He still loves the sea, he told me! In summertime, he's out 2am - 2pm - setting nets 3 hrs away for different fish. Strong winds, maybe 35kt, coming in later tonight and into tomorrow, he said. Will check local weather for me tomorrow evening.
I'm hoping to get away, if sewing finished in time, on back of strong S winds on Sunday, otherwise on NW wind later Sun or Mon - but that will soon be followed by typically light coastal winds - so I'm thinking early to midday on Sunday would be a better departure time, if there's no big change in forecast. All a matter of wind direction and strength - a N wind will stop us from leaving here but any other direction is good (except E, once outside the harbour).

Friday 8am NZT So much for strong winds - wind died totally overnight - and none now either. Getting to be a worry how I'll get away from here - can't drift around with no steerage in the harbour entrance with big ships wanting to get in and out from time to time... Weather files say there's a SW 14kt wind here now - but I'm not seeing 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!
***************************************************

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 246 (by daily DMGs): 19,963 n.ml. up to distance calculation on Day 233 + 115n.ml. up to end 29th May (off Oamaru) + 48 n.ml. to Timaru and on to mooring buoy on 1st June = 20,126 n.ml.

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

Latitude: 44-23.39S
Longitude: 171-15.69E
Comment: Tied to swinging mooring in Timaru Hbr
Air_Temp: 9.4 C (in cabin at 8am NZT!)

Please note - apologies, but emails are mostly not being replied to just now to conserve battery power - a lot less power is needed to download them (please make them short) than to send replies to them. Many thanks to so many of you for sending supportive messages - they're much appreciated!

 

Monday morning Because of the low air temperature, the condensation on all surfaces in the boat is awful - forever dripping - and everywhere in the forepeak is going mouldy - need to use some bleach to try to clean it - the spores are in the air - horrible and not healthy!

4:30pm Sunset a short while ago - dark soon after. Has been a lovely sunny day and this afternoon wasn't too cold.
Worked on several projects: long top tear in sail - Gorilla tape (again!) used on both sides to hold edges together (needs tabling now); small tear between lowest battens - used sail repair tape but only on one side - ran out of tape (was sure I had another narrower roll but it has vanished from sight); patched a few small holes with remainder of tape; took quite a time to untie broken lazyjacks on both sides with a view to renewing where needed - will be nice to have both available but might have to renew several sections; climbed mast twice to retrieve starboard lazyjack end up near top spreader - 2nd climb was needed after realising I'd not taken the line aft of first spreader and some lines as I came down. Used a gri-gri and the spinnaker halyard as my safety line - good to have mast steps.
Cut a piece of wood to size and drilled a hole to take a long bolt. Started trying to fix wood over missing dorade (air vent) fitting but ran into problems - needed another person, or at least a long third hand! Will re-think tomorrow. Either need to use a coach-bolt with a squared-off section near its top that won't rotate when the end nut is being tightened or maybe I can make use of vice grips to hold a nut securely on the end of the standard long bolt I was trying to use while I turn the bolt from above. Neither is quick nor easy.

Ran main engine (in neutral) for 15 minutes to check charging status. It ran at 14.7V, put in 31A initially, reducing to 24A by end of 20 min with watermaker on and charging computer. Then turned on generator to charge at 15.2V (AGM + 10C, so voltage OK) but it later reduced to 14.7V, putting in 22A after a time. Ran watermaker for an hour, while charging batteries.

Finished checking on food stowed away - had a nice surprise finding 5 one litre packs of mango juice I'd forgotten about and some more tins of beef chunks in gravy.

Keep forgetting to eat - just now had breakfast, having just had some nuts first thing this morning... Feel I should be getting on with jobs while there's daylight and there are so many different ones needing to be done.

Need to figure out a way to replace a missing bottle-screw (rigging screw) in the port lifeline - I've no spare and it went missing in the knockdown so the lifeline is just dangling at the stern..

Once it's dark, it's difficult to do much more than have a meal and then get to my bunk under my warm duvet as the temperature drops. I'm using a headlamp, rather than cabin lights, to conserve power ... and heating (other than cooking) is out of the question - need the diesel for the generator!

Looks as though there might be slight rain tomorrow, clearing to give drier conditions for a time. Need to get to stitching the sail before some very bad weather comes later this week - a strong S wind is expected on Thursday - that means cold Antarctic air... Brrr!! Hope we don't get snow!! Even if I were ready, that would possibly prevent me from moving on until it has passed over.

Tuesday
5pm Sky cleared nicely this afternoon to give a lovely sunset a short while ago, after a dull grey morning with slight rain. Having a meal while there's still some daylight - fancied some pancakes with maple syrup after bean and barley soup followed by scrambled egg (from dried egg powder - it's passable).
Finally got the dorade cover in place once I'd changed to an easy-to-turn ordinary nut from a Nyloc nut which made it impossible to tighten up (too tight) - the screw kept turning with it and I couldn't get anywhere using vice grips. I searched for ages before finding the nut - mainly seem to have the Nyloc type in that size. Was helped by adding plenty of duct tape to hold the wooden cover and screw head in place above.
Still working on the battery-charging problem - hoping to try to de-sulphate the battery bank - but will leave that to tomorrow.
The lazyjacks are now both mended - needed a long line replaced on each side - the Spectra braided line had been degraded by sunlight and gave way. I've added a 'safety leash' on both sides to prevent losing the main line to the mast top, should the lazyjack on either side give way again.
Realised last night that the main GPS has gone down along with the radar - result of the knockdown again. It's on the radar mount that was loosened in the impact and started rotating until I was able to lash it down. Fortunately, the AIS has an independent GPS whose signal is also sent to the plotter along with the AIS info on ships nearby - which is why I hadn't realised the Raystar 125 was no longer sending info until now.
Temperature is dropping fast with the clear sky - down to 11C in the cabin - time to get to my bunk for some warmth - after those pancakes...

Wednesday 6:30am NZT (Tuesday 1830GMT) Woken by machinery starting up on docks close by - always one to three big ships nearby unloading or loading - Timaru is a busy port. Dark - night time still, but bright lights on dock all night.
Organising my thoughts for work today - urgent items are sail repair in the good weather forecast and hoped for, seeing if anything can be done to improve battery state, seeing if I can release enough cable to the Raymarine GPS receiver to try moving it to see if that makes any difference to it seeing satellites to give a GPS input, hoping to lash the antenna pole's top plate to ensure it won't move from its base and trying to secure the end of the dangling port-hand life line where it's missing the aft bottle screw connection (turnbuckle/rigging screw). Still plenty to keep me busy.
Pressure has dropped to 997.9hPa now, with a Low to the N. Weather will be bad here from Thursday on, with a big system passing over from the Southern Ocean bringing very big swells and strong wind - not a time to be thinking of leaving here. I'm hoping conditions will have eased sufficiently by Monday - but the problem then could well be lack of wind, in this protected bight in the lee of the South Island, to sail away on....

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

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 239 (by daily DMGs): 19,963 n.ml. up to last distance calculation (on Day 233) + an unknown amount. Now have plotter available to do it, so will do that one evening, when too dark to work on deck.

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

Latitude: 44-23.37S
Longitude: 171-15.69E
Comment: Tied to swinging mooring in Timaru Hbr
Air_Temp: 7.5C (in cabin at 7am Wed NZT!)

Please note - apologies, but emails mainly not being replied to just now to conserve battery power - less power is needed to download them than to send replies to them! Nice to get them - but please keep them short - thanks!

Saturday
Feels odd to be totally still and at peace with no swell to make doing things on board difficult.
Started on clearing up in main cabin - lots to do there, especially with two boxes of electrical bits and pieces having emptied themselves onto the cabin sole (floor!). Needed to move big plotter back up to the cockpit but kept it disconnected and covered both sides of all connectors with tape and a plastic bag over the cable ends.
Looked at the instruments up there with a view to them behaving as 'stand alones' but decided to go first for checking the wiring to them from the chart table area. Got side-tracked by a box of fuses that had emptied themselves all over the chart table area. Each needed checking for continuity since several among them had been blown when getting the plotter back into action.
Made a fused connection to join the wire that had been cut to the top instruments (that had allowed plotter to be used) - will connect up and deal with in daylight on Sunday
Finished packing the Jordan series drogue (JSD) away into a sail bag, after untwisting it from around a pole in the way - not the most convenient of bags to use but, having lost the original dedicated bags to Neptune, I'm running out of options. Next problem is how to stow it safely but conveniently somewhere on deck. Tidied a lot of the lines in the cockpit. The control line used in the sliding mainsail traveller is damaged and needs replacing - hope I've something useful for that. Also, the lazyjacks on both sides of the mainsail/boom need remaking after a line broke - one a long time ago, the other just yesterday.
Made a big, thick bean and barley soup to keep me warm - it's cold - overnight temperature expected to drop to 5C/41F and I'm seeing 8.8C in the cabin - wearing lots of fleeces and my warm hat again.
Constantly checking battery voltage and running generator when needed. Opened up bunk top above batteries to check voltages there. Trying to resolve the charging problem - lots to think about and check on.
Using minimal power - headlamp and torches being used when dark to avoid draining batteries any more than necessary and instruments and AIS turned off. Computer and iPhone charged, radio used for email downloading and watermaker run only when generator running.
No rain today - bright and sunny - so sail should be getting fairly dry ready for repair needed. There are three tears, one of them a long one by the leech above the top batten - will be difficult to mend but have some coloured UV strip material that I'm hoping to use there and sticky sail repair tape for the other two tears - will need stitching also.

Sunday
Ran generator for a time, checked temperatures of individual batteries and later checked battery voltages - both in circuit and individually. No sign of any one battery being any different from the rest - no obvious 'dud' one. Puzzled by small amount of charge being input. Noted values and sent off emails to a couple of friends for their suggestions and later was able to discuss over the phone also. Either it's a battery problem or maybe a generator/regulator problem - I'm trying to find out... taking up a lot of time.

One highlight today was getting the cockpit instruments running and successfully connecting to the plotter. I first completed the fused connection without any of the instruments connected - all was fine. Then went to add in Wind/Speed/Depth one by one - but noticed the terminals at the ends of wires between them were not looking too good, so spent a time cleaning them all thoroughly. End result was good - they're all working and being repeated down below. In doing that, I realised that that radar and GPS were not working - clearly, the movement (now prevented by lashing) of the radar scanner and other items at the top of the starboard aft pole resulting from the knockdown had damaged the cables. I'd wondered why I couldn't fire up the radar scanner earlier and had thought the button on the plotter was faulty maybe.
Fortunately, the AIS has an independent GPS input which is also being used by the plotter, so boat position/SOG/COG are all shown there - TG! It was nice to see wind info showing again on the chart table instruments.
While doing that, had a visit from the Pilot boat - Pilot Magnus and his crew members had come by for a quick chat! They commented on the gooseneck barnacles just above the starboard waterline, near some inlets/outlets - maybe growing inside partly - a nuisance ... but I'm not getting into the cold water here to deal with them - later in warmer water! They also pointed out that the bolts holding the top of the stern antenna support in place onto the pole were all displaced up slightly - but I couldn't move them with my fingers. Will need to look at that again and maybe lash that top plate to hold it well down.
Looked around and got out what is needed to close up the hole in the cabin roof where the air vent (dorade) was taken away in the knockdown - piece of wood, needing to be cut, a long bolt and nut and a big penny washer - will fix it tomorrow, using some silicon sealant as well, replacing present plastic taped over the hole.
Replaced the damaged mainsheet traveller line and began to figure out the lazyjack replacement - think I have line for that also. Will need to climb the mast to retrieve the end of the starboard lazyjack line
Covered one sail tear with sticky tape on both sides as the sun was setting - the sail had dried sufficiently to do that but it will definitely need stitching also.
Down below for a warming bowl of thick soup and some delicious smoked tuna - thanks, Tom and Maggie! Enough of both for a repeat meal tomorrow.
Finished checking over my food supplies and noting totals available - looking fine - I won't go hungry.
Discussed battery/generator problem, yet again. Looks very much as though the batteries are possibly sulphated due to lack of sufficiently good charging over a period - bad news.
While in the battery area, found another dry (vacuum-packed) fleece top stored nearby that I'd forgotten about - excellent! Will be added to my fleece layers - it's freezing here! Warm hat is in continuous use...

Monday morning NZT (= Sunday evening GMT) - Queen's Birthday holiday (long weekend) here in New Zealand and also in Australia and elsewhere. Very calm now and expecting a bright, sunny day - so good for getting on with sail repair and deck work - well dressed against the cold. About to run generator and watermaker and will post this report - next one in a couple of days' time, rather than daily.
Must get some breakfast and get to work!

 

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

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 239 (by daily DMGs): 19,963 n.ml. up to last distance calculation (on Day 233) + an unknown amount - but now have plotter available to do it, so will do that one evening, when too dark to work on deck.

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

44°23.37'S 171°15.69'E

Comment: Tied to swinging mooring in Timaru Hbr, N.Z.

Air_Temp: 9.0C

This will be a brief report... Sufficient to say we're safely tied to a buoy in Timaru Hbr, close to where the two anchored vessels that I passed yesterday will be offloading shortly.

After the nightmare of being so very close to total disaster yesterday morning, when I only just realised in time that we were heading in very light wind onto the totally unlit rocks of a big, long breakwater, not shown on my plotter's chart, and having had very little sleep for two nights running - I've slept for over fifteen hours - from 3pm NZT Friday until 5:30am today - and then turned over for another hour...!

Many thanks to Magnus and his crew on the Timaru Pilot boat who had several people on board from local media who wanted to get us on camera as we headed towards the mooring buoy where I'll be stationed for the next few days getting repairs done after my recent knockdown.

Initially, the wind slowly picked up and we made good progress SW, from where we'd been overnight, toward the main harbour entrance. Thinking ahead to picking up the buoy, and expecting the wind to stay up until around midday, I'd reduced sail, not realising the large distance involved - this is a very big harbour and the entrance was wide open. Pity I hadn't been able to heave to just off it when we passed that way the night before - but those two anchored ships were too close and I was worried we might drift onto them, so went further on.

We headed toward the main channel with buildings on shore a long distance away still and I was constantly questioning Magnus over the VHF radio as to which way I needed to head to reach where the mooring buoys were situated. I'm used to small harbours and this is a big commercial port, dealing with big ships, so everything is that much larger... Not having the plan of the harbour available on my chart plotter was a big unexpected hindrance, despite photos of the harbour area having been sent to me by friends.

When I was fairly close, the Pilot boat came out, along with a tug (I'd been thinking I might have needed that last night!) and we exchanged waves and greetings - all very pleasant. The cameras were unexpected - not sure who told them or how they got there. The Timaru Herald, I was told, was present plus another cameraman taking video.

All good fun... until the wind started to die around 10am - a lot earlier than the midday expected and with the buoy I was heading to within a tantalising few hundred metres - easily visible. I increased sail but it was no good .... The wind finally died away completely, not long after I'd had trouble staying clear of some structures in the harbour close by, with the light wind heading us.

We drifted around in the harbour for an hour or two - I lost track of the time, needing to be on deck by the wheel then - waiting for the wind to pick up helpfully from the N, as Magnus was convinced it would. I was wondering whether my 'unassisted' status would disappear since I had visions of only getting to the buoy with a tow... maybe after drifting onto something in the harbour. But I did manage to stay clear of a few obstacles and finally, sure enough, a light N wind did arrive and ruffled the water surface. I waited a bit longer to make sure it filled in more and had also picked up in the area where the buoy was located. At last, I was able to sail over to the small pick-up buoy and finally cleat off the loop of line to the main buoy - relief once that was done and I could relax and thank Magnus who had stayed close by until I was safely tied up.

As we were sailing up the channel, before increasing sail in the ever-lessening wind, to my disbelief, the port side lazyjack broke and the stowed sail fell down to the deck unhelpfully - yet another job suddenly added to the list while here. That meant that, when dropped, the mainsail ended up all over the deck, making it that much more of an effort to tie it all to the boom later. In doing that, I noticed that where the sail was torn in a few places, the tears had increased - more work to do while here.

Once the mainsail had been stowed, I had a very quick snack and got to my bunk soon after 3pm with no alarms set - sleep was needed badly and I happily snuggled under my double thick duvet in the low temperature - 5C/41F is being forecast for overnight now.

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

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!

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

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 239 (by daily DMGs): 19,963 n.ml. up to last distance calculation (on Day 233) + an unknown amount - but now have plotter available to do it, so will do that one evening, when too dark to work on deck.

Distance covered overnight in previous 24hr - 5n.ml. from that breakwater to this buoy...

Also, distance covered the previous 24hr, from off Oamaru to off Timaru: 41n.ml.

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

TIME: 2019/05/31 19:00GMT

LATITUDE: 44-23.37S

LONGITUDE: 171-18.69E

COMMENT: Tied to swinging mooring in Timaru Hbr to get repairs done

Wednesday 1pm A dark, steel-grey cloud spreading from land to the NW gave warning of yet another big NW gust imminent. The wind had begun to rise from the calm conditions just before and since the SW light wind of this morning's 8am sunrise. There had been quite a big 'blow' just before then so I was busy on deck and able to enjoy it. Had very little sleep overnight, trying to keep us positioned in a mix of fickle winds and lenthy strong squalls, to be ready for the attempt to enter Oamaru from the NE mid-morning. But had to give up the idea of going in there - impossible to get that way in NW-SW wind under sail alone.

Plan B is to head to Timaru, a commercial port 40 miles up the coast - wide open entrance, deep water - no entry problem as with Oamaru. Kevin kindly phoned through to Timaru from Oamaru to let them know I needed to find a buoy there to pick up and I later spoke to the Timaru Pilot, Magnus, who will make sure I would know where to head.

Saw mountains in the distance for a short time, when the clouds lifted - clear fresh snow cover on the peaks - it's winter here!

2pm Need some sleep - getting to my bunk for a few hours as we make our way NE up the coast 8-10 miles off, while the present lighter NW wind after the 'blow' allows it.

3pm Phone call from Quarantine in Dunedin to say all good for Timaru.

5pm Sailing NNE on a nice SE wind of around 12-15kt.

Spoke to Magnus at Timaru Harbour who told me where to find some swinging moorings, near the entrance, and to take one whenever I arrive. Very friendly and helpful, as have been all that I've spoken to - in Wellington (Taupo Maritime Radio and MRCC NZ), Christchurch(Brent Kerr of Customs), Dunedin (Nick Hale of Quarantine), Oamaru Hbr (Kevin Murdoch) and Timaru Hbr (Magnus Karlsson) - many thanks to all of you!

6pm Chatted to Lydia of Radio NZ - interview going out very early probably.

7pm Nice to see us making good speed this evening - up to 6kt - as we head N towards Timaru. Wind seems possibly to be dying down now - forecast is for light winds overnight and into tomorrow, so expecting to be drifting around again. Hoping for no more big squalls overnight - I need my sleep!

8:30pm Our speed is down to 4kt now so over 4 hrs away - wind definitely dying, so likely to be longer. Just hope it stays up enough for us to reach Timaru to stay close enough overnight to enable us to get in tomorrow morning. I'm told there's normally a light NE breeze in the Outer Harbour where the swinging moorings are - !et's hope that happens!

Friday 1 am NZT (Thurs 1300GMT) Wind from NE around 15kt - Timaru only 5 n.ml. away - and two anchored vessel, one cargo and one tanker, anchored 2 ml off - exactly where I'd hoped to heave to - damn!! We've made good speed - I just slowed us down from 4 kt to 2 kt by dropping in 3rd reef and furling in genoa similarly... Must wait until dawn around 8am before sailing in to harbour - 7 hrs to wait. Will heave to beyond the two anchored vessels and will need to keep watch overnight to make sure we keep clear of them...

4am Got worried about position and wind needed to get in to harbour in the morning so started heading gently in the lessening breeze towards the green light I thought was one of the entrance lights. Wind was dying right down so difficult to keep a good course but was doing fine. Smelled a seaweed smell which surprised me, being a good distance off the shore... But a short time later, to my horror, I realised that we were dangerously close to a large, long, rocky, unlit breakwater. I jumped to the wheel and had to hold it full lock to get us away in very little breeze..

I could not believe that such a large structure, invisible in the darkness until close up to it, could be left totally unlit.... It was very difficult getting away since there was very little steerage in such a light wind but, slowly, slowly, the gap between us got bigger, despite the wind forcing us to run almost parallel. I hate to think what my blood pressure and heart rate went up to... And it was extremely lucky I was on deck just then since I thought we were safely a couple of miles or more off the beach.

I was not at all sure for quite some time that we wouldn't end up on the rocks and called on the VHF to let Taupo Radio know what was happening. A fisherman nearby, who knew I was coming in, called me and was very concerned when he realised where I was... "Head out to sea as fast as you can" he told me, sounding very worried.

2pm (Fri 0200 GMT) All's well that ends well - shortly afterwards, it was time for my daily reports but I was busy by then coming in to Timaru harbour - so this posting has been delayed until after my successful tying to a buoy - more in my next post.

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

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!

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

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 239 (by daily DMGs): 19,963 n.ml. up to last distance calculation (on Day 233) + an unknown amount - but now have plotter available to do it! Just need the time.

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

TIME: 2019/05/30 06:54 GMT

LATITUDE: 44-21.10S

LONGITUDE: 171-21.91E

COURSE: NE

SPEED: 2kt

WIND_SPEED: 5kt

WIND_DIR: SE

SWELL_DIR: SE

SWELL_HT: 1.0m

CLOUDS: 10%

BAROMETER: 986.4hPa

TREND: 0

AIR_TEMP: 15.0C

SEA_TEMP: 14.0C

COMMENT:Close to Timaru Hbr, for swinging mooring, to get repairs done. Just avoided rocks of unlit breakwater

Thanks to Commodore Kevin Murdoch, of the N.Otago Yacht and Powerboat Club in Oamaru Hbr, who has been very helpful about coming in and picking up a buoy (under sail) in the harbour in order to get my repairs done.
So long as I arrive in good daylight, to see well enough to pick up a buoy, that will be fine, so long as depth of water is good, also. They are planning to come out in a boat to show me the safe entry into the small harbour and to point out the buoy not far from the entrance that I will need to pick up.

5pm A second 'blow' around sunset which followed not so long after another even stronger one just as I was preparing to enter the harbour at Oamaru. Both blew up quite suddenly to 30-40kt - had to reef right down and in the first one I heaved to but the second one died down after a shorter time.
Unfortunately, by the time the first had died down, and I'd been blown a good distance away from the harbour, the word was that there would not be enough water to enter - Low Water was imminent - pity!
After some discussion on the options, with Kevin on board a small fishing boat that had come out to guide me in through the tricky entrance shallows, it was agreed that at 10:30pm I'd phone him to check if the wind was suitable to enter the harbour - not too strong but also not too light since I need to be able to steer the boat, of course.

Later: The plan to enter at night was ditched as being too risky - I'm not familiar with the layout, although I do have a photo of it, and it would be difficult to pick up the buoy in the dark. So I headed off, to try to stay N of the harbour, well out to sea overnight to wait for morning and to try again.

Thursday 3am Crescent moon just rising - two 'horns', spots of orange light at first, appear out of the sea, before the rest follows slowly - lying 'on its 'back'...
Have been awake a lot of time overnight, trying to keep boat headed N of Oamaru Hbr since N wind expected - but in light winds, all very difficult.
Gybed around with difficulty in light wind, to try to head back inshore, hoping to get to vicinity of harbour entrance around midday. Only one chance to get in - around High Water. Praying for some more wind to speed us along....

4:30am Going crazy out here, trying to persuade the boat to head towards shore in no wind - every so often, we go around in circles.... Course and speed weren't too bad to begin with but now wind has just died completely, so impossible to get anywhere - we'll not make our time at the harbour entrance unless wind comes up - and that's not forecast to happen - frustrating.....

6:30am Had a 2-hr rest fully-clothed in my foulies & boots...just in case of a sudden strong gust again. Wind up slightly - we're actually now making our course - but far too slow. Need wind to pick up just a bit more to speed us up without it gusting up to 30-40kt again. Over 12 miles and five hours to go to harbour entrance - need to be making just 2.5kt average speed - and we're presently making 2-3 kt ... Fingers crossed we get no more big gusts but just a good wind...

(Later: Big NW gust drove us further out.- having to abort Oamaru - impossible to head that way in NW-SW wind under sail alone. Will need a Plan B.

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

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 238 (by daily DMGs): 19,963 n.ml. up to last distance calculation (on Day 233) + an unknown amount - but now have plotter available to do it! Just need the time.

Distances (at 1900GMT): Dunedin, South Island, NZ: 59 n.ml. to SW.

Position & weather report for 2000 GMT, posted to www.Winlink.org and www.Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV):
TIME: 2019/05/29 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 45-04.75S LONGITUDE: 171-16.40E
COURSE: 040T SPEED: 2.0kt
WIND_SPEED: 7kt WIND_DIR: NW SWELL_DIR: NW SWELL_HT: 2.0m CLOUDS: 40%
BARO: 988.3hPa TREND: 0 AIR_TEMP: 14.0C SEA_TEMP: 14.0C
COMMENT: Trying to get to Oamaru Hbr - was hoping to enter today

Tuesday 8am Generator on, watermaker running and updates being done - still sailing ENE, although trying to head NNE - wind direction not helpful.

Albatross and Cape Petrel came and rested in the water beside the boat as I adjusted sails before - perfect camera shot - but no camera to hand just then ... :-( They looked expectant, as though hoping for me to throw them some food. Lovely to see them so close up.

Trying to head up the coast while getting on with repairs - keep having to interrupt for sail trim or to adjust course. Swell not very much, which is helpful.

Big weather system coming by over weekend - looking into stopping in a harbour up the coast not too far away to finish repairs safely but the N winds forecast will not make heading N very easy.

Midday Just noticed we were heading WSW with wind change - gybed around and we're now heading NNW at 3.5kt Pressure is well down at 990.9hPa - deep Low approaching. Glad I'm not in the Tasman Sea right now!

12:30pm Generator oil is being drained, ready for refilling with fresh - badly needs it.

Have been speaking to Colin, trying to troubleshoot plotter wiring problem. All taking a time but has to be done.

1pm On deck to deal with sails and course... Saw five Cape Petrels resting together in the sea nearby and an albatross near the boat also. Wind has died so they have to work harder when flying - not much gliding possible...

2:25pm Just spoke to the Commodore, Kevin Murdoch, of the N.Otago Yacht and Powerboat Club in Oamaru Hbr about coming in and picking up a buoy (under sail) in the harbour sometime over the next day or so in order to get my repairs done. I've had to gain permission from both NZ Customs and Quarantine to do so. Has meant quite a lot of phoning around but finally has turned out OK - thanks to all concerned. I just have to get there first - presently almost no wind and difficult to keep a course.

Replacing genset oil, then back to plotter/instruments wiring problems.

8:30pm Celebrating another big step forward in my repairs with a small glass of wine - plotter is NOT dead, nor is circuit-breaker! Just needed an expert like Robert Galley in Glencairn, near Simon's Town, S.Africa, to take me through a few steps to test out what was the root cause of the problem - the cockpit instrument circuit turned into the answer. Once taken out of the equation, plotter and circuit-breaker work fine... Now I need to get the cockpit instruments powered up as stand-alones, off the Seatalk bus - I'd like to have wind info especially - in doing that, I'll try to see whether it's an individual display or a wiring run that's giving the problem. Thanks a lot, Robert! I'm feeling so much happier and positive tonight.... Tomorrow, I'll try to track down a possible dud battery. If I can find that and take it out of the battery bank, that should improve the charging situation tremendously.

Heading SSE at moment - light wind from NE is making it difficult to head N as I'd like to. But there's supposed to be a SW wind later tonight so that will allow us to head NE - to Oamaru Hbr to complete our repairs

Wednesday 1am NZT (Tues 1300GMT) Brilliant stars in a very clear sky after rain has cleared away. Southern Cross high up, Milky Way clear to see ... no moon yet.

Wind is up and from SSW, so we're making good speed due N at 5kt after furling in some genoa to slow us down a touch from the 5.5-6kt we were making. Need to get just N of latitude of Oamaru Hbr but do not want to go too far N.

Batteries are getting a good charge from the Superwind in the stronger wind conditions.

2am Wind has died down a bit - to 15 kt, perhaps? Speed down to 4-4.5 kt - we're due E of Oamaru now 20 n.ml. off, so any more northing is a bonus - expecting N wind later, around midday.

4:20am Course change to WSW to head for a point just N of Oamaru Hbr - about 22 ml away. Hoping the forecast N wind comes up later in the morning. Clear, starry sky, with half-moon shining high astern, reflecting in slight waves, and low cloud layer near E and S horizons. Rolling about in the slight well. Back to my bunk...

7am Wind beginning to veer - will go W before ending up from N - none of which is very helpful for heading WNW, as we need, to get to Oamaru.

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

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, 12 hrs on) - end of Day 237. We made very little distance again, over the 24hr period, since mainly trying to get N slowly, NE of Dunedin, in light wind, getting work done and wanting arrival at a point well N of Oaramu hbr entrance around midday..

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 237 (by daily DMGs): 19,963 n.ml. up to last distance calculation (on Day 233) + an unknown amount - but not much! Will be updated next time - now have plotter avaialble to do it!

Distances (at 1900GMT): Oamaru harbur: 20 n.ml.Dunedin, South Island, NZ: 59 n.ml. to SW.

Position & weather report for 2000 GMT, posted to www.Winlink.org and www.Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV):

TIME: 2019/05/28 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 45-01.33S LONGITUDE: 171-28.58E

COURSE: 258T SPEED: 2.0kt

WIND_SPEED: 6kt WIND_DIR: SSE SWELL_DIR: S SWELL_HT: 1.5m CLOUDS: 10%

BARO: 990.9hPa TREND: 2 AIR_TEMP: 14.0C SEA_TEMP: 14.0C

COMMENT: Heading for Oamaru Hbr to complete repairs

Day 236 Sun-Mon 26-27 May 2019

8:30am Wind has increased and backed from around dawn - now more from NNW and must be around 15kt so we're making more of a NE course at around 4.5-5kt.

11:30am Been busy with breakfast, sail trim (wind has backed a lot, so now heading N on broad reach), filling a lot of water bottles (kept beside chart table), washing up in galley - using start-up water from water-maker for that - very, very slightly salty so almost like fresh - I can't taste the difference. Starting on instruments - seeing if they're of any use - hoping they might power up one by one...

Cape petrels flying around, as usual... Feeling very chilly, but sun is getting out occasionally, after a very grey cloudy start to the day. Can see coast in far distance - hills green and brown in sunlight.

Midday Wind has backed a lot more - to SW - so now heading N at around 4kt - we were faster before, but wind has died down again - to 10kt, I think. Sun has disappeared - feeling cold.

2pm Genoa furled away - wind has totally died away... Drifting while I work... Rockin' and rollin' in the slight swell. Time for a hot cup of soup to warm the insides...

Cleaned the generator control panel PCB very gently - had been sounding as though it was shorting somewhere - not happy to hear that... Hope it's OK and salt hasn't got onto a vital connection.

Sunset A little wind came up - but was up and down and swinging around -impossible to make way where I wanted to go. Suddenly, I realised that with the mainsail now up, I could heave to - so we're now hove-to .. but wind has died again.

Have been trying to get the plotter problem sorted out today... No fuse blown on course computer and power seems to be getting to end of power cable into plotter - but neither screen is lighting up. Had brought the cockpit display down to connect, expecting it to work - so far, it hasn't - disappointing.

Has been nice to see the wind generator keeping up with autopilot needs - and voltage staying up well.

A pair of Cape petrels and an albatross were circling around this afternoon - when suddenly a fast-moving sealion appeared - there must have been plenty of fish right by us, judging from their behaviour. The coast is 20 miles away now and we're just over 20 n.ml. to NE of Dunedin.

6:30pm Heaved to in light wind - now have mainsail hoisted to make it possible. Drifting NNW at 0.5kt.

Still working on plotter, wiring etc.

Spoke to NZ Customs about possibly anchoring or picking up a buoy while doing repairs - possibly expecting some very strong wind and seas in a few days' time and still have several urgent repairs to do..

Tuesday 5am Could hear the wind and its direction seemed good for heading NE, so got underway on port tack but wind actually not very strong. We're headed ENE at just 2kt, having to sail close to the wind, so not very fast ... Had hoped for better course and speed.

8am Generator on, watermaker running and updates being done - still sailing ENE, although trying to head NNE - wind direction not helpful.

Albatross and Cape Petrel resting in the water beside the boat as I adjusted sails before - perfect camera shot - but no camera to hand just then ... :-(

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

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, 12 hrs on) - end of Day 236. We made very little distance again, over the 24hr period, since mainly drifting around, NE of Dunedin, in light wind, getting work done.

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 236 (by daily DMGs): 19,963 n.ml. up to last distance calculation (on Day 233) + an unknown amount - but not much!

Position & weather report for 2000 GMT, posted to www.Winlink.org and www.Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV):

TIME: 2019/05/27 20:00GMT LATITUDE: 45-24.85S LONGITUDE: 171-25.21E

COURSE: 070T SPEED: 2.0kt

WIND_SPEED: 12kt WIND_DIR: NNW SWELL_DIR: NW SWELL_HT: 1.5m CLOUDS: 95%

BARO: 994.5hPa TREND: -2 AIR_TEMP: 13.0C SEA_TEMP: 14.0C

COMMENT: Getting repairs done following knockdown - still lots to do.

Sunday 10:20am New blade is now in place on wind generator - and it's putting in charge! Sat on top of the stern arch supports to do it and hugged the pole! Wasn't so bad and didn't take long.... Managed it just as the wind suddenly started to get up, so only just in time.

I had to lash the radar in place firmly to stop the top of that pole and all its antennas etc from moving about. Will need to keep a good eye on the lashing to make sure it keeps doing a good job.

11:15am Grey sky and NNW wind. We're underway, headed NE with mainsail hoisted! Of course, the halyard had got caught around some mast steps near the mast top but didn't take too long to free. Pity about the torn area at the leech lower down, meaning I can't raise the sail beyond third reef - but definitely better than nothing! As soon as I can, I'll add some 'tabling' to the sticky-backed sail-repair tape I've stuck there on both sides as a temporary fix.
Still have no plotter or speed/depth/wind - the circuit-breaker 'pops' every time I try to switch on so I need to find an alternative source of power to get them working again.
A dark-grey-winged albatross was flying around as we moved off and the wind generator is spinning happily and putting in a few amps over and above the autopilot consumption - nice to see!
Time for breakfast... and I must get some sleep soon - really missed out on that with the charging problem happening well before dawn.

Midday, and I think the wind is less now - I definitely miss the Wind display!
Contacted MRCC NZ to update them on situation on board.
Need to replace circuit breaker/switch with a fresh switched/fused power supply.

I have some paper charts but they're not very detailed.
Have been working on replacing the circuit breaker/switch with a fresh switched/fused power supply to the plotter.

Cape petrels flying around frequently, along with the usual lone albatross - always coming close as though inquisitive to see what's going on.

6pm Bad news - think I killed my plotter... :-( ... and possibly the other instruments also, although maybe I can get them going as 'stand-alones' if I can power them up separately, away from the Seatalk bus. In checking how to power the plotter up, I touched a live supply - not a good idea unless you're about to throw it away in the bin anyway - which was not my plan.... Now that I've made up a nice combination of switch and in-line fuse, it turns out, on testing with power supply turned on , that nothing happens - no plotter or any other instrument display... Extremely annoying to think I could have been so careless - otherwise I think the plotter would have been working now.

So glad I found the missing mainsail slide-track stop - meant I could hoist the mainsail and get underway far sooner than expected, although present very light and/or N wind doesn't make for progress NE.

Spoke to Meri who runs Bluff Fishermen's Radio. She asked my for my posn ad COG/SOG details. If she's in contact with a fishing vessel nearby, she'll make sure they know I'm close to them.

8:50pm Light rain and no wind - have furled in genoa while we drift around. Spoke to Tapo Maritime Radio a short while ago and they confirmed no traffic anywhere nearby. They're keeping an eye on 'Nereida' on their AIS screen - nice to know, when I'm drifting in no wind...!
To my bunk for some long-overdue sleep - have had none since well before dawn.

Monday 5am NZT (Sun 5pm GMT) Some wind has arrived from NNW - we're 10 ml SE of Dunedin on the Otago Peninsula.. Unfurled genoa and now making abut 2.5 kt sailing upwind, making a NE course - headed offshore. Wind generator putting in a slight net charge over autopilot (AP) use.
Back to my bunk for a little more sleep.

6:15am Unable to keep NE course - wind must have veered a little - making due E now... Back for half an hour of more sleep...

7am Lovely line of orange light getting under cloud layer in east - stil dark but dawn not far away. Making course slightly to N of E now - wind must have backed a tad.
Busy posting updates and getting weather downloads. Emailing minimal via radio now - please do not expect replies very soon - radio use being kept to absolute minimum to conserve battery power.

 

****************************************************
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, 12 hrs on) - end of Day 235. We made very little distance over the 24hr period, since mainly drifting around, well S of Dunedin, in light wind, getting work done

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 235 (by daily DMGs): 19,963 n.ml. up to last report (Day 233) + an unknown amount - but not much!

Distances (at 1900GMT): Dunedin, South Island, NZ: 20 n.ml. to NNE. (No others easily avilable without plotter working)

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

TIME: 2019/05/26 19:03GMT LATITUDE: 45-56.62S LONGITUDE: 171-01.51E
COURSE: 070T SPEED: 2.5kt
WIND_SPEED: 10kt WIND_DIR: NNW SWELL_DIR: SW SWELL_HT: 1.5m CLOUDS: 95%
BARO: 999.9hPa TREND: -2 AIR_TEMP: 14.0C SEA_TEMP: 14.0C
COMMENT: N-NNW wind again, after drifting in no wind most of night - dawn light starting

Saturday 9am On port tack, making 053T at around 2kt, heading up the coast, presently 15 miles off, close to the wind which is from WNW at around 10kt - getting on deck now to see if I can achieve something in this wind. Wind likely to get stronger this afternoon and then drop down Sunday morning. Might be forced slightly offshore by wind veering more to N later but should be able to tack back inshore again to get into the area of light wind just S of Dunedin by tomorrow morning. That's the plan, anyway...

12:20pm A quick break from work on mainsail for a drink of water.... Struggling with 4th batten - long and heavy & keeps wanting not to know... Wind 12kt from NW-NNW, making 2-2.5kt on 065T.

2:45pm Yay!! Finished replacing sail slides in mast track - what a battle I had with the lower batten end and the slides nearby... But finally got there by tying all together and only needing to raise the halyard a little. Problem now is the stop below them all is missing... The knockdown jumped it from where I had it conveniently visible so now I have to find it - or make up something else.
Wind has veered into N so will gybe around to head E. We're 20ml off the coast now and inshore is where the lighter wind is. I still have work to do on deck, and the present conditions are perfect.

Found another tear by the leech lower down in the sail, while releasing it in order to persuade the sail to move forward so I could get the sail slides into the mast track. I've stuck it on both sides with sail repair tape but need to reinforce that with material - more 'tabling needed (have some Sunbrella I can use) - so won't raise the full main until I've managed to do that . Fortunately it's easy to get to from the cockpit, although the sail need to be released from the boom in order to do so.

Must get some food - had nothing so far today....

A Royal albatross, a pair of the smaller, familiar, dark-backed albatross and a distinctive black and white Cape Petrel have been circling around as I worked. We had a visitor! A gull came by and had a good look around - but soon left when no food came its way..

5:30 pm Sunset. Have searched but no sign of the stopper for the sail track. Have found a suitable long, thin bolt to hold one in place but need to make the actual stopper - maybe out of a small plastic box or else from thin aluminium (easy to bend) - or maybe using a food can. Will check in my spares... I know the shape I need.

Have reduced the genoa to slow us down further - don't want to get too close inshore. Pity I can't anchor here but don't see anywhere suitable. Might have to gybe out and then back in again overnight.

11:30pm Having started the evening drifting NW-W in N-NNW wind, we're now drifting SW - so time to gybe around and head NE instead - wind is now from NW at 13kt.

Sunday 3:25am NZT (Sat 1525 GMT) Bright moon shining in clear sky overhead, Southern Cross high over our stern, thin cloud layer over E and S horizons, distant lights of Dunedin glowing orange ahead on port bow, 25 miles off.
Wind down to 7-9kt from WNW and we're making 050t at 1.5kt.

6am Just had a major power problem - saw voltage was getting low so started generator - but saw no power going into batteries... When I stopped it, instruments went down - circuit breakers had gone... Couldn't start genset because no power coming in from batteries... Spoke to friend Robert in Sidney, B.C., "Start the main engine," was the advice. Was difficult persuading the engine to start - but it finally did, TG! But then (again) saw no power going in to batteries, although voltage was rising .... too much - clearly not being regulated. Had to stop the engine because battery voltage was way too high - well over 15A. But that meant I could get generator running - ran for two hours...
Contacted Taupo Maritime Radio to let them know my status.

All was looking good - except instruments keep going down (autopilot is OK since a separate circuit). Need to replace circuit breaker/switch with a fresh switched/fused power supply. In meantime, AIS display shows lat/long and COG/SOG - so can use paper charts if I have to and possibly iPad, although not sure about that one.

One good piece of news - I found the missing mainsail slide-track stop while getting out my hand held VHF radio, in order to charge it and test it was working.

Dawn soon - must get a little more sleep if I'm to replace windgen blade this morning - hope the swell stays down. Wind around 3-4 kt, so drifting NE well off the shoreline to the W is fine.

****************************************************
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, 12 hrs on) - end of Day 234. We made very little distance over the 24hr period, since mainly drifting around, well S of Dunedin, in light wind, getting work done

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 234 (by daily DMGs): 19,963 n.ml. up to last report + an unknown amount - but not much!

Distances (at 1900GMT): Dunedin, South Island, NZ: 20 n.ml. to NNE. (No others easily avilable without plotter working)

Position & weather report for 1900 GMT, posted to www.Winlink.org and www.Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV):
TIME: 2019/05/25 19:06GMT LATITUDE: 46-14.77S LONGITUDE: 170-30.68E
COURSE: 042T SPEED: 1.0kt
WIND_SPEED: 5kt WIND_DIR: SW SWELL_DIR: SW SWELL_HT: 1.0m
BARO: 1007.9hPa TREND: 0 AIR_TEMP: 16.0C SEA_TEMP: 14.0C
COMMENT: S of Dunedin, S. Island, NZ., Drifting. Power/charging problem

Friday 11:30am NZT Wind still from NW at 19kt and we're making 3.5-4kt, trying to head up the coast, hoping for light enough wind to finish replacing remaining sail-slides into mast track, so I can raise the mainsail - but wind seems to be heading us somewhat so making slow progress NE.
Seas have calmed down a lot so tried to get up to wind generator - top of pole is rather high up and realised when up there that I needed to tie off a blade to stop it rotating and to enable me to reach the damaged one to work on its remains. So had to untie myself and get back down and up again with some cord - managed that, and also managed to remove existing bit of old blade without losing the screws (although have spares) - but all very difficult, perched high up in the slight swell, working up well above my head - that, and the stress of it all, made me very tired. Fixing the new blade into position will definitely need calm conditions if I'm to manage it.
Getting to my bunk now for some much-needed sleep since I can't work on mainsail in present 18kt wind.

While up on the port-side pole, noticed that the top of the other pole, holding several antennas and the radar etc, was rotating slightly - which it shouldn't do. Clearly a problem caused by the knockdown, so I then lashed it to help hold it down in place. Will have to come up with a plan for stopping the slight rotation - several short bolts are now missing from their threaded holes.

4pm Sun getting low over coastline in distance. Fairly low and hilly, rather than mountainous, as I'd expected.
Cleared up in galley and elsewhere. Trying to figure out a 'fix' for the antenna/radar pole movement - not good for it to be able to move as it is - could damage the cables going down to below...
About to run generator and watermaker for an hour.

6:15pm Some remains of sunset colours in W sky over distant coast but otherwise virtually dark. Wind down to 13kt now, so going even more slowly - difficult to make our preferred heading. Hoping for wind to die more by tomorrow so can get work done on mainsail slides. Might have to tack closer inshore if wind veers to N. There's a lovely(!) big area of almost no wind a bit further N which will be gone by Monday - but can't see us reaching it in this NW wind, since use of engine is not allowed in my attempt...!
Cooking some lentils and onion (still plenty of fresh onions left, although some getting a bit gungy). Will add diced ham when done and maybe some curry paste to ring the changes.

6:40pm Wind has backed to WSW - so able to make a far better course, only problem being that it has also died down to 7-10kt. Why couldn't it have done that in daylight?? I wonder how long it will stay WSW... COG is 010T just now, SOG around 2kt! ... Wind swinging around from WSW to W and back - very light..

7pm Posting twice-daily position & weather report to Winlink/Shiptrak and downloading latest weather files - showing NW 9kt but wind actually anywhere from W quadrant and only 4kt.

10pm Wind came up again to 15 kt from NW - as in this evening's weather forecast and over most of the day. We'd gybed around to head inshore a little more, intending to gybe again in a few hours' time. Trying to stay inshore and not getting too far offshore, while staying safe.. Means broken sleep to keep an eye on our position regularly.

Saturday 4am (Fri 1600GMT) Gybed around onto port tack, making 060T at around 3kt, heading back up the coast, close to the NW 19kt wind. Seems to me that the hope of having light wind to work with on deck close to the coast from first light onwards isn't happening... I'll wait to see what the next weather forecast is saying about the chances of light conditions coming up hereabouts.
The moon is shining brightly but hazily through a very thin cloud layer. The light at Nugget Point is flashing twice every 12 seconds to NW, 10 miles off, and a fishing trawler is visible showing its bright white deck lights about 10ml to S.

4:30am Wind has dropped and our speed with it - making around 2.5kt now on 050T. Bsck to my bunk for a bit more sleep....

7am Vivid orange line of light along E horizon, below grey overcast cloud layer - sunrise quite soon...
Wind around 15kt from NW, making course NE at 2.5kt - not seeing the light wind now that I'd been so much hoping for - and have been waiting around here overnight for... looks to have been a total waste of time and effort...! Calm area is just a touch too far to N and can't get there! Weather forecasts were not all agreeing and I really wanted to believe the one that forecast light wind today!

(8:20am Wind down to 12kt -will see if light enough...)

 

****************************************************
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, 12 hrs on) - end of Day 233. We made 39 n.ml. DMG, over the 24hr period, measured in a straight line between the two 1900GMT positions. Deliberately slow, hoping to fix mainsail in place...

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 233 (by daily DMGs):19,963 n.ml.

Distances (at 1900GMT): S.Cape, NZ : 116 n.ml. to SW; nearest South Island, NZ, coastline (Nugget Pt): 13 n.ml. to W; Bluff: 72 n.ml. to WSW; Dunedin: 45 n.ml. to NNE; Hobart (Tasmania, Aus): 991 n.ml. to NW

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

TIME: 2019/05/24 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 46-30.81S LONGITUDE: 170-05.95E
COURSE: 047T SPEED: 2.9kt
WIND_SPEED: 16kt WIND_DIR: NW SWELL_DIR: SW SWELL_HT: 2.0m CLOUDS: 99%
BARO: 1013.3hPa TREND: 0 AIR_TEMP: 15.0C SEA_TEMP: 14.0C
COMMENT: Off Nugget Pt, E coast of S. Island, NZ.

Thursday Dawn breaking around 8 a.m. Having to keep well clear of several small islands to W of the SW end of Stewart Island on the approach..

A lovely dawn over the islands - several small ones off the main island. The occasional albatross flies close by - lovely to see, as always. Sky becoming clearer as overnight clouds mainly disappear but half-moon is still bright and quite high up.

Spoke to Taupo Maritime Radio, to give my usual twice-daily status report, and also to Meri of Bluff Fishermen's Radio - she does a wonderful job keeping an eye on the fishermen's whereabouts and status, especially in bad weather - of which there's plenty hereabouts... At below 47S, we're well down in the Southern Ocean again.

Course now is SE in a W-WSW wind but will change course to ENE as soon as it's safe to do so. Hoping for a change in wind direction to WNW very soon, to help the change of course.

Spoke to a NZ/Aus Ham Radio Net both to pass on my best wishes and to let them know what is happening - will contact a few more later today.

10:52 a.m. NZT Passing the SW Cape on Stewart Island... Gybed onto port tack just beforehand - the wind had veered just enough to make that feasible. Wind is 16-20kt so speed a bit better - often making ~4kt on a very broad reach.
Gusty conditions under the occasional cloud in shower. A lovely rainbow shone as we were rounding the Cape - an omen of good luck? I could do with some!!
Enjoying a 'special' breakfast of dried fruit, nuts and seeds with delicious mango juice to start with - thinking ahead to the warmer climates coming up soon, further N...
Will celebrate later with a rum punch - mango juice and orange juice with some dark spiced rum (I've a little rum still left from my earlier four 'Dark and Stormy' Great Cape celebratory drinks!)

11:38 am Passing the South Cape on Stewart Island - mostly bright sunshine at times, sun quite low, making a photo of the scene difficult... Then a rain cloud came over the island, hiding the sun - so a photo was possible. This is possibly the last land I'll see until Polynesia, maybe Hawaii, before Canada.

Had a lovely, relaxed sail in the lee of Stewart Island over the rest of the day with plenty of albatrosses coming by at times. The seas had lain right down so it felt a lot smoother than on the approach to the island earlier, and the wind was from W around 16kt or more, making for an easy sail NE, well off the coast but within sight of it.

Downloaded a lot of congratulatory emails and spoke to a few people by satphone (working fine, so long as I kept an eye that its power supply was well-connected).

Totally enjoyed the day, celebrating the 'Fifth Great Cape Rounding'... feels really good and the weather is cooperating fantastically well! Found some delicious olive and sun-dried tomato tapenade (from Saltspring Island) to spread on crackers, opened a small tin of anchovy-stuffed green olives and had them with cashews to go with a long (weak!) G&T as sunset approached, and a glass of red wine with my meal later. Even managed to raise a toast to 'The Fifth Cape' with friends by satphone!
Enjoyed making a few amateur radio contacts on the SSB/HF radio - not something I've been doing of late, in an effort to conserve battery power - but today was a special day so I 'treated' myself and enjoyed the short chats.

8pm Spoke to Taupo Radio - asked them to alert a fishing trawler to the NE of us that we were headed their way overnight, just as a precaution. Also spoke to Meri to confirm which weather areas I should be taking note of in her weather broadcasts. Presently 'Foveaux', but once N of 'The Nuggets' we'll be in sea area 'Chalmers' (near Dunedin) was her answer.

Friday 4am Crossing the E end of Foveaux Strait at the S end of South Island, NZ. Wind has veered more and gusted up - NW now, so needing to adjust sail trim. Sail had woken me up with its unhappy noise but once sheeted in a lot more it was far better and our speed picked right up again - now making 5.8kt or more in 20kt wind. Adjusted course slightly to give more clearance off The Nuggets, around the SE corner of S. Island.

7am Wind has died back now, although still from NW, so only making around 4-4.5kt. Spoke to Meri on Bluff Fishermen's Radio and listened to weather forecasts. Seas have calmed down a lot - giving a gentle rocking of the boat - quite pleasant.

****************************************************
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, 12 hrs on) - end of Day 232. We made 89 n.ml. DMG, over the 24hr period, measured in a straight line between the two 1900GMT positions.

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 232 (by daily DMGs):19,924 n.ml.

Distances (at 1900GMT): S.Cape, NZ : 77 n.ml. to SW; nearest South Island, NZ, coastline (The Brothers Pt): 10 n.ml. to N; Bluff: 43 n.ml. to WNW; Dunedin: 82 n.ml. to NE; Hobart (Tasmania, Aus): 960 n.ml. to NW

Position & weather report for 1900 GMT, posted to www.Winlink.org and www.Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV):
TIME: 2019/05/23 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 46-49.78S LONGITUDE: 169-17.07E
COURSE: 065T SPEED: 4.2kt
WIND_SPEED: 15kt WIND_DIR: NW SWELL_DIR: W SWELL_HT: 2.5m CLOUDS: 60%
BARO: 1018hPa TREND: 0 AIR_TEMP: 15.0C SEA_TEMP: 14.0C
COMMENT: SE of S. Island, NZ., at E entrance Foveaux Strait

Midday Wednesday Seas have got quite big again - a good 5-6 m and rolling us around a lot now. Sky looking very grey and rain is looking possible.

Albatrosses are wheeling and soaring in the wind and a white-rumped brown-backed storm petrel is fluttering astern, often dipping into the sea.

Just furled in some more genoa to try to slow us down - difficult in good wind! The wind keeps gusting up and then abating - it's mainly around 20kt, but just gusted up to 28kt for a short time - possibly these grey clouds are making that happen.

Presently hoping to round the final Southern Ocean Cape - on Stewart Island, NZ - tomorrow.... Have been deliberately going slowly to get there soon after dawn - having expended so much time and effort (and anguish!) getting here, I didn't want to pass it by overnight - as would have happened if I'd kept up a good speed yesterday and overnight!!

I've noticed that close by the SW Cape there's a S Cape on Stewart Island. Which is the one referred to as the 'Great Cape', I wonder? I've been thinking the SW Cape was the one to go for - but since they're so close (only 3 miles apart), I'll pass by both tomorrow morning. Until fairly recently, only the three named Capes were referred to as the 'Southern Ocean Great Capes' - Horn, Good Hope and Leeuwin, in S.America, Africa and Australia respectively.

3:15pm Running watermaker now - we'd run completely out of tank water... The gauge must have got stuck since it had been showing half full for a time - until the knockdown jarred it into a correct reading. Hadn't run it at all so far this trip so was worried I'd forget to do something and it wouldn't go well. Read the manual section on starting up with 'pickle'... checked valves were open and that water was diverted from tank to galley sink... checked membrane was de-pressurized... started up generator... crossed fingers very tightly... took a deep breath....switched on pump 1... seemed to be working fine...went on deck to see if water was exiting OK - yes!! Turned pump 1 off and pump 2 on ... water seemed to be coming out again. Difficult to see that in present swell since involves leaning right out over side of boat to look down to just above water level - but the water exiting makes a bit of a splash so seeing that is good enough. I didn't fancy a swim just now...

Had the two pumps running for half an hour to purge the 'pickle' thoroughly out of the system and then pressurized the membrane. After 5-10 minutes, switched product water to the tank. System is making about 40l/hr (10 gall/hr) on one pump (makes slightly more efficient use of power than on two). After running generator for one hour, switched it off - I want to see how long it takes running the watermaker to bring the batteries down... (The Spectra is a 12V system.) At present, I'm seeing 10.3A discharge - that's running instruments, AP and Spectra (on just one pump - turned off pump 2) - so not too bad. Seems, in fact, that if pump 2 was working before, it is not working now... but have a spare, if needed.

5pm Battery voltage has dropped by 0.2V in two hours. Ran watermaker for another hour - I need the water and I want to pressurize the fresh-water system if I can. (Later: Did that, so that's good.) Should have 50l or more in tank now - I'll run the watermaker often when running the generator from now on.

Time for food - it's a grey, cold, damp day and I need something hot...

6:30pm Dark now and raining slightly. Gybed onto port tack. We were having trouble making our course in a WNW wind, and speed was too often around 4kt or more - meaning we'd arrive at Stewart Island in the dark - not in my plan! So I've furled in the genoa to a handkerchief size. Amazingly, we're still often touching 4kt - wind has been around 20-24kt all afternoon. Will gybe again around midnight and head out if still going too fast to make the Cape around dawn or later...

Thursday 1:45am (Wed 1345GMT) Beautiful clear, starry sky with oh-so-bright moon lighting up the sea and making sail-handling no problem.

Gybed around with slightly-increased sail area - making 140T at 3kt in wind from WSW at 22-25kt, gusting 28kt. Waypoint well off S end of Stewart Island, to SW of Cape, is 21 ml away - so ETA there is around 8am NZT - dawn - or soon after. Seas are quite rough - a good 4m with wind waves and plenty of 'white horses' (white foam crests of a F6 wind) on top. Pressure has risen a little to 1017 hPa and air is 15C/59F.

Nearest small islands off Stewart Island are 14 ml way - so I can safely get another short nap with alarm set.

6am Full genoa now to speed us up - we'd dropped well down... Will take about three hours from here to passing Cape. Wind is ~18kt from WSW and moon is shining hazily at times from behind thin cloud cover. Saw the Southern Cross high up in a gap in the clouds.. The moon is bright enough that it lights up the clouds from above to give a good twilight to see by.

Have to keep well clear of small islands to W of SW end of Stewart Island on the approach... Is the wind dying...? I hope not!

There's an E-going tidal current from now until 11 am, just S of the Cape, and from 8am until midday, further to the E.

Feeling decidedly damp and cold in the 15C air - heating up the remains of a chunky soup from last night and added in some potato powder to bulk it up - nice and warming...

We're just a few hours away from rounding the final Southern Ocean Cape - and heading N up the Pacific, at last.... Can't wait to get to warmer seas!

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

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, 12 hrs on) - end of Day 231. We made 74 n.ml. DMG, over the 24hr period, measured in a straight line between the two 1900GMT positions. Slowed down deliberately.

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 231 (by daily DMGs):19,835 n.ml.

Distances (at 1900GMT): SW Cape, NZ: 10 n.ml SE; S Cape: l3 n.ml. to SE; nearest SW NZ coastline (Bluff): 58n.ml.to NE; Dunedin: 164 n.ml. to NE; Hobart (Tasmania, Aus): 881 n.ml. to NW

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

TIME: 2019/05/22 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 47-13.74S LONGITUDE: 167-13.95E

COURSE: 123T SPEED: 3.8kt

WIND_SPEED: 16kt WIND_DIR: WSW SWELL_DIR: W SWELL_HT: 4.0m CLOUDS: 95%

BARO: 1019.1hPa TREND: 2 AIR_TEMP: 15.0C SEA_TEMP: 15.0C

COMMENT: W of SW end of Stewart Island, NZ. 10 ml from the Cape

Tuesday 10am The nearest New Zealand South Island coast is 45 n.ml. away to the SE (Resolution Island) and Cape Providence is 58 n.ml. off, to SE also. Puysegur Pt is just SSE of Cape Providence, 11 n.ml. further on and the weather area nearby is named after it... notorious for bad weather!
A grey, damp, cold day again - need to get N into warmer climes!!
Forecast is for more light wind - presently 7kt! - until nightfall, when wind is expected to veer to the NW and eventually to N around midnight, increasing rapidly late afternoon to ~25kt around nightfall and until dawn, reducing to ~20kt over tomorrow daytime. I'm looking forward to making some decent speed overnight onward - we're struggling to make way just now!
A graceful albatross was seen circling around us soon after dawn - same kind as seen yesterday.

12:30pm Getting into the forepeak now to check for possible wind generator blades - seas won't get much lower than they are now, so need to make good use of the lighter conditions to dig around under the bunk there. Fingers crossed...

1:15pm Yay...!!! A complete set of new identical blades... Took a bit of getting to, but clearly it was worth it! Now need calm conditions to get up there and replace the damaged/missing blade.

5pm Interview on ABC Tasmania/Hobart went fine - good sound quality after spending a time 'tweaking' the Aurora system to allow the wired handset to be used - far better sound - thanks again, Colin!
Before that, spent quite a time watching the albatrosses and tiny storm petrels around the boat - great! Intention had been to check cockpit locker, which I did, but couldn't see anything well enough to decide if one of the diesel containers was damaged or not - need calmer conditions to explore more thoroughly.

6:30pm Another chat, this time with BBC Radio Solent in Southampton on Julian Clegg's Breakfast Show (7:25am Tuesday BST). Phone worked fine again - good sound and almost no 'warbling'.
Winds should increase overnight but I'll try to keep speed down - would be nice (and safer) to pass Stewart Island in daylight, if possible. Expecting rain, possibly heavy, as a Cold Front passes over near midnight.

Wednesday 5am NZT (Tues 1700 GMT) Changed course towards Stewart Island in wind backed to WNW, down now at 18kt from NNW-N 22-25kt earlier in the night. Rain earlier, but not so heavy. Still rolling around a lot, as we have been all night.
Have now rounded Cape Providence and Puysegur Point - the SW 'corner' of South Island, New Zealand. The wind has just backed enough to allow a better course to be set - taking us to a waypoint well clear of Stewart Island, due S of its SW Cape, and also keeping us well clear of the North and South Traps - dangerous areas of rocks needing to be avoided to SE of Stewart Island. Wind should back a little further to come from W sometime soon.

Expecting a call around 6:30am NZT for a chat with CBC Victoria (at 11:30am Tuesday PDT) and at 7am NZT /12 noon PDT with CHEK News, also in Victoria, B.C., Canada.

Times are getting rather confusing as we get close to the Date Line - I keep referencing GMT to be sure. NZT is exactly 12 hours on from GMT, BST (British 'summertime') is GMT + 1 hr and PDT (Pacific Time now, in North America) is GMT + 8hr .

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

It would be great if you would take a moment to click on the Lifeboats link here (https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Jeanne-Socrates2), if you'd like to show your support for my efforts at sailing solo, nonstop, unassisted around the globe, trying to set a World Record as the oldest person to do so, by donating something towards the great work the RNLI do every day. If a lot of people put in even a small amount, it all adds up... Thanks a lot! If you can help, it will be very much appreciated. Let's see if we can reach my target!
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1900GMT (= 7 a.m. NZT, 12 hrs on) - end of Day 230. We made 84 n.ml. DMG, over the 24hr period, measured in a straight line between the two 1900GMT positions. Slowed down deliberately.

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 230 (by daily DMGs):19,761 n.ml.

Distances (at 1900GMT): SW Cape, NZ: 84 n.ml SSE; nearest SW NZ coastline (Puysegur Point): 42 n.ml.; Hobart: 814 n.ml.

Position & weather report for 1900 GMT, posted to www.Winlink.org and www.Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV):
TIME: 2019/05/21 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 46-31.15S LONGITUDE: 165-44.99E
COURSE: 135T SPEED: 3.0kt
WIND_SPEED: 19kt WIND_DIR: WNW SWELL_DIR: NW SWELL_HT: 4.0m CLOUDS: 100%
BARO: 1012.2hPa TREND: 0 AIR_TEMP: 16.0C SEA_TEMP: 16.0C
COMMENT: 84 n.ml. off SW Cape on Stewart Island, S of S. Island, NZ



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