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S/V Nereida sails around the world

Monday 8:20am Just gone dawn - but a grey sky. Feeling damp and cold, with air temperature just about reaching 16C/61F. Making around 3-3.5kt, often a lot less, hard on a SW wind which has dropped to 15kt, trying to make sure we clear Cape Providence, 107ml to the SSE. This will be a slow day, with light winds.
About to call Taupo Maritime Radio for my twice-daily sched - to confirm "All is well on board" and give position, COG & SOG.
Will get back to my bunk for some more sleep soon.

1:30pm I was clearly very tired - after not too bad a night's sleep last night, I lay down for a nap around 10am - and woke up just before 1pm! The sun was shining brightly from a blue patch of sky - one of two or three quite big ones among the otherwise grey clouds. We're still rolling around quite often but seas are definitely lying down
We're only making around 2-2.5kt, sometimes getting up to 3kt or just over, in wind that has veered a touch more towards WSW. Slow, as expected today, until the wind veers and increases further. But pressure has risen to 1020hPa, so we're being affected by the High to our N.

5pm Light now beginning to fade - already very dull under grey cloud cover.
Two lovely albatrosses circling us - long, dark, upper wings and dark back, white underbody and white underwings, except for dark tips, white tail with dark end, light grey 'wash' on cheeks and yellow bill. Wings held stiffly out as they glide around.

6pm Went up on deck to do some tidying up while the seas are not too bad - removed ends of lines where JSD bags had been torn away from the stern arch supports, untied retrieval line for JSD from stern cleat - hoping to untangle it from remains of bridle so JSD useable again. Replaced trysail in its bag where it had come partly out. Generally checked around.

Looking at what had happened, it occurred to me that it was a good thing there is a hard top over the companionway now. It seems to me that a cloth awning held in place with the usual tubular supports would have been badly damaged by the water impact that had clearly occurred. In a previous knockdown, 100ml W of Cape Horn on 5 January 2011, the awning had been totally lost - supports and cloth - everything was taken away by the impact, leaving no protection whatsoever over the companionway.

7:30pm Making better speed from time to time - under clouds? Occasionally making 3.5-4kt, instead of the usual 2kt - nice to see some better speed - possibly also helped by the wind having veered more to WSW meaning we're less hard on the wind - always makes for better speed and less heeling.
Spoke to Colin about my Aurora system - working so much better now. Tracker info is being put out frequently and in full and email uploads and downloads are unbelievably speedy.

9:30pm Contacted MRCC NZ for a quick status check - they're watching me via my AIS signal which, with us being so close to the coast, is updated every few minutes.

11pm Back to making just 2kt in wind of 10kt or less from just N of W - but at least our course is good - at due S or a little W of S - want to keep well off the rugged NZ coast hereabouts.
Had an enjoyable session on the satphone linking to the ham radio with Jim, WB2REM, orchestrating. Was nice to make contact with some familiar people as well as several new ones - from Chesapeake to Texas to Tasmania to Canberra - all sending good wishes - thanks to all of you!

5:30am Dark still - just before dawn. Wind has been slowly dying - mainly now only 8kt, but has just gusted to 18kt for a short timewhich makes it easier to maintain our S course - difficult when wind too light.
Coast is just over 50 ml away - Cape Providence (just N of Puysegur Pt - marked on photo of chart).

Tomorrow, I'll be chatting live on BBC Radio Solent with Julian Clegg on his Breakfast Show - that will be live at 7.25am Tuesday BST (11:25pm Monday PDT). Hopefully the satellite link won't make our voices too 'warbly'!
Before that, I'll be chatting to CBC Victoria during the afternooon (Monday), time tba.

****************************************************
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 229. We made 50 n.ml. DMG, over the 24hr period, measured in a straight line between the two 1900GMT positions. A very slow day!

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 229 (by daily DMGs):19,677 n.ml.

Distances (at 1900GMT): SW Cape, NZ: 150 n.ml SSE; nearest SW NZ coastline (Resolution Island): 48 n.ml.; Cape Providence: 62 n.ml.; Hobart: 799 n.ml.

Position & weather report for 1900 GMT, posted to www.Winlink.org and www.Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV):
TIME: 2019/05/20 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 45-07.59S LONGITUDE: 165-37.65E
COURSE: 179T SPEED: 1.3kt
WIND_SPEED: 8kt WIND_DIR: WSW SWELL_DIR: SW SWELL_HT: 4.0m CLOUDS: 100%
BARO: 1019.5hPa TREND: 0 AIR_TEMP: 15.0C SEA_TEMP: 16.0C
COMMENT: 48ml off SW NZ coast

Sunday 7am NZT Turned around to try for Stewart Island again, planning to arrive well after the strong weather that's presently in the area S of here until Tuesday. Weather window looking good for Wednesday rounding, or later, but present wind direction is not too good to make it around Puysegur Point, near Cape Providence, two days away.

Wind is forecast to veer later to the SW-W which would enable the change of course needed. If I clearly can't round it safely, I'll have to abort the SW Cape and head N instead. That would soon end up causing a problem since there's a big High developing in the Tasman Sea to the N - pressure here has risen noticeably since midnight, being 1018hPa now.

Sunday midday: Hard on a wind from the SSW, trying to find a happy medium between making a good course and managing a reasonable speed - difficult not to kill our speed completely with being so close-hauled, so often not making a good speed. Don't want us to end up too far E or we'll never round Cape Providence and Puysegur Pt.

Need the mainsail available, to give better speed and upwind pointing, but that still requires some calm weather to insert the remaining sail slides into the mast track. Not quite enough slides are in place yet even to get a triple-reefed sail hoisted. The second batten end's slide posed a big problem and needs all sail ties and reefs released in order to get it into place - definitely not a job to be done in windy conditions.

We're beating into 4-5m seas that occasionally throw us around and we're heeled quite a bit with full genoa. Doing anything down below is difficult with the boat's motion. Wind backed to SSW before dawn this morning, just before we turned around, and has been mostly around 18-21kt with occasional gusts to 24kt.

Getting breakfast turned into another clearing up job. Had to cut away a lot of the potatoes used in my meal last night - found two tiny new ones growing and, becasue they've been well wrapped, roots have grown into the potato flesh - most odd and gives a lot more work. I keep finding things hidden away in or under my wet sleeping bag and pads and loose sheets of paper are so sodden as to be useless.

Want to try to get at the Aurora's cable to investigate a join that could well be causing the problem I'm now facing - might well have got water in there, under the tape covering it.

Feeling quite tired after a very disturbed night, so will try to take a nap soon.

3:20 pm Feeling a bit emotional and very touched... After a sched with Peter, ZL1PWM, for a status and weather update, two VK stations (Australia) came on frequency, one to pass on ideas on balancing the wind generator (would be good to get it back into action) and both wishing me the best and passing on good wishes from a lot of other Australian stations - thanks to all of you, not just in Australia but also in Canada, USA, New Zealand, UK, S.Africa, Mexico, Argentina, also - I deeply appreciate all the supportive thoughts and good wishes that I know are coming my way... :-)

7pm Feeling very happy just now - very many thanks to Colin, VK6CI, for his determined efforts via discussions over the SSB/HF radio to find the cause of my Aurora/satphone system problem - finally successful - the system has been 'tweaked' and is now back up and running fine... but without the wired handset via the Grandstream unit which seems to have been the main cause of the problem (the taped join looked dry). Using my computer for weather/emails and iPhone for voice calls - working well.

10pm Had a very nice meal, followed by a 'treat' of chocolate almonds ... ready for a very good sleep, having had just a one-hour map earlier. Have now downloaded a lot of emails waiting in my Inbox since several days ago and calls & texts to/from Colin confirmed the Aurora system working well - yippee!

Monday 5:30am Dark still - wind is around 17-18kt from SW. The coast is 80 miles off and our present course of 161T will take us 10ml clear of Cape Providence (110 ml off) and Puysegur Pt. Speed is very low at just over 3kt because we're still hard on the wind to ensure we clear the point, but both speed and clearance should improve as the wind veers more to the W today.

Needed to run generator badly with batteries well down - running it for an hour now - consumption has been confirmed at just over 1 l/hr. There's a fair chance I might be able to get the windgen back into action - either finding I have a spare set of blades on board (IF I have, and I just can't remember for sure, they'll be stowed under the forepeak bunk under a lot of other things and inaccessible until the seas are a lot calmer) or balancing the blades using a weight on the stub of the missing blade - possibly with a length of wood if it could be fixed in place firmly, although that idea sounds easier said than done and is very dubious. I shan't know my options either way until it's a lot calmer than the present 4-5m swell with wind waves, which is rolling us around still.

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

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 228. We made 79 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 228 (by daily DMGs):19,627 n.ml.

Distances (at 1900GMT): SW Cape, NZ: 199 n.ml SSE; nearest SW NZ coastline: 90 n.ml.; Hobart: 786 n.ml.

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

TIME: 2019/05/19 19:00 LATITUDE: 44-18.91S LONGITUDE: 165-22.39E

COURSE: 161T SPEED: 3.5kt

WIND_SPEED: 18kt WIND_DIR: SW SWELL_DIR: SW SWELL_HT: 4.5m

BARO: 1019.3hPa TREND: 2 AIR_TEMP: 16.0C SEA_TEMP: 16.0C

COMMENT: 80ml off SW NZ coast

Saturday: Hard on the wind, heading N, with not a lot achieved down below because of the 4-5m seas throwing us around all day long. Wind has been W, backing to SW over the day, and mostly around 25kt with frequent gusts to 30kt or more. Earlier squalls occurred during heavy rainfall but there has been no rain since sunset when breaks in the cloud first appeared.

Spent a time trying to catch up on a lot of emails - mainly brief replies, to save on battery power, but thanks to many of you sending messages of support. Best are the very brief ones saying "No reply needed" ! Anyone emailing should make absolutely sure their message does not include a previous email or any other bumpf - vital not to hit the 'send' key without deleting unnecessary stuff first. Batteries are not holding charge very well so I'm having to run the small generator frequently to keep the autopilot going & it's best to reduce radio time needed for emailing by keeping emails brief.

Worked at trying to get Aurora going - still no joy, despite confirming power is getting at least part way. Must check a cable join - might have got water in there, under the tape covering it.

Made a big pot of food - need to keep myself fed!

Sunday 2:20am NZT Bright moon shining from a mainly clear sky with just a very few clouds around. Hard on the wind and banging into the 5m swell with 28kt SW wind. Heading NE but soon to turn around to head SSE back down to Stewart Island, arriving after the strong weather that's presently there and in the area between until Monday.

4:30am Just furled in more genoa to slow us down and changed course to head further W. Now making just under 5kt instead of 5.5-6kt. Had been thinking of turning around to head SSE but wind still over 25kt from SW so will wait a couple of hours more.

Sunday 7am NZT (=1900GMT Saturdy) Turned around to try for Stewart Island again - weather window looking good for Wednesday rounding but present wind direction not too good to make it around Puysiger Point, two days away.. Wind is forecast to veer later to the SW-W which will make possible the change of course needed. If I clearly can't make it safely, will have to abort the SW Cape and head N from here instead. Present wind is 26kt from SSW.

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

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 227. We made 107 n.ml. DMG, over the time since pulling in the JSD and getting underway around 2245GMT yesterday, measured in a straight line between the two positions.

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 227 (by daily DMGs):19,548 n.ml.

Distances (at 1900GMT): SW Cape, NZ: 276 n.ml SSE; nearest SW NZ coastline: 155 n.ml.

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

TIME: 2019/05/18 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 43-13.70S LONGITUDE: 164-25.78E

COURSE: 340T SPEED: 4.0kt

WIND_SPEED: 25kt WIND_DIR: SSW SWELL_DIR: SW SWELL_HT: 5.0m

CLOUDS: 80% BARO: 1015.1hPa TREND: 0 AIR_TEMP: 15.0C SEA_TEMP: 16.0C

COMMENT: 155 ml off SW NZ coast

-----

At 18/05/2019 19:00 (utc) our position was 4313.70'S 16425.78'E

=====

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Thursday was spent trying to clear up the wet mess, trying to get the Aurora working (to give voice calls and weather info aa well as emailing) and checking on weather, with updated status calls to MRCC NZ and Taupo Maritime Radio and discussions with Peter, ZL1PWM, as to options over next few days, given likely weather expected.

Presently the Aurora is down, despite a lot of time and effort spent on it, so phone calls, tracking, etc, not possible. Frustrating since I got it working fine earlier. Has meant radio having to be used instead - have mostly coincided its use with small generator being run at that time. Presently running the generator every 6hrs for 1/2 hr or more each time.

Still a lot to do in trying to make the place ship-shape - every surface I look at is wet - at 13C air temperature, there's a lot of condensation, plus water from the knockdown. Wet clothes are now hanging everywhere (and not drying) and my log books are wet, along with lots of other papers. At least all books stayed put - I'd added a higher, removable restraint bar after a knockdown 100 mls off Cape Horn in 2011. I keep finding small items in unexpected places.

It was lovely finally to get into a complete set of dry clothes - TG for vacuum-packing them prior to leaving - and lucky that the starboard bunk did not get wet although, like everything else, due to the low temperature, it feels very damp. My lovely thick (dry!) duvet stored away was a blessing and is great to snuggle under for a good sleep. Hot soup and food was very welcome, although the galley is in a mess still.

With the only possible chance to get the JSD back in being overnight or early Friday morning, I got to my bunk i good time - getting the series drogue back in always takes a lot of sustained effort so I knew I'd better try to get a good night's sleep.

5:45am LT Friday 16 May

Woken by violent rolling - good-sized seas but no wind - ...

Tried to get back to sleep but impossible. Perfect for getting in the series drogue - but no moon now and far too dark to see.

Tried re-powering the Aurora (no signal at present) Link light came up but then went down- so still no tracker or wifi connection.

Needed to finish tidying up the chaos in the aft cabin which was in even more of a mess than I'd first realised. The steering quadrant and autopilot arm were exposed and things were piled on top of them so I decided to see to that while dark since it needed to be done if we were to move anywhere later - clearly can't risk having the steering compromised. A wooden shelf forming the base of a chart-book storage area had been torn totally away and items stored below the bunks were everywhere. All the wooden boards forming the bunk bases had been thrown around by the impact and I had to spend quite a time replacing them - really difficult to deal with in the swell and with all the other items that had been displaced getting in the way.

7:15am Aft cabin bunk tops finally all back in place except one which is part way back - a difficult job, but at least the steering quadrant, autopilot and course computer are now protected. The wooden shelf holding charts on the side of the cabin was torn from its fixings, helping to contribute to the general disorder with chart books flung everywhere.

Still dark but getting into my foulies in hope that first light will come soon, so the JSD can be brought in while conditions are good - still no wind and plenty of rolling about. Forecast is for wind to pick up around midday, so need to have finished the job by then

Did succeed in powering up the Aurora - turned into a poor 12V socket connection - now pushed well in and all four lights are showing - good! Will try connecting and see if working OK for emailing.

7:25am 'Failed connection' is Aurora message... Rebooted Grandstream... no joy although power in is OK... rebooted Aurora twice more ... no joy.. Will turn off PC and try again...... Still no joy - left it to get on deck - getting lighter rapidly now.

10:50am Back down below after getting JSD back in and unfurling the genoa - we're underway again... The sun is shining nicely from a blue sky, although it was a good thing I wore my foulies since there were several showers of light rain while I was busy.

Spoke to Taupo Radio to confirm JSD had been retrieved and we're underway.

Getting the JSD in was speeded up by having learned from difficulties I had the last times (deployed twice in the Great Australian Bight a fortnight or so ago). I rigged up a line to keep other lines from getting tangled in with the JSD line coming onto the main sheet winch and I also kept an eye out for spllces whose end knots were dangling and held them up as they went around the winch so they did not get caught in the next wrap below ... Made the whole process much faster but still involved me pullling hard all the time on the end of the single wrap around the winch, ready to pull in like mad (to get just one more cone in, maybe less!) as soon as the line went slack and holding on for dear life when it became taut, so as not to let the line slip back. It took three hours of solid effort, finishing with pulling it in hand over hand from the aft deck when only a small amount was left to be brought in.

A big problem occurred at the beginning because, since it had deployed wrongly (taking the two bags with it as a result of the knockdown), the bridle arms and leader line plus retrieval line were all tangled up and really difficult to deal with - that probably took all of an hour to sort out, until I finally got to the first line of cones.

Before I even got started, I was amazed to find that the jack-line running along the port side deck had been torn from its fixing near the bow and was tangled in with the aft life-lines - the top one of which was undone and its fixing (bottle/rigging screw) missing. It staggers the mind in trying to fathom out how the jack line could have been torn away as it was...

There was also a lot of damage to the wooden toe rail at its aft end and the metal protecting it was pulled away as a result of the bridle arms being wrapped around the arch supports. The bridle end of the drogue is still fimly tangled - I have yet to find out if it can be untangled. Also some of the protecting outer covers of the bridle arms have been torn away. I need to find some sailbags to stow the JSD in - at present the cockpit is littered with line and cones - but it all needs to be led back arud the arch supports so that , if deloyed aain, it wll lead correctly from the stern.

I was feeling really tired afterwards, since I'd been up very early, working in the aft cabin as well and really wanted just to get to sleep - but there was another problem to be dealt with, even if temporarily: the dorade (air vent) fitting had been totally taken away above deck ad the resulting hole in the coachroof needed to be protected to avoid water getting below when seas washed the side deck. For the time being, I have just tied and taped some plastic over the hole, which I'd already added tape over from below previously, but if I can find an appropriate sized of bolt in my spares, it really needs a cover (wood?) to be fitted in place over it - looks feasible given a useful fitting just below that can take a bolt to hold the piece of wood in place, with sealant added for a good water-tight fitting - a job needing to be done very soon.

As I looked out of the windscreen over the companionway, I spotted some more damage - unbelievably, the forward port side window had been displaced and pushed inward and upward by the force of the water impact, the steel of the surround being twisted slightly at the same time. I've tried to cover the gaps with Gorilla tape, for now, but need to try to fill the gaps from the inside with a filler of some kind, to stop too much water coming in.

I finally got to having a hot meal and got to sleep just before 4pm - bliss!! Woke up to my alarm at 8pm... Went back to sleep for over an hour ... Finally called Taupo Radio for the sched I'd missed earlier, to give a status update.

Wind got up this afternoon/evening to 23-25kt - furled in genoa a little tonight, in bright moonlight through thin raincloud, when heeling got too much. It had veered from WSW this morning to W late afternoon and to WNW-NW now. We're hard on the wind, heading NNE, in rain at times, to avoid the strong conditions to the S and hoping to turn around late on Saturday to head back SSE - down to Stewart Island and around, in the light conditions expected early next week.

We're only 90 miles off the SW New Zealand coasline - Breaksea Sound, with Mt Richards further S.

The good news from this morning? The wind display came back agan!!!

Saturday 7am NZT - heavy rain and 23kt wind from W.

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

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!

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

1900 Friday 17th May GMT (= 7 a.m. Sat 18 May NZT) - end of Day 226. We made 149 n.ml. DMG in 3 days - 74ml while drifting, lying to the series drogue since just after the knockdown at 1900GMT on 14th May (7am NZT, 15th May) and another 75 n.ml since retrieving the JSD and getting underway at 10:50am 17 May NZT, measured in straight lines between the relevant positions.

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 226 (by daily DMGs):19,441 n.ml.

Distances (at 1900GMT): SW Cape, Stewart IslandNZ: 178 n.ml SE; nearest land is 85n.ml. away - Resolution Island on SW NZ coast between Dusky Sound and Breaksea Sound; Hobart, Tasmania: 762 n. ml.

Position & weather report for 1900 Fri 17May GMT (7am Sat NZT), posted to www.Winlink.org and www.Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV):

TIME: 2019/05/17 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 44-58.42S LONGITUDE: 164-44.43E

COURSE: 006T SPEED: 4.2kt

WIND_SPEED: 24kt WIND_DIR: W SWELL_DIR: W SWELL_HT: 4.0m CLOUDS: 100%

BARO: 1011.3hPa TREND: 0 AIR_TEMP: 15.0C SEA_TEMP: 14.8C

COMMENT: 90ml off SW NZ coast - Breaksea Sound/Mt Richards 75ml DMG since JSD in

=====

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Tuesday 6am LT (Mon 1900 GMT) Wind still just under 30kt from WNW with occasional lulls to 23kt. Seas big and conditions quite rough - being thrown around a lot. Adjusted course to keep well-furled genoa filled as wind has backed more towards W - will gybe onto starboard and get back on course.

9:30am Rain clouds are clearing away to give some blue sky but no sunhine yet. Seas still 6m or so and wind often 30kt - from WSW now - but frequently drops to 22-25 kt.

Changed over from genoa to staysail earlier, ready for expected stronger winds but might need to put out some genoa if wind drops much - would be nice to keep up a fair speed so as to round Stewart Island in daylight if at all possible.

A wave just crashed onto our beam - makes quite a noise and we lurch sideways all of a sudden.

Feeling quite chilly at 15C/59F sea and air temperature - wearing plenty of fleece layers ... and my warm hat.

10:40am Sun has got out nicely, although quite a lot of cloud around - but white, not rain clouds. Pressure has risen to 1004hPa.

Having problem posting yesterday's blog via the Iridium connection - so sending now via my reliable SSB/HF radio! System keeps not getting a connection, no matter how often I re-boot it...

1:30pm Sun has disappeared behind a big grey rain cloud. Wind has remained down since earlier this morning- around 23-27kt.

Looks as though wind will be very strong (35-40kt or more, and gusting higher) from tonight and through tomorrow - so I'm getting some sleep now to make sure I don't get overtired when those conditions arrive.

Hoping to arrive at Stewart Island in between two strong systems - would be better to be near land in lighter winds and seas.

4:20pm Had a good nap. Sun getting low and a lot of cloud now. Being thrown around a lot by the big sea and wind is around 30kt.

Prions are swoopng around and saw an albatross land in the water nearby earlier for a rest - they often do so.

7pm Wind over 30kt now - will shortly furl in the small amount of genoa that's presently flying. Wind is forecast to increase to 40kt overnight so no need for anything but the stayaail and will furl that in a touch, also.

Later: Not only furled in the genoa completely, but also furled in quite a lot of the staysail. Wth 40kt winds, gusting higher, expected soon, don't need much sail, especially if speed is to be kept down, as I'd like.

10:20pm Finished radio sched on 7163 - we usually move, as we did tonight, to another frequency, to lose the data noise there - was nice to make contact with Yves in Noumea, capital of New Caledonia, to the North.

In very strong conditions now - wind 40kt, often higher... The seas are constantly throwing the boat around and we're often surfing for a very short while as the waves pass by and take us with them.

Wedesday 5:45am LT (Tues 2245 GMT) Running under small staysail in very rough conditions all through the night - winds around 40kt, often up to 47kt or more, and big seas at 7-8m, often surfing on a wave at around 12kt, as it overtakes us - for only a very short time, fortunately! Winds have backed to W now, from WNW overnight and are likely soon to be from WSW. Frequently hear a thump on the hull as a wave hits the boat.....

(Wed 7pm) ........at which point, I got very wet because we were knocked down by a wave crashing into and over the boat - violently.

Fortunately, I was completely unhurt , although soaking wet from head to feet. Couldn't figure that out at the time but in daylight, later, realised it was because the overhead dorade had been completely taken away by the water action, leaving quite a big hole above me, in the coach roof. The cabin was in wet chaos with a lot of papers, notebooks etc joining lots of tubes etc from the head shelves and locker - one locker door had come off completely and the inside contents thrown across to the galley. I couldn't move for wet stuff littering the floor

What a disaster...!

I was relieved to see the autopilot was still working fine, as were the instruments - except for the wind display - gone completely again - damn! But there was a weird vibration in the boat I couldn't understand... and not long afterwards, the autopilot began to have a problem keeping us on course - in fact, it simply could not and we were now heading NE instead of SE, at 3kt or less, instead of our previous 5-6kt or more.

By now it was getting light so I was able to go up to see what damage there was on deck. Staysail intact, as was all rigging, but one solar panel was missing (so solar power gone from that point on) and the wind generator vibrating madly, making the steel stern arch do the same...

Even worse, the two bags holding the JSD (series drogue) were missing - I soon realised we were, in fact, lyig to the drogue ih big seas an wind still - so not such bad thing except I wasn't sure it was all deployed properly. It had clearly gone out from between the arch port side supports and I worried it might take the arch with it.. I went aft and managed to get the line around the nearby cleat. I saw a line of cones in the water but no bridle in use - so at least some of it was out OK. The staysail needed to be furled in ... and the wheel centred. Seas and wind were impressively high.

I left the wind generator rotating, thinking it was giving power - but then realised that was not happening - so stopped it - and the awful vibrations stopped. Later, I saw that one of the blades was completely missing - vibrations explained...

Soon after that, the second solar panel came free in the strong wind and began swinging around loose as it tried to leave ship - but was held by two securing lines I'd rigged. It was threatening to damage the radar and other equipment, so I had to go aft and release the lines so it could break free - another gift to Neptune.

In between all this, I was trying to clear up the wet mess in the cabin while wondering if i would be able to continue on or have to pull in somewhere for repairs. I contacted Taupo Maritime Radio with a 'Pan Pan' call to inform them of my situation and we agreed a regular radio 'sched' to keep them updated with my status. I had a radio sched with Peter, ZL1PWM, so told him and asked him to keep a sched on 7150 for me later on to let radio friends know what had happened.

Power will now be a problem - radio takes a lot, as does the autopilot, and I'll be dependent on the small generator alone for battery charging from now on. I'll be checking my diesel stored on board to see how much is left and calculate usage likely for the next two or more months.. I'll probably have to hand steer quite a bit now, in order to conserve fuel and radio use will need to be a lot less - maybe just brief emails with very little voice - i'll have to see how that works out.

As a result of Colin's help yesterday, I now know what to try to get the Aurora working when it goes down - so spent a time this afternoon trying to get it working (It had been disconnected, and so stopped, in the knockdown). I finally succeeded when I found a corroded terminal pin needing cleaning. Spoke to both MRCC New Zealand and Taupo Maritime Radio to confirm their telephone numbers, in case needed - and agreed a less time-consuming sched with Taupo Radio - by phone, as needing less power use.

Got out a dry duvet and pillow from the aft cabin - the port bunk is sodden and unuseable but, luckily, the starboard bunk is relatively dry.

Checked the PC - not water-damaged, as feared, so useable - :-)

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

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 (= 6 a.m. LT) - end of Day 223. We made 115 n.ml. DMG, over the 24 hr period, measured in a straight line between the two 1900 GMT positions.

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 223 (by daily DMGs):19,292 n.ml.

Distances (at 1900GMT): SW Cape, NZ: approx 150 n.ml ESE

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

TIME: 2019/05/14 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 46-43.00S LONGITUDE: 163-25.00E

COURSE: 106T SPEE WIND_SPEED: 44kt

WIND_DIR: WSW SWELL_DIR: W SWELL_HT: 8.0m CLOUDS: 100%

BARO: 998hPa TREND: -2 AIR_TEMP: 15.0C SEA_TEMP: 15.0C

COMMENT: Soon after knockdown, early on 15th May LT

Monday 7am LT (Z+11) Yellow and pink colour in eastern sky before sunrise - getting light now. W wind up under raincloud - slight rain as furled in a little genoa - want to keep speed at 5kt or below still. Seas feeling not quite so rough in rather lighter wind than earlier and we're sailing downwind, which always helps, although seas are actually coming onto starboard quarter. Wind dying after rain goes away...

Changed time zone to GMT+11hr - one hour ahead of E. Australia and one hour behind NZ.

2pm Very gusty conditions under cloudy sky and in big 5-6m seas. One moment we're sailing at 4.5kt, the next, we're surfing at well over 6kt on a big wave. Wind is anything from 18-29kt, veered to NW now, so we're still on a broad reach but on port tack.

Have been trying to catch up on emails - had got way behind with so much else occupying my time but now beginning to catch up - apologies to those still waiting - I'll get there soon.

Getting a nap now - not enough overnight.

10pm Wind came up a bit around sunset but for a short while - has continued to vary up and down around 26kt since then. Expecting slowly increased wind overnight into tomorrow

Presently 28kt and we're making 5kt with well-furled genoa to keep speed down.

Hoping to make Stewart Island by Thursday afternoon - would be nice to round in daylight because of the rocks to be avoided to its E - North Trap, South Trap and Boomerang Breaker are well named. Also lots of albatross and other birds to be seen there - was wonderful passing by last time just after dawn and seeing so many flying around...

Tuesday 6am LT (Mon 1900 GMT) Wind still just under 30kt from WNW with occasional lulls to 23kt. Seas big and conditions quite rough - being thrown around a lot. Adjusted course to keep well-furled genoa filled as wind has backed more towards W - will gybe onto starboard and get back on course.

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

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 (= 6 a.m. LT) - end of Day 222. We made 115 n.ml. DMG, over the 24 hr period, measured in a straight line between the two 1900 GMT positions.

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 222 (by daily DMGs):19,177 n.ml.

Distances (at 1900GMT): SW Cape, NZ: 305 n.ml ESE; Cape Leeuwin LH (SW Australia): 2147 n.ml. to NW; SE Cape,Tasmania,LH: 586 n.ml. to WNW; Hobart 585 n.ml. to WNW; Melbourne (Victoria, Australia): 839 n.ml. NW.

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

TIME: 2019/05/13 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 46-20.09S LONGITUDE: 160-08.93E

COURSE: 106T SPEED: 5.5kt

WIND_SPEED: 28kt WIND_DIR: WNW SWELL_DIR: WNW SWELL_HT: 6.0m

BARO: 1000.7hPa TREND: -2 AIR_TEMP: 15.7C SEA_TEMP: 15.2C

COMMENT: Rough seas...

Monday 7am LT (Z+11) Yellow and pink colour in eastern sky before sunrise - getting light now. W wind up under raincloud - slight rain as furled in a little genoa - want to keep speed at 5kt or below still. Seas feeling not quite so rough in rather lighter wind than earlier and we're sailing downwind, which always helps, although seas are actually coming onto starboard quarter. Wind dying after rain goea away...

Changed time zone to GMT+11hr - one hour ahead of E. Australia and one hour behind NZ.

2pm Very gusty conditions under cloudy sky and in big 5-6m seas. One moment we're sailing at 4.5kt, the next, we're surfing at well over 6kt on a big wave. Wind is anything from 18-29kt, veered to NW now, so we're still on a broad reach but on port tack.

Have been trying to catch up on emails - had got way behind with so much else occupying my time but now beginning to catch up - apologies to those still waiting - I'll get there soon.

Getting a nap now - not enough overnight.

10pm Wind came up a bit around sunset but for a short while - has continued to vary up and down around 26kt since then. Expecting slowly increased wind overnight into tomorrow

Presently 28kt and we're making 5kt with well-furled genoa to keep speed down.

Hoping to make Stewart Island by Thursday afternoon - would be nice to round in daylight because of the rocks to be avoided to its E - North Trap, South Trap and Boomerang Breaker are well named. Also lots of albatross and other birds to be seen there - was wonderful passing by last time just after dawn and seeing so many flying around...

Tuesday 6am LT (Mon 1900 GMT) Wind still just under 30kt from WNW with occasional lulls to 23kt. Seas big and conditions quite rough - being thrown around a lot. Adjusted course to keep well-furled genoa filled as wind has backed more towards W - will gybe onto starboard and get back on course.

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

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 (= 6 a.m. LT) - end of Day 222. We made 115 n.ml. DMG, over the 24 hr period, measured in a straight line between the two 1900 GMT positions.

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 222 (by daily DMGs):19,177 n.ml.

Distances (at 1900GMT): SW Cape, NZ: 305 n.ml ESE; Cape Leeuwin LH (SW Australia): 2147 n.ml. to NW; SE Cape,Tasmania,LH: 586 n.ml. to WNW; Hobart 585 n.ml. to WNW; Melbourne (Victoria, Australia): 839 n.ml. NW.

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

TIME: 2019/05/13 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 46-20.09S LONGITUDE: 160-08.93E

COURSE: 106T SPEED: 5.5kt

WIND_SPEED: 28kt WIND_DIR: WNW SWELL_DIR: WNW SWELL_HT: 6.0m

BARO: 1000.7hPa TREND: -2 AIR_TEMP: 15.7C SEA_TEMP: 15.2C

COMMENT: Rough seas...

-----

At 13/05/2019 22:58 (utc) our position was 4622.72'S 16034.30'E

=====

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Sunday 6am Lovely sunny day with some scattered white cumulus. Wind form W-WSW, up a little, so making around 4 kt. Expected to increase to 20kt quite soon.

10am I heard it's Mother's Day in Australia while chatting on radio earlier - I think that's the second or third one I've been told about this year?!

Still plenty of sunshine but slightly increased cloud - about 50% now.

Magnetic variation has now increased to 21*E - the compass is under-reading by that much.

11:30am Wind increased an hour or so ago - now up to 23kt. Trying to keep our speed down to 5kt or just under - ironic! Have had to furl in the genoa to do so and likely to need to unfurl the staysail and furl away the genoa before long... Winds are expected to build up to 30kt, gusting a lot higher, by Monday and then another system is coming along on Tuesday with even stronger winds likely, along with 8m/27ft WSW swells until Thursday.

Seas have built up - often seeing big 4-5m ones in between the lesser ones.

About to get busy wih pressure cooker, making a big stew - ready for the stormy conditions coming up. Always nice to have a meal all ready, bar the heating up.

Having to wear a warm hat - air has been feeling cold, these last few days.

1pm Chopped up potatoes and onions are cooking on stove. Meat, green beans, sweetcorn etc to be added once they're done - won't take long.

Bright sunshine still, with plenty of blue sky between the clouds. Seas rolling us around as we go up and over them and down the other side.

A magnificent Wandering albatross with 'splashes' of white on its dark upper wings, maybe a Royal?, is soaring around astern and a few prions are fluttering and swooping nearby also. The birds love the strong winds - SW 30kt just now. We're making 5kt or more under genoa furled to second reef mark.

5pm Almost dark - sunset was before 4:30pm LT - think I need to change our ship's clock time! Will go forward one hour tomorrow and wait until closer to Stewart Island to change into NZ time. Time zone 'marker' for one hour forward is at 157 30'E and we're quite close to there now (presently at 157W.)

Not many clouds around and a bright half moon high up. Seas are knocking us around a lot and frequent big ones come crashing onto our beam and washing over the side decks, so I made sure I was in my good foulies before going on deck.

Had to unfurl some genoa to speed us up after finding we were only making 2.5-3 kt around sunset on waking up from a nap - I'd felt really tired and just had to catch up on sleep (missed a couple of radio scheds while sleeping). Feeling a lot better for it now.

7pm About to have my 'stew' - has ended up as a hearty chicken soup with lots of additions, using a big can of chicken chunks in gravy added to the onion and potato with extra vegetables (green beans and sweetcorn) and some chick peas added in. Plenty for several days of bad weather. Was about to add chopped tomato but decided it tasted fine as is.

Wind has died back now, to just ~22kt or less, and is expected to stay down, just below 20kt, for quite a time, probably not coming back up again, veered to WNW, until well after dawn and becoming strong overnight tomorrow, when it will be from NW.

Monday 1:25am (Sunday 1525 GMT) Woken up to find wind has veered into W and really dropped down, to a lot less than forecast - 11 kt now, so we're rolling around in the swell and going very slowly - around 3kt or less. Unfurling rest of genoa...

1:45am A beautiful night - sky is full of stars shining brightly and only a few thin wisps of cloud to be seen, Southern Cross is high up, moon has set.

Full genoa is making little difference to our speed - wind is just too light and from astern... SOG still only 3.1kt. Back to my bunk for more sleep.

5am (Monday 1900GT) W wind up slightly - to 15kt - and still veering slowly, so we're making 4.7kt. Seas feeling not quite so rough in rather lighter wind than earlier and we're sailing almost dead downwind, which always helps.

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

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 (= 5 a.m. LT) - end of Day 221. We made 93 n.ml. DMG, over the 24 hr period, measured in a straight line between the two 1900 GMT positions.

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 221 (by daily DMGs):19,062 n.ml.

Distances (at 1900GMT): SW Cape, NZ: 418 n.ml ESE; Cape Leeuwin LH (SW Australia): 2036 n.ml. to NW; SE Cape,Tasmania,LH: 472 n.ml. to WNW; Hobart 471 n.ml. to WNW; Melbourne (Victoria, Australia): 729 n.ml. NW.

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

TIME: 2019/05/12 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 45-48.85S lONGITUDE: 157-29.45E

COURSE: 109T SPEED: 4.2kt

WIND_SPEED: 18kt WIND_DIR: W SWELL_DIR: W SWELL_HT: 4.0M

BARO: 1014.4hPa TREND: 0 AIR_TEMP: 14.2C SEA_TEMP: 14.4C

COMMENT: Wind veering slowly. Halfway from SE Cape Tasmania to NZ

Day 220 Fri-Sat 10-11 May 2019 Several sail slides positioned in mast track before rain and increased wind arrived

Saturday morning started with increasing sun between broken cloud - by mid-morning, it was lovely and sunny, although still quite a bit of cloud around - very pleasant to be on deck.

Pancakes are becoming the standard breakfast now - with some mixed dried fruit and nuts on the side, to accompany them.

Wind from SW and still very light - mostly around 7kt, occasionally up to 10kt in a 'gust'and seas relatively calm at 3m/10ft and fairly well-spaced - so just occasional rolling around but enough to make working on deck a bit difficult at times.

Job of the day has been to try to get as many sail slides into the mast track as I can.

4pm Back down below - a bit damp from fine rain that just came in. Had to stop fighting the sail to get the sail slides far enough for'd to allow me to get them into their track in the mast and fold/tie the sail onto the boom instead, as the wind increased.

Managed to get several slides into the track, tying them together and to the secured head of the sail to keep them from sliding back down while I tried to get the next one into position in the track. A lot of tying and untying of bits of string, especially at the beginning, but now into less of that as more slides are dealt with.

It's becoming much more difficult as the job progresses, with a larger amount of sail needing to be pulled forward somehow to get the slide into position in the track before sliding it up and tying it off securely, ready to raise it with the others, using the halyard. Just now, I'm battling to move the second batten end - it didn't want to budge so I'll possibly need to wait for very light wind (to avoid the loosened sail blowing around) to give a lot more slack on the reef lines in order for it to be moved for'd enough.

Heating up a nice clam chowder that I recently found lurking on a galley shelf - a favourite of mine and ideal for this cold, damp weather, to warm me up.

4:30pm SSW wind at 20kt in rain - light fading early with grey rain clouds everywhere. Speed got up to around 5kt - lovely!

9pm Wind lessened soon after the rain clouds cleared away, surprisingly quickly, and sky is mainly clear with plenty of stars, a bright planet in the E and a waxing half moon shining from high up.

Making around 4kt but wind seems to be lessening. Looking at weather shows it's actually not a bad thing to be going rather slowly - will mean avoiding the strongest winds and gusts in the system coming along as we get closer to Stewart Island.

I'm wondering whether or not I can raise the small amount of mainsail available now. Need to look at it in daylight tomorrow, but it occurred to me that it might be just enough sail effectively to give a trysail equivalent or triple-reefed mainsail - ideal for strong conditions and would definitely be better than nothing, until we're in calm enough conditions again so I can try to get more slides in place. Might need a Cunningham of sorts but maybe not - doubt I can use the third reef luff line as a downhaul without that second batten end in place.

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

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 (= 5 a.m. LT) - end of Day 220. We made 63 n.ml. DMG, over the 24 hr period, measured in a straight line between the two 1900 GMT positions.

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 220 (by daily DMGs):18,969 n.ml.

Distances (at 1900GMT): SW Cape, NZ: 513 n.ml ESE; Cape Leeuwin LH (SW Australia): 1944 n.ml. to NW; SE Cape,Tasmania,LH: 316 n.ml. to WNW; Hobart 377 n.ml. to WNW; Melbourne (Victoria, Australia): 640 n.ml. NW.

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

TIME: 2019/05/11 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 45-20.17S LONGITUDE: 155-22.76E

COURSE: 109T SPEED: 3.6kt

WIND_SPEED: 11kt WIND_DIR: WSWSWELL_DIR: WSW SWELL_HT: 3.5m CLOUDS: 5%

BARO: 1009.3hPa TREND: 0 AIR_TEMP: 15.0C SEA_TEMP: 15.0C

COMMENT: Starry night sky, few clouds. Wind not as strong as expected.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

****************************************************
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 (= 5 a.m. LT) - end of Day 219. We made 57 n.ml. DMG, over the 24 hr period, measured in a straight line between the two 1900 GMT positions. More drifting for several hours in almost no wind didn't help DMG again...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

COURSE: 110T SPEED: 4.3kt

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

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

COMMENT: Dark night. On course for Stewart Island.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Day 216 Mon-Tues 6-7 May 2019

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Making up some pancake mix for later.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

COURSE: 200T SPEED: 1.6kt

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

BARO: 1007.9hPa TREND: 0 AIR_TEMP: 16.0C

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

COURSE: 074T SPEED: 2.0kt

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

COURSE: 090T SPEED: 4.5kt

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

BARO: 1006.2hPa TREND: 2 AIR_TEMP: 16.0C

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

COURSE: 142T SPEED: 5.9kt

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

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

COMMENT: Speed often over 6kt in good wind

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sun is close to setting now.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

COURSE: 131T SPEED: 2.2kt

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

BARO: 1011hPa TREND: AIR_TEMP: 17.0C

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



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