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S/V Nereida sails around the world

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The pancakes were excellent though!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Time to get some sleep....

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

COURSE: 061T SPEED: 1.4kt

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

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

COMMENT: Lying to JSD still - conditions slowly moderating

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

COURSE: 035T SPEED: 1.6kt

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

COURSE: 075T SPEED: 4.8kt

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

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

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

Changed my local time into Eastern Australia time, GMT+10hr. Means a two-hour jump from my previous Western Australia time (Perth etc) but will feel more in line with sunset and sunrise soon enough.

Tuesday 6am EST (really should be 5am LT!) Dark. Bright moon, shining hazily through thin overcast - no stars visible. Gently rolling around in 3.5m/12ft swell. We're now sailing rather slowly, skirting a High pressure system along 40S, until the 'Anzac Day' storm system has passed by - late Friday, perhaps - before turning to head SE towards the SE Cape of Tasmania.
Preparing this report, and weather/position report posted to winlink, and then back to bunk for short sleep before dawn.

9:30am EST Bright day with sun just making it hazily through thin layer of overcast. Seas fairly well down but still quite rolly at times. Very short radio session after breakfast before getting on deck to pack JSD away - will take a time.

1pm Still very overcast and very little sun now - cloud layer is thicker.
JSD is now stowed back in its bags at the stern, ready to deploy, if needed again - I hope not!
Found that one of the liferaft brackets has come apart - welded joint clearly not strongly enough made. I'd wondered why the liferaft was moving slightly and had dropped a little onto the deck - now I know.... Will see if I can lash it somehow - it's held in place by the sturdier upper bracket but could do with something holding it lower down, to prevent any movement.
Tried listening to the Pacific Seafarers' Net - heard Fred, W3ZU, and Jane, NH7TZ, in the distance. but not well enough to make contact, especially with all the static noise on frequency. Should get better once we're well into the Pacific.
Now for trying to remove the windsteering rudder - a wet job!

5pm Close to sunset. I have to say that leaning out upside down over the back of the boat, with a swell running, is not my favourite pastime!
Spent quite a time, with pliers and cutters, getting rid of wire I'd added (very securely!) to the pin (often below the water) that holds the wind steering (Fred!) rudder in place.
Finally managed it only to find the pin wouldn't budge. Banged it with hammer and pushed it through its hole more - but then found the other end of the pin was bent and difficult to get hold of in order to pull it out. Decided I needed to rotate it in order to help get it out - but that was not easy with it being down below water level astern of the boat. I needed something bent, not straight, to insert into it, in order to rotate the pin's head - will see what I can find for that tomorrow, hopefully. (Photos show the problem area - rudder shaft bent to one side, so rudder now well out of alignment, and retaining pin bent at head end.)
Looked at the life-raft problem - decided it needs two shackles to be added to a support bracket, to take lashings without them chafing, to hold the life raft in place.. Tomorrow also.

10pm Time to get to my bunk at the end of a very slow day in very light winds - often only 7kt or so... Got another job done tonight, after dark, and that was to dry out the floor of the head from the water that had accumulated there - presumably from when we were 'pooped' and water got down below and into that area. With the shower pump not working, it had to be removed bit by bit using a cloth, after lifting the washboard out of the way and cleaning it and the floor beneath also. Good to have that job done.
Also spent a little time cleaning in the galley area and re-stocking and re-organising the galley dry locker - found a few tins of beef I didn't realise I still had - excellent!

1900GMT (= 5 a.m. LT) - end of Day 202. We made 77 n.ml. DMG, over the 24 hr period, measured in a straight line between the two 1900 GMT positions.

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 202 (by daily DMGs):17,806 n.ml.

Distances (at 1900GMT): Cape Leeuwin LH (SW Australia):913 n.ml. to WNW; Melbourne (VIC, Aus): 553 n.ml. to ENE; SE Cape,Tasmania,LH: 659 n.ml. to SE; SW Cape, NZ: 1547 n.ml SE.
(773 n.ml. SE of Albany in W.Australia, 409 n.ml. SW of Adelaide, S.Australia)

Position & weather report for 1900 GMT posted to www.Winlink.org and www.Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV):
TIME: 2019/04/23 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 40-04.39S LONGITUDE: 132-53.48E
COURSE: 092T SPEED: 4.9kt
WIND_SPEED: 20kt WIND_DIR: WNW SWELL_DIR: WNW SWELL_HT: 4.0Mm
BARO: 1019.3hPa TREND: -2 AIR_TEMP: 16.0C SEA_TEMP: 16.0C
COMMENT: Wind slowly increasing.

Monday 1.25pm Sun beginning to get out from behind cloud layer. Temperature rising and pressure up now at 1021.7hPa. Still have to complete re-packing of JSD so it's ready to deploy again, although I hope to avoid that.

Have been busy clearing up in the galley - needed it after the recent rough conditions, when minimum gets done there. Finally got to making the pancakes I've been promising myself for several days - a friend pointed out that I'd totally missed 'Pancake Tuesday' (on Shrove Tuesday) - that must be a 'first' for very many years!

Have to say that without fresh eggs on board now, I missed making the crepes I love - but the N American style pancake mix was a fair substitute, was easy to use and worked quite well - better that than nothing and a good excuse to get out the maple syrup! Treated myself to a mug of fresh coffee to go with them.

Presently heading ENE, planning to stay at around 40S to avoid the 'Anzac Day' storm system further S, expected off Tasmania and coming by over Thursday/Saturday.

Keeping an eye open for the Light-mantled albatross pair I saw yesterday - fabulous to see them and hope to see them again. Would be wonderful if I could get a photo - the adult was very inquisitive and came right up to the boat to inspect us - so very close, I could see it really well.

7:20pm Just finished a long radio session - starting with US contacts and finishing with a lot of Aussie contacts - thanks to all! Nice to chat to so many familiar people. Now having some food (Australian prunes for dessert!) and getting to sleep - I must finish re-packing the JSD (series drogue) first thing in the morning. Spent quite a time before sunset and into twilight, for as long as I could see clearly, sorting out which bits need to be put where and making sure that, when packed away, it will be free to run properly when deployed. Conditions are expected to be relatively calm again tomorrow, like today, but perhaps with slightly increased wind. Still plenty of other jobs to get done while they're possible in the lighter conditions.

Must change my local time into Eastern Australia time, GMT+10hr. Means a two-hour jump from my present Western Australia time (Perth etc) but will feel more in line with sunset and sunrise hereabouts. Just passed E of 130E and the marker for GMT+9hr was passed at 127* 30'E. Central Australia time (Adelaide etc) is GMT+9.5hr - but I don't want to get involved with the thirty minutes...too confusing! I'll change from tonight - after posting this report.

I just noticed the wind display has decided to work again....! (It stopped a short while later - clearly a bad connection somewhere - in item at mast top, I believe) We just changed course onto due E - we'll be sailing along 40S until the storm system has passed by - late Friday, perhaps - before turning to head SE towards the SE Cape of Tasmania.

3am Tues LT (1900GMT Mon) Bright moon, shining hazily through thin overcat - no stars visible. Feeling relatively calm still - gentle rolling around in 3.5m/12ft swell. Preparing this report, and weather/position report posted to winlink, and then back to bunk for short sleep before dawn.

1900GMT (= 3 a.m. LT) - end of Day 201. We made 91 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 201 (by daily DMGs):17,729 n.ml.

Distances (at 1900GMT): Cape Leeuwin LH (SW Australia): 839 n.ml. to WNW; Melbourne (VIC, Aus): 629 n.ml. to ENE; SE Cape,Tasmania,LH: 731 n.ml. to SE; SW Cape, NZ: 1617 n.ml SE.

(700 n.ml. SE of Albany in W.Australia, 465 n.ml. SW of Adelaide, S.Australia)

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

TIME: 2019/04/22 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 40-01.64S LONGITUDE: 131-13.31E

COURSE: 093T SPEED: 4.3kt

WIND_SPEED: 15kt WIND_DIR: WNW SWELL_DIR: WNW SWELL_HT: 3.5m CLOUDS: 100%

BARO: 1022.3hPa TREND: 0 AIR_TEMP: 16.0C SEA_TEMP: 15.0C

COMMENT: Pleasant conditions - not too rolly. Bright moon thro' thin,hazy overcast

Happy Easter to all!

Easter Sunday 6:15am All geared up in foulies, ready to start trying to bring in the JSD. Having a couple of dried dates for a quick 'energy fix' before starting what could turn into a long session...

8:30am Back down below - JSD retrieved - not too difficult at all with changed system, using just main sheet winch and two wraps - cones on line passed around and released without any major problem - just under one and a half hours altogether (in 4m seas and 15-20kt wind) - time confirmed by the 1.6ml drift at ~1kt while being brought in.

Had to spend quite a time beforehand, sorting out the tangle of lines in the cockpit on and under the floor washboards which had been displaced by the rough action of the seas on the boat. Found both bridle arms had wrapped themselves around the stern cleats and pulled the stainless steel strips away at that end, the bridle arm wedging itself between the wood of the toe-rail and the metal strip.

Sad to say that poor Fred is terminally damaged - rudder askew and top two connections gone... About to bring in vane and rudder before getting underway.

10:30am Underway again, under autopilot, headed NE - but a few problems.... Poor Fred - damage caused by the JSD, it seems. Rudder is at a crazy angle and, as a result, mechanism is missing two connectors. Couldn't remove rudder in present 4m seas - securing pin too well wired in place and too much motion of boat/seas/rudder to allow it. Will have to wait for calmer conditions coming up in a day or so.

3am LT Monday (1900GMT Sunday) Has been a mainly relaxing, enjoyable day since getting underway, despite problems. (Good to have autopilot with a back-up ram). Had lots of nice chats on radio and a few by phone with plenty of Easter greetings exchanged - also by email. Had a tasty foil-packed ready meal of 'Zesty Chicken Tagine', with additional chick peas to boost the quantity, and chocolate-coated almonds made suitably-shaped stand-ins as mini Easter eggs!

Wind has been under 20kt, from WNW, for most of day. Rain fell soon after we moved on this morning but I only got wet while unfurling the genoa. In present damp conditions on cabin sole, Goretex-lined socks are proving a blessing as the outer layer over two pairs of warm socks.

Need to complete re-packing of JSD so it's ready to deploy again, although hoping to avoid that - heading N to 40S to avoid the 'Anzac Day storm' off Tasmania coming up over Thursday/Friday.

Was thrilled to see a pair of grey albatross with dark head soaring close by the boat this morning as getting JSD in - Light-mantled albatross - looked like a juvenile with a mature (parent?). (Camera nowhere close by - damn!) Never seen before - lovely!

1900GMT (= 3 a.m. LT) - end of Day 200. We made 71 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 200 (by daily DMGs):17,638 n.ml.

Distances (at 1900GMT): Cape Leeuwin LH (SW Australia): 764 n.ml. to NNW (648 n.ml. to WP due S of Cape - now passed); Melbourne (VIC, Aus): 720 n.ml. to ENE; SE Cape,Tasmania,LH: 805 n.ml. to ESE; SW Cape, NZ: 1683 n.ml ESE.

(628 n.ml. SE of Albany in W.Australia, 548 n.ml. SW of Adelaide, S.Australia)

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

TIME: 2019/04/21 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 40-23.88S LONGITUDE: 129-18.09E

COURSE: 064T SPEED: 4.2kt

WIND_SPEED: 15kt WIND_DIR: WNW SWELL_DIR: WNW SWELL_HT: 3.5m CLOUDS: 100%

BARO: 1018.4hPa TREND: 0 AIR_TEMP: 15.0C SEA_TEMP: 15.0C

COMMENT: Underway NE in gentle wind.Full genoa + stays'l

Friday 3:40am Just got a lot of water down below -we were 'pooped' when big wave broke over our stern. The cockpit had a lot of water in it which took a time to drain away. The washboard was well sealed around its lower edges, so none got down that way. The water got behind the edges of the storm screen which hangs down from near the aft edge of the hard top and onto the sliding hatch, hence to down below - a known design weakness. I got wet at chart table close to companionway while preparing my reports, but computer and instruments were OK, TG!

I then got even wetter, with water gradually continuing to find its way below from above the hatch, as I tried to fix a clear hanging screen in place beside the chart table area. I'd not thought it necessary to have that in place up to now but it prevented any more water getting onto the chart table as we rocked in the swell and would be there in case we were pooped again - hopefully not!

So the lovely clean, dry clothes I'd put on just the other day were now very wet in places, along with my hair (again!).... I tried to dry off the water lying around near the companionway - paper towels worked quite well but seawater does not dry off well and surfaces become damp in cold conditions ... Luckily, my bedding was mainly unaffected - although that's been feeling always damp anyway in the prevailing cold temperatures (often around 14C in the cabin).

Later in the day, I pumped the bilge - not too much water in there but I was not happy to find a small amount of diesel floating on top of the bilge water - difficult to estimate but maybe 1-2 litres. I checked under the engine - clearly some diesel there. I thought at one point yesterday I'd suddenly noticed a slight smell - with the banging and crashing around in the strong conditions, something must have moved slightly? A bit of a worry... Checked all filters and generally looked around but no sign so far of where the diesel leak is. I need to open up the forward engine access but that involves removing the companionway steps, so not possible at present, especially in this big swell (7-8m/23-26ft) According to the gauge, the main tank is still half full and the diesel is only being used for the small generator if wind and/or sun not giving enough battery charging but, in an emergency, would be good to have the engine working OK.

Spent a lot of time cleaning up around the hatch and in he cabin where the water had got down below - there had clearly been some pages from a newspaper up on top and all the water coming down had 'papier mache' in it - a real mess!

6pm Dark already. Having a freeze-dried meal tonight... Chicken teriyaki - tastes good!

Sunday 3amLT (Sat 1900GMT) Posting this report plus weather position to Winlink and then getting back for a couple of hours more sleep - hoping to start retrieving the series drogue at first light - quite soon - while in the present lighter wind conditions, although swell still well up. Won't be easy but has to be done if I'm to get underway again.

1900GMT (= 3 a.m. LT) - end of Day 199. We made 38 n.ml. DMG, over the 24 hr period, measured in a straight line between the two 1900 GMT positions. Still drifting, lying to JSD in big seas, taking a time to lie down, as wind slowly abated.

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 199 (by daily DMGs):17,567 n.ml.

Distances (at 1900GMT): Cape Leeuwin LH (SW Australia): 730 n.ml. to NNW (586 n.ml. to WP due S of Cape - now passed); Melbourne (VIC, Aus): 782 n.ml. to ENE; SE Cape,Tasmania,LH: 848 n.ml. to ESE; SW Cape, NZ: 1719 n.ml ESE.

(598 n.ml. SE of Albany in W.Australia, 619 n.ml. SW of Adelaide, S.Australia)

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

TIME: 2019/04/20 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 41-03.06S LONGITUDE: 128-01.71E

COURSE: 032T SPEED: 1.2kt

WIND_SPEED: 15kt WIND_DIR: SSW SWELL_DIR: SW SWELL_HT: 6.0m CLOUDS: 100%

BARO: 1012.4hPa TREND: 0 AIR_TEMP: 12.0C SEA_TEMP: 14.0C

COMMENT: Lying to JSD - hoping to retrieve at first light, ~2100Z/4amLT

Friday 4:30am LT (Thurs 2000GMT) Slightly hazy sky, but a bright, full moon and the brighter stars shining clearly through. Getting quite rough with wind waves well up in stronger wind - 25kt or more now, from NNE, and slowly increasing overnight to the 30-35kt, with stronger gusts, expected over the day coming up. Furled in a bit more genoa - has slowed us down to just over 4kt for now, but with wind increasing that's fine, since I want to get some more sleep.

8am Had just furled in remainder of genoa, with wind increasing more (so just small staysail now), came down below - heavy rain started up. Pressure has dropped to 1000.2 hPa with Low getting closer. Came off wind a touch more - can't make our preferred course just now.
8:15am Thought pressure was rising - saw 1000.8 - but then dropped to 999.2...

11:45am Having breakfast and feeling a lot warmer after taking a long time drying off and putting on dry upper body layers and warm socks - lower body layers were kept dry by my overtrousers after twice being dumped on by waves as I was furling in the staysail. I could feel one load of water getting down inside all my clothing...
Now lying to the JSD (Jordan Series Drogue) - deployed it around 9am after seeing the updated weather files in already strong conditions (wind 30-35kt, seas pretty rough and big). If I'd continued on, winds were expected to be sustained 40-50 kt with higher gusts for half a day, and seas would have built more - so decided I needed to deploy the JSD to stay safe until this system moves away finally to the SE.
Pressure now is 992.7hPa and we're drifting at 1.3-1.8kt. Very soon after deploying the JSD we were drifting at 2-3 kt when wind was a lot stronger.

2:20pm Pressure 988.6hPa, wind and seas well up. Getting to my bunk after a nice hot lunch - warm and safe there!! Lots of pitching and rolling - being tossed around but JSD keeping us safe

3pm Pressure 987.9hPa .. 3.45pm pressure 986.0 5pm 986.1 Wind from N now, drifting fast: ~2.3kt!

8pm Dark but moon shining brightly. Wind very strong and noisy. Drifting at 2.7-3.1 kt SE - so wind must be from nearer to NW now.
Took a photo of digital barometer display showing sharp pressure drop to 986 earlier, now rising quickly - isobars on this Low are very close together.
Second photo shows storm prediction in a few hours' time - even more than the 35kt or so we're getting presently, and likely to have gusts to higher. Note the 9m/30ft seas forecast. I'm hoping that with the wind being from WNW means we'll be taken away from that area.
Must get to my bunk for some sleep.

3:40am Friday LT (1900GMT Friday) Drifting E now, inW wind - so moving away from Low system hopefully.
Just got pooped - a lot of water got below ... I got wet at chart table close to companionway while preparing this... Computer and instruments OK, TG! Dry clothes (and me!) now a bit wet.... Rigged up screen beside area to prevent getting so wet if pooped again... Hope not!


1900GMT (= 3 a.m. LT) - end of Day 198. We made 60 n.ml. DMG, over the 24 hr period, measured in a straight line between the two 1900 GMT positions. Includes 18hrs of drifting a lot in very strong winds.

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 198 (by daily DMGs):17,529 n.ml.

Distances (at 1900GMT): Cape Leeuwin LH (SW Australia): 701 n.ml. to NNW (513 n.ml. to WP due S of Cape - now passed); Melbourne (VIC, Aus): 819 n.ml. to ENE; SE Cape,Tasmania,LH: 882 n.ml. to ESE; SW Cape, NZ: 1750 n.ml ESE.
(571 n.ml. SE of Albany in W.Australia, 653 n.ml. WSW of Adelaide, S.Australia)

Position & weather report for 1900 GMT posted to www.Winlink.org and www.Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV):
TIME: 2019/04/19 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 41-08.81S LONGITUDE: 127-11.85E
COURSE: 091T SPEED: 2.8kt
WIND_SPEED: 40kt WIND_DIR: W SWELL_DIR: WNW SWELL_HT: 7.0m
BARO: 1000.1hPa TREND: 2 AIR_TEMP: 13.0C SEA_TEMP: 14.0C
COMMENT: Lying to JSD, drifting a lo

Thurs 4am LT Moon still bright, getting low, but a lot of cloud around. Wind still light - about 14kt or less from NW, so downwind speed not good - 3.8kt - not helpful for a respectable DMG over today!

Have posted reports, so back to my bunk now.

8am Some sunshine - mainly light grey, slightly broken cloud but a small blue patch overhead is possibly getting bigger. Seas have calmed down a lot - to 4.5m/14ft from W - still pretty rolly as seas pass by - nothing too vigorous but a constant motion. Feeling chilly - cabin temperature is 16C and everything is feeling damp. Rain expected tomorrow, maybe tonight, with stronger wind, gusting to over 45kt, as the Front on a Low passes over.

10:30am Was busy getting breakfast when realised wind was picking up rapidly - so on deck to furl in genoa (fingers crossed that would go OK after yesterday's problem!)... Speed went up to over 6.5kt for a time - dark grey raincloud was close by - the gust was due to a typical 'cloud effect'!

Tested furling in a tiny bit of the genoa anyway, just to know if there was still a furling problem - seemed to be working fine, TG! But furled in no further - good to have the speed for a time. We weren't heeling that much and the gust didn't last too long - but wind is still better now than earlier so making slightly better speed.

Yellow-nosed albatross flew past as I was busy - same one as yesterday, maybe? Nice to see.

5pm Sun is setting. Just spotted the spinnaker halyard had come loose and was threatening to foul the top genoa furler - had to release it and bring it back around the spreaders to aft of the mast. Good thing I saw that - could have been nasty if I couldn't furl in the genoa in the strong winds coming up tonight and tomorrow.

Wind eased this afternoon but is now picking up and expected to keep on doing so overnight and into tomorrow, becoming ~30kt around dawn, staying 30-35kt, with higher gusts, all day and overnight Friday into Saturday, easing Saturday morning to below 30kt and continuing to ease over Saturday to around 15kt.

6:20pm Furled in the genoa to a small size - to just over half. Wind is slowly building and it's dark, although the moon is occasionally coming out between the clouds. We're still making around 5kt and when our speed builds a lot more, with further increase in wind, I'll furl in the genoa more - probably completely - but maybe not for several hours.

Friday 3am LT (1900GMT Thurs) Full moon very bright in between clouds. About to furl in genoa just a little more - heeling quite a lot, rather close to the wind which is expected still to slowly increase further. Being forced off course by wind which has veered to NNE and so is heading us - expected to back into N, and then NW eventually, over tomorrow.

Reports posted now - back for more sleep...

1900GMT (= 3 a.m. LT) - end of Day 197. We made 105 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 197 (by daily DMGs):17,469 n.ml.

Distances (at 1900GMT): Cape Leeuwin LH (SW Australia): 644 n.ml. to NNW (513 n.ml. to WP due S of Cape - now passed); Melbourne (VIC, Aus): 854 n.ml. to ENE; SE Cape,Tasmania,LH: 932 n.ml. to ESE; SW Cape, NZ: 1805 n.ml ESE.

(514 n.ml. SE of Albany in W.Australia, 664 n.ml. WSW of Adelaide, S.Australia)

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

TIME: 2019/04/18 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 40-21.08S LONGITUDE: 126-22.55E

COURSE: 131T SPEED: 5.3kt

WIND_SPEED: 25kt WIND_DIR: NNE SWELL_DIR: WNW SWELL_HT: 5.0m

BARO: 1005.5hPa TREND: -4 AIR_TEMP: 15.0C SEA_TEMP: 15.0C

COMMENT: Wind slowly increasing & veering - seas getting a bit more rough also

Wednesday 3am LT Dark night with no sign of moon or stars. Wind well up, 25-30kt, and from WSW so needing to make ENE course still, to keep staysail filled. Seas still well up and rolling us around. Had some good sleep - back to bunk after posting reports..

8:20am Magnetic variation is now ZERO! Position now is 39 12S 123 01E and will be coming back into region of E variation from the W variation I've seen for some time - since the Atlantic, in fact. The compass reading is spot on now! Instead of the compass reading high it will soon be reading low - I'll have to add the value of the local variation to it to get a True reading.
Interesting that the only good radio contact on a regular 40m sched (7160) slightly earlier (2330Z/7:30amLT) with N.America was with Florida and not with points further North - the path seems to be no longer open to there - it was well past sunrise here. Lots of calls made but no response heard from Maine and other usual places.
It's a lovely sunny morning with a very thin hazy layer and just a few small white clouds around - but cold! 14C/57F in the cabin here - I'm wearing plenty!
Feeling a lot calmer - wind is down around 20kt and I'll unfurl the genoa now to speed us up. Seas are still big but slowly getting less although we're still being thrown around quite often. Pressure has gone well up - to 1014.6hPa from 992.5hPa around this time yesterday.

10:15am The recent big, rough seas definitely took their toll in the cockpit area! Has taken an age on deck sorting out tangled lines caught on the starboard winches and jammers and side deck, where they'd jumped to over the coaming from the cockpit seat. Wish I'd taken a photo! Also had to retrieve the mainsheet trailing in the sea astern! Needed to do all that before even starting to think about gybing - which was reason I was on deck in the first place.. Finally finished gybing the staysail and unfurled the genoa as well, to give more speed in present lighter winds - about 20kt, maybe just less.
Genoa refused to unfurl totally - went forward, hoping to persuade it, but no joy... A line must have caught in the top furler... Hope I can sort the problem out when seas calm down a bit more...
Still rolling around quite vigorously at times - downwind sailing... and the seas are still pretty big at 7m or so.
Good to see an albatross this morning - been missing seeing many birds for some time.
Now for breakfast which I'll have while checking our 'best' course to steer, from looking at the weather forecast, and emails...

2pm Had a long chat with Colin, VK6CI, about the wi-fi issues - seems might be related to voltage 'seen' by Aurora. Presently, with all the strong winds we've been getting, wind generator (Superwind) has been piling in the electrons so batteries are well-charged and, since yesterday, there's been no problem. I've has a few questions answered which is good and I'll be checking the power connectors - if bright and shiny, that's good. Have been 'pinging' the system all morning and it's basically looking fine. I'll be looking to see what happens when the batteries are down...

4:45pm Dull, grey.. wind down, speed well down ... Pleased to find the genoa had completed its unfurling by freeing itself - wasn't fancying a mast climb to do that! Tensioned the line (Spectra removable inner forestay) that I suspect had caused the problem
Spoke to Jeremy on Dover Radio in Tasmania - last met him and Penny in 2012 when I sailed to Hobart from Cape Town and we spoke daily on radio when I was passing Tasmania again in 2013 on my last nonstop around, so it's nice to renew the contact.

7pm Gybed headsails and changed course slightly in light WNW-NW wind - making directly for Tasmania now. Weather looking helpful and, after the next system has passed by over Easter weekend, weather is looking good for rounding Tasmania's SE Cape within the next 9-10 days.
Sunset earlier was rather beautiful - like a pastel water colour.
Bright nearly-full moon is lighting the sea with a broad path of silver light. The cockpit is amazingly well lit. Even when behind the occasional cloud, the moon lights up the scene really well.

1900GMT (= 3 a.m. LT) - end of Day 196. We made 83 n.ml. DMG, over the 24 hr period, measured in a straight line between the two 1900 GMT positions. Light wind over day and dog-legged course - actual distance covered was 92 n.ml.

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 196 (by daily DMGs):17,364 n.ml.

Distances (at 1900GMT): Cape Leeuwin LH (SW Australia): 539 n.ml. to NNW (427 n.ml. to WP due S of Cape - now passed); Melbourne (VIC, Aus): 946 n.ml. to ENE; SE Cape,Tasmania,LH: 1033 n.ml. to ESE; SW Cape, NZ: 1907 n.ml ESE.
(409 n.ml. SE of Albany in W.Australia, 730 n.ml. WSW of Adelaide, S.Australia)

Position & weather report for 1900 GMT posted to www.Winlink.org and www.Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV):m TIME: 2019/04/17 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 39-31.96S LONGITUDE: 124-21.67E
COURSE: 112T SPEED: 3.8kt
WIND_SPEED: 15kt WIND_DIR: NNW SWELL_DIR: NW SWELL_HT: 5.0m CLOUDS: 30%
BARO: 1017.5hPa TREND: 0 AIR_TEMP: 15.0C SEA_TEMP: 15.0C
COMMENT: Seas lying down well. Bright nearly-full moon getting low.

Tuesday 5am The lull we were in seems to be finishing - wind is definitely increasing again and, with it, our speed. Being tossed around still with speed well up when on a wave crest and being taken forward by it...often at up to 10kt or so, but only momentarily... not maintained for any length of time. Pressure has risen a bit (987.6hPa) so expecting the wind possibly to come up more as Front on Low to the S passes over soon... Back to my bunk for some more sleep.

10am Beautiful sunny day - very little cloud around. Seas still well up - around 8m now, so we're really being thrown around and lurching from one side to the other - far more than before. Wind has backed slightly to the W and is around 25kt at the moment, having got up a lot more earlier - to well over 35kt. Wind forecast to be around 30kt all day long.

Didn't get much sleep - was listening to every noise on deck, trying to figure out what was making it - some I must check on in daylight, once seas have calmed down a bit - might not be possible until late today or maybe even tomorrow. Noises I know are one thing but there were several unfamiliar ones.

Will get some breakfast and then some more sleep - will need my lee-cloth to make sure I don't get thrown out of my bunk - it's that rough just now!

12:45pm Blue sky has gone - replaced by grey clouds everywhere. Seas still very big - swinging us around and making us heel over a lot.

No sleep yet - eased sheet on staysail, hoping to improve speed - helped a bit... Had to re-run a sheet (control line) to do that.

Also been spending quite a time working on wi-fi problem with Colin, VK6CI - thanks, Colin! Wifi signal had been looking good for the last day and then went down again ... WHY?? Did some 'pinging' after changing over a small connector box for another new one I happened to have spare - don't think that's the problem but just in case it helps ...why not? Working on the problem more after a couple of radio scheds.

2:40pm Short rain shower - arrived with strong, backed wind. Sun out afterwards - grey clouds clearing away.. bright and sunny again.

Was delighted to make contact with Alex from Slovenia on the ANZA Net just before - totally unusual call sign which had me foxed until someone commented to me where he was from.

9pm Bright moon shining between scattered clouds onto big seas with plenty of white foam patches from tumbling crests ... A rocking and rolling day this has been, for sure... Heeling over every which way as breaking crests of waves hit the boat or we get carried along on a smooth crest for a brief interval of time. Wind has got up tonight to around 30kt from W- and our course has become more N of E as the evening wore on - 064T now.

3am Wed LT (1900GMT Tues) Dark night with no sign of moon or stars. Wind well up and from WSW so needing to make ENE course still to keep staysail filled. Seas still well up and rolling us around. Had some good sleep - back to bunk after posting reports...

1900GMT (= 3 a.m. LT) - end of Day 195. We made 114 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 195 (by daily DMGs):17,281 n.ml.

Distances (at 1900GMT): Cape Leeuwin LH (SW Australia): 467 n.ml. to NNW (348 n.ml. to WP due S of Cape - now passed); Melbourne (VIC, Aus): 1025 n.ml. to ENE; SE Cape,Tasmania,LH: 1112 n.ml. to ESE; SW Cape, NZ: 1982 n.ml ESE.

(345 n.ml. SSE of Albany in W.Australia, 806 n.ml. WSW of Adelaide, S.Australia)

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

TIME: 2019/04/16 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 39-25.09S LONGITUDE: 122-35.85E

COURSE: 065T SPEED: 5.6kt

WIND_SPEED: 28kt WIND_DIR: WSW SWELL_DIR: W SWELL_HT: 8.0m CLOUDS: 100%

BARO: 1007.6hPa TREND: 2 AIR_TEMP: 13.0C SEA_TEMP: 15.0C

COMMENT: Seas still very big .. Dark night. No moon or stars seen

Day 194 Sun-Mon 14-15 April 2019 Strong winds and seas continue - but with a few lulls in the wind while seas stay high

Monday 4:20am Wind died down to 20-25kt now, after gusting to just over 30kt from W-WNW. Seas not too bad, from W-WNW also.
Just finished with posting reports and checking emails - back to my bunk now ...

6:45am Daylight.Heavy rain wih stronger wind gusting for a time - 30kt or more, probably. Making 4.5 - 6kt. surfing to 10kt briefly on occasional wave. ....

7:20am Rainclouds cleared away - big ones, outlined ahead in the gold light of a low sun - within an hour or two of sunrise. Clear blue sky overhead now and just a few other clouds well away on the horizon - none astern, in the W - the direction the weather comes from.
Seas are big - 6m or so - fairly well-spaced with a good period but knocking us around - plenty of rocking and rolling just now...!. Making around 5kt, more each time a wave passes by and takes us with it for a very short time.
Preparing for 7160 rado sched - (later) good copy on US stations and excellent signals also, of course, from several Aussie stations - nice to chat with them. We're due S of Albany just now..

6:45am 60% scattered clouds and plenty of sunshine. Have been standing in the companionway, watching the seas roll by - impressive! Time for breakfast and then maybe another nap to catch up on sleep hours.

4pm Strong gusts a couple of times earlier and now just ending a lull - expecting conditions to become strong again - Wind to 37kt, gusts to 56kt, swell 7.6m ... plus wind waves, of course. Already being thrown around a lot by waves.

Just had to crawl around on all fours, scooping up some cereaal I managed to spill - amazing how quickly crispy flakes become soft in this atmosphere! It's about 16C/60F in the cabin - everything has a damp feel - even the paper of my logbook is feelng soft and damp - I have to take care how I handle it.

5:15pm Sun getting low. Making some food while it's relatively calm and there's daylight - very hungry anyway, so making a quick freeze-dried meal: Kung Pao chicken with rice. It's actually a double serving packet but I think I'll have no problem eating it all - I'm famished! (Later: Clearly good portion sizes - tasty but couldn't manage all of it!)

9pm Things seem relatively peaceful just now, although seas still well up - as forecast. A lull in between the stronger winds ...going rather slowly - just 4kt or so. Another lot of very strong winds coming up shortly and staying strong, with big gusts expected overnight - I'll be in my bunk for a lot of the time, sleeping, hopefully!
Making a hot Cuppasoup...

10pm Wind definitely increasing now and seas tossing us around. Getting to sleep while I can, for a short time.

3am Into a bit of a lull just now - being tossed around still but not very fast - except when on a wave crest and being taken forward by it...often at up to 10kt or so, but only momentarily... not maintained for any length of time. Most odd - expected to have strong, rough conditions throughout the night - but definitely far less wind just now. Pressure is very low (986.6hPa) so maybe the wind will come up again as Front on Low passes over soon...?

1900GMT (= 3 a.m. LT) - end of Day 194. We made 113 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 194 (by daily DMGs):17,167 n.ml.

Distances (at 1900GMT): Cape Leeuwin LH (SW Australia): 424 n.ml. to NNW (239 n.ml. to WP due S - now passed); Melbourne (VIC, Aus): 1127 n.ml. to ENE; SE Cape,Tasmania,LH: 1196 n.ml. to ESE; SW Cape, NZ: 2054 n.ml ESE.
(325 n.ml. SSE of Albany in W.Australia, 900 n.ml. WSW of Adelaide, S.Australia)

Position & weather report for 1900 GMT posted to www.Winlink.org and www.Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV):
TIME: 2019/04/15 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 40-06.32S LONGITUDE: 120-17.90E
COURSE: 085T SPEED: 4.5kt
WIND_SPEED: 25kt WIND_DIR: WNW SWELL_DIR: WNW SWELL_HT: 7.0m CLOUDS: 100%
BARO: 986.6hPa TREND: 0 AIR_TEMP: 15.0C SEA_TEMP: 15.0C
COMMENT: Lull in strong wind now - a lot less than earlier

Sunday 5am Wind got up nicely with rain... We made good speed, over 6kt, for a time but wind has died down and backed, so we're now ambling along at just 4-4.5kt - sounds familiar...

Major problem with wi-fi reception from satphone connection means probably no photos possible with blog posts - maybe problem can be fixed but not sure. Will be sending all posts and emails via my Winlink SSB/HF radio connection for time being - at least I have that as a reliable back up!

Amazing! Wind display has decided to come back - showing apparent wind of 16kt from WNW... Sounds about right.

Must get some sleep - none so far - not good.

11:30am Just got back down below (no sleep!) after lowering trysail and stowing/tying it down ready for deploying the JSD (Jordan Series Drogue) later today - took a far longer time than expected to secure the sail well and a big swell, moving boat from side to side, made it very difficult.

Winds are expected to be over 35kt, gusting over 45 kt from later today through to Tuesday, with 6m seas - of short period, 7s, for a time, as well - so I decided to be safe, although I was really hoping to be able to keep going... Very disappointing... more time lost..

I missed being able to phone and speak to friends at RVYC with whom I'd hoped to share my celebrations with a toast to 'the 3rd Great Cape'.... Every time I tried to phone, once having got back off deck, the wi-fi signal went down so no connection was made, despite trying very many times - another disappointment. (I can receive incoming calls to a wired handset but there seems to be a problem with outgoing calls, not sure why.) I hope everyone is having a really good time at the THRASH Regatta evening (maybe after a good day's racing) at the Club.

12:50pm Speed dropping - now making 4kt in light wind. It's supposed to be just under 20kt now! Time for a very late breakfast/brunch - and then maybe some sleep would be good... That's one good thing about lying to the JSD - I can get plenty of sleep!

4pm Blue sunny sky earlier, then total cloud cover, but no rain, and now cloud breaking up again to give blue patches. Had a big gust under the cloud, so furled in genoa madly, thinking this was the 25-30kt wind coming in ... and now just unfurled some again with wind having dropped right down again... Making 3-4kt instead of the previous over 6kt... Certainly keeps me busy! Will try Making 5-6kt. to get some of the sleep I keep tallking about but not getting yet....

6:30pm Had a good, short nap. Daylight almost gone. Thin line of light above the W horizon where there's a break in between the grey clouds. Furled genoa away while still good light to see by. Making just under 4kt in 20-25kt wind under staysail alone. Seas NW 4m. Very noisy with wind moaning and whistling Enjoying a hot mug of soup.

7:50pm Raining.. Feeling much calmer and less noisy. Wind has been NW 25kt, but seems to be easing in the rain. Cold Front is approaching - but not with a major backing of wind to the SW, unusually - will just back to WNW. Expecting 25-30kt winds overnight, with possible gusts to 50-55kt - possibly under clouds but hopefully, short ones and, also hopefully, somewhere else!

Time to start my night sleep routine - Nereida seems to be doing fine and if conditions change dramatically, I'll be woken up.

The wi-fi signal is continuing to disappear most of the time, coming up only occasionally - and then not for long, so no downloads completed since very early morning. TG for Winlink and my Icom SSB/HF radio with Pactor modem! Have been trying to get up-to-date with email replies.

1900GMT (= 3 a.m. LT) - end of Day 193. We made 97 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 193 (by daily DMGs):17,054 n.ml.

Distances (at 1900GMT): Cape Leeuwin LH (SW Australia): 379 n.ml. to NNW (126 n.ml. to WP due S - now passed); Melbourne (VIC, Aus): 1242 n.ml. to ENE; SE Cape,Tasmania,LH: 1302 n.ml. to ESE; SW Cape, NZ: 2151 n.ml ESE.

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

TIME: 2019/04/14 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 40-18.12S LONGITUDE: 117-50.32E

COURSE: 088T SPEED: 4.5kt

WIND_SPEED: 25kt WIND_DIR: WNW SWELL_DIR: WNW SWELL_HT: 4.0m

BARO: 986.3hPa TREND: 0 AIR_TEMP: 14.0C SEA_TEMP: 15.0C

COMMENT: Rolly, but not too bad. Wind up and down.

-----

At 14/04/2019 19:00 (utc) our position was 4018.12'S 11750.32'E

=====

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Saturday 4am LT (2000GMT Friday) The High pressure cell seems to be moving E of us for next few days, while we stay in strong winds which should give good progress.

Hoping to pass S of Cape Leeuwin sometime today.

Wind is now from NNW, ahead of a Front forecast to pass overnight on Sunday-Monday with strong winds through to Tuesday. Wind likely to be around 20kt today and expected to increase to 25kt Sat-Sun overnight when rain is expected - but might only be light.

Now making 4-5 kt, despite this not being a very good point of sail for us without mains'l, and a bit bumpy, with beam seas - not too comfortable!

Updated reports now posted - time to get back to my bunk...

8am Just finished sched on 7160 (moved forward to 2330Z) - quite a few US and Aussie stations calling in - thanks to all!

Still making 4-5kt in N wind - probably up to 20kt now, with apparent wind just forward of the beam.

Grey skies - looking like rain sometime, although the sun did manage to show its presence hazily through a slight thinning of the clouds just now - probably the only sign of the sun today. Pressure down at 1011.5hPa

8:45am Just furled in a touch more genoa to reduce our heeling. We're often being tossed around quite a bit in the 4m/13ft seas coming on to our beam. Still making 4-5kt or more...

Time for breakfast ...

10:40am Just unfurled a fair amount of genoa to speed us up - now making 5.5kt instead of the 4kt, sometimes less, I'd been seeing. Boisterous sailing! Heeling a bit more, and still the occasional bigger beam sea heeling us further and tossing us around, but I'll get to my bunk... Winds forecast to be around 20kt over today, until after nightfall, so pity not to make use of them. Will probably furl genoa in at sunset, ready for the increased wind expected overnight.

2pm Better speed didn't last long - wind has clearly died down for time being - we're only making 4kt and just under - but wind will surely be up again soon enough. Getting some lunch after a couple of radio scheds on 20m - with S. Africa and Australia.

2:30pm Wind is back - making 5.5-6kt...!

3:45pm That was a gust under a cloud! Wind has been right down since then - we've been lucky to make over 4kt. Frustrating, since I was expecting to pass Cape Leeuwin and have my celebration party in daylight...!

6:15pm A thin red line of lingering sunset colour over the W horizon, below the otherwise dull grey cloud layer, as daylight fades.

I'm feeling so very frustrated! Cape Leeuwin should have been passed hours ago but we've been crawling so much in a really light wind, barely making 3kt now, as rain starts up. The WP due S of the Cape, at the SW extremity of Western Australia, is just under 10 miles away now - but at 3kt, it will take well over another three hours to get past it - unless the wind gets up.

Looks as though the 20-24kt winds forecast for here now have moved further S and the band of light wind just off the coast has extended to here - although I'll keep an ear out - winds could suddenly appear with a vengeance and I'd then need to furl in the genoa in a hurry!

6:40pm We're down to 2.4kt...! Pressure is 1001.4hPa. Finishing my stew - must make that again soon - it was very good!

7:30pm Finished sched on 40m with USA and Australia - not so many tonight-early morning in USA. Cape Leeuwin WP just 6.4 n.ml. away..... At 3.1kt, that's two hours... should be one hour!

Seas are a lot less than earlier but it's dark now, so no mainsai repair possible.

I keep seeing our speed get up to 3.6kt and hope it's on the increase - but it drops back down again every time. Raining again...

Problem is - I want to get to sleep but I'm worried the wind will suddenly pick up and the genoa will need to be furled in hurriedly. I'll set an alarm and check at hourly intervals - if the wind picks up a lot in between, I'm sure I'll be woken in no time!

Have been having a major problem with downloading weather files and some emails today - Aurora wifi signal keeps disappearing. Was fine overnight but not since early morning. Has kept me very preoccupied, trying to figure out what the problem is and if there's anything I could do about it or simply keeping an eye on it and trying to nudge it along. Only just now realised where the problem lies.

8:45m Wind up around 4.5kt - definitely increasing, but very slowly so far.

Have been unable to sleep - we're so close to passing Cape Leeuwin I can't relax until we've done so! I'll take a photo of the moment... Longitude of the Cape light house is 115*08.191E

9:30pm We've passed Cape Leeuwin!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Time, from photo, was 13:29:07 GMT - just before 9:30pm (LT W.Australia)... party time! Enjoying singing and dancing to Abba and Acker Bilk (jazz) as I enjoy some cashews, hummus on crackers and veggie straws (thanks, Leslie!) .....and a tiny 'Dark 'n' Stormy' la Nereida (actually green ginger wine and rum - pretty potent, so not having more than a few occasional sips). Went on deck and was pleased to see some stars and a bright half-moon - the rain clouds have mainly cleared away, leaving a thin, broken cloud layer overhead.

I'm putting a tiny sip of my 'Dark 'n' Stormy' aside for tomorrow when I'll be on the phone (if it works!) toasting the 'Third Great Cape' with friends at the Royal Victoria Y.C., who should be having an enjoyable evening after the day's racing... Cheers!

10:45pm Wind might finally be increasing - seeing mainly 4.5-5kt, often more, now. Pressure is down to 997.0hPa so Low mst be fairly close with its Front coming soon - expecting strong winds by tomorrow evening, continuing into Monday and Tuesday with strong gusts likely.

9pm Wind is up - with rain... Making good speed now - finally!

1900GMT (= 3 a.m. LT) - end of Day 192. We made 102 n.ml. DMG, over the 24 hr period, measured in a straight line between the two 1900 GMT positions. Good ovenight speed ... dropped over the day.

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 192 (by daily DMGs):16,957 n.ml.

Distances (at 1900GMT): Cape Leeuwin LH (SW Australia): 373 n.ml. to NNE (72 n.ml. to WP due S); Melbourne (VIC, Aus): 1439 n.ml. to ENE; SE Cape,Tasmania,LH: 1487 n.ml. to ESE; SW Cape, NZ: 2321 n.ml ESE; Cape Agulhas LH (S.Africa): 4322 n.ml. to WNW.

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

-----

At 13/04/2019 19:59 (utc) our position was 4028.37'S 11551.98'E

=====

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Friday 9am LT Skirting a High pressure cell (1018.5 hPa now) in light wind - expected to stay light for rest of the day - around 10-12kt.

Headed due E after having gybed onto port tack, with wind having veered to WNW. Speed 4-5kt - varying. Sky light grey with overcast layer. Seas down to 4m from yesterday's 6m.

Time for quick breakfast and then get on deck to see how much of the sail repair I can complete - should be able to get in several hours of work before wind strengthens to 15kt later today. Had a good chat with Carol Hasse, of Port Townsend Sails, earlier - came up with a couple of useful ideas that might help make repair/sewing easier to finish. As another friend said - I don't want to have to wrestle with this again, so need to make my repair as sturdy as possible so it lasts until my arrival back.

12:35pm Back down to get another needle - two broken so far! A finer ordinary needle starts going through more easily - but it also breaks easily when any force is exerted to push it through the fabric. Will try on less thick area of repair - but back to sailmaker's needle for present three-layer work.

4:20pm A good solid session on deck getting on with the mainsail repair (third needle broke - back to sailmaker's needle!). Sun is getting low so best to tie away the sail back onto the boom, check on our progress and download latest weather forecast .... and heat up my beef stew - I'm hungry!

Broken cloud, one or two Antarctic prions and a few white-chinned petrels not far off. Wind has been 12kt or more, increased a bit now, so we've been making 4-5 kt all afternoon, and swell is still about 4m - fortunately, I was sewing the sail using the boom for a 'work table' so the swell wasn't too much of a nuisance since the boom and sail made a secure handhold but definitely feeling it down below.

We just passed into W.Australian Time Zone - same time as Perth and Fremantle now - but I'll change the 'ship's clock' time on board, and here, later.

8:20pm Of course, as soon as I furled in a bit more genoa, thinking the wind was getting up and we were heeling rather, as well as being on a beam reach in the NNW wind, the wind eased ... so we're making just around 4kt... It's dark and I want to get some sleep, so it will have to stay - I'm sure the wind will come up again soon.

1:30am Saturday LT (1730 Fri GMT) Wind from NNW, increased, as expected. Probably just over 15kt and expected to increase more overnight. Now making 4-5 kt on close reach - not a good point of sail for us without mains'l, and a bit bumpy and well-heeled. Banging a bit into the seas - not too comfortable!

1900GMT (= 3 a.m.true LT) - end of Day 191. We made 84 n.ml. DMG, over the 24 hr period, measured in a straight line between the two 1900 GMT positions. Light wind last night and today and close reach this afternoon/evening.

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 19 (by daily DMGs):16,855 n.ml.

Distances (at 1900GMT): Cape Leeuwin LH (SW Australia): 373 n.ml. to NNE (72 n.ml. to WP due S); Melbourne (VIC, Aus): 1439 n.ml. to ENE; SE Cape,Tasmania,LH: 1487 n.ml. to ESE; SW Cape, NZ: 2321 n.ml ESE; Cape Agulhas LH (S.Africa): 4236n.ml. to WNW.

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

TIME: 2019/04/12 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 40-28.15S LONGITUDE: 113-32.46E

COURSE: 090T SPEED: 4.5kt

WIND_SPEED: 15kt WIND_DIR: NNW SWELL_DIR: NW SWELL_HT: 4.0m

BARO: 1012.9hPa TREND: -2 AIR_TEMP: 15.0C SEA_TEMP: 16C

COMMENT: Close reach, beating into seas.Slow point of sail for us.Wind building.

Thursday 8:20am Gybed around in strong conditions - took a time to deal with everything but managed not to allow any sheets (control lines to sails) to get tangled, by keeping tension on them.

Has been rough going all night long - definitely needed the genoa to be safely furled away and run with just the staysail and trysail...

Strong conditions still with frequent gusts and big 6m seas catching us for a bit of surfing at times... Scattered cloud (about 50%) and sunshine. Strong wind - 30kt or so. Making around 6 kt. Pressure rising slowly - now 1004.7hPa.

9am Wind seems to be a bit less - a lull possibly? Getting more cloudy but not rain cloud... Seas impressive but no threatening, tumbling crests, although we are being tossed around a lot at times as they pass under.

Hoping not to be too caught by the light winds of the High pressure cell coming next, once this Low and its Front have passed off to the E. Needed to gybe to keep good wind (from abaft the beam) and not get headwinds, by being to S of the centre of the High.

Quick simple breakfast and then back to my bunk - need to catch up on missed sleep.

12:30pm Surprised - I slept well for a couple of hours. Hazy sunshine at present - some blue sky and plenty of thin cloud. Pressure now 1008.3hPa.

Conditions very rough just now - seas and wind both well up. We're mostly making just 4.5-5 kt, getting thrown around a lot by the big seas and quite well heeled - not very comfortable!

Just made contact on 20m with S.Africa (very poor copy now), USA W coast (getting better as I move further E) and several Australian stations - some coming in well, others not so, depending their power and where in Australia they are and whether or not they have a beam antenna to turn my way for better signal/reception.

4pm Unfurled some genoa - not much but just enough to boost our speed a bit - to about 5kt, rather than 4kt or less. Rain clouds around so might get strong gusts again... Being very cautious! Seas still very big and tossing us around. Wind from WSW - around 20kt or more on the beam. Sun getting low.

7pm Just finished a very sociable radio session, starting on 7163 (normally moving to 7166 for less noise/interference) with contacts to USA and then a lot of Australian contacts - all very friendly and enjoyable!

A lot of comments on my radio signal being very much up and down. That's because the boat is moving and swinging around a lot in the present 6m/20ft seas which makes the mast, and therefore my backstay antenna, move a lot - affecting my received signal tremendously.

Time for some more stew and then I'll get to sleep... Pressure has risen to 1014.3hPa, wind is dropping and our speed with it - I'll unfurl the rest of the genoa in case we can speed up a bit more. Wind is down, as forecast - and will get even less.

8pm Speed up to around 5kt and over, for time being - much better! Crescent moon is hiding behind broken clouds but enough light to see what I was doing, although I could probably do it blindfold if I had to.

Thursday 2am LT (Wed 1900GMT) Wind has dropped right down in High pressure (1016 hPa now) - only making 2-2.5 kt, despite full genoa - wind only 10kt or less - and will continue at that strength for nearly a day ... Another test of my patience! Waiting to gybe again when wind veers to W and then to WNW sometime soon.

1900GMT (= 2 a.m.LT) - end of Day 190. We made 99 n.ml. DMG, over the 24 hr period, measured in a straight line between the two 1900 GMT positions. Almost 100ml - if we hadn't changed course after gybing earlier, would have been 103ml!

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 190 (by daily DMGs):16,771 n.ml.

Distances (at 1900GMT): Cape Leeuwin LH (SW Australia): 395 n.ml. to NNE (157 n.ml. to WP due S); Melbourne (VIC, Aus): 1523 n.ml. to ENE; SE Cape,Tasmania,LH: 1568 n.ml. to ESE; SW Cape, NZ: 2396 n.ml ESE; Cape Agulhas LH (S.Africa): 4166n.ml. to WNW.

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

TIME: 2019/04/11 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 40-21.90S LONGITUDE: 111-42.54E

COURSE: 103T SPEED: 2.5kt

WIND_SPEED: 8kt WIND_DIR: WSW SWELL_DIR: WSW SWELL_HT: 5.0m

BARO: 1016.4hPa TREND: 0 AIR_TEMP: 15.0C SEA_TEMP: 15.0C

COMMENT: Slowed right down in High. Still 157ml to go, before passing S of C.Leeuwin.



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