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S/V Nereida sails around the world

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

It would be great if you would take a moment to click on the Lifeboats link here (https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Jeanne-Socrates2), if you'd like to show your support for my efforts at sailing solo, nonstop, unassisted around the globe, trying to set a World Record as the oldest person to do so, by donating something towards the great work the RNLI do every day. If a lot of people put in even a small amount, it all adds up... Thanks a lot! If you can help, it will be very much appreciated. Let's see if we can reach my target!
***************************************************

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

It would be great if you would take a moment to click on the Lifeboats link here (https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Jeanne-Socrates2), if you'd like to show your support for my efforts at sailing solo, nonstop, unassisted around the globe, trying to set a World Record as the oldest person to do so, by donating something towards the great work the RNLI do every day. If a lot of people put in even a small amount, it all adds up... Thanks a lot! If you can help, it will be very much appreciated. Let's see if we can reach my target!
***************************************************

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It would be great if you would take a moment to click on the Lifeboats link here (https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Jeanne-Socrates2), if you'd like to show your support for my efforts at sailing solo, nonstop, unassisted around the globe, trying to set a World Record as the oldest person to do so, by donating something towards the great work the RNLI do every day. If a lot of people put in even a small amount, it all adds up... Thanks a lot! If you can help, it will be very much appreciated. Let's see if we can reach my target!

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

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

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

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

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

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

COURSE: 033T SPEED: 5.1kt

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

BARO: 1002.3hPa TREND: 2 AIR_TEMP: 15.7C

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Link to Wed 12 June ABC S.Australia interview:

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

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

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

It would be great if you would take a moment to click on the Lifeboats link here (https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Jeanne-Socrates2), if you'd like to show your support for my efforts at sailing solo, nonstop, unassisted around the globe, trying to set a World Record as the oldest person to do so, by donating something towards the great work the RNLI do every day. If a lot of people put in even a small amount, it all adds up... Thanks a lot! If you can help, it will be very much appreciated. Let's see if we can reach my target!

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

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

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

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

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

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

COURSE: 025T SPEED: 0.7kt

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

BARO: 1001.5hPa TREND: 0 AIR_TEMP: 15.0C

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It would be great if you would take a moment to click on the Lifeboats link here (https://www.justgiving.cdue tom/fundraising/Jeanne-Socrates2), if you'd like to show your support for my efforts at sailing solo, nonstop, unassisted around the globe, trying to set a World Record as the oldest person to do so, by donating something towards the great work the RNLI do every day. If a lot of people put in even a small amount, it all adds up... Thanks a lot! If you can help, it will be very much appreciated. Let's see if we can reach my target!
***************************************************

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It would be great if you would take a moment to click on the Lifeboats link here (https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Jeanne-Socrates2), if you'd like to show your support for my efforts at sailing solo, nonstop, unassisted around the globe, trying to set a World Record as the oldest person to do so, by donating something towards the great work the RNLI do every day. If a lot of people put in even a small amount, it all adds up... Thanks a lot! If you can help, it will be very much appreciated. Let's see if we can reach my target!

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

1900GMT (= 7 a.m. NZT) - end of Day 252. We made 51 n.ml. DMG, measured in a straight line between the two 1900GMT positions. Light wind all day, some 'jiggling', better wind only overnight.

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

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

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

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

COURSE: 027T SPEED: 4.2kt

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It would be great if you would take a moment to click on the Lifeboats link here (https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Jeanne-Socrates2), if you'd like to show your support for my efforts at sailing solo, nonstop, unassisted around the globe, trying to set a World Record as the oldest person to do so, by donating something towards the great work the RNLI do every day. If a lot of people put in even a small amount, it all adds up... Thanks a lot! If you can help, it will be very much appreciated. Let's see if we can reach my target!

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

1900GMT (= 7 a.m. NZT) - end of Day 251. We made 53 n.ml. DMG, measured in a straight line between the two 1900GMT positions. Some light wind, some drifting in little wind...

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

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

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

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

COURSE: 340T SPEED: 1.3kt

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

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

COMMENT: Changed tack - difficult holding course in light wind

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Back to my bunk for a bit more sleep.

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

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

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

It would be great if you would take a moment to click on the Lifeboats link here (https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Jeanne-Socrates2), if you'd like to show your support for my efforts at sailing solo, nonstop, unassisted around the globe, trying to set a World Record as the oldest person to do so, by donating something towards the great work the RNLI do every day. If a lot of people put in even a small amount, it all adds up... Thanks a lot! If you can help, it will be very much appreciated. Let's see if we can reach my target!

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

1900GMT (= 7 a.m. NZT) - end of Day 250. We made about 50 n.ml. DMG, measured in a straight line between the two 1900GMT positions. Drifted around - NNE and then in a circle - most of the time, until got sailing soon after sunset.

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

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

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

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

COURSE: 100T SPEED: 4.4kt

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

It would be great if you would take a moment to click on the Lifeboats link here (https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Jeanne-Socrates2), if you'd like to show your support for my efforts at sailing solo, nonstop, unassisted around the globe, trying to set a World Record as the oldest person to do so, by donating something towards the great work the RNLI do every day. If a lot of people put in even a small amount, it all adds up... Thanks a lot! If you can help, it will be very much appreciated. Let's see if we can reach my target!
***************************************************

1900GMT (= 7 a.m. NZT) - end of Day 249. We made 51 n.ml. DMG, measured in a straight line between the two 1900GMT positions.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It would be great if you would take a moment to click on the Lifeboats link here (https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Jeanne-Socrates2), if you'd like to show your support for my efforts at sailing solo, nonstop, unassisted around the globe, trying to set a World Record as the oldest person to do so, by donating something towards the great work the RNLI do every day. If a lot of people put in even a small amount, it all adds up... Thanks a lot! If you can help, it will be very much appreciated. Let's see if we can reach my target!

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

1900GMT (= 7 a.m. NZT) - end of Day 248. We made 25 n.ml. DMG, since leaving Timaru, measured in a straight line between the two positions.

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

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

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

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

COURSE: 090T SPEED: 3.6kt

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

On to mainsail repair...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It would be great if you would take a moment to click on the Lifeboats link here (https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Jeanne-Socrates2), if you'd like to show your support for my efforts at sailing solo, nonstop, unassisted around the globe, trying to set a World Record as the oldest person to do so, by donating something towards the great work the RNLI do every day. If a lot of people put in even a small amount, it all adds up... Thanks a lot! If you can help, it will be very much appreciated. Let's see if we can reach my target!

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

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

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

TIME: 2019/06/07 19:00GMT

LATITUDE: 44-23.37S

LONGITUDE: 171-15.69E

WIND_SPEED: 24kt

WIND_DIR: SSW

CLOUDS: 100%

BARO: 996.8hPa

TREND: 2

AIR_TEMP: 11.0C

SEA_TEMP: 12.0C

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It would be great if you would take a moment to click on the Lifeboats link here (https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Jeanne-Socrates2), if you'd like to show your support for my efforts at sailing solo, nonstop, unassisted around the globe, trying to set a World Record as the oldest person to do so, by donating something towards the great work the RNLI do every day. If a lot of people put in even a small amount, it all adds up... Thanks a lot! If you can help, it will be very much appreciated. Let's see if we can reach my target!
***************************************************

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It would be great if you would take a moment to click on the Lifeboats link here (https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Jeanne-Socrates2), if you'd like to show your support for my efforts at sailing solo, nonstop, unassisted around the globe, trying to set a World Record as the oldest person to do so, by donating something towards the great work the RNLI do every day. If a lot of people put in even a small amount, it all adds up... Thanks a lot! If you can help, it will be very much appreciated. Let's see if we can reach my target!
***************************************************

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

It would be great if you would take a moment to click on the Lifeboats link here (https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Jeanne-Socrates2), if you'd like to show your support for my efforts at sailing solo, nonstop, unassisted around the globe, trying to set a World Record as the oldest person to do so, by donating something towards the great work the RNLI do every day. If a lot of people put in even a small amount, it all adds up... Thanks a lot! If you can help, it will be very much appreciated. Let's see if we can reach my target!
***************************************************

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

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

44°23.37'S 171°15.69'E

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

Air_Temp: 9.0C

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It would be great if you would take a moment to click on the Lifeboats link here (https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Jeanne-Socrates2), if you'd like to show your support for my efforts at sailing solo, nonstop, unassisted around the globe, trying to set a World Record as the oldest person to do so, by donating something towards the great work the RNLI do every day. If a lot of people put in even a small amount, it all adds up... Thanks a lot! If you can help, it will be very much appreciated. Let's see if we can reach my target!

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

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

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

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

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

TIME: 2019/05/31 19:00GMT

LATITUDE: 44-23.37S

LONGITUDE: 171-18.69E

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It would be great if you would take a moment to click on the Lifeboats link here (https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Jeanne-Socrates2), if you'd like to show your support for my efforts at sailing solo, nonstop, unassisted around the globe, trying to set a World Record as the oldest person to do so, by donating something towards the great work the RNLI do every day. If a lot of people put in even a small amount, it all adds up... Thanks a lot! If you can help, it will be very much appreciated. Let's see if we can reach my target!

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

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

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

TIME: 2019/05/30 06:54 GMT

LATITUDE: 44-21.10S

LONGITUDE: 171-21.91E

COURSE: NE

SPEED: 2kt

WIND_SPEED: 5kt

WIND_DIR: SE

SWELL_DIR: SE

SWELL_HT: 1.0m

CLOUDS: 10%

BAROMETER: 986.4hPa

TREND: 0

AIR_TEMP: 15.0C

SEA_TEMP: 14.0C

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It would be great if you would take a moment to click on the Lifeboats link here (https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Jeanne-Socrates2), if you'd like to show your support for my efforts at sailing solo, nonstop, unassisted around the globe, trying to set a World Record as the oldest person to do so, by donating something towards the great work the RNLI do every day. If a lot of people put in even a small amount, it all adds up... Thanks a lot! If you can help, it will be very much appreciated. Let's see if we can reach my target!
***************************************************

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It would be great if you would take a moment to click on the Lifeboats link here (https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Jeanne-Socrates2), if you'd like to show your support for my efforts at sailing solo, nonstop, unassisted around the globe, trying to set a World Record as the oldest person to do so, by donating something towards the great work the RNLI do every day. If a lot of people put in even a small amount, it all adds up... Thanks a lot! If you can help, it will be very much appreciated. Let's see if we can reach my target!

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

1900GMT (= 7 a.m. NZT, 12 hrs on) - end of Day 237. We made very little distance again, over the 24hr period, since mainly trying to get N slowly, NE of Dunedin, in light wind, getting work done and wanting arrival at a point well N of Oaramu hbr entrance around midday..

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

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

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

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

COURSE: 258T SPEED: 2.0kt

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

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

COMMENT: Heading for Oamaru Hbr to complete repairs

Day 236 Sun-Mon 26-27 May 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Still working on plotter, wiring etc.

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

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

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

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

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

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

It would be great if you would take a moment to click on the Lifeboats link here (https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Jeanne-Socrates2), if you'd like to show your support for my efforts at sailing solo, nonstop, unassisted around the globe, trying to set a World Record as the oldest person to do so, by donating something towards the great work the RNLI do every day. If a lot of people put in even a small amount, it all adds up... Thanks a lot! If you can help, it will be very much appreciated. Let's see if we can reach my target!

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

1900GMT (= 7 a.m. NZT, 12 hrs on) - end of Day 236. We made very little distance again, over the 24hr period, since mainly drifting around, NE of Dunedin, in light wind, getting work done.

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

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

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

COURSE: 070T SPEED: 2.0kt

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

It would be great if you would take a moment to click on the Lifeboats link here (https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Jeanne-Socrates2), if you'd like to show your support for my efforts at sailing solo, nonstop, unassisted around the globe, trying to set a World Record as the oldest person to do so, by donating something towards the great work the RNLI do every day. If a lot of people put in even a small amount, it all adds up... Thanks a lot! If you can help, it will be very much appreciated. Let's see if we can reach my target!
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1900GMT (= 7 a.m. NZT, 12 hrs on) - end of Day 235. We made very little distance over the 24hr period, since mainly drifting around, well S of Dunedin, in light wind, getting work done

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

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

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

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



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