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S/V Nereida sails around the world

Changed our local time into Eastern Australia time, GMT+10hr. Means a two-hour jump from the previous Western Australia time (Perth etc) but will feel more in line with sunset and sunrise soon enough. Tuesday 6am EST (really should be 5am LT!) Dark. Bright moon, shining hazily through thin overcast - no stars visible. Gently rolling around in 3.5m/12ft swell. We're now sailing rather slowly, skirting a High pressure system along 40S, until the 'Anzac Day'/Thursday storm system has passed by - late Friday, perhaps - before turning to head SE towards the SE Cape of Tasmania. Preparing this report, and weather/position report posted to winlink, and then back to bunk for short sleep before dawn. 9:30am EST Bright day with sun just making it hazily through thin layer of overcast. Seas fairly well down but still quite rolly at times. Very short radio session after breakfast before getting on deck to pack JSD away - will take a time. 1pm Still very overcast and very little sun now - cloud layer is thicker. JSD is now stowed back in its bags at the stern, ready to deploy, if needed again - I hope not! Found that one of the liferaft brackets has come apart - welded joint clearly not strongly enough made. I'd wondered why the liferaft was moving slightly and had dropped a little onto the deck - now I know.... Will see if I can lash it somehow - it's held in place by the sturdier upper bracket but could do with something holding it lower down, to prevent any movement. Tried listening to the Pacific Seafarers' Net - heard Fred, W3ZU, and Jane, NH7TZ, in the distance. but not well enough to make contact, especially with all the static noise on frequency. Should get better once we're well into the Pacific. Now for trying to remove the windsteering rudder - a wet job! 5pm Close to sunset. I have to say that leaning out upside down over the back of the boat, with a swell running, is not my favourite pastime! Spent quite a time, with pliers and cutters, getting rid of wire I'd added (very securely!) to the pin (often below the water) that holds the wind steering (Fred!) rudder in place. Finally managed it only to find the pin wouldn't budge. Banged it with hammer and pushed it back through its hole as much as I could from that side - but then found the other end of the pin was bent and difficult to get hold of in order to pull it out. Decided I needed to rotate it in order to help get it out - but that was not easy with it being down below water level astern of the boat. I needed something bent, not straight, to insert into the horizontal ring, in order to rotate the head - will see what I can find for that tomorrow, hopefully. (Photos show the problem area - rudder shaft bent to one side, so rudder now well out of alignment, and retaining pin bent at head end.) Looked at the life-raft problem - decided it needs two shackles to be added to a support bracket, to take lashings without them chafing, to hold the life raft in place.. tomorrow also. 10pm Time to get to my bunk at the end of a very slow day in very light winds - often only 7kt or so... Got another job done tonight, after dark, and that was to dry out the floor of the head from the water that had accumulated there - presumably from when we were 'pooped' and water got down below and into that area. With the shower pump not working, it had to be removed bit by bit using a cloth, after lifting the washboard out of the way and cleaning it and the floor beneath also. Good to have that job done. Also spent a little time earlier cleaning in the galley area and re-stocking and re-organising the galley dry locker - found a few tins of beef I didn't realise I still had - excellent! 1900GMT (= 5 a.m. LT) - end of Day 202. We made 77 n.ml. DMG, over the 24 hr period, measured in a straight line between the two 1900 GMT positions. Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 202 (by daily DMGs):17,806 n.ml. Distances (at 1900GMT): Cape Leeuwin LH (SW Australia):913 n.ml. to WNW; Melbourne (VIC, Aus): 553 n.ml. to ENE; SE Cape,Tasmania,LH: 659 n.ml. to SE; SW Cape, NZ: 1547 n.ml SE. (773 n.ml. SE of Albany in W.Australia, 409 n.ml. SW of Adelaide, S.Australia) Position & weather report for 1900 GMT posted to www.Winlink.org and www.Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV): TIME: 2019/04/23 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 40-04.39S LONGITUDE: 132-53.48E COURSE: 092T SPEED: 4.8kt WIND_SPEED: 20kt WIND_DIR: WNW SWELL_DIR: WNW SWELL_HT: 4.0Mm BARO: 1019.3hPa TREND: -2 AIR_TEMP: 16.0C SEA_TEMP: 16.0C COMMENT: Wind slowly increasing.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1900GMT (= 3 a.m. LT) - end of Day 201. We made 91 n.ml. DMG, over the 24 hr period, measured in a straight line between the two 1900 GMT positions.

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 201 (by daily DMGs):17,729 n.ml.

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

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

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

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

COURSE: 093T SPEED: 4.3kt

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

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

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

Happy Easter to all!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1900GMT (= 3 a.m. LT) - end of Day 200. We made 71 n.ml. DMG, over the 24 hr period, measured in a straight line between the two 1900 GMT positions.

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 200 (by daily DMGs):17,638 n.ml.

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

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

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

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

COURSE: 064T SPEED: 4.2kt

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

COURSE: 032T SPEED: 1.2kt

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

Have posted reports, so back to my bunk now.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Reports posted now - back for more sleep...

1900GMT (= 3 a.m. LT) - end of Day 197. We made 105 n.ml. DMG, over the 24 hr period, measured in a straight line between the two 1900 GMT positions.

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 197 (by daily DMGs):17,469 n.ml.

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

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

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

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

COURSE: 131T SPEED: 5.3kt

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1900GMT (= 3 a.m. LT) - end of Day 195. We made 114 n.ml. DMG, over the 24 hr period, measured in a straight line between the two 1900 GMT positions.

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 195 (by daily DMGs):17,281 n.ml.

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

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

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

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

COURSE: 065T SPEED: 5.6kt

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1900GMT (= 3 a.m. LT) - end of Day 194. We made 113 n.ml. DMG, over the 24 hr period, measured in a straight line between the two 1900 GMT positions.

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 194 (by daily DMGs):17,167 n.ml.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1900GMT (= 3 a.m. LT) - end of Day 193. We made 97 n.ml. DMG, over the 24 hr period, measured in a straight line between the two 1900 GMT positions.

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 193 (by daily DMGs):17,054 n.ml.

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

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

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

COURSE: 088T SPEED: 4.5kt

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

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

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

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

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

Hoping to pass S of Cape Leeuwin sometime today.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Time for breakfast ...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

=====

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

COURSE: 090T SPEED: 4.5kt

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

COURSE: 103T SPEED: 2.5kt

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

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

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

Wednesday 3am Reports and blog now posted. Having my stew - lovely to have hot food all ready! Wind under 20kt and likely to remain down overnight and over the morning also. Now making around 5.1kt . Seas feeling calmer than earlier - probably because we're headed downwind.
3:25am Stew was so good I had another bowlful! Back to my bunk now, for more sleep.

8am Bright sunny day, blue sky overhead and good wind again. Pressure was down at 999.9hPa an hour ago but maybe rising slowly - at 1000.1hPa now, as I'm writing. Making around 6kt in wind about 20kt from NW.
Had a good session at 7am on 7160 - good propagation today - good signals from US E. coast from Maine to Florida.
About to furl in genoa a touch (to first reef mark) so I can get another short sleep again - didn't quite get enough overnight... (8:30am Still making 6-7kt, despite furling in)

9:45am Didn't need to sleep that much... Got one hour at most, but felt better for it.

11:50am Rain ... and wind suddenly gusted up and backed a lot! Had me on deck (donning my jacket on the way!) in a hurry! Then wind died back down ... so now making only 4kt instead of the previous 6kt or more. Think I'm seeing gusts under the rainclouds - the usual 'cloud effect'.

1pm Just finished on the ANZA Net - great to have a quick chat with so many Aussies... and a couple of Kiwis today! Making me feel very welcome - thanks to Tex (Net Control today), VK1TX, and to all of you for that!
Before that, I'd reduced the genoa, thinking the wind was likely to gust up again at any time under the present clouds, and 45kt gusts have been forecast for later today and overnight, as and when the Front really does come through.
Then the wind died and we were making only 4.5kt so I was about to unfurl more genoa - but now we're back to 6kt - so I'm leaving the genoa strictly alone for the time being - I'll furl it in, and go with just the small staysail, overnight possibly, to avoid a problem should the strong gusts arrive while I'm in my bunk. (Seeing 7kt SOG now... Gusty conditions, for sure.)
Pressure 999.9hPa again - staying fairly constant around 1000hPa as the Low passes to the S of here..
Now within 500 n.miles of Cape Leeuwin and 330 n.ml. from passing due S of it.

2:30pm Rain clouds have all given way to scattered small white clouds and bright sunshine with plenty of blue sky - much more cheerful! Wind has dropped, so unfurled genoa to speed us along - making around 6.3kt now.
A few prions and petrels around and caught sight of an albatross soaring over the waves in the distance, earlier today.

4:30pm A lovely sunny afternoon. Sky is almost clear blue - just a few big clouds on the NE horizon ahead. Sunset not far away - will be a good one, I'm thinking. Making around 6.3 kt still. Unbelievable to think that in just a few hours' time, the wind will be whistling in the rigging and seas will be well up again, with rough conditions.
Keep getting drawn to look at the weather info... over and over... checking and double-checking the info. Expecting strong winds, with possible 40-45kt gusts, from today 1200 GMT (7pm LT) until 0600 GMT tomorrow (1pm LT) with highest gusts expected around 2300GMT (6amLT/dawn). The good news is that the wind will be from WNW-WSW and we'll be running roughly E - downwind - the best possible way to be going in strong conditions, with seas from astern...

5:40pm Getting dark, sunset was a short while ago - not the blazing orange globe sinking into the sea as I'd expected but a yellow globe fading as it sank into the almost hidden low cloud layer over the horizon astern. Crescent moon high up and a lone petrel circling around... Seas have built up again - a good 4m or more but well spaced apart and coming onto our port quarter. Wind up and down a little now - making just 5-5.5 kt one moment and then back up to 6.3kt a few moments later.

7pm Problem now is the wind hasn't yet picked up - and I don't want to kill our speed by furling in the genoa yet, as I'd intended...
Means I'll have to get sleep in snatches, so that the moment the wind picks up, I'm ready to jump on deck and reduce sail... I'll be sleeping in my foulies tonight!

10:30pm Well, the lovely clear starry sky is now gone, replaced by cloud giving heavy rain ...and a big wind... Genoa is now furled in completely - almost certainly prematurely, since our speed has dropped a lot (it was a gust that has died down now, of course!) but I feel safer with it away, leaving just the staysail now, plus trysail. I'm sure there will be more gusts but now I can get to my bunk for some sleep, knowing we'll be fine. I thought the wind would have stayed well up, but it hasn't. The forecast was for 26kt about now, rising to 30kt, starting 3-4 hours later, gusting higher, over the following 12 hrs.

2am Thurs LT (Wed 1900 GMT) Rough going - glad the genoa is furled away... Strong conditions with frequent gusts (one came around midnight) and big seas catching us for a bit of surfing at times... Back to my bunk after posting this... Will be nice when it all calms down later!

1900GMT (= 2 a.m.LT) - end of Day 189. We made 131 n.ml. DMG, over the 24 hr period, measured in a straight line between the two 1900 GMT positions.

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 189 (by daily DMGs):16,672 n.ml.

Distances (at 1900GMT): Cape Leeuwin LH (SW Australia): 432 n.ml. to ENE (380 n.ml. to WP due S); Melbourne (VIC, Aus): 1622 n.ml. to E; SE Cape,Tasmania,LH: 1666 n.ml. to ESE; SW Cape, NZ: 2491 n.ml ESE; Cape Agulhas LH (S.Africa): 4089 n.ml. to WNW.

Position & weather report for 1900 GMT posted to www.Winlink.org and www.Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV):
TIME: 2019/04/10 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 40-03.44S LONGITUDE: 109-35.22E
COURSE: 080T SPEED: 6.3kt
WIND_SPEED: 30kt WIND_DIR: W SWELL_DIR: WNW SWELL_HT: 4.0m CLOUDS: 100%
BARO: 999.8hPa TREND: 0 AIR_TEMP: 16.0C SEA_TEMP: 17.0C
COMMENT: Strong wind & stronger gusts... Rough going.

Tuesday 2:25am Wind well up now, around 25kt - we're making 6.3 kt and it has got a bit rough - heeling most of the time and pounding into increased seas quite a lot. Time to get back to my bunk for more sleep...

9am Grey sky. Rough seas so rough going in 30kt wind at around 6.7kt - often seeing 7kt. Good to be making decent progress at last - should continue getting reasonable wind for rest of this week - fingers crossed!

Presently 480 miles more to go until pass S of Cape Leeuwin - hoping for next weekend, to celebrate passing third Great Cape....

10:30am Decided to furl in a bit more genoa - from half to one-and-a-half reef marks. Difficult doing it while very well heeled in the big, rough seas, but eventually got there... Heeling was just too much - toe rail was in water most of the time - now less often... Has reduced speed a little but not much - now making around 6.3kt.

Sea washed over me just as I was starting to winch... got totally drenched - but protected by jacket this time, hair apart - unlike last night, in gentler conditions.

Very difficult moving about the cabin in these conditions - having to be very slow and careful, sensing the wave motion before making any move.

Back to my safe, warm bunk now - with start of breakfast - fruit juice, dried apricots & prunes and cereal bars this morning - easy!

1:30pm Wind seems to be up and down now - only making 5kt at times and then we're back up at 6kt or more. Seas are still rough and tossing us about a lot, washing over the decks regularly. (1:50pm - that was a short lull - but there seem to be plenty of them...)

3:20pm Magnetic variation is down to 17W now. Amazing how quickly it's changing. I have to check it every time I go to make a log entry of our True course (plotter gives the Magnetic, not True, bearing of cursor from boat position on screen and I use the boat's current track to check our COG).

Speed 5.7-6.2 kt now - wind definitely a bit less.

7:20pm Wind not quite as strong as earlier - but still in mid-twenties, so making good speed - despite rough seas. Furled in genoa a lot and unfurled staysail - better for really strong winds. Spotted that a (lazy) staysail sheet was caught in a deck fitting - started to go forward (in fading daylight) but got a load of seawater in one shoe as sea came over the toe rail and thought better of it - just felt too dangerous, heeled over in the rough seas on leeward side deck, and decided the problem could wait for calmer conditions and better light.

Finished making big stew earlier - so plenty for next 2-3 days - good thing since getting strong winds tomorrow - forecast is for gusts to 45kt possibly, although mainly WNW wind up to 30kt, backing to SW.

8pm Not feeling as rough but we're making 6.5kt - wind still up but must have backed more to abaft the beam - always feels smoother if going downwind, even slightly.

Time to get to my bunk - feels damp, like everything else, but will soon warm up.

Wed 1:30am LT (1830 Tues GMT) Woke up half an hour ago to find us making only 4.5kt or less... Just been on deck (after donning my foulies!) to unfurl most of the genoa - wind just under 20kt now and likely to remain down overnight and over the morning also. Now making around 4.8-5.5kt . Seas feeling calmer than a lot earlier - but possibly because we're headed more downwind still.

Hazy hint of moon seen through clouds - looks as though it was raining earlier.

Magnetic variation now 15W.

Heating up my stew - looking forward to some now, before getting more sleep after posting reports and blog shortly...

1900GMT (= 2 a.m.LT) - end of Day 188. We made 142 n.ml. DMG, over the 24 hr period, measured in a straight line between the two 1900 GMT positions. Good DMG again - even better than y'day!

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 188 (by daily DMGs):16,541 n.ml.

Distances (at 1900GMT): Cape Leeuwin LH (SW Australia): 538 n.ml. to ENE (380 n.ml. to WP due S); Melbourne (VIC, Aus): 1746 n.ml. to E; SE Cape,Tasmania,LH: 1779 n.ml. to ESE; SW Cape, NZ: 2592 n.ml ESE; Cape Agulhas LH (S.Africa): 3964 n.ml. to WNW.

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

TIME: 2019/04/09 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 40-25.20S LONGITUDE: 106-45.43E

COURSE: 085T SPEED: 5.0kt WIND_SPEED: 18kt

WIND_DIR: NW SWELL_DIR: NW SWELL_HT: 3.0m CLOUDS: 100%

BARO: 1001.2hPa TREND: -2 AIR_TEMP: 15.0C SEA_TEMP: 15.0C

COMMENT: Wind dropped to under 20kt but seas still often big. Hazy moon.

Monday 3am Finally heading almost due E at around 4kt - speed should increase a bit more as wind backs more and increases slowly.

Just finished with posting reports and checking emails and weather update - back to my bunk - sleep sounds good!

10:30am Feeling frustrated again - wind was forecast to be stronger than it is. We're only making 3kt and wind can't be more than 12kt or so - certainly not the 17kt forecast. Have been doing other small jobs and had held off dealing with mainsail, expecting the stronger wind, but I could have been sewing now.

Have got out the repair tape and cut two patches for the hole I've seen near the leech. I'll sew them over the hole - it's a good 1cm/1/2" diameter and there's damage to one side where it's nearly cut, as well, so I'll cover that whole area on both sides and stitch the patches in place. Going up now to see just how easy it would be to deal with just that small area without releasing too many sail ties.

Midday Feeling a bit better - and the sun is getting out nicely just to help things along. the hole repair is going well! Access was very easy and, amazingly, the sticky repair tape I cut to cover the damaged area is sticking well to the sail on both sides. I'm wondering whether I should stitch it - might be better left as is.

I'm also looking at the 2nd batten pocket end & trying to figure out how to deal with the torn sail material close by there - many thicknesses of material make for a problem area for sewing - need to decide best way to tackle it to avoid the problem...various ideas, but will have to wait for time being - next few days won't see any chance to deal with it.

4pm Cooking potatoes, dried peas and onions ready for another big soup/stew. Pressure cooker is so useful when cooking on board - minimum time taken and minimum use of propane.

A small flock of prions is back again - such lovely birds. Flap their wings so much more than the big petrels that glide so much.

Wind is picking up - speed now 4.5-5kt... Sunshine has gone, grey clouds everywhere - Cold Front ahead getting closer... Swell is picking up again with the wind - knocking us around at times.

Time for a quick rest before sunset and a couple of radio scheds.

Air is cooling down - night time air temperature not too bad compared with snowy/icy places but down to 14C regularly - with no heater used on board, that feels chilly!

7:20pm Had a good lot of contacts on 7163 with US and Australian stations just after sunset and a couple of nice long chats at the end - beautiful signals from the Perth area, so easy conversation.

Lovely to see us making over 5kt now - wind clearly getting up slowly. Expecting rain at some point tonight, with wind gusting up to 30kt possibly, so likely to have to reduce the genoa later. But getting to my bunk now - time to start my sleep routine... Making 5.4-5.8kt now - great!

Tuesday 1:45am LT (GMT:Mon 1845) Wind well up now - we're making 5.7-6.0 kt and it has got a bit rough - heeling and pounding into increased seas quite a lot now, with wind just for'd of the beam.. A good time to be in my bunk! Could get some more rain soon.

1900GMT (= 2 a.m.LT) - end of Day 187. We made 103 n.ml. DMG, over the 24 hr period, measured in a straight line between the two 1900 GMT positions.

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 187 (by daily DMGs):16,399 n.ml.

Distances (at 1900GMT): Cape Leeuwin LH (SW Australia): 660 n.ml. to ENE (531 n.ml. to WP due S); Melbourne (VIC, Aus): 1886 n.ml. to E; SE Cape,Tasmania,LH: 1911 n.ml. to ESE; SW Cape, NZ: 2709 n.ml to ESE; Cape Agulhas LH (S.Africa): 3832 n.ml. to WNW.

Position & weather report for 1900 GMT, adapted from 1826 GMT report posted to www.Winlink.org and www.Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV):

TIME: 2019/04/08 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 40-34.65S LONGITUDE: 103-39.20E

COURSE: 080T SPEED: 5.8kt

WIND_SPEED: 25kt WIND_DIR: NNW SWELL_DIR: NNW SWELL_HT: 3.5m CLOUDS: 100%

BARO: 1008.3hPa TREND: -2 SEA_TEMP: 15.0C

COMMENT: Rough going - bumpy ride! Wind and seas up...

Sunday 7:30am Very peaceful - neither wind noise nor noise from sails! Still drifting with genoa furled in and wind generator blades totally still - not going far just now - drifting due S at 0.7kt.

Slept very badly last night, drifting around and having had to furl in genoa, finally, not helping, so hoping to make up on sleep this afternoon.

Will have quick breakfast and then see what I can get done today - have several small jobs to do before thinking about the mainsail repair. Had been expecting today to be a 'sewing' day but it doesn't look as though the weather and swell conditions will allow that. Rain is expected soon after midday with wind getting up around the same time and swells are quite big.

11am Just unfurled genoa in hope we can make some Easting instead of drifting S - wind is up a little although seems to be from NE-ENE, so it's a headwind. We're making 2.4kt and COG is SE - the best we can make given present wind direction..

Been a busy morning since early breakfast. Sail repair is on hold - slight rain anyway, forecast to increase as wind increases soon. Two big, slow swells - from S and SW - impressive - both at 3-4m.

Replenished galley supplies ready for rough weather expected this week. Maintenance tasks have been overdue... Checked rudder grease gland - still leaking slightly - tightened gland cover and dried area. Ran bilge pump a short time. Topped up hydraulic autopilot fluid - was low. Checked generator oil level - looking fine, but maybe should change the oil very soon. Checked main engine - fresh water coolant reservoir nearly empty - topped up; seawater strainer hose connection - slight, slow leak shown by salt crystals, difficult to tighten hose clamps but will try; water seen below engine - tasted it (yuck!) - not seawater and seems pink - same colour as fresh water coolant colour - so from fresh water cooling circuit? - hope nothing major - not happy about that; engine oil dipstick showed oil low - about to be topped up.... (Later: added half a litre but looks as though that was slightly too much... so oil couldn't have been so very low.)

Not running main engine normally but thought I should check it over and run it in neutral for a short time sometime soon, just to make sure all is OK - will charge batteries while doing that.

Discovered where the machine screw I found the other day on deck came from (lucky it didn't go overboard!) Was from the boom end fitting - tried very hard now to replace it, using plenty of Loctite, but just could not get it to start screwing in. Peeking into the hole, it looks as though the part inside has moved slightly - so the hole is not clear as it should be. Had to leave it to try again in calmer conditions (wind and seas were building) - might need to use hammer on it - a bit of a worry but it's a fairly long insert.... The one on opposite side of the boom end seems fine.

1:20pm Good to be underway again - although a headwind of ENE-NE is hardly ideal. Still murky and damp - almost fine rain on the air - rain will come soon enough, if forecast is correct - certainly looks that way.

We're making 3.5kt now, still heading SE. As the wind backs more to N, we'll be able to make our preferred course of due E - the sooner, the better!

2:40pm Wind seems quite settled and pressure is down below 1020hPa now, as Low approaches. Having a nice mug of hot soup before settling down for a nap - need to make up on sleep.

4:20pm Had a very good sleep! It's grey and raining but there's a small flock of prions around, as well as the usual white-chinned petrels. I saw a pair of storm petrels earlier today, circling the boat, close to the water.

This is what is termed 'boisterous' sailing - we're headed rather close to the wind and we're also meeting seas just forward of the beam which are quite big. So there's quite a bit of heeling, with pitching and tossing thrown in.

We're not making that much speed - around 3.3 kt, in fact, in about 12kt of wind - partly due to going upwind not being a good point of sail for us, without a mainsail - but that should change quite soon, I'm hoping! If we were more off the wind, our speed would increase but I really want to head more E than S - the wind shift more to NNW, which would allow that, can't come soon enough for me...

Enjoying a big bowl of hot bean & barley soup... will finish the rest of the soup later

1:55pm Interrupted sleep to get ready to post reports. No 1800Z radio sched with Vincent, 3DA0VV, tonight - he has thunderstorms (not unusual, at present) in the area where he is, in Swaziland (eSwatini), so missing our usual chat since he has had to disconnect his antenna.

Finally making due E COG, at around 3.5kt, but speed should increase slowly overnight as wind increases and backs more and we end up on less of a close reach, with the wind just abaft the beam.

Wind direction for rest of week should be good, so hoping for good progress towards a point due S of Cape Leeuwin over next few days.

1900GMT (= 2 a.m.LT) - end of Day 186. We made 52 n.ml. DMG, over the 24 hr period, measured in a straight line between the two 1900 GMT positions. Drifting in a circle doesn't make for a good DMG!

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 186 (by daily DMGs):16,296 n.ml.

Distances (at 1900GMT): Cape Leeuwin LH (SW Australia): 755 n.ml. to ENE (631 n.ml. to WP due S); Melbourne (VIC, Aus): 1984 n.ml. to E; SE Cape,Tasmania,LH: 2002 n.ml. to ESE; SW Cape, NZ: 2791 n.ml to ESE; Cape Agulhas LH (S.Africa): 3734 n.ml. to WNW.

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

TIME: 2019/04/07 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 40-45.44S LONGITUDE: 101-24.33E

COURSE: 092T SPEED: 3.6kt

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

BARO: 1015.3hPa TREND: 0 AIR_TEMP: 16.0C SEA_TEMP: 15.0C

COMMENT: Rain eased off - maybe more later?

Saturday 3:30am we're now on starboard tack after gybing around in SW wind, headed ESE at 1-2kt - not looking forward to yet another slow couple of days in very light winds ... Looks as though we shan't be able to change onto port tack until Monday morning - so no sewing of mainsail will be possible for time being unless it becomes really calm on Sunday.

Back to my bunk for a some sleep....

8am Dull, grey day with some slight, narrow breaks appearing in the otherwise-solid overcast layer. Struggling to make way at around 1-1.5kt, occasionally making 2kt.. Not going very far today! Feeling I need more sleep, so back to my bunk after breakfast for another nap. No work to be done on the mainsail yet - we're rolling a lot in 3m/10ft swell with short period from two directions but hoping that later on, or maybe tomorrow, might be better.

Midday Sun is getting out quite nicely, at last, although still hazy. Listening in on ANZA Net - lots of VK4 (Queensland) stations heard well, not so many VK6 (WA/Perth) heard so well today. Busy Net for well over half an hour, people calling other parts of Australia - a big country! Was lovely to get a call from VK4SWE, Lin, who sent greetings from Women who Sail in Queensland - sent my greetings back to them!

4:30pm Lovely blue sky ahead and to the S .. Bank of dark grey cloud astern - overtaking us, no doubt! Making 2.3kt in little wind - wind generator blades having trouble turning.

About to have some hot bean and barley soup with ham - good and thick.

5:45pm Light beginning to fade. Still some patches of blue sky - the cloud bank wasn't as thick as it looked. Running generator before radio scheds coming up - need to run it twice a day for about half an hour each time - not enough sunlight nor strong enough wind to keep batteries topped up.

11pm Was awoken by the genoa flogging unhappily - came on deck to see what the wind was up to - Windex was turning around merrily at the mast top and really had no idea where the wind was - what little there was clearly was coming from every which way! Took the genoa over to starboard - but that didn't help or make much difference... Beautiful clear, starry sky ..with stars reflecting in the calm sea surface and enough starlight to see by... but the wind has died totally. I'll have to furl in the genoa for now and wait for the wind to come up. We're drifting at 0.3-0.5kt....NNW so I guess either current or very slight wind is from SSE to make us drift in that direction... The only wind I can feel on my face when on deck is from either beam, depending which way we happen to be rolling in the swell!

11:30pm That's better - peace and quiet - no noise from genoa, now it's mostly furled in... Pressure is up at 1025hPa so we're right into a High.

Drifting N now. Back to my bunk for an hour or two - we'll see then if there's any difference.

2am No change - still no wind, still a starry sky, although a slight haze possibly, and drifting now WNW at 0.4kt. Time for more sleep, after posting reports.

1900GMT (= 1 a.m.LT) - end of Day 185. We made 29 n.ml. DMG, over the 24 hr period, measured in a straight line between the two 1900 GMT positions. The number says it all...!

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 185 (by daily DMGs):16,244 n.ml.

Distances (at 1900GMT): Cape Leeuwin LH (SW Australia): 779 n.ml. to ENE (667 n.ml. to pt due S); Melbourne (VIC, Aus): 2030 n.ml. to E; SE Cape,Tasmania,LH: 2052 n.ml. to ESE; SW Cape, NZ: 2843 n.ml to ESE; Cape Agulhas LH (S.Africa): 3710 n.ml. to WNW.

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

TIME: 2019/04/06 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 40-12.76S LONGITUDE: 100-31.57E

COURSE: 280T SPEED: 0.3kt

WIND_SPEED: 2kt WIND_DIR: ENE SWELL_DIR: SW SWELL_HT: 3.0m CLOUDS: 10%

BARO: 1025hPa TREND: -2 AIR_TEMP: 14.0C SEA_TEMP: 16.0C

COMMENT: Wind died totally - drifting with genoa furled away

Friday 1:10pm Dull day with overcast sky. Wind has been slowly dying down through the morning, after making a fairly steady 4.5-5kt overnight, so we're now making 4kt and expecting lighter conditions soon. Wind should become more WSW instead of its present direction just N of W. We'll have to gybe onto starboard tack at some point later today.

We're skirting the S edge of a High which will soon join up with another High to the SW (stretching down to 50S)- to become a combined High that we'll be caught right in the middle of ... :( Not expecting decent wind until that resulting High has moved off to the E on Monday. This coming weekend, it will be very slow going...

4pm Been busy looking over my logbook from earlier trips - confirmed I'm five weeks behind my expected time at this position - a combination of one week avoiding a cyclone together with avoiding stormy weather down to Cape Horn and up towards S.Africa and lack of mainsail slowing down upwind work (not as much of a problem as one would think since, fortunately, sailing is mainly downwind here in Southern Ocean so we've done fine in good wind on the frequent downwind legs. Being often caught in the High pressure cells between the Lows has also been a major problem, losing more days then, but the alternative would be to get caught often in 40-50kt winds if we headed much further S - not an option I'm very keen on... and even then, the Highs often extend to down there so they're not totally avoidable.

I'm hoping to be in the Pacific around beginning of May and crossing the Equator around beginning of June, giving an ETA back in Victoria of 3-4th week of July - a lot later than I'd hoped for when I set out!

5pm Raining slightly. Waiting for wind to back to WSW from present W and then back more. Will need to gybe onto starboard tack when it does. Wind has been getting less over the afternoon - now we're mostly making under 4kt. At 6pm, mostly down to 3.5kt.

Nice to see a few Antarctic prions seen today and yesterday ...along with our usual small group of white-chinned petrel friends!

7pm Starting my sleep routine - dark now, so best to get sleep according to Nature's cycle! Setting alarm to check on wind in a few hours' time, when expected to start shifting.

10:45pm Raining, dark night. Wind finally backed into SW quadrant - genoa was backed so took it over to port side - we're now on starboard tack, headed ESE at around 2-2.5kt - this will be another slow couple of days in very light winds ... Looks as though we shan't be able to change onto port tack until Monday morning - so no sewing of mainsail will be possible for time being unless it becomes really calm on Sunday.

Back to my bunk for a short nap....

1900GMT (= 1 a.m.LT) - end of Day 184. We made 95 n.ml. DMG, over the 24 hr period, measured in a straight line between the two 1900 GMT positions.

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 184 (by daily DMGs):16,215 n.ml.

Distances (at 1900GMT): Cape Leeuwin LH (SW Australia): 804 n.ml. to ENE (715 n.ml. to pt due S); Melbourne (VIC, Aus): 2059 n.ml. to E; SE Cape,Tasmania,LH: 2080 n.ml. to ESE; SW Cape, NZ: 2869 n.ml to ESE; Cape Agulhas LH (S.Africa): 3685 n.ml. to WNW.

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

TIME: 2019/04/05 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 40-08.56S LONGITUDE: 099-53.80E

COURSE: 096T SPEED: 1.5kt

WIND_SPEED: 8kt WIND_DIR: SW SWELL_DIR: WSW SWELL_HT: 3.0m CLOUDS: 100%

BARO: 1021.4hPa TREND: 0 AIR_TEMP: 14.0C SEA_TEMP: 16.0C

COMMENT: Wind dying even more. Struggling to keep a course.



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