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Day 160 Mon-Tues 11-12 March 2019 We pass our halfway point, finally! Wind increases, as Low passes to S, giving good speed.

Tuesday 3am Beautiful clear night sky - so full of stars with Orion very high up and the Milky Way strewn across overhead - absolute 'stardust' mingled with brighter stars!

No need for any further light, as I adjusted Fred for very broad reach Wind has been slowly increasing as it veers toward W and a big weather system to our S passes by, headed E. We've increased our SOG (speed over the ground) to just under 6kt now.

23h43m25s GMT (3:43:25 am LT Tuesday) - just before midnight GMT - time of passing halfway point (55 18'E) in voyage around the world - I'll celebrate tomorrow! Back to my bunk now...

5am Well, that didn't happen! Decided to gybe around and furl in some genoa, in expectation of imminent strong winds and seas, before getting back to sleep - and wind got up just as I came on deck - started whistling in the rigging. We're now making around 6.8kt in W - WNW wind, with well-reefed genoa on port tack, and feeling more comfortable - ready for any gusts that might come along.

Now perhaps I can get some more sleep - just for a short time since I'll need to keep an eye on things - wind might shift again, needing another gybe...

9am Grey clouds everywhere except for a long blue streak astern - raining. Found a big squid in the cockpit! Gybed back onto port tack again after having gybed onto starboard around 3am. Wind had veered to the WNW, so the earlier gybe was needed, but it has now backed to WSW. We're now making 104T at around 7kt after unfurling a bit more genoa - at 2nd reef mark now. I'd furled it in plenty earlier when the wind had suddenly gusted up - possibly when the rain was coming in.

2pm Slept for well over two hours and woke up after 1 o'clock feeling a lot better. Wind seems to be slightly less now - we're making 6-7kt now instead of the 7kt and more of earlier. The sun is trying hard to brighten up the day but not quite getting through. Seas have built - but not as much as the 5-6m forecast for tonight and tomorrow.

Before I slept, I had a celebratory 'half-way' breakfast - of a few delicious stem-ginger biscuits I found by my bunk. I'd thought they were a packet of shortbread, which I love, but these were a very nice surprise and went well with some orange juice as I settled down to rest.

7pm Getting dark, bright waxing crescent moon high up, a few small, scattered clouds, big seas - picking us up and throwing us around as they pass under - fortunately, very few with any breaking crests. Had unfurled most of the genoa earlier, to give us good speed of well over 7kt for most of the afternoon but decided, with forecast of stronger winds coming, to furl in quite a lot again for overnight. Wind is varying quite a lot but best to be ready if the stronger wind should arrive, although we're slower in the meantime.

1900GMT (=2300LT) - end of Day 160. We made 143 n.ml. DMG, over the 24 hr period, measured in a straight line between the two 1900 GMT positions. Good distance, for a change!

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 160 (by daily DMGs):14,362 n.ml.

Distances (at 1900GMT): Cape Leeuwin LH (SW Australia): 2687 n.ml. to ENE; Melbourne (VIC, Aus): 3812 n.ml. to E; SE Cape of Tasmania LH: 37253 n.ml. to ESE; Cape Agulhas LH (S.Africa): 1822 n.ml. to WNW; Kerguelen Isl: 636 n.ml. to SE; St Paul Isl: 908 n.ml.to ENE; Halfway point (55 18'E): 122 n.ml. astern!

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

TIME: 2019/03/12 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 41-30.83S LONGITUDE: 057-58.71E COURSE: 102T SPEED: 6.0kt

WIND_SPEED: 20kt WIND_DIR: SW SWELL_DIR: SW SWELL_HT: 4.5m CLOUDS: 100%

BARO: 1011.7hPa TREND: 0 AIR_TEMP: 16.0C SEA_TEMP: 22.0C

COMMENT: Seas up, rough motion, wind possibly down from earlier

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