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Day 176 Wed-Thurs 27-28 March 2019 Good speed made; preparing for 'blow' on its way

Thursday 7:25am Daylight - a lot of light cloud around, so a bit dull. Short sched with USA on 7160 - propagation not so good today.

Wind NW at 24kt and our SOG (speed over ground) is 4.5kt, close reaching, making COG of 065T. Seas up more and we're pounding into them constantly - feeling very laboured...

8:40am Wind 24kt still. Furled genoa to reef 1 mark, unfurled staysail and sheeted out trysail - on beam reach. Off wind a touch more - making 070-075T at 5.6kt. Will furl in genoa again quite soon - we're heeling quite a lot still but making good speed - around 6kt at times. Will try to get a bit more sleep - might not get much tonight with weather coming up...

11am Much the same conditions as earlier - being tossed around in the seas and heeling a fair amount so moving around is a bit difficult and has to be done very carefully.

Did eventually snooze for a bit, so that was good. In these conditions, the best place to be is in my bunk - by far the safest and most comfortable place! Only downside is not being able to see the instruments - but I can see how much we're heeling so I'll know when to furl in the genoa further - no problem there! If in doubt, I'll furl in sooner rather than later but we're still making good speed - around 5.8 kt on a course of 075T in wind of around 23 kt. Pressure has dropped quite a bit - now 1019.7 hPa - and sun is shining between scattered light cloud - looking quite pleasant, in fact.

2.30pm Wind from NW at 21-24 kt and SOG 6.3 kt - waiting a bit longer for more consistently slightly higher wind to furl in genoa more since we're making good speed and course. Come nightfall, I'll furl away the genoa completely and just go with staysail since high gusts might arrive suddenly overnight.

5.15pm Was glad to have a jacket and hood on, with overtrousers, while on deck just now to furl in some more genoa (to 2nd reef mark). A wave came over the hard top into the cockpit and would have soaked me - but this time I was protected! Not even my hair got wet! Sun is getting low but wind is still around 22-23 kt. Although seas have built up and are almost on the beam, they're not too bad at present. If they get to be a problem later, we'll change course to run in front of them.

With less genoa, we're making around 6kt, instead of 6.6kt beforehand, but that's OK - I'll furl in more, maybe most of it, before long, to be ready for the 30kt or more wind and strong gusts expected overnight.

6:30pm Dark now. Have a hot Cuppasoup ready to sip and a freeze-dried 'Beef and Pasta Hotpot' waiting ready, for after the soup. In these rough conditions, unless I've one of my thick soups ready to warm up, those are the easy options. It's either that or open a tim of baked beans - which is the absolute fall-back...!! (I actually like baked beans a lot, so that's never a problem for me.)

Wind is down slightly, at 21-22kt, from NW and we're making ENE at just under 6kt... so all good there.

Just realised we're into the next time zone, Z+6, which began as we crossed the 82.5 degrees E line of longitude and we're now getting very close to 83E. Means a change of ship's time to that of Daccar and Omsk.... so it's really 7:30pm LT but I'll change my clock later, after posting this.

10:30pm (Z+5 time) Back down below after furling genoa away totally. Has cut our speed right down but wind still only 24-26kt - has yet to increase to the 30+ kt forecast, let alone the 40-50kt gusts overnight into tomorrow. Still making course of ENE. No rain yet - expect some to be heavy quite soon - a few bright stars are shining hazily through a thin cloud overhead with bigger clouds away on the horizon. No moon to be seen, so headlamp was useful. Seas quite rough now - just as last time on deck, one washed over the decks and hard top and into the cockpit - hooded jacket was excellent protection!

Back to my bunk for another short nap before a radio sched and my daily news, weather and position reports at 1900Z.

1900GMT (=0100LT) - end of Day 176. We made 110 n.ml. DMG, over the 24 hr period, measured in a straight line between the two 1900 GMT positions.

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 176 (by daily DMGs):15,468 n.ml.

Distances (at 1900GMT): Cape Leeuwin LH (SW Australia): 1544 n.ml. to ENE; Melbourne (VIC, Aus): 2730 n.ml. to E; SE Cape,Tasmania,LH: 2695 n.ml. to ESE; SW Cape, NZ: 3390n.ml to ESE; Cape Agulhas LH (S.Africa): 2950 n.ml. to WNW; Kerguelen Isl: 714 n.ml. to SW; St Paul Isl: 366 n.ml.to NW

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

TIME: 2019/03/28 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 42-37.07S LONGITUDE: 083-43.63E

COURSE: 070T SPEED: 4.2kt

WIND_SPEED: 26kt WIND_DIR: WNW SWELL_DIR: WNW SWELL_HT: 3.5m

CLOUDS: 95% BARO: 1013.7hPa TREND: -2 AIR_TEMP: 17.0C SEA_TEMP: 16.0C

COMMENT: Sail shortened ready for 'blow' coming up early tomorrow...

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