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Day 211 Wed-Thurs 1-2 May 2019 Passing SE, well off W coast of Tasmania, towards our 4th Great Cape

Thursday 6am Poor speed in light wind from astern. Rain just started up again.

Had to spend a time at chart table overnight with the autopilot unable to keep a good course in the very light wind - we went around in a circle tree times! Had to get us back on course and re-set the AP each time - missed out on quite a lot of sleep.

7:30am Clear sky overhead, edge of a long line of a low, dark-grey, foggy-looking bank below cumulus clouds astern and another bank of clouds ahead. Pink and gold of dawn still colouring edges of clouds ahead in the E.

Wet on deck from the recent rain. Just unfurled more genoa - wind around 15kt from NNE and likely to stay around 15kt over the day, with possible gusts if under rain clouds. Making around 4kt, pounding into seas a bit.

Back to my bunk for a touch more sleep...

9:30am Had an enjoyable interview with Stuart Stansfield on ABC Radio in Adelaide, which was streamed to their website soon after, as part of the South Australian Regional programme. Phone actually worked fine (at last!)... and audio quality was very good so it all went swimmingly! The link is here

Sun is shining brightly, sky is blue, some clouds are big but well in the distance - and I'm making up some pancake mix to have soon. It's great how the lumps miraculously disappear if it's left to sit for a while!

1:30pm There's blue sky well ahead, but it's beyond the well-defined edge of the big area of grey overhead cloud - threatening light rain, possibly. About to cook my pancakes, finally.

Just had a chat with ABC Tasmania - they want an interview to go out on Monday afternoon, by which time I should be started on my way across the S end of the Tasman Sea towards the Fifth Great Cape: SW Cape of Stewart Island, New Zealand.

3pm Was just about to enjoy having my pancakes when I realised we were heeling rather a lot - things were getting a bit boisterous.... We were making 6-7kt and over, under a strong gust from a rain cloud. Nice to be making a good speed for a time! Then the cloud passed over and wind died down again - now ambling along under blue sky at around 4kt again - wind is back to being light..

Sunset - a glorious display of orange light over the W horizon in an almost clear sky - lovely to see.

Adjusted course to stay further off the coast as we near the SW Cape of Tasmania - wind might be dying as we get close to rounding S of Tasmania so don't want to be too close to land. Pity, because I'd hoped to pass close to the Mewstone and to Eddystone & Piedra Blanca Rocks (high rocky outcrops), with their colonies of seabirds, in daylight, but if the wind dies, best not to be too close to avoid a problem.

Will need to gybe overnight as wind backs to NNW from NNE.

8:30pm Had a look at Wind display in cockpit after it had gone to --- - switched it off and back on again - it came back to life with both wind speed and direction, but then speed display dropped down to 0.0. Connections and wiring there were all looking good, so made my way to mast wiring connections in main cabin, up high, beside the mast support (mast is deck-stepped). Once exposed, there was no immediate need for multimeter! The thin red power wire to the mast head transducer was loose and came out of the connecting block as I moved the cable to gain access. The boat was moving around too much to see to it easily overnight and the screw was proving very difficult to loosen - so it's high on list for tomorrow's jobs to see to in good daylight. Maybe the wind display will be coming good once more? It would be very good to have it working reliably!

Friday 5am LT (Thursday 1900GMT) Wind has piped up nicely and we're making good speed - maximising it for as long as we can and often making 6-7kt with full genoa, so good progress towards the S Capes being made. Would be nice to get safely around the SE Cape before the wind dies right down from SW, as it's forecast to do...

1900GMT (= 5 a.m. LT) - end of Day 211. We made 103 n.ml. DMG, over the 24 hr period, despite poor speed last night, measured in a straight line between the two 1900 GMT positions.

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 211 (by daily DMGs):18,444 n.ml.

Distances (at 1900GMT): Cape Leeuwin LH (SW Australia): 1454 n.ml. to NW

NW; Melbourne (Victoria, Australia): 279 n.ml. NNE; SE Cape,Tasmania,LH: 117 n.ml. to SE; SW Cape, NZ: 1007 n.ml ESE.

(1316 n.ml. SE of Albany in W.Australia, 552 n.ml. SSE of Adelaide, S.Australia)

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

TIME: 2019/05/02 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 42-57.44S LONGITUDE: 144-21.93E

COURSE: 142T SPEED: 5.9kt

WIND_SPEED: 18kt WIND_DIR: N SWELL_DIR: N SWELL_HT: 3.0m CLOUDS: 10%

BARO: 1003.4hPa TREND: -2 AIR_TEMP: 17.0C

COMMENT: Speed often over 6kt in good wind

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