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Day 214 Sat-Sun 4-5 May 2019 A deliberately slow day, avoiding strong weather ahead

Sunday 7:30pm Just finished my meal - made a nice beef and spinach curry earlier today so had it with some Basmati rice - tasty! Made enough for three meals probably. Had pancakes for breakfast - I've one last carton of milk to have with my cereal each morning so I've decided to save it until after passing Stewart Island. I'll try making up a batch from some powdered milk but have been unimpressed by what I've got on board so I'm not holding my breath...

Today saw murky, grey, gloomy overcast all day long - wind was light and seas have been a lot less confused than yesterday.

Spent some time on boat jobs and a lot of time on emails (just had a lot of emails resulting from rounding the 4th Cape). I'm also repeatedly checking on weather and updates.. I keep hoping the weather will become more favourable - but it really isn't! Getting away from the Southern Ocean is proving difficult.

We've been making just 2kt or less most of the day in winds for'd of the beam putting us on a close reach, which is not a good point of sail without a main in action. Later in the day, having got fed up with seeing such a slow speed for so long, I unfurled most of the genoa - actually saw 3kt for a time but it soon dropped down to 2kt. I'm trying to keep our speed down to 3kt or below - but 1-2kt is unnecessarily slow!

Tomorrow will see a Low to our NE giving stronger wind - to mid-20s or more. We're on its fringes so winds aren't expected to get much stronger. The Low seems to be stuck in the Tasman Sea, pretty well stationary in between New Zealand and Australia, but will eventually dissipate by Thursday. By Tuesday, we should be able to lay a course for Stewart Island in N-NW winds but they'll go very light mid-week - I'm hoping then to get to the mains'l repair - fingers crossed!

I spent a time trying to figure out the best way to lead a cable from the stern SS arch, where I want to fix the spare wind transducer in place, to the hard top over the companionway where the main wind display is situated. Tomorrow, I'll test it out and, if OK, will fix it in place and connect it up. I'd really like to have wind information if possible - I've done without for a lot of this voyage, but when a Cold Front comes through, with an often rapid change in wind direction, it's really useful to have it available.

Monday 3:45am Wind was building and woke me up to go on deck and reef down - furled in the genoa more because we were making over 4 kt - over the 3kt limit set to slow us down and avoid the strong weather ahead now and in a few days' time also. Took in too much and killed our speed so had to go back up and unfurl some. Low clearly intensifying not far off.

I'll be live on ABC Tasmania, at 2pm LT on Monday afternoon, for a chat with Rachel, the presenter. She's a sailor, so that should be good, and the link to a copy of the chat will be posted here, on my website and on my QRZ.com page (VE0JS).

I'll be missing my daily chats with Aussie radio amateurs once I'm a bit further away - they've been really friendly and helpful and it's been nice to be able to speak to so many of them over the last few weeks. Thanks for the welcome!

Haven't moved far today, so DMG will be well down - I've had to stop thinking about our average daily DMG and speed over the voyage - they're pretty awful!

1900GMT (= 5 a.m. LT) - end of Day 214. We made 45 n.ml. DMG, over the 24 hr period, measured in a straight line between the two 1900 GMT positions. Deliberately slowed down to avoid strong weather ahead.

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 214 (by daily DMGs):18,685 n.ml.

Distances (at 1900GMT): Cape Leeuwin LH (SW Australia): 1669 n.ml. to NW

NW; Melbourne (Victoria, Australia): 395 n.ml. NNW; SE Cape,Tasmania,LH: 100 n.ml. to NW;Hobart 101 n.ml. to NNW; SW Cape, NZ: 793 n.ml ESE.

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

TIME: 2019/05/05 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 43-57.38S LONGITUDE: 149-08.95E

COURSE: 074T SPEED: 2.0kt

WIND_SPEED: 20kt WIND_DIR: SSE SWELL_DIR: SW SWELL_HT: 3.5m

BARO: 1019.5hhpa TREND: -2 AIR_TEMP: 16.0C CLOUDS: 100%

COMMENT: Wind gusted up before, so more genoa furled in

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