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S/V Nereida sails around the world

Thursday 3:30pm CST Total overcast again. Hove to still. Wind has been building but gusting up and down for most of the day - now to 29kt from NW. Waves are fairly big and the occasional one bangs into us with a sudden noise.

Pleased to find a pair of reading glasses - they'd been missing for several weeks. Had to be somewhere since definitely not thrown overboard...! They'd slipped down side of bedding in bunk.

Thinking about trying to move on S a bit after present winds have eased somewhat. Would like to get more S ready for next system to pass to North - don't like the look of its very big swells added to its strong winds... Means moving later tonight and then heaving to again once we've arrived at 55S.

10pm CST The 'blow' is up to 36kt from NW now, dropping to 32-34kt in between - seas not too bad so far, thankfully. Just the occasional one makes us lurch suddenly sideways as it hits us. Had a good few hours' sleep up to 8pm - missed out making up on sleep earlier today and wanted to be ready for possible early start overnight.

Believe we're about to drift across the Time Zone boundary (into N. American Eastern Time zone = GMT-5hr) - we're now at 082 30.7'W Our drift while hove-to started heading us NE yesterday but is now due East at about 1.5kt -no problem since we've plenty of sea room but I will feel better if we can get underway, even if only for a short time, to get further S once this wind eases - maybe around dawn or soon after.
Must get to my bunk for some sleep..

Friday 4am LT (= EST = GMT-5hr) First light - getting underway towards Cape Horn - spoke to Peter at 0810Z - several weather warnings have been lifted - looking OK to head direct....Grey rainy-looking sky - wet everywhere but no rain, just big seas from both NW and SW - biggest are from NW at 5m/16ft, probably more. Albatross, with white body and dark wings held out stiffly, gliding nearby close to the sea as I came on deck to prepare to get underway. Quite a few things to do .. including gybing the main.

5am Well underway - 540 miles to Cape Horn - about four days away.
Really being thrown around a lot by the two wave trains. Wind just N of W at 24kt.
Fingers got so wet and cold in wind, had to don my leather sailing gloves - couldn't have functioned for much longer without them. Air is 9C/48F - wind chill on wet skin makes it feel a lot less.

10am Sun shining through grey cloud at times. Wind WNW 19kt, swell a lot less now the wind has abated somewhat but still the occasional one that comes to throw us about. Having a late breakfast after a good sleep - making up for hours lost overnight..

Spoke to Uku as well as to Peter before getting underway earlier - was good to hear from Peter that 'One and All' is transmitting on AIS - that means if Uku gets close, I'll see his position on my screen (he can't see his own position nor mine, I believe) - excellent news! With him being only 84ml to my W, I'd been getting concerned since we're both headed to the Cape directly now and he'll certainly overtake me - he's going faster. I was also able to give Uku my position which he was happy to have - he doesn't want a collision any more than I do!

I almost didn't bother noting it down but Peter gave me One and All's MMSI number - I've seen no ships on my AIS screen since passing Polynesia - most never come this way - too stormy, rough and cold and Panama is a far more attractive, usually more direct, option!

Thought I'd post photos taken from Nereida this morning...

1900GMT (=1300LT) - end of Day 72. We made 61 n.ml.(DMG) over the 24 hr period, measured in a straight line between the two 1900 GMT positions - drifting hove-to until 1000Z.

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 72 (by daily DMGs): 7,332 n.ml.

Distance from Cape Horn LH (to ESE): 497 n.ml.

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

TIME: 2018/12/14 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 53-44.95S LONGITUDE: 081-09.76W COURSE: 135T SPEED: 5.5kt WIND_SPEED: 22kt WIND_DIR: NW SWELL_DIR: NW SWELL_HT: 5.0m CLOUDS: 100%
BARO: 988.2hPa TREND: 0 AIR_TEMP: 9.0C SEA_TEMP: 9.0C
COMMENT: Underway to Horn - slightly S of rhumbline.

Wednesday 2pm Still lovely sunshine but cold air. Went to adjust Fred - wind has backed quickly to WSW from W. Saw two small grey birds swooping and circling around us - prions? Tried hard to take photos - SO difficult as they move so fast close to us. I take lots, in hope, and then have to spend quite a time zooming in to search each frame and deleting most of them....

6pm Warning of high winds near coast on my path if continued on present course - have changed course accordingly to stay further off the coast...

11.30pm Weather warning again - of 55kt winds on my path - even the changed one - so decided best to heave to (again!) so system passes away from us in a day's time... Have not long finished heaving-to on starboard tack - now making 0.6-0.9kt roughly due S. Missed 7160 'sched' - busy on deck organising sails etc.

Thursday 2am Spoke to Peter, Northland Radio, about warnings, along with Uku on 'One and All' who has the same weather - he's not far W. Discussed the area of risk - looks as though Nereida is rather close to it so I decided to heave to on the other tack to avoid drifting any further S.

4.15am Dawn was around 3am so had daylight for work on deck. On port tack now, having changed mainsail and gybed around. Hove-to in W18kt wind, drifting NNE at 0.5kt. Back to my bunk for some more sleep!

11:15am Wind has been slowly building over last few hours - now from WNW at 26 kt. Sun shining, at times, in between gathering clouds - sky nearly covered but a lot of it is thin cirrus and sun gets through.

Wind, which was SW, is now veering to NW and will then back into the W as the system gets close. The next system is not far behind, so. quite soon, the wind will back towards SW and then, again, go W - NW and finally SW when the centre of the system has passed. The wind pattern on the N side of these systems is invariably the same - NW ahead of a Low, becoming W, then SW as it goes off to the East. (To be on the S side, getting E winds, we'd be in Antarctica!)

Photos of Antarctic Prions attached - pretty birds, beautifully marked.

1900GMT (=1300LT) - end of Day 71. We made 47 n.ml.(DMG) over the 24 hr period, measured in a straight line between the two 1900 GMT positions - a lot of it (14hr) drifting, hove-to, first S then NNE-NE.

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 71 (by daily DMGs): 7,271 n.ml.

Distance from Cape Horn LH (to ESE): 558 n.ml.

Position & weather report for 1900 GMT posted to Winlink.org and Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign of kc2iov):

TIME: 2018/12/13 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 53-29.35S LONGITUDE: 082-49.88W COURSE: 059T SPEED: 1.0kt
WIND_SPEED: 24kt WIND_DIR: WNW SWELL_DIR: WNW SWELL_HT: 4.0m CLOUDS: 100%
BARO: 998hPa TREND: -2 AIR_TEMP: 11.0C SEA_TEMP: 10.0C
COMMENT: Still hove to, on port tack. Wind building slowly.

Tuesday 5:45pm Wind has been consistently NW 24-28kt all afternoon and set to continue. Seas pretty big and throwing us around a lot - really have to be prepared and make sure I'm holding on tightly - you can usually feel the wave coming, so just a matter of reacting quickly to the warning.

Had a very nice 'Southern-style Chicken' chunky soup yesterday, with addition of more chicken - so now adding potatoes, sweetcorn and tomatoes - will bulk it up nicely for tonight and maybe tomorrow - needing hot soups/meals a lot now - it's 8.6C/48F, with both sea and cabin the same temperature - so wearing lots and often tucking in to my warm sleeping bag for extra warmth. Also a good place to be in present rough seas - I'm definitely safe in my cosy bunk!

6:15pm Was nice to hear Sid, K7SID, (8155 group) on 14160 just now - propagation is not good to Phoenix AZ from here without a powerful antenna to help - so was good to hear his voice - Season's Greetings to you both, Sid!

11pm Was nice to make a couple of contacts on 7160 tonight from Chile - not too far away... Both (CA3CLF and CA3HSC) were from Santiago, the capital.
Still speeding along at ~6.5kt in wind from NW at 28kt, gusting 30kt, with seas continuing to toss us around - time to get to my bunk again.... but first I'll study the latest gribs (weather files) that I just downloaded.

Wednesday 3:45am LT Woke up just after dawn - wind had suddenly dropped from around 28-29 kt to 15-17kt and backed into W. Boat's motion noticeably less abrupt now with sea crests not whipped up by strong wind. Boat speed has dropped a lot also - from 6.5kt or more to 5-5.2kt, down to 4.5kt at times.
Clock time seems clearly wrong... On checking time zones' info, change of zone to UTC-5 is at longitude 82.5 degrees W and we've not reached there yet (we've presently only just passed 085W so still in N.American Central time, not Eastern time yet). Early dawn must be partly result of being close to mid-summer here and maybe also being not far from time zone change - feels wrong, though!
Early morning sun is shining through breaks in the cloud - no solid grey overcast just now - just 80% cover, showing plenty of blue streaks - nice! A bird is swooping around fast, close by - shearwater, perhaps? Going to be a slow day today, compared with the speed of last night...

8:30am Bright sunshine and blue sky overhead! White cumulus ahead and spreading alto stratus well astern - hope it doesn't sread over too much, too soon... Wind W14kt, on broad reach.
Saw same quite small bird swooping around - all-brown with yellow beak...
Time for breakfast and I'll see if I can identify the bird. No albatross seen this morning, as yet...

1pm Lovely, relaxing, sunny day with an interesting clpudscape - a breather in between the frequently stronger conditions. Seas still quite high (4-5m) - they keep on coming. They're smoother but still roll us around often. Cold air - put some well-loved ski socks on as over-socks to try to keep my feet, and toes in particular, warm. Helps to warm them up in the sleeping bag often.
No birds seen just now - have been studying my bird book - must make more of a note of feet & bill colouring to make a positive ID. Also known ranges of birds is a great help - unlikely to see a tropical-only or N-hemisphere-only bird down here!
Looks as though my all-brown bird might be a White-chinned petrel (they are common all over the Southern Ocean) but I need to see its bill clearly to be sure - has a dark tip. On my previous two long Southern Ocean passages, I've seen more than one at a time - they're quite gregarious birds and I'd often see them resting in groups on the water, 'chatting' to each other...

1900GMT (=1300LT) - end of Day 70. We made 132 n.ml.(DMG) over the 24 hr period, measured in a straight line between the two 1900 GMT positions. Yesterday's strong conditions up to dawn this morning hrlped our daily DMG.

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 70 (by daily DMGs): 7,224 n.ml.

Distance from Cape Horn LH (to ESE): 604 n.ml.

Position & weather report for 1900 GMT posted to Winlink.org and Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign of kc2iov):

TIME: 2018/12/12 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 53-01.72S LONGITUDE: 083-52.96W COURSE: 117T SPEED: 4.5kt
WIND_SPEED: 14kt WIND_DIR: W SWELL_DIR: SW SWELL_HT: 4.5m CLOUDS: 75%
BARO: 992.8hPa TREND: 2 AIR_TEMP: 13.0C SEA_TEMP: 19.0C
COMMENT: Lovely, sunny, relaxing but slow morning!

Monday 6pm Got an email from Peter, ZL1PWM, that the severe weather warning that caused me to heave to is no longer - Predictwind forecast is for far more moderate conditions near the Cape next Monday, as in other weather models. So we were able to get underway again - excellent news! Of course, in shaking out the 3rd reef and raising the mainsail, first a batten got tangled in the reef line and then the sail caught in a lazyjack line - seemed that whatever could go wrong and get in the way did so! Wind: WNW 18-20kt.

A repeat news item from yesterday afternoon - finally seeing Wandering albatross close by and an all-dark sooty petrel(?) as well as occasional shearwaters! I'd gone up on deck to check swell direction and cloud cover and ended up taking time tidying lines in cockpit and saw a grey and white bird swooping nearby (shearwater or prion? I must check in my bird book to remind myself) and then another, very dark, bird (petrel?). Then, along came a Wandering albatross - magnificent! Shortly afterwards, a juvenile came close - they were clearly parent and young and rested for a time in the sea close to Nereida - so difficult to take decent photos in such big swell and with the boat pitching and tossing. (apologies for poor photos!)

6.30pm Made several good contacts on 14160 - unusual - of late, propagation has been bad but talked to Victoria, B.C., Florida, Connecticut....all with good clear signals.

Sailing nicely - staysail sheets had to be untangled before I started out - I'd forgotten that on furling in the staysail when I heaved to under mainsail alone last night, I'd left the sheets too loose and they totally tangled themselves, flailing around in the strong wind. Fortunately, it wasn't too difficult sorting them out.

Daylight fading - time to sort out tonight's meal.

Tuesday 11am Going well in NW wind of 24-27kt, soon expected to back to WNW. Bright overcast with very occasional hint of sunshine. earlier.. Seas at 4-5m - pretty big and small sections of crest breaking slightly from time to time - adds to the resulting motion as we often surf a little - at ~8.5kt - as the wave passes by.
Impressive to see these big rollers approach our starboard quarter - and catching sight of a majestic albatross gliding on fixed wings above. I'm studying my bird book to remind me of all the other different birds hereabouts - prions, petrels, shearwaters, etc.

Weather looking good for next few days' onward passage to the Cape.

1900GMT (=1300LT) - end of Day 69. We made 114 n.ml.(DMG) over the 24 hr period, measured in a straight line between the two 1900 GMT positions. Includes 3-4 hrs still hove-to, prior to getting underway again yesterday.

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 69 (by daily DMGs): 7,092 n.ml.

Distance from Cape Horn LH (to ESE): 733 n.ml.

Position & weather report for 1900 GMT posted to Winlink.org and Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign of kc2iov):

TIME: 2018/12/11 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 51-41.38S LONGITUDE: 086-44.44W COURSE: 127T SPEED: 6.4kt
WIND_SPEED: 26kt WIND_DIR: NW SWELL_DIR: WNW SWELL_HT: 5.0m CLOUDS: 100%
BARO: 994.9hPa TREND: -2 AIR_TEMP: 9.0C SEA_TEMP: 9.0C
COMMENT: Big seas - swinging boat around as crest passes under.

Sunday 3:45pm Wind is beginning very slowly to veer towards the W, as opposed to being from due S, so our course is now ESE, rather than almost due E - good! But still very slow because I don't want to head N so we're very close-hauled trying to head more S than E - never a very efficient point of sail.

I forgot to mention my latest problem - the third reef line clutch has broken - there's a spring missing and a metal part is sticking out - so I've had to abandon using that clutch for the third reef. Fortunately, I can move a couple of other lines (mainsail outhaul and pole downhaul) around to use one of their clutches for the third reef line - essential to have the third reef line through a working clutch and the mainsail outhaul already has a jammer at the forward boom end which is working fine. I'm going on deck now to see about the pole downhaul line on the starboard side (one of the lines involved) - it would be good if I could disentangle it from my lashed genoa on the side deck.

It's getting brighter - rain has stopped and the sun is trying to get out.

5:30pm LT Been busy on deck for quite a time - stowing staysail pole after re-running the third reef line to a good clutch. That meant re-running several other lines - including the starboard pole downhaul which, happily, slipped out easily from the lashed genoa on deck - one less problem to sort out.
Wind has veered to just W of S - so we're finally making a good course towards Cape Horn. Wind from 196T (SSW) at 17kt and we're making 5.4kt under staysail and reefed main. I'm loathe to run too big a mainsail with the small staysail since my concern is that it will unbalance the boat and give Fred a problem steering if we keep trying to round up, as is likely. Will keep our speed down so I'll have to experiment but it's nice to be underway again in the right direction!

The wind is forecast to continue veering so I'll have to keep adjusting Fred to make sure we stay on course.

Nice to see the sunshine again - there are small patches of blue among the grey clouds. Pressure is slightly up - 988hPa now, from the 986hPa earlier, so seems the Low pressure system is moving off to the East now.

Time for a mug of tea and to organise tonight's meal before the light goes.

11pm Back down below - wet from waves washing over the deck - and onto me... hatless but otherwise protected - ended up with a salt water 'hairwash'. Tied in third reef for overnight, with wind up and down around 25kt. Seas well up and throwing us around all the time. Also took a time correcting our course - wind was gusty and shifted around to begin with, under rainclouds.

Lovely crescent moon earlier and bright stars now. Light lingered as a line over the W horizon for a very long time after a lovely sunset in a clearing sky.

Missed my 7160 'sched' completely - boat has to take priority - especially for overnight safety in strong conditions. Apologies to those who hoped to meet me there - another night!

Monday 4am Spoke to Peter, ZL1PWM, at 2am and he repeated a weather warning of possibility of a nasty system expected in Cape Horn area at the exact same time as I was expecting to be there late next weekend: Sun/Mon. 50-60kt winds and 8m swell with 10sec period - very unpleasant and likely to be dangerous...
Discussed my options - very limited, except that if we were to continue on SE, we could not avoid that big system - so best to stay near to 50S. I don't want to get much closer to Chile coast by heading E so my only sensible option is to heave to - now done.

Will stay here, drifting a little, until weather outlook shows it to be clearly safe to move on. Uku on 'One and All' had the same warning - he's likely to round the Cape when I do.

Midday We're constantly pitching and tossing with the swell under a brighter sky than earlier, with just the occasional wave tumbling as it hits us and makes a crashing sound - but not badly so. The sun is managing to get out often now, in the gaps between clouds in a layer of cirrus. It's cold - 10C sea water and outside air temperature, with the main cabin only one or two degrees higher - fleeces and my nice warm hat essential. The only way to dry wetted clothing is by body heat - so most stay damp. Several items are hanging up on my 'washing lines' in the main cabin, but once they've dripped any excess water, they just stay permanently very damp, if not wet.

The wind, consistently around 20kt all morning, has veered from the SW of earlier to just N of W now. We drift in a direction dependent on the wind direction - previously ESE, now due S, but only at about 1 kt, so we're not going very far in a day!

(2pm Had to add this in before posting...! Went up on deck to check swell direction and cloud cover - ended up tidying lines in cockpit, saw grey and white bird swooping nearby (shearwater or prion?) and then another, very dark, bird (petrel?) - but then, along came a Wandering albatross - magnificent! Shortly afterwards, a juvenile came close - they're clearly parent and young - now resting in the sea close to Nereida - so difficult to take decent photos in such big swell and with the boat pitching and tossing - I tried, but.... (photos tomorrow, hopefully)

1900GMT (=1300LT) - end of Day 68. We made 74 n.ml.(DMG) over the 24 hr period, measured in a straight line between the two 1900 GMT positions. Going well initially then stopped to heave to...

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 68 (by daily DMGs): 6,978 n.ml.

Distance from Cape Horn LH (to ESE): 846 n.ml.

Position & weather report for 1900 GMT posted to Winlink.org and Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign of kc2iov):

TIME: 2018/12/10 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 50-36.03S LONGITUDE: 089-12.18W COURSE: 172T SPEED: 0.9kt
WIND_SPEED: 19kt WIND_DIR: W SWELL_DIR: WSW SWELL_HT: 5.0m CLOUDS: 100%
BARO: 998hPa TREND: 0 AIR_TEMP: 12.0C SEA_TEMP: 11.0C
COMMENT: Still hove-to. 2 albatross seen: parent + juvenile! Cape Horn: 846ml

Saturday - had to spend time dealing with late posting of delayed report for Fri-Sat after deleting a full one by mistake... The result of deckwork at the critical time - had to gybe around and see to sail trim, raised whisker pole for staysail, etc etc... Forgot report hadn't been quite finished and posted and started getting new one ready.... Grrr!! C'est la vie!

11pm Was great to hear, on Pacific Seafarers' Net, 14300, that Susanne on 'Nehaj' had successfully got 'around the corner' - although in very strong conditions (under storm jib alone!). Uku ('One and All') and Mark ('Maverick') came up also for a chat at the end of the Net - both had very good signals on 20m, Mark especially clear. Mark was happy that it was warm enough in the S. Atlantic, where he is now, to be wearing a T-shirt. Uku was very envious, as I was - it's cold and damp down here!

Made a lot of contacts later, in addition to the usual group, during my regular 10pmLT/0400Z sched on 40m (7160), with Matt, W1MBB, kindly in charge initially. Was delighted to find a Canadian contact - Daniel, VA2DF, from Montreal - among them! That's quite a distance away... Was also fun to chat to my friend Robert, WA6AMK - he was 'aeronautical mobile', talking from a plane heading S to Texas, making contact with me, VE0JS - 'maritime mobile' on Nereida...

Sunday 5am Daylight an hour ago. Fine, misty drizzle, right in middle of Low - pressure right down at 988hPa and wind also down at NW 9-10kt, boat speed 3.5 kt.

Nearly made contact again on 40m (7163) with David, MM5BBW, in the Orkneys, but just not quite good enough to make out what he was saying - but we did speak a few days back. I find it wonderful that I can chat to people in the UK and so many other places around the world from close to Cape Horn! Have also made radio contact several times with Lugano, Switzerland, although not quite well enough for a chat.

My other 'sched' of 14160kHz at 0000Z hasn't been working out too well of late - too far and wrong time of day for good propagation to my most of my friends' locations (although Rick, VE7TK, has managed several times from Victoria, B.C.) So it was great fun to make contact by chance, on Saturday, with Julio, WWD4JD, who was chatting to his friend, Juan-Paulo, XE1C, in Cancun, Mexico

- he was happy to look me up on QRZ.com and see a photo of the person he was talking to - gave me a chance to practise my bad Spanish!

Just gybed the mainsail - wind backing slowly from NW towards W and then expected to back further to WSW... Wind strength should increase soon, so hoping boat speed will improve... Dawn not far off...

(Later) .... so much for that hoped-for event! Did not happen. Had a really good sleep and woke to find us creeping along, in wind of 7-8 kt from SW. Spent a time adjusting sail trim and course and letting out a reef - but wind backed from SW as I did so - within half an hour, wind was from the South - yuck!! We're now (11:30am) making 098T (ESE-E) at 3kt with wind still from due S. I really don't want to go East too far since that's where land lies - it's always nice to have plenty of sea room and not be too close to a lee shore...

Pressure is right down at 986 hPa - we must be near centre of the Low we're tangled with. It was supposed to pass over to our N relatively quickly - wind is forecast to veer to SW by early evening - I can't wait to get back on to our SE course again and I have absolutely no problem with going slowly, as close-hauled as possible, in the meantime! At least we're not headed N!

Still a fine drizzle at times, with usual 100% cloud cover - no sign of it stopping.

Time for a coffee while the seas are fairly calm - no big swell at present, we're just happily bouncing along at a snail's pace!

Keep looking to see what the wind is up to.... waiting for it to begin veering...

1900GMT (=1300LT) - end of Day 67. We made 98 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 67 (by daily DMGs): 6,904 n.ml.

Distance from Cape Horn LH (to ESE): 920 n.ml.

Position & weather report for 1900 GMT posted to Winlink.org and Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign of kc2iov):

TIME: 2018/12/09 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 49-59.24S LONGITUDE: 090-52.67W COURSE: 099T SPEED: 3.3kt

WIND_SPEED: 14kt WIND_DIR: S SWELL_HT: 2.0m CLOUDS: 100%

BARO: 985.8hPa TREND: 0 AIR_TEMP: 10.0C SEA_TEMP: 10.0C

COMMENT: Dull, slight rain, SOUTH wind forcing us East

Just lost my complete report for Day 66 ....Deleted it by mistake... so this will be briefer than usual.

Had a lovely day on Friday - good to be underway - in bright sunshine a lot of the time, with occasional cloud - enjoyable sailing but seas big and quite close - so some steep faces coming onto our stern... a lovely sunset, as well. Overcast Saturday but some sun in middle of day.

Chatted with Uku and Susanne after the Pacific Seafarers' Net - Uku is several days away, to my West, going well - upset with news of Susie but we're all happy she's safe now - on her way to Puerto Madryn, Argentina, ETA just before Christmas- I've heard it's a nice place!

Wind has been fairly consistent at WNW-W, mainly 17-22kt, gusting Saturday morning to 24-26kt for a time.. I was pleased to be reefed down.

Everything is cold and damp - anything wet doesn't get dry - my clothes wet with Thursday's rain are still very damp and even still wet in places, despite being hung up to dry.

Weather looking quite good for next few days - although swells expected to be quite big.

1900GMT (=1300LT) - end of Day 66. We made 122 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 66 (by daily DMGs): 6,806 n.ml.

Distance from Cape Horn LH (to ESE): 1018 n.ml.

Position & weather report for 1900 GMT posted to Winlink.org and Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign of kc2iov):

TIME: 2018/12/08 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 49-00.95S LONGITUDE: 092-54.05W COURSE: 133T SPEED: 5.1kt
WIND_SPEED: 21kt WIND_DIR: WNW SWELL_DIR: W SWELL_HT: 4.0m CLOUDS: 25%
BARO: 1000.7hPa TREND: -2 AIR_TEMP: 12.0C SEA_TEMP: 10.0C
COMMENT: Sunny, blue sky overhead;

Thursday 11.30pm Just got down below - soaking wet on top. Apart from my usual overtrousers, hadn't dressed for rain - and there was plenty over the final few hours!

I think I must have started around 3:30pm LT, soon after finishing a 2100Z radio sched. All took a long time - well into darkness hours but fortunately it didn't get completely dark, despite total overcast (moon shining above the cloud layer?), so I was able to keep on working without stopping to get a head lamp.

The plan for getting the genoa (big headsail) out of the sea worked well but there was a lot of work involved to keep in place as much of the sail that was already on deck. Too much of an effort had been made to lose it into the sea now. Firstly, I had to undo a lot of my original lashing to lift the clew and tack of the sail to lead them under the lifelines, so the entire foot of the sail could be brought in under the lifelines.

Once I was satisfied that the sail could be brought in without being tangled, I had to tie a line tightly around the sail that was dangling over the port toerail down into the sea and attach to it another line leading first across the foredeck to a block on the starbosrd rail, from where the line lead back to the cockpit genoa winch through a jammer. Workng with the motion of the boat in the swell, I then winched the sail up until it met the foredeck block. Lash the sail securely in place, take it off the winch line, tie another line around the sail by the port rail, attach the winch line, winch in again....each step involving trips to and from the cockpit either to the winch or to the jammer. It was probably good that the sail was wet and it slowly began to rain - probably helped reduce friction/chafe on the sail. It was great to see, from the start, the sail coming up and moving across the foredeck as it did so...Yippee!!!

Eventually, I was able to lift the head of the sail by hand onto the deck but then needed to release it from the forestay to get it under the lifelines also (the head of the sail had been held securely by the halyard all this time). Without my marlin spike, it was difficult to turn the shackle pin, even with the pliers I'd brought to undo the mousing wire holding in place the pin of the foot shackle. I eventually managed that one but failed to move the pin on the halyard shackle. I never feel too safe with one arm around the forestay, holding me in place, and the other hand trying to work high up - in this case, on the shackles holding either the head of the sail or its halyard- especially with a big swell running... So, reluctantly, I've tied off the halyard to the pulpit for the time being. It was getting dark and I can have another go in calmer conditions.

Next job was to lash the sail safely to the side deck - I used a pole stowed on deck and lashed it to that - another time-consuming job since, with seas washing the deck regularly, it had to be done really well - luckily, I've lots of line on board!

Once finished with lashing the sail (a major job in itself, the sail is so big - it had to be doubled and then doubled again), I had to get us sailing - a Low was forecast in a day or so and if we could get SE it was likely to pass well to the N of us. Gybing around and then adjusting Fred for a broad reach went fine - except that the wind got shifty so it took several trips, still in my wet clothing, to get Fred adjusted right. Had to change out of all my upper clothes - soaking wet. The problem with rain is water getting up the sleeves when hands are raised even slightly - seems to be mostly unavoidable

Very tired now - started just after 3pm, ended about 11.30pm - having a hot chunky beef and vegetable soup/stew, warmed up straight out of a can, and getting to sleep.

Great to be underway and brilliant that the plan worked - thanks so much, Robert!

Friday Pleased to hear Susie rescued safely - ETA just before Christmas in Puerto Madryn, Argentina, it seems... I've heard it's quite a nice place!
I slept and slept.... apart from occasional course adjustments when needed. Eventually got up for this report's timing - had a (very!) late breakfast, checked emails, wrote this... Delighted to find a bright blue sky and lots of sunshine - trying to dry clothes.
Wind is W-WNW 20kt - more than forecast but that's fine. We're sailing well, but a bit slowly, under reefed mainsail and staysail on a broad reach in 4m swell, at 7sec - a bit rolly but not too bad.
I'm keeping my fingers firmly crossed - weather is looking good for getting to the Horn - It would be great to have a pleasant rounding without any overly-strong conditions.... Time will tell.

1900GMT (=1300LT) - end of Day 65. We ended up 71 n.ml.(DMG), measured in a straight line between the two points over the 24 hr period, from yesterday's 1900 GMT position.

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 65 (by daily DMGs): 6,684 n.ml.

Distance from Cape Horn LH (to SE): 1,139 n.ml.

Position & weather report for 1900 GMT posted to Winlink.org and Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign of kc2iov):

TIME: 2018/12/07 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 47-40.38S LONGITUDE: 095-10.99W COURSE: 129T SPEED: 5.5kt
WIND_SPEED: 20kt WIND_DIR: WNW SWELL_DIR: W SWELL_HT: 4.0m SWELL_PER: 7s CLOUDS: 10%
BARO: 1009.8 TREND: 0 AIR_TEMP: 16.0C SEA_TEMP: 12.0C
COMMENT: Good to be underway again in bright sunshine...Blue sky overhead.

Wednesday 9pm Checked in to Pacific Seafarers' Net - Jane, NH7TZ, was worried yesterday with no contact, having been busy on deck, fighting the genoa - I'm always so very regular.

Susanne on 'Nehaj' is lying to her JSD (Jordan series drogue), expecting 40-50kt winds - not too happy at being quite as close (~200ml) to the Chile coast as she is but drifting S at present and will clearly keep a good eye on her position as the system passes by. I think she might get around the 'corner' once conditions have eased for her and before the next system arrives - all so very changeable down here that you can never be sure until the time.

Had a useful discussion with Peter, ZL1PWM, on my weather situation over next few days - early on Friday looking like 15kt winds hereabouts.

Seems Susie (GGR 'Starlight)' has a boat coming rather sooner to rescue her well to my west - must be miserable for her in a rolly, wet, messed-up boat, injured and unable to do anything to help herself but having to wait for what is sure to be a difficult rescue - getting safely from a small boat to a big freighter in rough seas is always a problem.

Thursday 4.30am LT Musical moaning of 28kt wind in rigging has died down a lot - wind now down to 20kt and seas lying down too - occasional one still rocks the boat a lot...

Spoke to Uku ('One and All') who's going well in 35+ kt winds just now. We noted each other's positions - we need to keep an eye on each other since he's headed my way, although nearly 600 miles away to my WSW, at present.

Spoke again to Peter, ZL1PWM, about weather situation - Low to our NW coming by over the weekend, behind present system that's moving away to the SE, so best to be moving along the rhumb line towards the Cape before then. Had excellent suggestion on raising the genoa from fellow cruiser-friend Robert in Florida - will get started on that later on in good daylight and when wind and seas down a lot more. Off to my bunk now for some more sleep - very disturbed overnight.

9.20am Downloading weather and clarifying really helpful suggestion from Robert on method of raising sail from water to get it all on deck. Sounds very feasible, although a lot of work involved beforehand, making sure the sail can be brought in under the lifelines, rather than over which is its present situation since it went over the lifelines into the sea. Hoping to be able not to lose too much of the sail back overboard as I switch the ties around.

Wind is slowly easing and backing - now a fairly constant 18-20kt rather than the solid 20kt or more 5 hrs ago, so definitely going down. Seas still making us roll around a lot - they always take longer to lie down than the winds when they get lighter - but I'm hoping today's the day...

Time for breakfast and maybe some coffee, if I stand over the pot as it comes through..

11am (Enjoying my coffee!) Wind 18-20kt, with seas getting slightly less but big wave still coming frequently to roll us about - need then to hang on really tightly! Drifting more S than earlier, with wind having backed to NW now.

Taking my time to visualize all that I need to do to get that sail out of the water - quite a few preparatory steps needed to make sure it comes in safely below the lifelines and not over them - that runs the risk of breaking them with the loading.

One step is easy - I'll use my starboard pole downhaul and block to pull in the sail using the genoa winch - the line already leads back to close to the winch so is perfect for the job - I expect to work with the wave action, winching in when we roll to leeward and the sail goes slack briefly.

I have to sort out my present lashings and re-do most of them, maybe abandon some, to make sure the sail isn't tangled and can come in smoothly under the life-lines. The suggestion is to let the clew and tack go, with the halyard safely holding the head while it's winched in bit by bit.... A slow process, maybe, but it should work.

1900GMT (=1300LT) - end of Day 64. We ended up 35 n.ml.(DMG), measured in a straight line between the two points over the 24 hr period, from yesterday's 1900 GMT position.

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 64 (by daily DMGs): 6648 n.ml.

Distance from Cape Horn LH (to ESE): 1,208 n.ml. Surprisingly, ten miles closer than yesterday.

Position & weather report for 1900 GMT posted to Winlink.org and Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign of kc2iov):

TIME: 2018/12/06 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 46-48.18S LONGITUDE: 096-20.81W COURSE: 183T SPEED: 0.7kt

WIND_SPEED: 17kt WIND_DIR: NW SWELL_DIR: NNW SWELL_HT: 4.0m CLOUDS: 100%

BARO: 1015.8hPa TREND: 0 AIR_TEMP: 14.0C SEA_TEMP: 12.0C

COMMENT: Hove-to still. Seas a bit calmer but frequent big wave - have to hold tight!

Tuesday Spoke to Mark on 'Maverick' again overnight - he was in nasty seas - like a 'tidal rip' he said - and the wind has been highly variable in direction - not very helpful. A NE wind forced him to the W of the Falklands - little choice. Amazing how he keeps going in difficult, strong conditions - but he really wants to beat Jean-Luc!! He's been working hard at repairing a bad rip in his staysail - he wants to make a really good, strong job of it so it lasts to Les Sables d'Olonne.

2:30pm LT (GMT-6hr) Making good speed, ~6.3kt, in 17kt wind, slowly building, from just W of N - we're almost beam reaching due E. (The wind is actually just 'abaft the beam'!) The only problem with a beam reach in present conditions is that the seas are likely to be on the beam also - so the 'getting-knocked-about' factor is pretty high!
Just moved my sleeping bag over to the starboard bunk - on the lee side of 'Nereida' now. I got away with ignoring being on port tack last night, with the seas being well down, but that won't work now... When it gets rough, the safest place to be is in my warm, soft bunk - preferably with a hot mug or bowl of something nourishing! My beef and spinach curry was great yesterday - and there's plenty more ready for tonight.

Midday Wednesday Been sleeping a lot, recovering from exertions last night....
Got a satphone call just over 2 hrs ago to let me know of Susie's pitchpole and dismasting at 1515Z plus a knock on the head... She was concussed and the boat is in a mess but both more-or-less OK - I hope she recovers OK from her concussion. Two days before any ship can get to her. She was, and Uku probably is now, in the middle of the system that I'm N of - the reason I headed E for the last day or so was to stay N of the same system that was heading SE, to avoid the stronger winds and seas expected to my S.

Well before sunset, I unfurled the small staysail and furled in the genoa, ready for winds to increase. As I went to put a turn of the sheets (lines!) around the furled genoa to keep it safe in strong winds, I heard a noise - the end of the furling line had become disconnected from its drum below the sail. The big headsail rapidly unfurled itself and began madly flapping in the wind, with its sheets lashing out at everything around.... Nightmare! I had to stop it from flogging and get it down somehow...
I heaved to (had to gybe around and sheet in on the main...) and pulled in on the upwind genoa sheet to keep as much of the sail inboard as possible. The problem with getting it down was that it could all end up being blown into the sea - probably heeling the boat over badly...
I had to get out on deck to release the halyard bit by bit, going forward in between to try to grab as much of the loose sail blowing in the wind as I could and bring it inboard, lashing it down if I could (I'd taken some line and sail ties with me) - it was determined to take a swim. All a bit of a struggle, with daylight fading fast.

I got a radio email message, asking if all was OK from Peter Mott, ZL1PWM: "Looks like you stopped making way at 050117 UTC and are now drifting." I'd missed the 0300Z Pacific Seafarers' Net at 0300Z so he'd looked for my AIS signal report. I didn't get back down below until 0400Z so I'd spent nearly three hours trying to tame the genoa.
The best I could do was to get most of it inboard but some ended up in the sea and it becomes impossible then to raise it with all the seawater it holds. I got some up but I'll have to wait for less big seas, causing us to roll around a lot less, to get the remainder up. It was also completely dark when I stopped trying unsuccessfully to raise any more of the sail out of the water. It's not causing too much of a problem just now, while we're hove to but I can't move on before it's all on deck and stowed securely.
That still leaves the furling line problem - it needs to be fixed back securely onto the drum, with plenty of spare turns so the problem doesn't repeat, if the genoa is to be used again.... Not as simple a job as it sounds so it won't happen this side of Cape Horn, I'm thinking.

1900GMT (=1300LT) - end of Day 63. We ended up 37 n.ml.(DMG), measured in a straight line between the two points over the 24 hr period, from yesterday's 1900 GMT position. Sailed E 43 ml at a good speed and then drifted SW 28 ml at 1.5-2kt! (Total of 71ml)

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 63 (by daily DMGs): 6,613 n.ml.

Distance from Cape Horn LH (to SE): 1,218 n.ml.

Position & weather report for 1900 GMT posted to Winlink.org and Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign of kc2iov):

TIME: 2018/12/05 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 46-15.86S LONGITUDE: 096-00.85W COURSE: 207T SPEED: 1.5kt
WIND_SPEED: 28kt WIND_DIR: NNW SWELL_HT: 4.0m
BARO: 1017.2hPa TREND: 0 AIR_TEMP: 15.0C SEA_TEMP: 12.0C
COMMENT: Hove-to, drifting, still & until system passes and genoa dealt with securely.

Monday 3pm Lovely to see so much sunshine peeking between the broken clouds this afternoon.
Just finished a radio chat on 17m - nice when propagation is good, as it was today - can have a proper chat with no noise on frequency.
I was pleased I'd left the first reef in when the wind gusted up to the low twenties for a time under a cloud - we were galloping away at 6.5kt or so but are now ambling along more sedately at 5-5.5kt in WSW wind of 14-16kt.

With temperatures down to 11C/52F in the evenings now, I'm about to make a beef curry again - the last one was excellent, with potato and spinach added - it lasted easily two main meals and is really tasty! The ambient temperature is low enough now for me not to fancy cold meals of an evening...

5:30pm Curry made ready, to have with Basmati rice and mango and lime pickles. Was hoping to have it after enjoying a lovely sunset, with it having been so sunny for most of the day and an almost clear sky this afternoon but a cloud layer has spread over half the sky from the W.

Will leave sail trim as it is for overnight, although will have to gybe onto port tack as and when wind veers into NNW as forecast. We've light winds at present, close to the High pressure system we're skirting around (pressure has been building over the day and is now 1020 hPa)

Light is fading now. Will have my food while it's hot.

9:45pm Well, sunset did go well, in the end, with the area of low, grey cloud away from the sun just then. The cloud was a marine layer - very low down, waiting to drop as fog, given half a chance, and far lower than the cirrus layer above it.

We're now grinding to a halt - or nearly so - making only 3 kt in 6-7kt of W wind. We're clearly not far from centre of the High pressure system to our NE. The strong N wind is forecast to arrive around late afternoon Tuesday. Seas are right down, with very occasional rolling as a bigger wave finds us.

On the radio I've made excellent contacts on 40m, two nights running now, with stations in Chile - both from in or near the capital Santiago which is about 1,500 miles to the NE.

Midnight Gybed around to head E after taking in 2nd reef - not so simple now starboard lazyjack is missing so took quite a time - decided to do it now while it was easy - we're still making nearly 4kt - I'm quite happy to go slowly in view of weather forecast over next few days.

9am Still heading E in 11kt wind just slightly W of N, making ~5kt on a beam reach. Back to overcast sky. Waiting for wind to begin to build more and will then reef down again ready for the expected 30kt winds for the next day or more. Still full genoa to help boat speed. Seas down quite a bit in the consistent fairly light wind.

Tuesday 12:20GMT = 6:20am LT Just sailed E of 97.5W - into new local time zone .... GMT-6hr (Central Time in N. America)! Adjusted Fred just after sunrise to keep heading East - wind now from NNW at 11kt. Making 5kt SOG under overcast sky.

1800GMT = 1200 LT (GMT-6hr) Just got back down below after tidying away the lines in the cockpit - feel I've deserved the breakfast coffee I'm having now! I'd checked the weather, having downloaded fresh files, and with wind slowly building, we tacked around. Then I put in the 3rd reef - well ahead of time while it was easier to do in the lesser seas. Tying in the reef on starboard tack worked fine and we didn't lose much way, despite our heading being NW, because the boat slowed right down while it was being done. The port side lazyjack held the sail up as usual and I added a sail tie to hold the sail in to the boom before taking up on the reefing line. It's a real pain not having the starboard lazyjack available...

Having finished, we tacked back onto our course - due E - and we're now making almost 6kt, in wind just W of N at 15-16kt, with full genoa. When the wind gets up a lot, I'll change down from genoa to the much smaller staysail.

The sun is trying to get out so it's fairly bright. The solar panels are putting in over 14A - very pleasing!

Interestingly, the magnetic variation, which had steadily increased from 16 degrees E when I started out to 25 degrees E up to midday yesterday, has now dropped back down to 24 degrees E - I suspect that's because we've been heading due E.

1900GMT (=1300LT) - end of Day 62. We made 100 n.ml.(DMG) measured in a straight line between the two points, over the 24 hr period since yesterday's 1900 GMT position. Expected a low DMG today... Change of course doesn't help - would have been more otherwise.

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 62 (by daily DMGs): 6,576 n.ml.

Distance from Cape Horn LH (to SE): 1,255 n.ml.

Position & weather report for 1900 GMT posted to Winlink.org and Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign of kc2iov):

TIME: 2018/12/04 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 45-51.71S LONGITUDE: 096-42.22W COURSE: 092T SPEED: 5.9kt
WIND_SPEED: 15kt WIND_DIR: N SWELL_DIR: W SWELL_HT: 3.0m CLOUDS: 98%
BARO: 1022.7hPa TREND: 1 AIR_TEMP: 15.0C SEA_TEMP: 12.0C
COMMENT: Sun gettng out occasionally - cirrus above low marine cloud layer

Sunday 1:15pm LT Back to a cloudy sky - the blue sky and sunshine of this morning didn't last long. I was amazed at how quickly the edge of the cloud layer came over - bringing with it a gust to almost 30kt and a veering wind. Things have settled down now to a fairly steady 20-22kt wind, which backed to WSW, shortly after the big gust. Weather changes very rapidly down here - we're in the 'Roaring Forties' now...

1:40pm A mainly blue sky and sunshine again - wind WSW 24-25kt. 4m/13ft seas are throwing us around as they pass us, even though they're more on our starboard quarter than abeam.

11:50pm Went up to adjust Fred - a beautiful, but chilly, starry sky - spotted the Southern Cross with its Pointers - unmistakeable...
Trying to keep a bit E of rhumb-line course to the Cape - hoping to keep out of strongest winds over Tuesday night into Wednesday. Might have to head more E nearer the time - we'll see!

Monday 4:25am Just gone dawn, raincloud passed by but no big gust - just to 21kt. Scattered white cloud now - 80% cover. Wind in W but only 17-19kt now. Sailing more gently but occasional wave still knocks boat around.

8am Replaced genoa with staysail - on a broad reach, so can't fly both. Having breakfast while I think about shaking out a reef and check the weather...

11am Having coffee - a measure of the seas having lain down a bit is feeling I can safely put on the coffee pot (if I stay close by)! Sun is getting out quite often. There's a thin cirrus layer overhead and blue sky on the horizon - a pleasant day.
Took an age earlier to release the 'nettles' and reef strop before shaking out the reef - having attached them from the opposite side, it was difficult getting to them, not helped by being perched up in the cockpit in the fair-sized swell... I decided to leave reef1 in after looking at the weather forecast for the coming few days, although that means we're a bit slow.

There's a system passing by overnight tomorrow (Tuesday) into Wednesday which I'll be trying to avoid the worst of by heading East for a time from tonight. It will reach the Cape area on Saturday, with a 'squashing' effect resulting in even more strong winds as it passes below the Cape - I'm hoping to stay well to its N, out of the strong winds, as it heads SE.

Then, as we get nearer to the Cape early next week, there's a really big system following close behind that looks almost impossible to avoid, it's expected to be so widespread, with 40+ kt winds, gusting higher, and 8m+ seas. It's expected to begin to arrive at the Cape soon after next Monday. I might have to heave to or, more likely, deploy my Jordan Series Drogue (JSD/series drogue) to stop the boat and stay safe if we expect to be in the middle of such strong conditions. 8m/26ft seas, probably close-to and therefore steep, are nasty!

See photo of grib file for evening next Sunday 9th Dec - system is moving left to right (W to E), colours show swell height, arrows 'fly' with wind, barbs show strength, top left grey area shows rain in another small Low there. The green boat icon shows possible position of 'Nereida' at dawn next Monday and the path shown dwon to Cape Horn will take roughly 5-7 days to sail.

Weather changes very quickly down here but the system is almost certain to arrive pretty well as forecast. All I can do is to try to avoid the immediate threat while keeping an eye on possible future problems. Not being a racer, my priority is to stay safe, even if that means stopping or going slowly at times - no problem!

Second photo (by request!) shows my 'ham shack' - my chart table area in the main cabin with HF/SSB Icom radio and Pactor modem.

1900GMT (=1200LT) - end of Day 61. We made 135 n.ml.(DMG) measured in a straight line between the two points, over the 24 hr period since yesterday's 1900 GMT position. Good speed made yesterday and overnight.

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 61 (by daily DMGs): 6,476 n.ml.

Distance from Cape Horn LH (to SE): 1,348 n.ml.

Position & weather report for 1900 GMT posted to Winlink.org and Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign of kc2iov):

TIME: 2018/12/03 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 45-21.04S LONGITUDE: 098-58.52W COURSE: 130T SPEED: 5.5kt
WIND_SPEED: 16kt WIND_DIR: 302T SWELL_DIR: W SWELL_HT: 3.5m CLOUDS: 80%
BARO: 1018hPa TREND: 2 AIR_TEMP: 15.0C SEA_TEMP: 12.0C
COMMENT: Sun shining thro' thin cirrus layer. Seas lying down a little - not so close and steep

Saturday 5:15pm LT Slight drizzle from usual grey overcast sky. Took a time to sort all lines etc out but, with wind eased and backed, finally gybed around onto starboard tack to make rhumb-line course towards Cape Horn again.
Running the staysail means the extra job of changing over the running backstays in addition to changing over the boom preventers since we're running downwind on a broad reach. Having had to shorten the boom ends of the preventer lines makes them slightly more awkward to reach in order to make the changeover, even though the boom is centred midships as we gybe over. Would be nice to be slightly taller at times!

Looks as though the wind will be around 22-23kt from WNW for a time now. Seas are heaping up a lot astern - always fascinates me to see how we lift up over their steep faces as they pass under us! They're easily 4m/13ft now, probably more - always difficult to judge their height.

The next strong blow is likely to be Tuesday evening and then Friday overnight into Saturday is looking even stronger.

Occasionally see a colourful patch of lighter aquamarine with streaks of white foam on the sea surface where a tumbling crest has collapsed into a lot of air-bubbles. Generally, everything is grey - both sea and sky.

7pm Raining and getting dark. Finished shaking out 3rd reef - well overdue, with wind definitely having moderated a lot from mid-twenties earlier. The big problem with getting wet is that things never seem to dry. I hang them up and when I next look at them, they're likely to be still wet or, if partly dried, they stay forever damp. Makes Goretex, or similar, pretty vital for comfort.

Spoke to Susanne on 'Nehaj' after the Pacific Seafarers' Net - she's lying to her Jordan Series Drogue, staying safe in 50kt winds. She'd deployed it five hours earlier and is likely to lie to it for a day in all. Good to be safe in big seas and strong wind....

Mark on 'Maverick' is trying to round Cape Horn. He had gusts of 50-60kt winds and 7m seas today but kept going - but now those winds have died completely and he's got ten miles to go but only 10 kots of wind with the same big waves. Frustrating for him! He must be pretty tired..

9.30pm Just ended a half-hour radio session on 7160 - someone had posted that I was on frequency and that brought in a lot of new contacts to add to the usual ones. Propagation to Florida and up to Minnesota is clearly good at this time - a lot of strong, clear signals.

Sunday 03:30am LT On radio to Mark - he'd rounded the Cape in light winds but they just got up to 35kt from the NNW - he's had to reef down again but is happy to have made it OK. As I was talking, I saw our wind suddenly gust up to 30kt... I cursed becasue I'd not long shaken out the 3rd reef and here it seemed I needed it in again... As I got into my foulies to go on deck, I saw the wind begin to ease a little - but it then backed to SW from NW. A Front must have passed through. The wind eased to 22kt but stayed SW - so, thankfully, I simply needed to adjust Fred to change our heading relative to the wind and take up on the sheets. We're now close-hauled but expecting the wind slowly to veer again - it should be from due W by tonight, if not before.
It's getting light and there's a streak of clear sky on the horizon...

7am It's a lovely sunny day with scattered white cumulus - unusual! Wind ~20kt from just W of SW, still slowly veering - adjusted Fred a touch more. Pressure has jumped to 1009 from 1005hPa.
Studying the weather files - a constant preoccupation... several times a day, as the wind changes. Still expecting strong wind on Wednesday.

11am Another Fred adjustment needed - as the wind keeps veering, so I have to adjust our angle to the wind - Fred is a wind steering entity that keeps our angle to the wind constant, so if I want us to keep to a particular course, I have to adjust the vane angle whenever the wind shifts a fair and then eased to 25kt,.

Midday - Unbelievable! In no time, a band of cloud spread over the blue sky bringing really gusty conditions - wind veered to W and gusted nearly to 30kt. Finally settled back down to ~24kt, backing again to WSW. Adjusted course and trimmed sails for broader reach...and then had to undo it a short time later...

1900GMT (=1200LT) - end of Day 60. We made 124 n.ml.(DMG) measured in a straight line between the two points, over the 24 hr period since yesterday's 1900 GMT position.

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 60 (by daily DMGs): 6,341 n.ml.

Distance from Cape Horn LH (to SE): 1,482 n.ml.

Position & weather report for 1900 GMT posted to Winlink.org and Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign of kc2iov):

TIME: 2018/12/02 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 44-03.55S LONGITUDE: 101-34.03W COURSE: 122T SPEED: 6.5kt
WIND_SPEED: 25kt WIND_DIR: W SWELL_DIR: WSW SWELL_HT: 4.0m CLOUDS: 95%
BARO: 1011hPa TREND: 2 AIR_TEMP: 15.0C SEA_TEMP: 13.0C
COMMENT: Wind 24-28kt...Gusty under cloud - just spread over blue sky...

Friday 1pm LT Sun trying so very hard to peep out from behind cloud layer - just not managing... NW wind of 18kt, sailing nicely on a broad reach, pretty much on course for Cape Horn - just over two weeks away, I'm hoping. Weather looking not bad for next few days - maybe up to 25kt, so possibly gusting 30kt, still from NW, for a short time overnight and into tomorrow morning, easing off and then maybe up to around 25kt again, from W-WSW, over Sunday, during the day. But on Tuesday, 30kt or more is forecast over the daytime, easing to 23kt overnight and building again on Thursday to 38kt or more...

Finishing off some Saltspring Island soft goat's cheese for lunch - very ripe....!

4PM Foggy - not a thick fog - but lots of moisture in the air and visibility is only a few boat lengths. Cool air so cooking a thick broth in the pressure cooker - split (dried) green peas, diced ham, onion, potatoes, sweetcorn, tomatoes - anything I can think of to add in! The green peas should make it nice and thick and it will thicken even more over time. Should last me a few days and will make very welcome, easy meals.

7pm Fog has thickebed - can only just see one or two boat lengths away. We're now gliding silently and smoothly through the water into the fog. Quite a different sensation from when heading upwind and bashing into the seas! Wind and seas are less now, which helps - from WNW at around 16kts.

10pm Reefed down, furled in genoa and unfurled small staysail. All after gybing around to head more east than south, with idea of avoiding worst of Low passing just S of our position over next 12-18hrs. Possibility of gusts to 50kt - definitely something to avoid if possible!

With missing lazyjack, problem with tying in the excess sail once sail lowered to take in reef. Need to adjust the reef line position where tied around the boom so that, as reef taken in, the sail is, at least partly, held in by the reef line - presently it's way too far aft on the boom and doesn't take in any of the sail whatsoever - so the sail dangles and needs to be tied in - tried to do that with a sail tie but not easy in a big swell and 22kt wind, even though the boom was brought in close to the cockpit to try to do it....

Saturday 4:30am Grey daylight, soon after dawn. So far, no sign of Low passing by to S. Still has time to show up since chance of higher gusts not forecast to have finished until about 3pm later today.

930am Sailing well at up to 6.3kt, making ESE in 24-28kt of NW wind - still with 3rd reef and staysail. Quite rolly in prevailing seas but downwind so relatively smooth. Occasional 'biggie' gets the boat swerving back and forth as Fred gets us back on course after we've been hit rather harder.

Midday Wind has backed a tad, so course has changed in line with the wind shift. Will wait a short while before gybing around. "All's well on board"..!

1900GMT (=1200LT) - end of Day 59. We made 127 n.ml.(DMG) measured in a straight line between the two points, over the 24 hr period since yesterday's 1900 GMT position.

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 59 (by daily DMGs): 6,217 n.ml.

Distance from Cape Horn LH (to SE): 1,605 n.ml.

Position & weather report for 1900 GMT posted to Winlink.org and Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign of kc2iov):

TIME: 2018/12/01 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 42-42.47S LONGITUDE: 103-43.25W COURSE: 105T SPEED: 5.7kt

WIND_SPEED: 26kt WIND_DIR: NW SWELL_DIR: NW SWELL_HT: 4.0m CLOUDS: 100%

BARO: 1011.8hPa TREND: 0 AIR_TEMP: 15.0C SEA_TEMP: 14.0C

COMMENT: Wind up a bit. Low still passing - pressure low. Seas up..

Thursday 0045GMT Midday, the sun came out for a time and a small blue patch of sky was seen - but it didn't last long. Now, it's very dull and light is beginning to fade a touch. It feels much later than 4pm PST. We just passed E of 108 W but we moved into a new time zone on passing 112.5 W - we're now one hour ahead of PST - into Mountain Time in N.America - no wonder it feels late! I'm going to change my timing into LT - Local Time. So my present local time is GMT-7 ... until we reach 97.5 W.

There's the usual overcast grey sky and very lumpy seas - we were being thrown around a lot on a close reach, banging into the seas quite a bit and the seas have been frequently washing over the decks and even over the hard top, into the cockpit. Wind has backed into NE and increased at times from 18kt to 21kt and still backing, so I changed course slightly relative to the wind - adjusted Fred to head more off the wind (nearly on a beam reach now) and eased the sheets. Also furled in some more genoa. We're still making over 6kt.

Time to start cooking before the light goes completely... cheese and onion omelette tonight. I couldn't do it without my bumstrap in these conditions....

8pm LT Enjoyed my omelette! Amazing the difference bearing away, more off the wind, makes... Suddenly. things are a lot smoother and it's a lot quieter! Still getting thrown around occasionally by a big wave hitting the boat and still having to be very careful moving around - but you can sense a big wave as it starts arriving, to get ready and hold on tight as the boat lifts up.

Friday 6am LT Sunrise was around 5am - hidden by grey cloud and rain. So much smoother a ride heading downwind, as we are now. Making good speed, ~ 6.5kt, but slightly to east of preferred course. No problem, since we'll be needing to gybe around later today if the wind backs further, as forecast, and then we'll get back on course. Wind from NNW at 20-22 kt. Murky, misty in frequent rain.

11am Just finished my morning (fresh-brewed!) coffee after gybing on to starboard tack - course towards Cape Horn is very good now. (It was feeling relatively smooth enough to risk putting on the coffee pot while I was close by, getting my breakfast - managed without any spills - lovely!) We had been finally heading ESE in NW wind just before gybing around - I'd been waiting for the wind to back sufficiently before changing tack. We'll be mainly on this tack for quite a time now, with just occasional adjustment of Fred needed if a Front comes through to change the wind direction to SW from NW. Meant changing my sleeping bag over to the other side of the cabin - the lee side of 'Nereida' is now the port side... That's where I'm sitting now, to write this in comfort.

Took photos (by request!) of the seascape yesterday afternoon, trying to show the rough seas - they never look as dramatic as in reality! Also noticed I'd forgotten to post a lovely sunset on Wednesday evening when I was down below and the whole cabin was lit up with the orange light coming through the clear companionway washboard. Caught my attention and I went up on deck to enjoy it - don't often see the sun these days. The best that happens is the cloud layer occasionally gets a lot brighter - but the sun rarely shines through completely. (Solar power coming in pretty well, despite that.)

1900GMT (=1200LT) - end of Day 58. We made 142 n.ml.(DMG) measured in a straight line between the two points, over the 24 hr period since yesterday's 1900 GMT position.

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 58 (by daily DMGs): 6090 n.ml.

Distance from Cape Horn LH (to SE): 1,730 n.ml.

Position & weather report for 1900 GMT posted to Winlink.org and Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign of kc2iov):

TIME: 2018/11/30 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 41-32.74S LONGITUDE: 106-05.65W COURSE: 147T SPEED: 5.7kt
WIND_SPEED: 20kt WIND_DIR: NW CLOUDS: 100%
BARO: 1019.6hPa TREND: AIR_TEMP: 16.0C SEA_TEMP: 15.0C
COMMENT: Gybed onto stbd tack short time ago. Smoother downwind...

Wednesday Finally decided to get underway around sunset with the wind having backed into the ENE - nice to be sailing again, even though we were headed S initially!

Made good use of time while hove-to... Moved some provisons into the galley area, checked my lashings around the mast and used the topping lift to raise the boom end some more - needed a rolling hitch on another piece of line to do that, using an adjacent mast winch.

Taped around the top of the cockpit windscreen front windows which seem to have been leaking very slightly in rain. We'll be having plenty of seas washing over them in the rough weather to come, so I'm hoping to have stopped any leaks into the cockpit - even the smallest are a nuisance.

Looked through my paper charts to find the ones of the Cape Horn area and later checked the positions of waypoints with deepest water around the Cape and beyond. It's all Continental shelf in Drake Passage - between the Cape in Chile over to Antarctica - so in bad weather, the seas heap up even more, being relatively shallow compared with the oceans on either side.

I found the waypoints already marked from my last rounding, in December 2012, so that saved some time. They're marked in the deepest water around, also avoiding the occasional sea mount ('mountain' below the sea) which rises up steeply from deep water to quite close to the surface - again, somewhere to avoid in bad weather because they give rise to nasty seas.

The other place to avoid just after rounding the Cape, for the same reason, is the shallow Burdwood Bank to the S and SE of the Falklands. To the East of that lies the extensive W-E Nova Scotia Range of sea mounts - I prefer to make my way to the W of those before heading N and NE away from the Cape area, on into the S. Atlantic. Of course, in calm weather, no problem - but it's not often calm in this area, except for brief periods in between the strong weather of the Lows that come by every few days. My first time around, we were badly knocked down (I had to make for Ushuaia for repairs) but last time, we passed S of Cape Horn in a flat calm in between two storms!

I'm on the radio several times over the day, several times on 'ham' radio frequencies to friends and people who call in, to the regular Pacific Seafarers' Net, to give my position and weather, and to a couple of Golden Globe Race evening 'scheds'. That's when they're given their weather forecasts for the coming days by Ian, VK3MO, in Melbourne, Australia, (prepared by Peter Mott, ZL1PWM, in New Zealand) or get 'Don updates' (on Wednesdays) giving them an overview of how the race is going and how the various boats are doing. As part of that, they're able to confirm their positions, which is useful! The use of voice over SSB radio has proved really important to the racers and I was pleased to be able to pass on information after contacting Mike Scheck of Scanmar in San Francisco to get advice to Susie for the better functioning of her Monitor wind steering system which has been playing up.

Thursday Usual grey overcast sky. Continuing to sail nicely in ENE-NE wind of around 18kt.

I had to laugh at myself this morning - soon after dawn I went on deck to adjust Fred, my Hydrovane wind steering, to get us off the wind a bit more. We'd been making really slow speed overnight due to being too close to the wind, wanting to head S rather than SW, so I wanted to bear away to get better speed, now that the wind had backed further.

I had a real problem making the adjustment using the 'fine-tuning' line to the cockpit. I went aft to get closer and make the adjustment there - and suddenly realised that poor Fred was trying in vain to steer to the wind on the wrong side of the boat... I'd not adjusted it correctly earlier and, in effect, Nereida had been steering herself all night, close-hauled - as well-balanced boats are perfectly happy doing! The wind steering rudder, trying to steer us the wrong way, had been acting as a drag and slowing us down more... Once that situation was remedied, we picked up speed to around the 6 kt we should have been making earlier.... LOL!!

Feeling cold now and temperatures will drop a lot more as I head further S. Looked over my clothing to check what is there and get out some skin layers to add in - they really help. Also dug out my really thick fleeces - I'll be needing those soon. (Had a thick, hot Clam Chowder last night!)

1900GMT (=1100PST) - end of Day 57. We made 72 n.ml.(DMG) measured in a straight line between the two points, over the 24 hr period since yesterday's 1900 GMT position. If I'd adjusted Fred correctly when we finally got underway at sunset, it would probably have been over 100ml...

Position & weather report posted to Winlink.org and Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign of kc2iov) after 1900 GMT:

TIME: 2018/11/29 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 39-59.20S LONGITUDE: 108-26.31W COURSE: 143T SPEED: 6.3kt

WIND_SPEED: 18kt WIND_DIR: NE SWELL_DIR: ESE SWELL_HT: 3.0m CLOUDS: 100%

BARO: 1025.5hPa TREND: 0 AIR_TEMP: 15.0C SEA_TEMP: 15.0C

COMMENT: Usual overcast sky. Being thrown around by seas...

Tuesday 4.30pm Dull grey sky and steady rain this afternoon. Wind consistently 20-22kt from NW - giving good boat speed of 6-7.5kt - with occasional surfing on waves to over 8kt for just a short while! Feeling very cool at 17C/62F. We're skirting a large High pressure area on its SW edge - but likely tomorrow to be overtaken by the centre of the High dropping over us - will give light winds, maybe headwinds... Seas also pretty constant at about 3m/10ft from NNW.

9pm Well, the High is spreading over us - wind has slowly died down to 14kt since darkness fell and has backed to WNW. Just had to gybe around to avoid heading due East! Very moist air with droplets of moisture caught in the beam of my headlamp - an essential item for night-time sail handling. We're now on a broad reach on starboard tack - so still sailing downwind.

10pm Wind has slowly died and backed further. .. now W-WSW 11-12kt.

Wednesday 4am Around dawn - saw a thin streak of pink half an hour ago but all a dull solid grey cloud layer now. Very wet everywhere on deck but not raining
Sheeting in on starboard tack a short while ago seemed good - got us heading SE instead of NE - but wind continued to back further, and died right down to 8kt, so we soon ended up heading E. So we tacked around onto port tack, expecting wind to back further at some point (soon hopefully!), so we'll then head SW and, finally, S or maybe even SE...! Not much that can be done to head in a better direction - the High has moved over to right on top of us and we just have to wait to see where the wind comes from and adjust accordingly.

5am I hate going backwards! Decided to heave to so we can drift more to E, maybe even ESE or better, rather than head W at 3.5kt as we were...! Playing a waiting game while High moves to wherever it's going and we can sensibly get under way again.... Wind is from due S just now...

Twice I went on deck to look for a ship nearby - convinced I could hear the low hum of engines - but nothing there. It's the humming of the rigging in the wind!!

6am Added topping lift to boom end. Then raised boom more with topping lift using another line to winch with a rolling hitch so I could cleat off the topping lift when boom raised more - not much but taking it off the bimini metalwork. The rod-kicker gas-filled rod is clearly not doing its job of pushing on the boom to raise it up when the kicker/vang is released - the boom was held rather loosely.
We're drifting SE at 1.2kt - at least that's in a better direction...

Later: Wind SE now - we're drifting East now so not too bad. Waiting for wind to back into a better direction to move away.

1900GMT (=1100PST) - end of Day 56. We made 86 n.ml.(DMG) measured in a straight line between the two points, over the 24 hr period since yesterday's 1900 GMT position. We were going fine yesterday until the High moved over us!!

Position & weather report posted to Winlink.org and Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign of kc2iov) not long after 1900 GMT:

TIME: 2018/11/28 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 38-53.88S LONGITUDE: 109-05.92W COURSE: 102T SPEED: 0.5kt
WIND_SPEED: 11kt WIND_DIR: SE SWELL_DIR: S SWELL_HT: 2.0m CLOUDS: 80%
BARO: 1025hPa TREND: 2 AIR_TEMP: 16.0C SEA_TEMP: 17.0C
COMMENT: Still hove-to - wind SE11kt, drifting.... Waiting for High to move away.

Monday 3.20pm It's fairly bright but we're now in fog. The sun tried to get out earlier through the usual overcast.. Must be a thin sea-fog because the sun is often almost visible. The outside air is full of tiny droplets, anything metal on deck is covered in drops of water and I'm definitely feeling cold.

The wind is anywhere between N and NNW - it keeps shifting... enough to need to make frequent small changes to the windsteering (Fred!)

I finally had some breakfast at lunch time having had nothing this morning, while busy working (always a worry that stronger weather will come in before I've finished), and I'm still drinking my coffee.

It's pleasing to have had a productive morning but I'll need to keep an eye on my lashings to make sure the kicker stays in place.

4pm Well, the wind is really backing steadily - now from NW. We're presently headed on a very broad reach and I'm waiting to see if we will soon need to gybe around...

Was nice to chat with Rick, VE7TK, on 14160kHz - propagation to British Columbia is often not bad around this time.

6.30pm Still thin fog around as darkness is falling - it's usually dark by 7pm.

8.30pm Wind has stayed pretty consistently from NW but has been at 18-22kt for a while now - so we're making good speed in roughly the right direction - always good!

Chatted to other boats not too far away after giving position and weather report to Pacific Seafarers' Net - Mark (1300ml away) on 'Maverick', Susie (1600ml away) on 'Starlight and Susanne (800ml away) on 'Nehaj'. Uku (1250ml away) on 'One and All' is also nice and clear during the regular Golden Globe weather update session that I listen in to an hour before. Good propagation between all of us just now on 20m and also on 40m maritime bands. Susie is having a problem with her wind steering system - I'll speak to her shortly to see if I can help her in some way. Also made a few contacts on 7160kHz afterwards - Matt, W1MBB, is very obliging and people know they can come there for a quick chat, if they wish.

Tuesday 10am The sun has not quite managed to get through either the earlier thin white layer of sea fog nor the present light cloud layer but it's quite bright out. We're still sailing downwind and seas are a good 3m/10ft or so, making it quite rolly. Wind has stayed consistently up at 18-20kt from the NW, overnight and into this morning. From weather info, that looks set to continue for a while, possibly backing more to WNW later today. Occasionally, it gusts to 24kt - we're making good speed!

1900GMT (=1100PST) - end of Day 55. We made 138 n.ml.(DMG) measured in a straight line between the two points, over the 24 hr period since yesterday's 1900 GMT position. A good day's run...

Position & weather report posted to Winlink.org and Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign of kc2iov) not long after 1900 GMT:

TIME: 2018/11/27 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 38-21.26S LONGITUDE: 110-48.27W COURSE: 117T SPEED: 6.0kt

WIND_SPEED: 22kt WIND_DIR: NW SWELL_DIR: NNW SWELL_HT: 3.0m CLOUDS: 100%

BARO: 1016.8hPa TREND: 0 AIR_TEMP: 18.0C SEA_TEMP: 17.0C

COMMENT: Early thin sea fog, now overcast and dull

Sunday 6pm Very pleasant sunshine most of the afternoon, but with increasing grey cloud towards the evening, endig up as totally grey skies as darkness was falling. Several useful things done this afternoon, while ambling along at 3-3.5 kt in little wind but pleasant sunshine. For anti-chafe on the lashing at the rod-kicker base, I used a PTFE item I've been storing, waiting for the day it would prove useful - its day came today! It's doing a good job, keeping the lashing off the trysail track as it passes over it on its way around the mast. Cable ties make sure the lashing won't slip off the PTFE.

I also tried to remove or make less proud or sharp the remaining rivets that are still sticking out, using hammer and pliers without much effect. Actually, writing that, it occurred to me that I should be trying to drill out the remaining rivets...much easier and guaranteed a good result. Next time it's calm enough - if not tomorrow then Wednesday. Unfortunately, I can neither replace any rivets nor tap thread in order to use machine screws in place of the rivets. So I'm stuck with the lashings. I did find another useful pair of items which I'm hoping I can use to raise the kicker connection - it's far too low at present and it would be great if I could get it higher.

Monday 11am Been on deck solidly since before 8am, when not below finding items needed on deck... Managed to drill out several remaining rivet parts (not quite as easy as I'd envisaged!) and hammered, then filed down, a couple of more uncooperative ones - all well recessed now. Next, I fixed the kicker foot lashing better.
I also wanted to raise the foot and used the winches on either side of the mast to help do that - made it much easier to raise into position initially than it might otherwise have been, using the two sturdy hooks that I found yesterday to attach to the kicker fitting. Once the kicker had been raised as far as possible (almost back to its original position) I was able to tie Spectra line around the mast winch bases from the same two hooks on the rod-kicker base fitting to secure it in position. I'm pleased I found a way to raise the kicker foot - it was far too low before and was too often resting on the bimini metalwork - using it as a 'gallows' it was never built for. I hope my efforts all work out as intended.

The wind got up for a time this morning - we were making over 6kt at one point while I was working on deck and the seas got up as well - but it's died back down now. Midway through the morning, I gybed around - partly in order to access the mast on the other side of the kicker fitting - but we needed to gybe around anyway so we could head more SE. Now I can get some very late breakfast and think about sailing 'Nereida' properly - as much as this light wind allows - we're heading downwind so have very little apparent wind.

1900 GMT (=1100PST) - end of Day 54. We made 80 n.ml.(DMG) measured in a straight line between the two points, over the 24 hr period since yesterday's 1900 GMT position. A slow day, in light wind, but I was busy working and not paying too much attention - I was pleased to have the calm conditions ... Fred was definitely in charge!

Position & weather report posted to Winlink.org and Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign of kc2iov) not long after 1900 GMT:

TIME: 2018/11/26 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 37-07.86S LONGITUDE: 113-15.85W COURSE: 124T SPEED: 4.5kt
WIND_SPEED: 10kt WIND_DIR: NNW SWELL_DIR: WNW SWELL_HT: 2.0m CLOUDS: 100%
BARO: 1018.7hPa TREND: 0 AIR_TEMP: 18.0C SEA_TEMP: 17.0C
COMMENT: Busy on deck all morning, fixing kicker to mast connection.

Sat 3.50pm PST Finished on deck - Preventer lines on boom shortened and tensioned with bungie loops to hold close to the boom - hopefully, they won't be able to cause a problem there any longer.

Port side lazyjack - I decided to prevent the line from high on the mast from getting caught up in the rigging, as the starboard one did yesterday, should a line break. I've attached a separate line, with a convenient small shackle on its end, to that line's end eye so if any one of the lower lines breaks, there won't be any problem retrieving that line up the mast - it's tied down so it can't 'escape'! The starboard line end has ended up at the small block high up on the mast - no way to retrieve it without a climb up the mast. But at least it's not tangled up with other rigging lines or shrouds....

The sun has come out - there's a big patch of blue sky showing. It's actually feeling warm - lovely!

5.30pm By the time I'd finished my work on deck, we were drifting almost due E while still hove-to in NNW wind of 16-18kt. Definitely time to get underway... Now we're making 6 kt SE in WNW-NW wind - it's good to be sailing again although the 3m seas are coming onto our beam so we're really rolling about a lot.

According to my weather info, sailing will be good until Wednesday-Friday when we could find ourselves in the light-zero winds of a High pressure system again..... But that forecast is for several days away and things could change totally by then.

Sunday 5:30am Nice to chat briefly to friends on 7163kHz around dawn - propagation good then. Then up on deck to gybe onto starboard tack - wind now from W, still around 18kt, gusting 20kt. Making 6.5kt just on a broad reach, nearly on a beam reach. New length preventer lines working OK - centred main, as usual, to deal with preventers as we gybed around - bungies doing a good job!

Grey sky, damp and murky - no sign of sun yet but very light now. Seas are from W and slightly down on last night - under 3m maybe - but it's still very rolly. Getting back to my bunk for a bit more sleep.

11am Wind died totally one hour ago - sky a lot brighter with broken light overcast and blue streaks on horizon - seeing 15A coming in from PV panels when sun shines between cloud! Not enough apparent wind to turn generator blades.

Creeping along now in under 10kt wind from 'abaft the beam'. Seas have lain down a lot - feels a lot gentler. Time for a late coffee - and think about what jobs I can get done while it's relatively calm. Will be looking again at the rod-kicker base fitting on mast....

1900 GMT (=1100PST) - end of Day 53. We made 100 n.ml.(DMG) measured in a straight line between the two points, over the 24 hr period since yesterday's 1900 GMT position.

Position & weather report posted to Winlink.org and Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign of kc2iov) not long after 1900 GMT:

TIME: 2018/11/25 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 35-48.87S LONGITUDE: 113-33.48W COURSE: 147T SPEED: 3.5kt

WIND_SPEED: 9kt WIND_DIR: WNW SWELL_DIR: WNW SWELL_HT: 2.0m CLOUDS: 95%

BARO: 1018.2hPa TREND: 0 AIR_TEMP: 21.0C SEA_TEMP: 18.0C

COMMENT: Wind died 1hr ago..! 100 ml DMG Sunny, bright broken cloud layer



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