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S/V Nereida sails around the world

Midnight Wind slowly dying - slow progress at only 2.3-3kt. But in view of cyclone expected ahead, slow is good! Seas still up quite a bit - rolling us around still, quite often. 6:15am Sunrise about an hour ago - quite a few scattered clouds around. Wind not very strong - maybe 8kt from E-ESE - we seem to be going N at 3kt or more just now. Will furl in genoa to slow down. Good-sized swell from S - rolling us around, as usual. Spoke to quite a few people on radio - most unaware of cyclone looming ahead. Turned on small bilge pump - thought it was not working but it seems to be OK - not sure how well it's doing, though. Not seeing any rise overnight in level of water still in bilge. Will have breakfast and set to, trying to remove the remaining water and dry the bilge. Also need to finish packing the series drogue (JSD) since I could well need it again to stay clear of the cyclone forecast to track S ahead of us. 6:45am Furled in genoa to 2nd reef mark - now making 1.5-2.2 kt due N in wind from E-ESE. Rockin' and rollin' a lot in swell. 8:45am Finishing my coffee after clearing up in galley - just had to clear space there and deal with crushing old milk & juice cartons: rinsed out with sea water, flattened & placed in trash can. Cabin is in chaos as consequence of working both on JSD (middle of being packed away) and bilge opening (waiting for last water removal). Now to get the JSD out of the way and packed away. Bilge pump is working away - sounding good and cheerful (unlike me!) but I'm not convinced... Waiting to see if the water level goes down noticeably. Tried to get some more sleep - impossible - too many important jobs to see to. 10am Just downloaded latest weather file - pressure here is 1022hPa - we're exactly in the middle of a High with that same centre pressure, supposedly with SSE wind - but the forecast can't be that accurate. Think I'll furl in the genoa totally and just drift in the light breeze while I work. Swell is annoying - a good 4m/13ft still, so really, really rolly and unhelpful! Dried off and re-stowed the remaining cartons of milk - hope their contents are undamaged. Now for JSD, finally. 12:45 pm JSD all back in place, ready for use again - including a Spectra retrieval line that can bring in the bridle using the winch without the worry of too big a load. Next job - Fred has lost his gear-lever action - will need to wrap wire to keep the lever in place. Otherwise, Fred would be unable to do his job... 2:45pm Feeling a whole lot better... Bilge pump (big one - diaphragm) now working - as I suspected, the problem was a corroded/wet power supply terminal, now cleaned and doing well. Still need to remove some water remaining - will use small 12V electric pump for that. Fred has now been fixed (I hope!) - with lots of wire to stop part moving - otherwise Fred can't steer at all. About to have some food - I'm famished! Been a long day... and it's not yet over. Hoping for wind to fill in soon, so we can move under sail, rather than drift.. Lovely sunny day - bue sky, no clouds. Yellow-nosed albatross came and rested close by - was very interested in my work on deck! Several petrels are flying around - including a tiny storm petrel. 7pm Unfurled genoa, having decided to head SW, rather than drift NW. Speed not much different in present very light wind, at all of 1.5-2kt, but course is southerly rather than northerly - away from very light wind or headwinds of High we'd be in if we stayed around 38S. 9pm Wind is very slowly filling in and backing. We're now able to make a SSE course but I'll need to adjust Fred quite often as the wind backs further to N. Speed low - only just over 2kt in light wind still. 1900GMT (=2200LT) - end of Day 152. We made 16 n.ml. DMG, over the 24 hr period, with overnight & daytime drifting N-NW in no wind and then heading S, measured in a straight line between the two 1900 GMT positions. Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 152 (by daily DMGs): 13,844 n.ml. Distances (at 1900GMT): Cape Leeuwin LH (SW Australia): 3074 n.ml. to ENE; Melbourne (VIC, Aus): 4204 n.ml. to E; SE Cape of Tasmania LH: 4110 n.ml. to ESE; Cape Agulhas LH (S.Africa): 1462 n.ml. to WNW; Kerguelen Isl: 1007 n.ml. SE; St Paul Isl: 1272 n.ml. E; Halfway point (55 18'E): 238 n.ml. Position & weather report, for 1900 GMT, posted to www.Winlink.org and www.Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV): TIME: 2019/03/04 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 38-43.99S LONGITUDE: 050-09.98E COURSE: 151T SPEED: 3.0kt WIND_SPEED: 8kt WIND_DIR: NE CLOUDS: 60% BARO: 1021.4hPa TREND: -1 AIR_TEMP: 19.0C SEA_TEMP: 24.0C COMMENT: Bilge clear, pump working, JSD packed, Fred mended, meal ready

We drifted around a lot overnight - so little wind it was almost impossible to maintain any kind of course - so I gave up trying and we just meandered at around 0.5kt until the wind filled in, eventually, not long before dawn and then Fred kept us on course as the wind slowly increased...

5:30am Daylight - dawn just breaking - pink clouds on E horizon, a few grey ones elsewhere - not many. Crescent moon with Venus(?) close by, quite high up.

Wind up finally, from WNW. On a broad reach, making 4kt with slightly furled genoa - just managing to keep it filled.

Contest on is making radio contact with N. America very difficult - band noisy with so many people calling. A short contact was made with two US stations but will be better tomorrow when weekend contest will have finished.

11am Plenty of sunshine in between scattered, large, white clouds. Wind has been well up for some time - Force 6 judging from areas of foam on sea surface - so over 22kt. From sound it's making, I'd have guessed at around 25kt. Seas have built up again, with plenty of white crests and steep faces.

Glad I furled in a small amount of genoa overnight.

Gybed onto starboard tack as wind had backed into WSW-SW, so now making E-ESE course at 4.5-5.5 kt.

2:20pm Seas have really built up again at 4-5m and we're being tossed around a lot as we climb the face of each wave and slip down behind. Wind is up and down a bit but generally around 20-25kt so quite strong conditions still - a wave just crashed over and washed the decks...

Still mainly sunny although plenty of cloud - but no rain threatening. I thought wind was dying down but it has definitely not, so far, just occasional lulls.

Started re-stowing the series drogue into a bag, flaking it down carefully. Tomorrow, likely to be almost no wind in High pressure region, so should be able to finish stowing it ready for next time.

4pm Wind less now - unfurled remainder of genoa. Speed up: 4.6kt now, from 3.5kt before. Some light grey clouds overhead now, sunshine in between. Seas still well up and on the beam, so rolly. Still working on stowing JSD, in between other things. Tea-time!

7:30pm Dark. Went to get more milk out of storage at 4:30pm to replenish galley - cartons were wet. Checked bilge & was busy clearing out a lot of water using small container for next two hours - only one small pump working, big one not at all - more hard work!

Water was salty so seawater getting in somewhere, with condensation water from cold surfaces added to it, I'm sure. Tired - going to have a short sleep... Not life-threatening, so will explore more tomorrow. Will finish emptying and dry out bilge completely then, in daylight. Also need to try to get the big pump working - might just be 12V power supply to a wet connector that is the problem.

Pressure has steadily been rising over the day - now at 1016hPa from 1006hPa early this morning. Boat speed down to 3.2kt in lighter wind from SW and slowly getting less.

1900GMT (=2200LT) - end of Day 151. We made 73 n.ml. DMG, over the 24 hr period, with overnight drifting in no wind, measured in a straight line between the two 1900 GMT positions.

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 151 (by daily DMGs): 13,828 n.ml.

Distances (at 1900GMT): Cape Leeuwin LH (SW Australia): 3074 n.ml. to ENE; Melbourne (VIC, Aus): 4200 n.ml. to E; SE Cape of Tasmania LH: 4105 n.ml. to ESE; Cape Agulhas LH (S.Africa): 1458 n.ml. to WNW; Kerguelen Isl: 1001 n.ml. SE; St Paul Isl: 1274 n.ml. E; Halfway point (55 18'E): 241 n.ml.

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

TIME: 2019/03/03 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 39-00.89S LONGITUDE: 050-07.98E COURSE: 090T SPEED: 2.5kt

WIND_SPEED: 10kt WIND_DIR: SW SWELL_DIR: SW SWELL_HT: 3.5m CLOUDS: 20%

BARO: 1018.1hPa TREND: 2 AIR_TEMP: 19.0C SEA_TEMP: 23.0C

COMMENT: Strong wind over daytime to early afternoon, becoming less later

Saturday 6am Wind still too much for retrieval of JSD - back to my bunk for more sleep....

10am Was getting ready for another try at retrieving the series drogue but thought I'd check the latest weather info. Unbelievably, there's a tropical storm, possibly cyclone,forecast to head due S from Madagascar around 6-8th March straight across my projected position on 10th March. To avoid it, I'd need to head E from here now at 8-9 kt minimum (impossible!). So I'll have to go really slowly for the next week and maybe need to deploy the JSD again - either as the system hits us, if we keep on going, or to the W of its S-going path (at 40S 60E perhaps) before it gets too close on the 10th, to await its passing while staying away from its really strong winds and big seas....

I don't see any way to avoid it other than by going really slowly...

more snail's pace crawling....

(High pressure area on the way E soon might help that slow speed anyway!) But even keeping down to an average 4kt is going too fast. I'm feeling thoroughly fed up just now! I'll have to just keep heading E and see how the forecasts for the storm develop - maybe the weather models will have got it wrong...

11.am Just checked out the wind - seems to be around 20kt still so, in view of my comments above, might as well wait for wind (and seas) to ease more in a few hours' time, if forecast is correct. Still very rolly in 4m seas. Sounds like the time for a nice pot of coffee! Midday Big, grey raincloud overhead - waiting for the rain to come while I have coffee. 6pm Grey sky with some dark steel-grey cloUds astern but no rain at present. We're underway - but there's no wind! Even the Windex isn't sure where the wind is coming from - it's getting confused by the boat rolling in the well-spaced swell that's still fairly big. I think I can honestly say I'm totally knackered...! I've taken in the JSD but it took nearly four hours of solid nonstop hard work - it was far more difficult than I expected....

Having some coffee while boiling some water for a quick dehydrated meal and then I'm getting some much-needed sleep (Note - didn't get it just then). Might furl in the genoa and just drift - we're making under 1kt anyway, so drifting won't make much difference. It's a good thing there are three winches along each side of the cockpit coaming. I used all three on the port side. The fabric cones spliced onto the line go around a winch but if more than one turn is used, they get tangled in the other turn and the six splices per cone and sturdy fabric used don't ease their path either. I ended up leading the line from one winch to the next and belaying it with a wrap on the third - although, in fact, I simply held onto the end of the line there to pull it in, bit by bit, as it went slack....

all 124 cones on three hundred feet of it...plus bridle and end-chain separately. It seemed an eternity before I was able manually to pull on the final length of line directly from the stern and bring in the chain acting as an end weight. Throughout, the boat was rolling around a lot, not making it easy to pull in on the line at the right moment. It was a two-handed, laborious job - left hand hand pulling in on the momentarily slack line between winches one and two, while the right hand pulled in immediately on the line wrapped around winch three to take up the slack. There was usually a good wait in between for the line from the stern to go slack as we went up and down in the swell. A few trips to the stern were needed to keep the line running freely in the dedicated fairlead and a careful eye kept on the cones going around the two winches to free them when they caught in the self-tailing guide - which happened quite often. Now I've the job of re-packing the JSD into its bags - I've lead most of it down to the cabin so as not to clutter the cockpit. It has to be flaked carefully so it will run freely when next deployed.

7:20pm Rain just started. Dark. Still effectively no wind... Drifting at 1kt - wish I knew where the wind was! 1900GMT (=2200LT) - end of Day 150. We made 9 n.ml. DMG, over the 24 hr period, measured in a straight line between the two 1900 GMT positions. Mainly lying to JSD (Jordan series drogue) - drifting.

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 150 (by daily DMGs): 13,755 n.ml. Distances (at 1900GMT): Cape Leeuwin LH (SW Australia): 3144 n.ml. to ENE; Melbourne (VIC, Aus): 4260 n.ml. to E; SE Cape of Tasmania LH: 4160 n.ml. to ESE; Cape Agulhas LH (S.Africa): 1386 n.ml. to WNW; Kerguelen Isl: 1055 n.ml. SE; St Paul Isl: 1346 n.ml. E; Halfway point (55 18'E): 314 n.ml. Position & weather report, for 1900 GMT, posted to www.Winlink.org and www.Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV): TIME: 2019/03/02 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 39-00.38S LONGITUDE: 048-32.74E COURSE: 090T SPEED: 0.2kt WIND_SPEED: 6kt WIND_DIR: NW SWELL_DIR: NW SWELL_HT: 4.0m CLOUDS: 100% BARO: 1007.7hPa TREND: 0 AIR_TEMP: 19.0C SEA_TEMP: 23.0C COMMENT: Off JSD - drifting in no wind ...

Midnight Heavy rain, wind very much increased - gusted to 50kt or more?... Moaning in the rigging. Wind generator overpowered and not sounding happy - turned it off - no difference... Wind has backed to NW from NNW and our speed of drift has increased dramatically to 3-3.5kt in this really strong wind.

Received this email from Stephen, on research vessel 'Thompson' (KTDQ) heading to their research position on the Marion Rise, near Marion island (see https://www.marionrise.org/)

"We are about 100 miles west of your position and just going through the system you have been talking about. We had gusts over 90 here but it is moving fast and winds have moderated. We are at -40 23.8 and 41 46.5 - very quick wind shift from approximately 300T to 200T wind got up to over 100 and quickly dropped back down to 30-35 knots."

Friday 6:20am Very noisy still with strong wind around 35-40kt. Seas very big at 5m/16ft, maybe more - difficult to gauge their height but they're pretty enormous and we're being thrown around a lot....

JSD is keeping our stern to the seas and wind. Wind has backed so we're drifting E now, in W wind, showing centre of Low has moved on to the SE but we're still very much in its system. Will take a time for it to move away -region of big swell is very extensive.

SOG around 2kt - up and down as we surge back and forth on the waves.

Sunny, with clear sky overhead, just some cloud on horizon.

Thought of going on deck to take a photo - but then thought better of it - best to stay safe, in case we get pooped at that moment!

Back to my warm, soft, safe bunk for some more sleep...

9:30am Wind SW now and down to somewhere around 25kt but seas still very big - rolling us around a lot but further apart than earlier. Broken cloud over much of the sky.

Had a problem opening hatch to get out on deck from the companionway - jammed by some cord - eventually managed to dislodge it to escape!

Will have breakfast and wait for seas to die down a bit more before retrieving the series drogue so we can move on E.

Midday Was just about to go up and start retrieving the JSD when it clouded over and wind really gusted up to over 30kt. Decided to wait for it to calm down again but even after cloud cleared away, wind has stayed up around 25kt and gusty, so still waiting for it to drop more to make retrieving JSD possible - will have less drag on it if wind is lighter. Seas still big and frequently tossing us around.

4:20pm Looking at weather just downloaded, it seems these seas won't get to below 4m/13ft until 3am tomorrow morning, and not to under 3m/10ft until tomorrow evening - that's a long time to wait. In the meantime, the wind is quite good now, at 20kt from the W. So I'll see if I can get the JSD in now, before light goes, despite the big seas, in order to get sailing E sooner rather than later....

Raining now - was just finishing some soup before going on deck, so good timing!

630pm Well, having got organised to retrieve the JSD, the wind was still too strong and the seas too big for me to do it - pity! The retrieval line is lead from the bridle end to a winch and is winched in when the line goes slack as we rise up and down on a wave. Because of the size of the seas, it kept jumping out of the stern fairlead.

When the line comes under tension, the wind is still so strong that it puts too great a load on the line. It's very easy to bring the line in with the bridle as it goes slack, but then the whole force of the JSD goes onto that line, not onto the bridle.

Either the retrieval line needs to be far stronger than at present, or it can only be brought in when conditions are far lighter. I can't change the retrieval line now the JSD is already deployed and the wind has just gusted up again with nightfall and rain clouds around. I'll have to wait until tomorrow to see if conditions have eased enough to try again then. Disappointing - I was hoping to be underway by now.

1900GMT (=2200LT) - end of Day 149. We made 25 n.ml. DMG, drifting 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 149 (by daily DMGs): 13,746 n.ml.

Distances (at 1900GMT): Cape Leeuwin LH (SW Australia): 317552 n.ml. to ENE; SE Cape of Tasmania LH: 4169 n.ml. to ESE; Cape Agulhas LH (S.Africa): 1379 n.ml. to WNW; Cape Town Hbr entrance: 1471 n.ml. to WNW; Marion Isl: 663 n.ml SW; Kerguelen Isl: 1086 n.ml. SE; St Paul Isl: 1352 n.ml. E; Halfway point (55 18'E): 322 n.ml.

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

TIME: 2019/03/01 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 38-55.12S LONGITUDE: 048-24.49E COURSE: 104T SPEED: 0.5kt

WIND_SPEED: 23kt WIND_DIR: W SWELL_DIR: W SWELL_HT: 5.0m

BARO: 1011hPa TREND: 0 AIR_TEMP: 20.0C SEA_TEMP: 23.0C

COMMENT: Still lying to series drogue - seas and wind too much to retrieve still

THursday 2am Wind up again - furled in plenty of genoa - expecting wind to 25-30kt over next few hours, possibly. Making around 6kt on roughly 040T course. Sky still mainly clear with a few scattered clouds - stars still bright. 6:35am Sun rose about an hour ago. Making around 5kt under full genoa and staysail plus trysail in W wind, heading NNE. Getting ready to lower sails later and deploy Jordan Series Drogue (JSD) for when the strong weather system comes in later today. Will do so before winds and seas get very much stronger. Midday Well, I've checked and prepared as much as I can for the strong weather system coming up.. Wind is very light now, giving boat speed of only around 2kt and swell is not too big so i decided to lower the trysail while conditions are good - but still needed a lot of work to secure it and rolling around in swell never makes it easy to work at the mast and boom. Must have spent well over two hours on deck, in all, also adding extra sail ties and checking the JSD (Jordan series drogue) will be free to run when deployed later today. Its bridle is already in place, shackled to strong points on the stern quarters. Down below, anything heavy is well-stowed - including books. We're heading just N of NE under a bright, sunny sky - "lull before the storm" indeed! The wind is so light the wind generator is having difficulty turning and it's feeling warm in the sun. I'm off for a nap while it's calm. Expecting wind to begin picking up just before sunset and strong wind to come in fairly quickly after that, as the Low gets closer. 4pm Teatime! Enjoying a mug of tea while I wait... Still sunny, although increasing cloud from the W - the direction from which the storm is coming. Wind suddenly filled in around 2.30pm and seas increased as well, although seems relatively calm just now. Every now and then a big wave hits our hull, washes the side deck and splashes into the cockpit which is now quite wet. Pressure had risen to 1006 hPa earlier, after the last Low had gone by, but is now dropping again - 1002 hPa now. It's the waiting for a storm to arrive that I hate! I've done all I can to be safe and ready .. now I'm waiting for the wind to rise a lot more, when I'll furl in the headsails and deploy the JSD to keep us safe in the even stronger winds and seas to come. Seas are forecast to be around 5.5m/17ft for quite a time and very close together - which means steep faces to climb up and down... A Wandering albatross has been soaring sround this afternoon with its white-faced, chocolate brown, Juvenile offspring. Always feels such a privilege to see them - such magnificent, enormous birds! They enjoy rough weather so they can easily gain uplift off the waves as they glide around on fixed wings, rarely flapping them... Three white-chinned petrels also flying around nearby. 5:30pm Sun beginning to get low. Wind up more and heeling a lot, so furled in a lot more genoa - just a 'handkerchief' now, along with the staysail. Making 4.5 kt despite small amount of sail. Amazing how the wind's sounds aren't heard so much down below - the howling of the wind in the rigging heard so clearly on deck can't be heard at all - it actually seems quite peaceful down below! Seas are often sweeping the side deck and splashing into the cockpit - just got wet again - but this time just my hair since I'd donned jacket and overtrousers in readiness. Pressure down to 1001 hPa but no rain yet - quite a few patches of blue sky. 6:45pm JSD was deployed a short while ago -light is fading now. Pretty windy out there! Around 30kt, probably well over - very noisy. I'd furled in the genoa in advance and with just staysail, we were making 2.5-3.5kt NE. I didn't want to deploy the series drogue in the dark so, with sunset imminent, decided to go for it. Furled in the staysail - made sure several wraps of line around the tightly-furled sail, as with the genoa, so no chance of it being damaged in strong winds (as has happened previously). With all sails stowed, I deployed the JSD - undid some openings in its bags to allow the flaked line with its 124 small fabric cones to exit more easily and then threw out the length of chain that acts as an end weight. Had to help the line out from the bags and make sure the cones and their splices didn't snag on anything as they ran out but that wasn't difficult and finally the line and its bridle were all out. We're now lying safely with stern to wind and waves. The rudder has been centred and Fred adjusted for wind dead astern. Now I just have to wait for the Low to pass by and winds and seas to die down - a day, perhaps. With sails stowed, it's a bit rolly but we can't broach or pitch-pole with the drogue dead upwind on its bridle and the boat is effectively stopped, making very little way dead downwind. (The wind direction is easily seen from our track.) Wind generator loves this strong wind - it's putting in 14A now - great! I put a light under my evening meal on the stove on coming down below - had it prepared in advance - so will settle down to eat that now while I listen to the distant, musical sound of the wind in the rigging. Feeling a lot more relaxed now. Maybe I'll catch up on all those outstanding email replies... Photos showing JSD deployed from Nereida with bridle in clear view and a Wandering albatross near Nereida this afternoon 1900GMT (=2200LT) - end of Day 148. We made 75 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 148 (by daily DMGs): 13,721 n.ml. Distances (at 1900GMT): Cape Leeuwin LH (SW Australia): 3175 n.ml. to ENE; SE Cape of Tasmania LH: 4189 n.ml. to ESE; Cape Agulhas LH (S.Africa): 1355 n.ml. to WNW; Cape Town Hbr entrance: 1447 n.ml. to WNW; Marion Isl: 649 n.ml SW; Kerguelen Isl: 1086 n.ml. SE; St Paul Isl: 1379 n.ml. E; Halfway point (55 18'E): 344 n.ml. Position & weather report, for 1900 GMT, posted to www.Winlink.org and www.Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV): TIME: 2019/02/28 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 38-49.96S LONGITUDE: 047-53.03E COURSE: 040T SPEED: 2.2kt WIND_SPEED: 35kt WIND_DIR: NNW SWELL_DIR: NNW SWELL_HT: 4.0m BARO: 1004.7hPa TREND: 0 SEA_TEMP: 24.0C

Tuesday 11pm Making around 4.5kt due E. Seas tossing us around like a toy boat - good to be in my warm, soft bunk! Still have the well-furled genoa plus staysail - waiting to see if the N wind gets any stronger - doing fine at the moment.

Wednesday 6am Daylight, around sunrise - light rain, sky covered in light cloud layer. Wind still up - we're making 3.6kt due East. Pressure has dropped 4hPa over last three hours and is now down at 1004 hPa.

8.30am Pressure down to 1003hPa, wind still strong, from N, SOG 3.9kt.

10:30am I've no idea what has changed, other than wind possibly veering slightly E of N, but suddenly, with no change to sail trim or helm, we've been heading more SE - instead of a course of due E (090T), we're making 120T - and nothing I do seems to be able to change it. I'm tearing my hair out here.... That's the last direction we want to head in...

I tried furling in the genoa completely - no change, except less boat speed, of course... So it's not leeway due to the genoa that's causing the problem. Even tried gybing around - we simply headed SW!

11:30am Heard from Peter, ZL1PWM - there's a 2.2 knot current heading 150T now, where we are - no wonder we've been having a problem! With low boat speed, that much current has a big effect on our resulting course. Will unfurl some genoa to try to give better boat speed and wait for wind to shift and current to decrease - as it's supposed to. I'm feeling exhausted with all the worry and effort so will take a short nap. At least it does look as though the wind might be backing a bit - it's possibly more NNW than N now, judging from the boat's changed heading (being under windsteering has definite advantages in favourable wind shifts).

5pm Finally on a decent course at something approaching a reasonable speed. Saw the current seemingly having less of an effect on our course some time ago. Have spent most of the afternoon on deck, trying every different possible thing to get us going better. Finally, centred the wheel and found that worked fine in that our course was unaffected (we're under wind steering, with Fred in charge) but, as hoped, our speed instantly improved.

We're still headed upwind so speed not of the best at 3.5kt - but that's a lot better than the 1-2kt in the wrong direction that I was seeing earlier. Expecting the wind to back more overnight.

Trying still to get further N, out of the strongest winds on the Low passing over on Thurs/Fri. The good news there is it's forecast to be heading SE and the centre should pass S of us.

Just had to change my top - was on deck without a jacket - and a wave swooshed over the side deck, over the hard top and into the cockpit - I got wet...

6:30pm Light fading. Expecting rain - grey clouds astern...

Making 4.5 kt or more - better speed now. Still making NE course.

Getting well behind on email replies - apologies to those concerned - too busy with 'boat stuff' and radio connections not always too good at present.

9.25pm Feeling a whole lot better - wind has backed into W and I woke up from a short nap to find us heading due N - excellent! I've been trying to get us N for the last day or so and the wind is set to back further into WSW possibly, giving us even better options for heading downwind more. We're making around 4kt and I just adjusted Fred to set us NNE.

Will keep adjusting if wind backs further, as and when necessary.

Time for food before my daily report and position/weather noted - chicken in white sauce with green beans and potatoes - sounds good!

10pm Unfurled more genoa - full now. Wind is a lot less than it was - maybe 15kt. Seems to be dying. Pressure beginning to rise from its low of 1001.9hPa.

Another beautiful starry sky, like last night's, now that the earlier rain has cleared away - just a few clouds but mainly clear - diamonds all over the sky - and the occasional one sparkling in the water close by, as we pass through.... Lovely to see. Nice ending to a nightmare of a day earlier...

1900GMT (=2200LT) - end of Day 147. We made just 66 n.ml. DMG over the 24 hr period, measured in a straight line between the two 1900 GMT positions. Heading S for a time was definitely not helpful...

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 147 (by daily DMGs): 13,646 n.ml.

Distances (at 1900GMT): Cape Leeuwin LH (SW Australia): 3223 n.ml. to ENE; SE Cape of Tasmania LH: 4212 n.ml. to ESE; Cape Agulhas LH (S.Africa): 1295 n.ml. to NW; Cape Town Hbr entrance: 1388 n.ml. to NW; Marion Isl: 582 n.ml SW; Kerguelen Isl: 1109 n.ml. SE; St Paul Isl: 1434 n.ml. E; Halfway point (55 18'E): 404 n.ml.

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

TIME: 2019/02/27 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 39-32.76S LONGITUDE: 046-35.20E COURSE: 052T SPEED: 4.0kt

WIND_SPEED: 20kt WIND_DIR: W SWELL_DIR: WNW SWELL_HT: 3.0m CLOUDS: 100%

BARO: 1003.6hPa TREND: 2 AIR_TEMP: 20.0C SEA_TEMP: 26.0C

COMMENT: Heading NNE now to avoid strong winds coming tomorrow;

Monday 11pm Creeping along at just over 2kt. When the wind generator blades are hardly turning, that's a good sign of very little wind!

Moon peeking out from behind scattered cloud, stars shining brightly in gaps between clouds.

Tuesday 10am Sunny day - clear blue sky. Feeling fired after a long session last night trying to resolve a software problem relating to viewing weather info. Important to have that working OK. Think I might have finally managed it - I hope so! - but doing it cut into my sleep overnight and I cancelled my usual 0230Z radio sked on 7160kHz.

Trying to head upwind in NNW wind is proving a real struggle - wind strength is fair - 12kt? - but we can only just make E, slightly N of E at times, at around 3kt, rather than the planned ENE course. Having to use a lot of rudder weather helm to offset the genoa pulling off the wind - and that slows us down, of course.

Not feeling very comfortable with the situation just now.

Wind will stay N until the Cold Front on this Low has passed, at which point it will back to W and then to SW - late tomorrow, if forecast is correct

There's a big, fat High pressure area well S in the Indian Ocean that is right in our path - that will cause a problem when we get further E from here, with its light winds and likely headwinds- it reaches a long way S.

1:30pm Feeling rather better on seeing that we're managing to make a course to NE now, at around 3.5kt, although dropping down at times ... A far better course than earlier. Not sure why the difference, since wind should be from N now.. Maybe it veered for a time and reduced to give less boat speed?

Trying to catch up on sleep in between frequent checking of course and speed.

Still sunny, mostly clear but quite a lot of white cloud in N now.

7:20pm Sunset half an hour ago... getting dark. Mainly clear sky but low cloud in W on horizon.

We were heeling quite a lot, so furled in genoa to almost 2nd reef mark - speed not much changed but heeling a bit less - making just over 4kt. COG (course) becoming more E of ENE as wind slowly veers more. Prepared to furl in more genoa, as and when needed. Have staysail in use also, ready for the rather stronger N wind forecast for overnight. Trying hard not to head S of E but means we're very close-hauled - a difficult and uncomfortable point of sail in the present seas.

Made brief radio contact with W. coast - spoke to several there and also a couple of S.African stations. Reporting good radio signal from 'Nereida' - as is often the case, despite our low power output - the saltwater of the sea acts as an excellent ground!

9pm Beautifully clear night sky - millions of bright stars everywhere - and Milky Way like spilt dust, thrown across them all. Moon has not yet risen, so stars look all the brighter.

Being on deck at night has other lovely advantages - the boat moving through the water causes sudden bright diamond-sparks in the sea beside the hull, from tiny creatures disturbed by our motion.

Rough seas are tossing us around a lot - we're close-hauled, making just over 4kt due E - wind has veered a touch to just E of N.

1900GMT (=2200LT) - end of Day 146. We made 72 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 146 (by daily DMGs): 13,580 n.ml.

Distances (at 1900GMT): Cape Leeuwin LH (SW Australia): 3275 n.ml. to ENE; SE Cape of Tasmania LH: 4247 n.ml. to ESE; Cape Agulhas LH (S.Africa): 1232 n.ml. to NW; Cape Town Hbr entrance: 1325 n.ml. to NW; Marion Isl: 534 n.ml SW; Kerguelen Isl: 1146 n.ml. SE; St Paul Isl: 1495 n.ml. E; Halfway point (55 18'E): 467 n.ml.

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

TIME: 2019/02/26 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 39-41.19S LONGITUDE: 045-10.00E COURSE: 090T SPEED: 4.2kt

WIND_SPEED: 22kt WIND_DIR: N SWELL_DIR: N SWELL_HT: 2.5m CLOUDS: 0%

BARO: 1010.5hPa TREND: -2 AIR_TEMP: 20.0C SEA_TEMP: 23.0C

COMMENT: Well reefed down! Rough seas, tossed around a lot, close-hauled

Sunday 11:30pm Speed has increased slightly - seeing 3.5kt instead of 2.5kt - maybe wind is filling in, finally...? Supposed to get up to NW 14kt about now - beam reach - and stay that way for a time, before increasing further early on Tuesday. Moon rose a short while ago - waning now - half-moon. Swell has increased slightly - we're bouncing about more than earlier. Later: Clearly quite a strong S-flowing current here - having to steer NE, upwind more, in order to make our ENE course - must be slowing us down. Making around 3.2 kt - rather pounding into the waves - uncomfortable motion. Moon is bright enough to give good light on deck - throwing a broad path of silver light across the sea towards us from between broken cloud. Monday 1am Making 4kt - still having to head more upwind and so still an awkward motion. 6am Much smoother sail, making 6kt but struggling to make close-hauled course to ENE. Grey, cloudy sky with some breaks for sun to shine through - sunrise was a short time ago. Occurred to me that heading upwind more to make close-reach course might not be necessarily due to current but due to imbalance of full genoa against trysail - 'bow steer'? 7:30am Rain shower... helps clean the sticky salt off everything on deck! Grey clouds have moved away. 11am Clear blue sky above - a few clouds on horizon and ahead. Sailing at well over 6kt, ENE towards 38S. Cold Front expected to approach tomorrow night and pass over on Wednesday, with strong wind. Time for breakfast... It's 8am GMT! 12:30pm The cloud ahead spread over soon after - but is well broken, so it's still quite sunny - and feeling warm - 25C. Sea temperature is back up also - to 27C now. We're making 6.5-7kt now - nice to see some decent speed! Seas are up and we're being moved around by them often. One just made us lurch - and my insulated coffee mug went flying from a place that is normally secure - but the mug simply jumped in the air and ended upside down on the cabin sole. Its lid was on, TG, so I grabbed it but have had to make do with a very small cup of coffee.. and a lot of cleaning up... 4pm Bright and sunny still, although lots of (white) clouds around - no threat of rain just now. Wind has slowly died back a bit over the afternoon, although still from WNW, so we're only making around 5kt now on a broad reach. Was nice to have the higher speed earlier. There must be a current at times because we have to head up or down in relation to the wind in order to make our course - I've adjusted Fred umpteen times today, as a result.... I get us nicely settled on course and then something changes (wind shift or some current) so another adjustment is needed not so long after the first. Whereas earlier in the day, we were headed more upwind to make our course, we're now heading slightly more off the wind to make it, implying a current effect - all very changeable and unpredictable. 6:55pm Rim of red sun just slipped down below the horizon - end of sunset at 40S 43.5E under a partly cloudy sky. Wind has dropped further to give SOG of only around 4kt - disappointing after the good speed earlier. Looking ahead, the CF coming through over Tues/Wed is looking as though it might have 25kt winds, possibly gusting higher, for a short time, so that's not looking as bad as had been forecast a few days ago. However, that will be followed by an intense Low arriving Thursday evening into Friday, giving over 30kt winds, gusting higher - that could give rough conditions for a time and the big question is whether or not we can get far enough NE of our present position to avoid the strongest winds and seas - Later - speed has dropped even more - to 2.5-3kt .... Grrr!! 1900GMT (=2200LT) - end of Day 145. We made 116 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 145 (by daily DMGs): 13,508 n.ml. Distances (at 1900GMT): Cape Leeuwin LH (SW Australia): 3342 n.ml. to ENE; SE Cape of Tasmania LH: 4295 n.ml. to ESE; Cape Agulhas LH (S.Africa): 1164 n.ml. to NW; Cape Town Hbr entrance: 1258 n.ml. to NW; Marion Isl: 487 n.ml SSW; Kerguelen Isl: 1196 n.ml. SE; St Paul Isl: 1560 n.ml. E; Halfway point (55 18'E): 533 n.ml. Position & weather report, for 1900 GMT, posted to www.Winlink.org and www.Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV): TIME: 2019/02/25 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 39-56.99S LONGITUDE: 043-39.23E COURSE: 069T SPEED: 3.1kt WIND_SPEED: 8kt WIND_DIR: NW SWELL_DIR: NW SWELL_HT: 2.0m BARO: 1018hPa TREND: 0 AIR_TEMP: 21.0C SEA_TEMP: 24.0C COMMENT: Wind died again this afternoon - back to a very slow walking pace..

Sunday 6amLT/0300GMT A lovely sunrise here - bright sun just cleared the E horizon. Very thin, high cloud layer of stratus with about 20% solid cloud around on the horizon and a waning half-moon high up - looks so small compared with when it rises or sets! Just finished on radio but a lot of static on frequency to quite a few stations, although E. coast USA and (snowy!) Montreal came in really well - clear signals. Florida and Maine came booming in by 0300Z. Nice to hear Gil, N2GG, from New Mexico - greetings to the rest of the 7155 group! Seas down around 2m/6ft but wind also very light overnight and now - so speed right down to 2.5kt most of the time...very slow... Hoping for more wind later today - back to bunk for some more sleep now! 11am Still a painfully slow but sunny day - no change in wind, as yet.... Just creeping along on a beam reach in almost no wind... Time for coffee ...while I think about getting ready for making a big stew again.. and maybe something different for Sunday lunch. 7pm Well, it's been a thoroughly enjoyable, calm, relaxed, quite sunny day, despite thin overcast a lot of the time... The sun showed itself brightly for a time, just before setting behind a low bank of grey cloud. Replenished some galley supplies - best to do so now, before getting into strong weather in a few days' time. Caught up on emails - although I had a problem contacting Cape Town over the day to receive and send my radio emails - fine after sunset, but not before - a sign of getting further away from the S.African coast - nearest point is now roughly East London, about 780 n.ml. away. 8:30pm Had an excellent set of radio contacts with S.Africans - nice to have clear, strong signals coming from Durban down to Cape Town and around to the W. coast beyond. (Couple more photos from Thursday... - white-chinned akbatross and big seas approaching Nereida) 1900GMT (=2200LT) - end of Day 144. We made 60 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 144 (by daily DMGs): 13,392 n.ml. Distances (at 1900GMT): Cape Leeuwin LH (SW Australia): 3431 n.ml. to ENE; SE Cape of Tasmania LH: 4346 n.ml. to ESE; Cape Agulhas LH (S.Africa): 1065 n.ml. to NW; Cape Town Hbr entrance: 1159 n.ml. to NW; Marion Isl: 400 n.ml to SSW; Kerguelen Isl: 1270 n.ml. to SE; St Paul Isl: 1663 n.ml. to E; Halfway point (55 18'E): 635 n.ml. Position & weather report, for 1900 GMT, posted to www.Winlink.org and www.Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV): TIME: 2019/02/24 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 40-38.61S LONGITUDE: 041-16.81E COURSE: 073T SPEED: 2.5kt WIND_SPEED: 8kt WIND_DIR: WNW SWELL_DIR: WNW SWELL_HT: 2.0m BARO: 1012.8hPa TREND: 0 AIR_TEMP: 20.0C SEA_TEMP: 23.0C COMMENT: Very light wind still - speed is less than walking pace! 60ml DMG;

Saturday 3:50am Down below after several trips to adjust Fred - clearly a S-going current was trying to stop us heading up - but finally got us back on course after a wind shift. Sky is cloudy but moon is getting through the occasional break in the clouds and is so bright anyway that it's giving a twilight effect - easy to see everything on deck without any extra light. Back to my bunk for some more sleep before a 5.30am LT radio session... 11:30am/0830Z Bright day, with sun shining hazily through thin cloud layer. Wind still not very strong - have only been managing around 4.5kt, occasionally getting to 5kt - wind up and down. Full genoa plus staysail and trysail. Trying to make 070T - pretty much on a beam reach. Seas less now, at just over 2m/6.5ft. No birds in sight. Having late breakfast. 2pm Wind has picked up a little - we're mostly making around 5kt, although dropping down often. Propagation to S.African stations is getting more difficult - depending on how good their rig is and how much power they are putting out. Just tried calling Marjoke, ZS5V, near Durban, on 20m - but neither of us could hear the other well enough to chat. It's surprising how far my boat radio system often reaches - having the seawater as the ground makes a tremendous difference and helps a lot, despite the low power output. I run an Icom 801 with an automatic tuner - it invariably works well and is highly reliable, despite the difficult salt-water atmosphere. As with most sailing boats, the backstay doubles as the antenna - mine has the excellent Petersen insulators near each end of the backstay. 6pm Wind is definitely dying down now, as we skirt a High pressure area - we've been making under 4kt for a time, often 3kt or less.... Mileage (DMG) today will not be a good one. Mostly cloudy sky, with a thin grey layer spreading over - sun not showing too often. Have spent a time watching a pair of Antarctic prions circling together and swooping around astern - lovely birds! A pair of yellow-nosed albatross have been nearby as well. 7:30pmLT/1630Z Having some CuppaSoup followed by a freeze-dried meal - not my faourite but since I have quite a few of them, might as well use them - quick and simple to prepare! Light fading fast so best to deal with galley while I can still see without lighting needed. Really slowed down now - 2.5-3kt is the speed (SOG) we're making... Less than walking pace! Looks as though wind won't fill in until tomorrow afternoon. 1900GMT (=2200LT) - end of Day 143. 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 143 (by daily DMGs): 13,332 n.ml. Distances (at 1900GMT): Cape Leeuwin LH (SW Australia): 3478 n.ml. to ENE; SE Cape of Tasmania LH: 4374 n.ml. to ESE; Cape Agulhas LH (S.Africa): 1014 n.ml. to NW; Cape Town Hbr entrance: 1109 n.ml. to NW. Halfway point: 688 n.ml. Position & weather report, for 1900 GMT, posted to www.Winlink.org and www.Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV): TIME: 2019/02/23 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 40-56.97S LONGITUDE: 040-01.11E COURSE: 076T SPEED: 2.8kt WIND_SPEED: 8kt WIND_DIR: W SWELL_DIR: W SWELL_HT: 2.0m BARO: 1015hPa TREND: 0 AIR_TEMP: 19.0C SEA_TEMP: 21.0C COMMENT: Slow progress in very light wind - drifting!

Thursday evening - Feeling calm with light wind and good-sized swell, but well spaced. Clear sky with lots of stars initially and waning near-full moon shining brightly. Just about making 3 kt or more Friday 5:30am Sunrise before 5am LT - high, thin stratus with some blue patches. Wind veered overnight to W so nearly dead downwind now, making 3.5kt. No birds yet. Sending position/weather report. Air 17C, sea 21C. Big pile up of stations making contact from 4.30am onward - mostly from US but VO1CAL still managing just about to make contact from Newfoundland! Nice to have several friends calling in. Back to my bunk for more sleep. 10am High, thin stratus layer with hazy sun shining through. Air and sea temperatures down- sea around 17C - just less than air. Rolling around in swell - still a good size, from SW. Having breakfast while dealing with emails and studying weather update and possible routing - will gybe onto port tack shortly - wind has veered into WNW so will head roughly E then. 11:20am On port tack now, 320 n.miles N of the scientific station on tiny Marion Island and 1380 n.miles S of the mouth of the Zambezi River in Mozambique, on the Mozambique Channel. Lovely, smooth, peaceful, downwind sailing in bright sunshine! Albatross soaring not far away. Seas well up, at 3m or more, and coming onto our stern from WSW - no problem. Time to get some breakfast - not had anything so far - keep thinking GMT - but we're two hours ahead.. Fruit juice to start with (mango today), then cereal with nuts, seeds and dried fruit... Fresh coffee sounds good - it's not too rough now to put the pot on. Major clean-up in the galley. Having finished my stew yesterday, the pressure cooker needed attention, plus a few other items - nice to have it all clean and tidy. And the coffee is great! 3pm Made a major course change a couple of hours or so ago, after studying grib files showing weather ahead and a related email from Peter, ZL1PWM. Totally missed the SAMM Net, being busy on deck.. (SAMM = S. African Maritime Mobile) There are three big weather systems coming up, that I'll need to avoid the worst of, if possible: 1. A Low with strong Cold Front crossing our path, headed SE from E.African coast, ETA 27/8th Feb 2. A nasty-looking Low heading E, ETA 1/2March passing right over us unless we get above its centre in time - if we can. Looks as though it has quite a kick to it. 3. Tropical cyclone (it's the season for them) forecast to come down from Madagascar, ETA on 8th March around 33S 77E tracking SE, with winds of 80 knots in its SW quadrant which is close to where we might be around then, at 40S... Still a long way ahead, so things could change a lot, but something clearly to keep a good eye on as we head E. Might need a major evading tactic if it develops as predicted just now. So .... we're now rushing along ENE at the incredible speed of 3.7kt (!) to see how far N we can get in next 6 days... Apart from lack of mainsail available, there's the small problem of High pressure areas on the way - so even lighter winds than the 10kt or less I'm seeing now, to slow us down. If we can maintain 4kt average SOG, we can make it, otherwise we'll be in for a repeat, or stronger, of the rough conditions we had a few days ago - not the end of the world but good to avoid if possible! Either I might need to deploy the Jordaan Series Drogue (JSD) or I might just keep going under trysail and small staysail - all depends on situation at the time. Being Southern Ocean weather, it could all change overnight... It's the big, close together, tumbling seas that build up quickly with strong winds that become a problem... I shall make another big thick soup/stew in advance - nice to have quick, easy, satisfying, hot meals in stormy weather. In the meantime, I'm editing my bird photos from yesterday evening - another sunset-and-birds shot plus more albatrosses and white-chinned petrels - there was a big gang of them swooping around last evening! Today, very few - just an albatross seen, in fact. Have realised that the young albatross being mainly chocolate brown makes it and its parents Wandering Albatrosses - confirmed by black end on their white tail - Royal albatrosses have all-white tails (some maybe have just a few dark feathers) and seems their young are not dark brown. Still feeling very peaceful - very relaxing.... 5:30pm Sun getting low - need to change the clock another hour forward - we passed over the 'new time zone marker' at 037 30'E sometime early this afternoon - so local time now is actually 6:30pm, as in Nairobi, Istanbul and Moscow - I'll change it after the end of this log report... Wind has died down further - we're making just 3.3kt. Having a simple evening meal of tuna and sweetcorn with a little mayonnaise - it's been warm enough today not to need a hot meal - and no cooking is required! 6:30pm Sun has set - looking rather like a bank of low cloud in the W. Not a bird in sight tonight... but I have lots of photos of them. 8:30pm Moon is rising, very bright, first stars are showing, thin cloud layer spreading over. Wind up slightly - better SOG now... 1900GMT (=2200LT) - end of Day 142. We made 79 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 142 (by daily DMGs): 13,234 n.ml. Distances (at 1900GMT): Cape Leeuwin LH (SW Australia): 3557 n.ml. to ENE; SE Cape of Tasmania LH: 4423 n.ml. to ESE; Cape Agulhas LH (S.Africa): 932 n.ml. to NW; Cape Town Hbr entrance: 1027 n.ml. to NW. Halfway point: 778 n.ml. Position & weather report, for 1900 GMT, posted to www.Winlink.org and www.Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV): TIME: 2019/02/22 20:00GMT LATITUDE: 41-24.89S LONGITUDE: 037-56.44E COURSE: 074T SPEED: 4.6kt WIND_SPEED: 10kt WIND_DIR: W SWELL_DIR: SW SWELL_HT: 2.5m CLOUDS: 50% BARO: 1018.8hPa TREND: 0 AIR_TEMP: 19.0C SEA_TEMP: 19.0C COMMENT: Slow progress in light wind most of the day.

Wednesday 9:40pm Wind just backed all around from NNW to WSW - we just turned to port through a right angle! Time to gybe and get back on course - raining... 10:30pm Well, we gybed - but in pitch darkness it's so easy for something to go wrong - and it did... The lazy genoa sheet has got totally tangled with the sheet in use - too dark to do anything about it in safety now - will have to wait for daylight to try to sort it out. I tried to ease the one sheet as the other took up the slack and the sail came around in the gybe but ... no go... At least the wind has died now that the front has gone through. It's a lot calmer and the seas are a lot smoother going more downwind. Having some stew and will try to get some sleep. Hopefully the swell will be less after a few hours of lighter wind so it will be easier working on deck as I try to release the knots - won't be easy... Thursday 8:30am Bright and sunny with plenty of large white scattered clouds. Seas still big and close together - so we're rolling around a lot. Lots of white crests - 'white horses'! - so good Force 4-5 wind making it around 16kt or more. Lots of birds around - many coming really close to the boat. Getting a good look at a yellow-nosed albatross and white-chinned petrel in particular as they soar over the stern - must get the camera out. Think I also saw a sooty albatross - typical albatross shape, all-dark with glossy areas on underwings - must check in my bird book. Having breakfast before tackling the tangled genoa sheet - will take my marlin spike with me - that's such a useful item to have on board for undoing tight knots. Can't unfurl any more genoa until that's done. Sending off position/weather report to Winlink/Shiptrak. Several emails received - one about Uku's GGR time penalty - sad - he has so little food left and is so anxious to finish. I wish I could hear the recording of the radio conversation. Often it's not easy to hear the other person very clearly - especially when a high level of static noise present. I wonder which ham operators were involved and how recent this was? 11am Unravelling the genoa sheet (rope!) was nothig like as difficult as I'd imagined - it was simply looped around the other one - but many, many times... I might have attempted it last night if I'd realised how easy it would be - but best to stay safe. Seas have calmed down a lot now and although they're still big, they're more spaced apart. Wind also, unfortunately, so although the genoa is now full, we're only making 4kt. No more white horses out here... but plenty of birds close by, often resting in groups in the water. A pair of yellow-nosed albatross frequently seem to be taking a rest. 2:30pm We're mostly only making 2-3kt, 3.3kt is good! Mileage today will not be high... Cloudy sky alhough white, not grey, and air temperature has just hit the 20C - was 17-18C most of the morning. The sea, 23C, is warmer! 6pm Nearing sunset, with bright orange-red sun sinking down into a few streaks of cloud in an otherwise clear sky. So many birds around on this peaceful afternoon! Wandering and yellow-nosed albatrosses, with an all-dark (except for white face) juvenile Wandering, a few prions, lots of white-chinned petrels - several with distinct white 'chin' at base of their bill, a couple of storm petrels - the usual gang! They are definitely attracted to the boat - and frequently rest in the water nearby. Seas are actually very big - some at 4m/13ft - and coming from both SSW and W. Very little wind so have been making slow progress, presently at 3-4kt but most of the afternoon at under 3kt. 1900GMT (=2100LT) - end of Day 141. We made 95 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 141 (by daily DMGs): 13,155 n.ml. Distances (at 1900GMT): Cape Leeuwin LH (SW Australia): 3631 n.ml. to ENE; SE Cape of Tasmania LH: 4478 n.ml. to ESE; Cape Agulhas LH (S.Africa): 858 n.ml. to NW; Cape Town Hbr entrance: 954 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: 2019/02/21 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 41-26.59S LONGITUDE: 036-11.27E COURSE: 095T SPEED: 3.2kt WIND_SPEED: 8kt WIND_DIR: S SWELL_DIR: S SWELL_HT: 2.5m CLOUDS: 0% BARO: 1019.8hPa TREND: 0 AIR_TEMP: 18.0C SEA_TEMP: 22.0C COMMENT: Struggling in lt wind against Agulhas counter-current - flowing N-NE?;

Tuesday 11.30pm Bright, bright moon lighting up the rough seas! Frequently getting seas washing over the decks - beam seas make fr a rough motion. We're making 7.7kt, often 8kt, even though I just reduced the genoa some more. Wind seems quite strong - maybe 20kt? - so furled it in to the 2nd reef mark. Nice to be making good speed. Time to get to my bunk for some sleep.

Wednesday 5:10am Day is dawning - quite light now, although sun not quite up yet. Pretty rough seas, with wind well over 20kt from N-NNW - being thrown around a lot, making around 7kt. Best place to be is in my bunk!

Just finished with a lot of radio contacts - nice to hear a lot of familiar ones in there - including Newfoundland and Ottowa, along with Rusty, W6OAT, coming through from Seattle, and a few S.American stations.

8:45am Up to post position and weather reports - strong conditions.. Adjusted Fred and reduced genoa.

10am Raining again - sky has been covered with rainclouds all morning and wind is 25kt or more... Reduced genoa some more... Still making 6-7kt, more in gusts.

11:15 am Suddenly, has calmed down - no more 'bucking bronco' motion...! Noise of wind in rigging has disappeared... 30kt wind has just vanished... Wind direction is still from N - hasn't switched to SW yet.... in fact, has veered to NNE just now. More rain. Time for a snooze - feeling I need one - very disturbed overnight sleep.

11:50am No snooze yet! That was a lull... but 30kt wind has lessened to mid-20s. Still raining and speed back up to 6-7kt. Will adjust Fred and then get to my bunk..

2:30pm Back down below, drying off after unfurling genoa in the rain. The wind is clearly dying down a lot now. To begin with, unfurling some of the genoa resulted in us making 6kt fom 5kt but now, not long after, we're struggling to make 4.5kt with full genoa. We're on a broad reach, heading SE still and the wind is from N-NNW. Magnetic variation is now 40 degrees W - the instruments still don't accept that such a large value can exist - 'invalid data' message still being displayed!

3:20pm Back down - had to get my wet jacket back on and go up again to adjust Fred - we were heading well off course with a wind shift. Rain has stopped but everything very wet. Making better speed. Wind keeps shifting so having to adjust Fred quite often - will keep wet gear on for time being! Time for some food....

5pm Wind increased again a while ago - we're back into 'bucking bronco' mode... Furled in genoa a bit to reduce heeling. Making around 6 kt.

Sea temperature dropped down to 18C now - air temperature similar - cooled down with rain. Steel grey solid cloud to S, broken light grey clouds to N with small patches of blue - we're skirting the edge of the bank of dark rain cloud, heading E now.

Still trying to get to some food - spent quite a time up on deck, trimming, furling in, adjusting Fred or just watching the scene around... seas, clouds, birds, our motion...

Yellow-nosed albatross came very close for quite a time earlier - very inquisitive. Was worried it might get too close to wind generator, it was so close off our stern, looking at me. No camera to hand for a close up shot - pity!

7pm Getting dark- sunset was half an hour ago. Need to adjust our course again - so many times over the day - the wind has really been shifting around a lot - cloudy conditions probably the reason why. Furled in more genoa - wind had strengthened, seas were rougher and we were headed more into them. Will have to gybe sometime soon so not a bad thing to have less sail. Would prefer not to have to do it in darkness but no choice.

1900GMT (=2100LT) - end of Day 140. We made 148 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 140 (by daily DMGs): 13,208 n.ml.

Distances (at 1900GMT): Cape Leeuwin LH (SW Australia): 3717 n.ml. to ENE; SE Cape of Tasmania LH: 4544 n.ml. to ESE; Cape Agulhas LH (S.Africa): 771 n.ml. to N; Cape Town Hbr entrance: 866 n.ml. to N.

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

TIME: 2019/02/20 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 41-20.23S LONGITUDE: 034-05.13E COURSE: 079T SPEED: 6.3kt

WIND_SPEED: 20kt WIND_DIR: N SWELL_DIR: N SWELL_HT: 3.0m CLOUDS: 100%

BARO: 1007.2hPa TREND: 0 AIR_TEMP: 18.0C SEA_TEMP: 19.0C

COMMENT: Rough seas all day Wind up again... Frequent rain;

Monday 10:20pm Slow progress SE just now, under a bright moon showing occasionally between broken cloud. Unfurled the genoa when I realised the wind had come up but it took a long time to organise Fred and add in the correct amount of helm in order to keep us heading in a vaguely E direction. Current is still noticeable and NE wind that kicked in dropped almost immediately - very light now so we're only making around 3kt - but better that, than drifting in no wind at far less speed!

Heated up my stew earlier - just about to enjoy some before getting to my bunk..

Tuesday 1:20am Just let out all the genoa again, in light wind ... Had gusted up strongly a short while ago, so had furled in a fair amount as we were heeling a lot - but that was not needed later since wind has settled down under a mainly clear sky. We're making 4kt now, ESE, in NNE wind. A full moon is lighting up everything - no need for extra light to see what I'm doing on deck - a lovely night now, in fact.

Daybreak here around 0320GMT/5:20amLT after a good session on 7160 from 0230Z - back to my bunk for more sleep! Making 4.1kt, SE, in gentle NNE wind and light swell - on W side of a High pressure area that is moving E...

9am Looks as though wind will be staying roughly NNE at 10kt or more over today with light swell. Quick breakfast and I'll see what can be achieved today. Expecting rain and Cold Front to pass over tomorrow so only today possible for work on deck. Bigger seas forecast for some time after today also.

Midday Wind has got up more - to 15kt - so we're making just over 5kt but making work more difficult on deck with increased choppy seas. Have managed to get an idea of length of tear by using a length of twine - about 9ft. Found another small tear - will put some Gorilla tape over it on both sides. Downloaded weather files and had a good look over those. Also having regularly to keep an eye on shipping nearby using AIS - " S'Hail Al Wajbah" is making for Shibushi - they changed course slightly to avoid coming so close as originally - was going to pass within half a mile, now 1.5ml. Agreed, over VHF, to pass on our port side.

1:10pm Back down below after dealing with small tear I found. Boat is making 5.5kt and moving a lot in the seas so not easy to work high up on deck beside the boom. Beginning to wonder when I'll be able to get much more done - to repair the sail requires undoing most of the sail ties to expose entire length of tear to work on - not possible in any wind. Also not possible to deal with loose section of genoa UV strip in present wind either.

Ship has just passed - on N horizon, 3 miles off - big cargo vessel headed to Japan. Warned me of Force 6 winds expected tomorrow and day after - kind of him! There's the Cold Front coming tomorrow with rain and winds possibly gusting up to 30kt - that's what his warning related to.

2pm Wind has increased further, although a bit gusty - we're frequently making over 6.5kt - excellent! Still very sunny, with 50% cloud and feeling quite warm - air temperature and sea temperature both 24C - nice!

3:45pm Amazing! We've clearly got into a strong current region of the Agulhas Current - at 40 10'S 030 10'E - we've been making a consistent SOG of 8.7kt, reaching 9kt often, over the last half hour, probably more. Heading has been roughly ESE but COG (actual course over the ground) is more SE due to current. Wind is from N and just over 15kt, 18kt maybe - not enough to account for that SOG! The seas have been very rough and confused and we've been pounding into them a lot, even though they're more or less on our beam. Nice to have the current helping our speed like this - still seeing 8.7kt... Wouldn't like to be going against it - wouldn't make much headway, for sure!

5:40pm SOG held at 9.5kt for quite some time - back to a mere 8.7-.0 9kt now...! Sea temperature back up again - to 25.8C

7pm SOG was holding at over 9kt. Sea temperature 28.3C. Decided, with sunset, to furl in some genoa for overnight and readied the staysail for use later instead, possibly - shouldn't be needed since winds are expected to stay below 20kt until early tomorrow morning but nothing like being prepared....

1900GMT (=2100LT) - end of Day 139. We made 127 n.ml. DMG over the 24 hr period, measured in a straight line between the two 1900 GMT positions. Distance boosted by Agulhas Current

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 139 (by daily DMGs): 13,060 n.ml.

Distances (at 1900GMT): Cape Leeuwin LH (SW Australia): 3868 n.ml. to ENE; SE Cape of Tasmania LH: 4680 n.ml. to ESE; Cape Agulhas LH (S.Africa): 623 n.ml. to N; Cape Town Hbr entrance: 719 n.ml. to N.

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

TIME: 2019/02/19 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 40-29.70S LONGITUDE: 031-01.07E COURSE: 112T SPEED: 7.8kt
WIND_SPEED: 17kt WIND_DIR: N SWELL_DIR: N SWELL_HT: 3.0m CLOUDS: 30%
BARO: 1016.9hPa TREND: 0 AIR_TEMP: 22.0C SEA_TEMP: 26.0C
COMMENT: Agulhas Current boosting speed a lot. Saw 9.7kt SOG often!

Sunday 11pm Nearly full moon lighting up the sea and a few bright stars showing in between broken cloud cover. Wind fairly light, making boat speed of ~3kt. Back to slow progress as we get into yet another High system.

Monday 5.40am Clear sky overhead... A yellow-nosed albatross and several white-chinned petrels circle around as the sun rises - a vivid red ball above low grey cloud on the E horizon. Low bank of pink cloud to N. Boat speed 2.4kt. Air pressure 1021 hPa - High pressure area with light winds for a time.

9am Wind has backed further - to SE... Becoming difficult to make our course at a reasonable speed - now making under 2kt with COG roughly NE.

Sunny day, with a lot of high cirrus. Seas up a little more and quite choppy.

11:30am We were only making 1.5kt or less. so gybed around onto port tack and immediately noticed the Agulhas Current effect - we're now making SOG of 4kt, with COG just E of S, but only making about 1 kt through the water! The current is having a far greater effect than our boat speed resulting from sailing to the very light wind. I'm trying to edge us further E but the wind is in the E so we're just about making 165T. By this evening, the wind should freshen up from the NE more so, with better boat speed, we should make a better course - that is, a more Easterly course, with our better boat speed offsetting the speed and direction of the current somewhat... The current should diminish with time, as we get further S and E.

Uncomfortable motion, with choppy seas and heading into the waves.

3pm Sea has really calmed down now, so I'm getting a couple of quick'n'easy but important jobs done before starting on the major ones - don't know how long these calm conditions will last and there are more Highs coming up soon enough...

First job was to change over from an empty tank to a full propane tank for gas supply to galley cooker. Just needed a big spanner (wrench!) to undo the nut at the connection - awkward position in the aft lazarette but not a difficult job. Nice to be able to do it in relatively light conditions - rolly but not much wind. Had a coffee afterwards to check all was working OK - hot food & drink is good!

5:30pm Next job, just finished, was to give Fred a new cover - took a time to tension the lacing but just needed some time and a small amount of effort - looks good when finished. The Hydrovane vane is lightweight aluminium with a bright red, light fabric cover that gets stretched over the framework with lacing at the base. With no wind and drifting SE in the current, it seemed a good time to get it done - the top of the cover was damaged. Think I'd allowed it to rub on a solar panel very early on in the voyage and that had cut it slightly - not possible for that to happen now but the damage was done. It has slowly been wearing and coming apart ever since and has had me worried about it for quite a time. A good thing it's rip-stop nylon since it's survived relatively intact for quite a time remarkably well and hasn't prevented Fred from working fine.. So Fred is now back in action with a lovely new face-lift! Perching on the steps at the stern was involved so clearly I needed calm conditions to be safe while removing and, later, replacing the vane.

Light is beginning to fade now so further work on deck is difficult. Think we've got ourselves in middle of the High by not getting S fast enough earlier today... there was not enough wind for long enough - and the S-going current didn't stay strong enough either... So tomorrow might be another work day, although it's possible a NE wind might kick in this evening or tonight - I just don't know - will have to wait and see what happens....

We're presently drifting SE at 1kt in the current with the bow pointing N! Almost no discernible wind and sea is glassy although still a slight swell - great pity it isn't possible to work on deck overnight....

6:15pm Caught sight of my breakfast cereal still waiting to be eaten - a bit late in the day! Have had several drinks but no food - no wonder I'm feeling hungry! Jobs seemed more urgent to get done, while in these calm conditions, than food.

Just furled in genoa to stop it flogging in the swell with no wind. Had another look at the leech line - the cause of the UV strip problem. Somehow it got jammed quite a time ago in the small cleat near the foot of the sail that is there to hold it tensioned when in use - I've tried to release it several times but just cannot. In trying to release it, I only made things a bit worse - should have realised the resulting creasing along the leech would eventually cause a wear problem - just have no idea what to do about it, other than cutting the leech line in the cleat - always assuming I can access it there - it's high up for short people like me to get to. Don't want to cut the sail cloth - would cause another problem...

In the meantime, I now need to lower the genoa most of the way to the deck in order to try to repair the UV strip damage high up... Not something to do successfully single-handed if any wind at all and needs a fair amount of time for doing the repair on deck before hoisting the sail - again in no wind, preferably .... All a definite challenge.... and light is fading fast now so can't even start it.

7:30pm Usual evening 'sked' on 7105 - quite a few S.African contacts made.

9pm NE wind just kicked in - having to unfurl genoa and try to get us underway - difficult - wind very light...

1900GMT (=2100LT) - end of Day 138. We made just 35 n.ml. DMG over the 24 hr period, measured in a straight line between the two 1900 GMT positions. Headed N, then back S - so not far in E direction!

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 138 (by daily DMGs): 12,933 n.ml.

Distances (at 1900GMT): Cape Leeuwin LH (SW Australia): 3995 n.ml. to ENE; SE Cape of Tasmania LH: 4799 n.ml. to ESE; Cape Agulhas LH (S.Africa): 497 n.ml. to N; Cape Town Hbr entrance: 593 n.ml. to N.

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

TIME: 2019/02/18 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 39-26.19S LONGITUDE: 028-38.37E COURSE: 140T SPEED: 3.3kt

WIND_SPEED: 8kt WIND_DIR: NE SWELL_HT: 1.5m CLOUDS: 100%

BARO: 1020.6hPa TREND: 0 AIR_TEMP: 22.0C SEA_TEMP: 23.0C

COMMENT: Wind kicked in but rather light.Current effect still dominating

Saturday 10:30pm Rain has cleared away, although dark clouds can be seen to N still. Broken cloud overhead with occasional star showing through. Wind still quite good and we're making around 6kt still but it feels as though it's dying again... getting gusty - our speed keeps dropping and then picking up again, but generally decreasing slowly.

Sea temperature is well up again - 26.3C - so we must be back in the Agulhas Current although that can't be too strong since I'm not seeing an effect on our COG compared with our boat heading.

Magnetic variation is up to 34W - far too big to be ignored! But my instruments are not accepting such a high value - I'm getting an 'invalid data' message when I try to adjust the settings manually!

Sunday 1:45am Just tried to call Tapio on 'Asteria' but there's a radio contest this weekend - all the band around that frequency was full of lots of CW transmissions (Morse Code) so it was impossible to make contact tonight - frustrating!

Back to my bunk for sleep before my next radio 'sked' at 5am LT.

VERY bumpy now - the swell has really built up with 'wind over current' effect - wind from SSW against S-flowing Agulhas Current - 26.3C sea water temperature just now.

2:30am Speed down now ... to 3.6-4.5 kt.

10am Wind lighter and from S. Boat speed around 4kt - difficult to make speed upwind and in the lighter wind. Sea temperature down to 22.4C now. Seas slightly less.

Was trying to listen on the frequencies Tapio and Jari (shore contact) were using - but nothing heard. Tapio must be OK if he's keeping to the pre-arranged radio schedule (Jari tries to keep me updated by email on frequency being used.)

2:30pm Sun is getting out between broken white cloud. Swell is not too bad but we seem to be often pounding into it, being close-hauled still in S wind of maybe 10-12kt, struggling to make a speed of only 3-3.5kt. We seem to be having many more days of light wind giving slow speed than stronger wind giving good speed - need a wind of well over 15kt and, preferably, for us to be headed downwind. Any upwind travel immediately gives poor boat speed - that's when the damaged mainsail is badly missed.

Noticed last night that a small section of the reverse side of the genoa UV strip has come loose and is flapping - can only get worse but nothing to be done until we're in calm conditions (where have I heard that before?) - the genoa is effectively the main sail at present.

5:30pm Made good radio contact with some West coast ham friends in USA - first time since Pacific on this trip - similar to first time on last nonstop trip - that was on 16th Feb 2013, today is just one day later!

Broken cloud - lots of blue in between. Sun beginning to get low in the sky... Ambling slowly at 3.5kt in 10-12kt S wind.... trying to head more NE but rather dependent on wind - Fred doing a fine job, as usual. Pressure right up now - at 1022.3 hPa. Sea temperature down at 22C.

Making a stew - frying a chopped up onion, will add sliced potatoes, sweetcorn, green beans, tomatoes and beef chunks with gravy plus extra beef gravy if needed.. Hope to have easy 'ready' meals for 2-3 days... Later: Propane just ran out as I finished cooking.... good/lucky timing! A relief! Could have been earlier and then - no hot stew until daylight tomorrow...! Must change the gas tank in the morning - should be fairly calm so, although means spending a time with a big spanner in an aft deck lazarette, shouldn't be a problem. As it is, I'm enjoying the result - a tasty, hot meal. (I do actually have a back up of a small camping-style stove with gas cartridge but it's only for small quantities of food or water - single-serving amounts)

1900GMT (=2100LT) - end of Day 137. We made 102 n.ml. DMG over the 24 hr period, measured in a straight line between the two 1900 GMT positions. Pleased and surprised that we made just over 100 miles!

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 137 (by daily DMGs): 12,898 n.ml.

Distances (at 1900GMT): Cape Leeuwin LH (SW Australia): 4023 n.ml. to ENE; SE Cape of Tasmania LH: 4817 n.ml. to ESE; Cape Agulhas LH (S.Africa): 470 n.ml. to N; Cape Town Hbr entrance: 566 n.ml. to N.

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

TIME: 2019/02/17 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 39-33.50S LONGITUDE: 027-52.74E COURSE: 051T SPEED: 3.0kt

WIND_SPEED: 10kt WIND_DIR: S SWELL_DIR: S SWELL_HT: 2.5m CLOUDS: 70%

BARO: 1023.4hPa TREND: 2 AIR_TEMP: 18.0C SEA_TEMP: 22.0C

COMMENT: Very slow most of today - in High now.

Friday 11pm A lovely moonlit night with wide path of silver light across a fairly calm sea, with Southern Cross high above. Wind is already slightly increased and is forecast to increase further to around 15kt or more over Saturday until Sunday morning, when it will lessen again, as we come into the next High pressure system for the following 2-3 days of light winds.
Making 3.2kt at present - double the average speed over the day earlier! All very quiet and peaceful...

Saturday 2:30am Wind is increasing - we're making 4.1kt!

Had a nice long chat with Tapio ('Asteria') on 40m - finally... A bit late for me, being well after midnight, in my time zone, but good to make it after several days of trying...

To my bunk now - sleep!

5:30am Sun not quite over the horizon but not far away - plenty of light in the sky and pink sky in the E... Lots of broken, light cloud overhead and darker, greyer cloud a good distance away to S.

7:30am Tried to contact Tapio again, on 20m, but nothing heard. (Later: gathered he didn't come up on frequency as he usually does - so hope all is OK with him.)

Stowed a bag of garbage out of the way, ready for eventual landfall. Mainly juice & milk cartons, well-rinsed with sea water and squashed flat with pourer removed and stored separately - surprising how many cartons can be squashed flat into a small space! Will definitely be running out of liquid/UHT milk before landfall - I'd cut right down on quantity, trying to save weight on board, so will have to rely on powdered milk only from then on. Will enjoy fresh milk that much more when I get back!

11am Mainly cloudy sky now. Wind has kicked in finally - making 5kt and heading NE for a bit, positioning ready for light winds in High soon. Wind expected to back slowly at first and then quickly into SSW later today - by nightfall, probably.

3pm A few petrels and shearwaters around under a totally overcast sky - but cloud layer fairly thin, so quite bright. Actually making nearly 6kt just now - amazing! Hope it keeps up for a bit before we're back into light winds again...

6pm Dull grey sky - gloomy, even, and feeling damp. But we're still making a reasonable speed, although it's dropped now to 5kt as we've come more onto a broad reach with the wind having backed slowly. Time must be getting close to when we'll need to gybe, as the wind backs further from its present W direction to SSW finally - that's the forecast, anyway!
Have been very relaxed today - have been enjoying reading, with a mug of tea in hand just now, after an early meal.

Feels as though wind may be dying... Certainly not very strong now.

Just heard Tapio is back on course at 5.8kt - so seems he's fine - good news! Will find out later, hopefully, why he was stopped for 5-7hrs

The wind seems to have changed - time to gybe is imminent...

...It just rained! Hadn't realised - but that was why the wind backed suddenly... On with the wet weather gear...

Centred the boom ready for the gybe - but the wind is still in the W - will wait a bit longer until it goes around to the WSW, or more, before gybing the genoa.

The usual group of birds is close by - four storm petrels circling us, yellow-nosed albatross came gliding by, two pairs of white-chinned petrels and a great shearwater. Was amused to see a white-chinned petrel being followed closely by the shearwater for quite a way - companionship??

Sky is full of low, dark grey-blue rain clouds and wind has definitely died down a lot - we're only making just over 5kt now. Light is fading.

7:30pm Raining well now - fine, not heavy, but under solid rain cloud. Furled in some genoa after gybing it, as wind had increased quite a lot and backed to SSW. Now making 6.5-7.5 kt on starboard tack - nice to see a good speed for a time! Won't last long... :-(

1900GMT (=2100LT) - end of Day 136. We made 102 n.ml. DMG over the 24 hr period, measured in a straight line between the two 1900 GMT positions. Speed increased as day wore on today.

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 136 (by daily DMGs): 12,796 n.ml.

Distances (at 1900GMT): Cape Leeuwin LH (SW Australia): 4097 n.ml. to ENE; SE Cape of Tasmania LH: 4857 n.ml. to ESE; Cape Agulhas LH (S.Africa): 415 n.ml. to N; Cape Town Hbr entrance: 509 n.ml. to N.

Position & weather report, for 1900 GMT, posted to www.Winlink.org and www.Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV):
TIME: 2019/02/16 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 40-02.17S LONGITUDE: 025-45.53E COURSE: 064T SPEED: 7.2kt
WIND_SPEED: 18kt WIND_DIR: SSW SWELL_DIR: W SWELL_HT: 3.0m CLOUDS: 100%
BARO: 1012.9hPa TREND: 2 AIR_TEMP: 21.0C SEA_TEMP: 26.0C
COMMENT: Wind up with Cold Front passing over. Rain. Speed up for short time!2019-02-16 Sunrise 0545LT 40S 024E.JPG2019-02-16 white-chinned petrels 40S 025E.jpg

Into the next time zone - now GMT + 2hr - same time as in Athens/Helsinki/Pretoria/Cairo etc

Thursday Beautiful clear night - once the moon was lower or had set, the stars were clear to see - the Milky Way looking almost like a long,thin cloud, so many faint stars within it to add to the usual brighter, familiar ones. Very little wind, so drifting along.

Friday 6am Daylight has just brightened up the sky - pink clouds everywhere - and the sun is about to rise above the E horizon but will be hidden by a cloud bank - mostly broken cloud around.

Came up twenty minutes late for the usual 0300Z (5am LT) radio sked so missed most people on frequency - just a couple of S.African stations still around to make contact with and then a couple of W.coast USA stations came on.

Needed to adjust Fred quite a lot to run almost dead downwind to make our course. Gybed the trysail over to go goose-winged but will probably need to gybe the genoa as well if the wind backs any further. We're presently headed just slightly N of E at 2.5kt in a light W wind - pretty calm just now. Back to my bunk after sending off my position and weather report for this morning.

10am LT Gybed around, taking the genoa over.

Went to pick up another flying fish on deck - probably one I missed seeing yesterday since they don't normally end up on board except in rough conditions overnight. Also spotted something by the toe-rail near the bow - a big screw - off the genoa furler. Lucky it ended up still on board and didn't manage to jump overboard as things normally do... bounce...splash..!

10:25am Put some Loctite on the screw when I replaced it just now - it's slightly more proud than it should be, which is worrying, but it is in tightly as far as it will go, so I hope it stays put.

Making all of 2kt under a clear sky now - clouds have moved away and are only on the horizon. Heading ESE, hoping to stay in slightly better wind, even though maybe getting even lighter until at least tonight, maybe longer.

Breakfast now, then we'll see what we can achieve with the mainsail - seas are quite rolly but they might lie down a bit more over the day.

11am Have been trying to download weather files for quite some time this morning. The Iridium satellite system and the Aurora wifi terminal I have on board (courtesy GMN who have kindly also donated the airtime required, along with the GPS tracker) are fabulous - but signals are often dropped and transfer rates are very slow - so, great as it is to have the end result - big weather files - it tests my patience at times.... I usually deal with emails and study the weather over breakfast, if I can - but not just now!

Midday Goose-winged again, heading E at 2-2.5 kt in very light WSW wind.

While on deck, after gybing the trysail and adjusting Fred, I studied the swell... I couldn't understand why we seemed to be rolling around so much, so often. It turns out that the swell is bigger than I'd thought - over 3m, but well apart, and with a second, rather smaller swell from another direction. The net result being a lot of rockin' and rollin' - frustrating since I really thought I'd get somewhere with the repair in the light winds today. On the one hand, the sail is getting dried by the hot sun but, on the other, the overnight dew is so heavy the sail quickly gets very wet again then. Even taking the measurement I need is going to be problematic on the folded, tied down sail.

6pm Making around 1.5kt.... Sun is getting low in a clear blue sky - the only cloud to be seen forms a thin line in the S. The swell has been consistently long and quite big at 3m all day - hasn't reduced as I'd hoped. Had a nap earlier and have just gybed the genoa over to port, to join the trysail which had been goosewinged. Don't like to hear the genoa being noisy with the combination of swell and light wind - must be giving it wear.

Looked at the Gorilla tape used in the repair, it's not 100% stuck well where the leech material is thick and buckled slightly so definitely needs reinforcing and covering with the sail material I have - it's the practicalities of doing what I feel I need to do that has become a big challenge if I'm to have the use of the mainsail again...

A few birds are flying around: a Yellow-nosed albatross, White-chinned petrel, Great shearwater ... and a storm petrel which flies low over the water, around and around 'Nereida' - makes me dizzy trying to follow it!

7:30pm Almost dark - chatting on radio. About to try making contact again with Tapio (GGR on 'Asteria') - in one hour's time, at 1830Z - but I think 20m is not good since, although Tapio is in daylight still (he's N of the Falklands now), I'll be in darkness. Trying on 40m later this evening should work better. We need to change the time of any attempt to make contact on 20m.

1900GMT (=2000LT) - end of Day 135. We made 66 n.ml. DMG over the 24 hr period, measured in a straight line between the two 1900 GMT positions. Not much wind = not much progress!

Total distance covered from Victoria, B.C., to end of Day 135 (by daily DMGs): 12,674 n.ml.

Distances (at 1900Z): Cape Leeuwin LH (SW Australia): 4175 n.ml. to ENE; SE Cape of Tasmania LH: 4903 n.ml. to ESE; Cape Agulhas LH (S.Africa): 373 n.ml. to N; Cape Town Hbr entrance: 460 n.ml. to N.

Position & weather report, for 1900 GMT, posted to www.Winlink.org and www.Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV):
TIME: 2019/02/15 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 40-21.96S LONGITUDE: 023-34.79E COURSE: 090T SPEED: 2.5kt
WIND_SPEED: 8kt WIND_DIR: WNW SWELL_DIR: W SWELL_HT: 3.5m CLOUDS: 5%
BARO: 1011.7hPa TREND: 0 AIR_TEMP: 20.0C SEA_TEMP: 22.0C
COMMENT: Sunny day but little wind - poor progress made

Wednesday evening/night Wind and seas a lot calmer, a lovely clear sky with bright moon and stars - very pleasant end to a great day - a relief to have rounded the two Capes in good wind finally - next Cape to pass is Leeuwin, in S.W. Australia, several weeks away.

Was great to enjoy celebrating the Great Cape rounding with friends in B.C. and elsewhere - thanks for joining me!

Thursday Wind slowly died down overnight and by morning was very, very light - boat speed at dawn was close to 5 kt but dropped rapidly very soon after.
Awake a lot overnight, so slept on this morning.

Midday Clear blue sky and still very little wind, so not much boat speed... Only making just over 2kt... According to weather files, we have 16kt of wind - but I think it's actually more like 8kt! The High pressure to the N of us has clearly spread down further to give this light wind. It's very peaceful, but it's also frustrating to be moving so slowly. Temperature is well up under the clear sky and hot sun - it feels like summer today!

Have been clearing up and replenishing in galley - cereal and dried milk powder needed topping up and I found some overlooked tomatoes and blueberries - had a mess to clear up!

Had hoped to turn my attention to the mainsail while seas are reasonably calm - tomorrow, hopefully. I want to measure along the length of the torn sail to check that the material I have will be enough. I can do some preparatory work on it down below once I have certain measurements. Seas aren't too bad just now, although occasionally a bigger set appears and we start rolling around a lot for a time.

7:30pm Sunset was at 6:35pm - blaze of orange against the clear blue sky. We're nearly into the next time zone (marker is 22*30'E)- which will put us into the Central African Time of GMT + 2 hr

With the day having been so clear and warm, there's a heavy dew - I went to adjust Fred, having gybed around earlier, and found the cockpit dripping wet under a bright moon and a starry sky.

Sea temperature has come down a lot from yesterday's high of over 28C - now around 21C so we're clearly out of the Agulhas current - which has no longer been affecting our course, so my worries about being swept S were needless.

Found a small flying fish dried up on the side deck - must have ended up there when the rough seas of two days ago were washing the decks - had its 'wings' spread still...

1900GMT (=2000LT) - end of Day 134. We made 85 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 134 (by daily DMGs): 12,608 n.ml.

Distances (at 1900Z): Cape Leeuwin LH (SW Australia): 4230 n.ml. to ENE; SE Cape of Tasmania LH: 4937 n.ml. to ESE; Cape Agulhas LH (S.Africa): 352 n.ml. to N; Cape Town Hbr entrance: 430 n.ml. to N.

Position & weather report, for 1900 GMT, posted to Winlink.org and Shiptrak.org (using my US callsign KC2IOV):
TIME: 2019/02/14 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 40-25.21S LONGITUDE: 022-08.91E COURSE: 085T SPEED: 3.1kt
WIND_SPEED: 8kt WIND_DIR: WNW SWELL_DIR: W SWELL_HT: 2.5m CLOUDS: 0%
BARO: 1014.4hPa TREND: -2 AIR_TEMP: 20.0C SEA_TEMP: 21.0C
COMMENT: Lovely sunny day - but little wind...

Tuesday 10pm Finally gybed onto starboard tack under a mainly clear, starry sky with bright half-moon lighting up the waves approaching from astern.. The air feels warmer and sea temperature has got up to 28.7C - the Agulhas Current is bringing down warm water from further north. Wind has eased somewhat, so seas, although still big and close, aren't often tumbling as they approach. We're still being tossed around a lot but the seas are on the quarter so not so much of a worry.

Still being slowed down by the current and course still being affected as well - boat heading is 80T but COG is 100T with WSW-SW wind. (The opposite effect to leeway which is downwind.)

Time for sleep - this was a very stressful day!

Wednesday 4am We passed S of Cape of Good Hope about one hour ago. Day just breaking - first light. Waypoint due S of Cape Agulhas is under 65 miles away, so should be passed later today.

Seas still big but well-spaced and not throwing us about quite so much, with very little surfing on a passing wave now, although still plenty of vigorous rocking around - having to hold on carefully when moving around.

Unfurled rest of genoa in SW wind of around 12-15kt - making 4.6kt, heading 097T - trying to edge a bit further S from 40S in hope of keeping more wind - forecast to die slowly over next few days - there's a big 'wind hole' that we're going to be caught in soon, just E of here - a H pressure area. In fact, weather a few days ahead is a big mess of Highs and a small Low - will be difficult to make good progress E.

Still seeing the current affecting our COG (course over the ground = actual course being made - different from boat heading).
Several radio contacts made tonight to US, S.Africa and Argentina (Juan, LU4VL has been very regular!) Good propagation on 40m at this time.
Back to my bunk for a little more sleep.

Midday A lovely sunny morning with some scattered cloud and good wind from SW-WSW - making 6.5-7 kt at present, broad-reaching on starboard tack.... Having a great sail today - good compensation for yesterday!

Trying to keep in good wind - a small band of westerlies around 40-41S - looking good for next few days. Agulhas current is supposed to be around 4 kt when I pass due S of the Cape - between 20E and 21E. I'll be looking to see what effect it has - 4kt is a lot of current!

Wind has been slowly increasing over the morning but seas not too bad, although a bit rolly quite often. Even made a fresh coffee - lovely!

WP due S of Cape Agulhas is just 30 miles away now - should pass it around 5pm LT if keep up present speed. I had my doubts yesterday as to whether I'd manage it! So those of you at my 'Second Great Cape Party' (at RVYC tonight) can party on - enjoy! Thanks for being there - I'll join you briefly at 8pm PST. I'll be having my own party here on "Nereida" once I've passed Agulhas - as usual, everyone is invited to join in and raise a glass with me! Cheers!

BTW, I gather there's been heavy snowfall in Victoria and elsewhere - from Vancouver & Gibsons to Nanaimo & Mt Washington - so maybe we'll be toasting each other in your homes tonight!

Cape Agulhas was passed at 16:33:46 GMT! We're now officially in the Indian Ocean and enjoyed a first sunset there tonight! Party time!

8pm End of an excellent day of good sailing in bright sunshine and warmth. Still making around 6kt now and seas, although quite big at 3.5-4m, not causing a problem. Bright moon shining from slightly hazy but clear sky - Southern Cross high up and Sirius nearly overhead

Had a rum punch to celebrate earlier, having a nice meal tonight and will have a 'Dark and Stormy' later in further celebration.

Magnetic variation has increased to 30 degrees W. When I try to estimate the true wind direction using the tiny wind ripples on the sea surface, using the ship's compass which shows it as, maybe, SW, it's actually nearer to SSW - subtraction is the order of the day...

1900GMT (=2000LT) - end of Day 133. We made 108 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 133 (by daily DMGs): 12,523 n.ml.

Distances (at 1900Z): Cape Agulhas LH (S.Africa): 330n.ml. to N; Cape Town Hbr entrance: 396 n.ml. to N; Cape Horn LH: 3380 n.ml. to SW; Montevideo: 3537 n.ml to W; Buenos Aires: 3636 n.ml to W; Rio de Janeiro: 3378 n.ml. to WNW.

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

TIME: 2019/02/13 19:00GMT LATITUDE: 40-18.88S LONGITUDE: 020-17.80E COURSE: 091T SPEED: 5.6kt
WIND_SPEED: 17kt WIND_DIR: WSW SWELL_DIR: WSW SWELL_HT: 3.0m CLOUDS: 0%
BARO: 1017.8hPa TREND: 0 AIR_TEMP: 22.0C SEA_TEMP: 27.0C
COMMENT: Passed S of Capes Good Hope & Agulhas - in Indian Ocean now



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