Friday-Sunday 19th-21st March 2010 - Days 11-13 of passage from Cape Town to Haw

"Nereida" sails around the world.....
Jeanne Socrates
Sun 21 Mar 2010 13:50
Friday 19th March Suddenly - peace & calm!

The usual crashing around with the big swell all morning..... some sun in between white clouds.... Then, at lunchtime, a major rain squall, with a big wind shift to SW, followed by rain, on & off all afternoon... I'm sitting here at tea-time, with a mug of tea in my hand, munching away at a slice of Dundee (rich fruit) cake - very British!! It's suddenly become really peaceful and almost calm - no violent crashing into or off waves ... the wind shifting to SW from W has made all the difference... we're now heading due E easily, just off a beam reach - excellent news! When we bounce along gently, I know we're sailing well - often fast...

There have been a lot of birds around, as though they like the rainy weather of this afternoon... a pair of Yellow-nosed albatross, a dozen White-Chinned Petrels, another different albatross, a pair of Storm Petrels ... and one or two other small ones (prions?), yet to be identified - I'm making good use of my new bird book bought in Cape Town!

With increase in distance, I may be losing my contact on 7120 kHz of the S.A.M.M. Net with Alistair (ZS5MU), but I had excellent contact at 1130 UTC with Graham, ZS2ABK, on 14316 kHz - the same frequency I'll be making eventual contact on with Roy (VK6BO), in Perth, as I get closer to Australia. I was also contacted by Graham. in Wellington, New Zealand, (sysop for the Winlink station ZL2ABN) kindly offering help should I need it.

I still can't believe how suddenly it's calmed down.... Oh well! Just checked... wind down to 12 kt, SOG down to 5.5 kt, although pressure steady still, at 1010 mb. One good thing - the rain will have washed a lot of the salt away - everything I've touched, when topsides recently, has been coated in a film of salt water or salt crystals...

Distance noon-to-noon: 150

Position at 1800 UTC: 38*27' S, 038*27' E !!

PS Sat 20th: Sun 21st: 137
Swell up more on Sat, but calmer on Sun. Hig pressure dropped onto us midnight Sat/Sun .. bringing more E winds.. having to head NE now & will eventually have to tack to keep easterly heading... but so far wind strength reasonable Still plenty of albatrosses and petrels around - using new bird book a lot! Reading manuals - just got into 'Windvane' mode for AP.. and getting into 'Auto Tack' next..!

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