Bluff N.Z. – Valparaiso, Chile
Rose at 07.00h with sun & blue sky. Lay ahull during night to strong W/Y winds which increased since leaving Bluff at 08.00h yesterday. Not the best conditions to start a trip with, but time was running out season wise, & I had been delayed x N.Z. Had been up at 02.30h Friday morning, but forecast of very strong winds put an extra day on departure. So again yesterday was up again at 03.00h & even tough forecast was 30km for Foveaux Strait, I decided to go as they gave W/Y going N.Z. Left Bluff at 08.00h & hoisted no. 3 jib halliard outside harbour which I had up until 17.30h when seas would not allow us to hold there. It was 22.00h when I hit the bunk & slept there until sun up. When upon looking out I saw the fall of port jib halliard had run a left. So I am now letting my breakfast of porridge & tea & toast digest before going out to so some work. Luckily wind of night has eased & seas are down. Port swells are always there. Also, yesterday was rough, & even then I slept sound for 9h. I have still not settled down to sea life & feel a bit knackered after the night’s broken sleep before departure. The good news is that I got off the continental shelf before lying anvil. First few days are never easy on the human frame & stomach, but we made excellent progress until sea built up yesterday. So now I must rest my stiff muscles & tackle this halliard problem.
Tied b/hook to starboard jib halliard which was free when I did so. But when I tried to hoist it, it was jammed a loft. I must have left slack in it while doing so & it also got four of other halliard. So wind is VP again & I am pondering using main halliard fall later. Otherwise I will have to cling mast which will not be easy. Saw two ships yesterday going west at 21.00h & 22.00h sun still in a clear blue sky. Wind W/Y F5.
Had a cuppa & a biscuit earlier & now after a three quarter of an hour doss, I am having instant soup & a lettuce sandwich. Wind has increased & seas are up again. A pity to lose this fair wind, but what can one do. I find I am only snacking so far. Breakfast this morning was the biggest meal yet. Barometer gone down 4mb since yesterday to 1001mb. Must start log book.
Wind with us & increases & eases. Sky has now clouded & we had our first shower. Just finished a rasher, an egg fried in a small saucepan & 2 slices of toast. Spent the afternoon tidying up a few loose ends & read for a while & had another short doss. Not over the last few nights, early rising before departure & yesterday’s rough ride & of course adjusting to sea again. It usually takes me about 5 days to tied down to sea life will read for a while.
Another good sleep woke sometime during night to heavy rain. I woke at 06.00h after hitting the bunk at 21.00h. Having tea & toast now after rising at 07.00h to a dark, overcast morning, with little wind, so I will have another go at halliards shortly. If I fail to get it down from deck, have been thinking it out to haul myself up mast with the main sheet blocks, which I will have to do but don’t relish doing it. Anyway, we shall see.
Examined masthead from deck & figured 4’ to 5’ of light rope tied to spliced end of halliard was too well wrapped around at masthead to free it from deck. But now I will have to try, as I have spent until now making & rigging a Bosuns chair & tackle, & got to cross trees with difficulty being thrown around until my arms, hands & legs, etc. were worn out. Not an easy job with swell & this is as calm as I will get it. Having a cup of t now. Will only have to keep at it. Wind is now from the South, so I will set mizzen st/sle & see how she goes until I get my strength & energy back. Defo not going up mast again. My strength is exhausted.
Tied up Bosuns chair & tackle & set mizzen st/sle but it needs a job to balance it, so down it came. Anyway wind is light & still from south. I am going to be as stiff & sore, & black & blue tomorrow from being thrown around mast & shrouds, but it was worth a try. Before I gave up I would haul myself up & rope would slip & I lost what I had gained. N.Z Mountains visible to NW. Also took large gas bottle from floor of aft cabin & tightened st/gland. New packing needed tightening after engining out of Bluff. Then I ran it in when in Bluff after repacking it but not under load, had a pain in my hole from pumping bilge. However, we are blessed to have fine conditions & this sly wind is possibly the start of high pressure system moving E as barometer is rising nice & steady so things could be a lot worse. Nevertheless, I would like to be moving E. N.Z. radio stations loud & clear. Must listen for a forecast.
Syphoned water from 2 5 gallon drums as I had them out. Also took the opportunity to check engine oil & water which were ok. Also checked my navigation & in (11) hours sailing before lying ahull covered 55m an average speed of 5kn. At 14.00h today, 75m from Bluff, so we drifted 20m lying ahull in 38 hours. 10 of those hours in light winds. Mountains of SE. N.Z. 35 miles distant.
Ran engine for 1 hour & st/gland ok so no more pumping. Restored gas & water drums. Sky clearing before sundown. Freed starboard Jib halliard easily by hauling it up & down. Hoked port halliard fall but it failed to come down, so hooked it twice, so now have strain on it with two hooks so hopefully it may work free before morning. At least we got somewhere with it thank God as I would be in a bad way without jib halliards. Light wind from South holding true & barometer steady since 10.30h at 1010mb.
Hit the bunk at 20.30h last evening & woke once at 01.00h & made cocoa & slept until 07.00h. Will hook a mizzen halliard to it shortly & give it a horizontal pull. My right knee cap & outside & inside of my thighs are sore with bruise marks but otherwise I am fine. Dan told me not to do the young fella, but I had no choice & looking back it was dangerous. It’s bad enough on deck. So I am not just finished a pot of tea as I write after ¼ rasher & an egg. Every leg has its teething problems but this one took the biscuit. My own fault as usual. Opened fall of halliard to hoist a bucket of tools up the mast in Bluff & must only have tied it temporarily. Oh Jesus my legs & thighs are stiff & sore but nothing major thank God.
Rigged mizzen halliard to give horizontal pull to maverick halliard fall & will let it be as I don’t want to put too much strain on it as I don’t know how well hooks are attached. Was going to hoist sails to S/Y wind but a shower (& cold) came up so I will let it go by. It’s about time we made some progress but delighted with halliards, for if anyone told me after I came down from mast yesterday I would have made the progress I would not have believed them Not a good start, but hopefully a good finish.
Sailing again since 09.30h to no. 3 jib & a nice feeling to be underway again. Morning showers have cleared & sky is clearing with mostly sunny. So hopefully strain on halliard will free it. We shall wait & see. a touch of the scour this morning. Must have been all the going yesterday or South African mustard or a tin of ham I opened Sunday so I dumped them.
Took a doss & when I woke at 12.30h was becalmed. Slept for an hour & just finished a half cup & a slice of bread. Sky clouded up again & heavy showers. Have not lost much headway except sun when we had a good W. breeze.
Leg & thigh muscles & knee stiff & sore. Many albatross around boat due to calm. Had a chicken & mushroom instant noodle dinner just now followed by tea & biscuit. Feel tired today & I am taking it easy, reading & dossing while I can.
March came in like a lion. At 20.00h last evening a nice breeze arrived & I set no. 3 jib & mizzen which gave excellent headway. Got up at 07.00h (& earlier at 02.00h) & no hassle. So went back to bunk as it was a dark morning with overcast sky. Had to get up at 07.45h & drop jib as we had a gale on our hands. Mizzen was already down as swap shackle had opened so another halliard up a mast. Have not seen such sudden wind since the squalls in doldrums, so we are lying ahull once again. Though now since I came in off deck & had weetabix with 1st pack of long life, I opened yesterday to boil for scour, wind has eased somewhat. Though there is still a nice whine to rigging. Difficulties tying sails, wind was so strong on deck so never a dull moment. Never saw mizzen swap shackle to open before & can only guess when Neil could not cope with wind & we headed up it shook face. Did a good few jobs yesterday afternoon before hoisting sails, including sealing cabin sunlight & trying to get halliard down & packing & greasing etc. Will plot position shortly as we made good headway overnight & luckily wind waited until daylight to rise as it was a dark night. Now at 09.50h sun & a blue sky, barometer up x 1mb to 1005mb since 08.00h. It had dropped 6mb overnight.
Seas have now built up & I am glad I sealed cabin skylight yesterday. Mainly sun except for odd black shower. Muscles not too bad today, plenty of dark bruise marks. Made 45NM last night & we are now 140NM from Bluff or an average of 35NM per day – not bad considering we sailed for a bare 24h. The Southern Ocean current is a help & we are also being pushed to the East by this strong w/y. Had a late breakfast of 2 rashers & toast & a pot of tea
at 11.00h. Temp down today with wind chill & lucky to have sun. Put pjyama legs on under tracksuit pants & on top I have t-
Just had a mug of instant soup made with stock from a pot of celery, tomatoes & onion will have them later. Having a half an apple now as I write as I thought apart from lettuce & a few tomatoes, I had not eaten any fruit or veg since I left Bluff. Anyway I hate waste & some of celery had to be dumped. Some big combers rolling now with wind constant and I have been tidying. Mostly sun now & great colour & life on the ocean. Wind gone to SW so we are being pushed NE. Not easy cooking today. I spent some time also entering addresses of nice friends I made in Tazmania & N.Z. in fax file Jim gave me in S.A.
Had a weetabix, a pot of tea & biscuit, tea as I spent afternoon in Lee bunk reading. Some heavy showers still around & sun between wind still SW & strong. Barometer rose 2mb. Plenty of noise all day in rigging. Not out since I snugged her down this morning.
Up since 07.00h. Wind eased slightly at 22.00h last night & kept up a while until daylight. Not the ideal conditions for sleeping. Seas this morning very confused along with a large swell from SW wind. Barometer up 8mb to 1019mb overnight. Had a pot of tea & a slice of toast before I went on deck. Would say I had a disturbed sleep as I don’t feel in my usual good spirits. Also being confined yesterday did not help. When seas settle down life can only improve. A few blue windows snowing in a grey sky so we may get sun yet. I suppose the daff’s are budding in McGeverns corner now, if not in Nancy’s garden at home.
A few birds beginning to appear again. Muscles only sore now in legs when sore spots hit anything. Time heals all wounds. So shortly I will make my breakfast. I am back on the port bunk again with SW wind. The wind was SW yesterday morning when it hit us & after two days of good conditions sea was as flat as can be down here, but the white water it kicked up instantly & ferocity of wind was unusual to say the least. I hope it is not par for the course. Must get to work.
Nearly finished my breakfast, had a boiled egg & now toast & jam. Sea state after 36 hours strong wind settling down slowly. Got a lot of work done since & feel tired. Not settled in yet to sea life & would say I did not sleep well last night. Put fine weather & old worn sails in aft cabin, we are getting boat ship shape. Jib halliard fail upset things. 2nd hook I put up on top lift has not worked on to halliard fail yet. I don’t trust bent wire on main halliard to take barometer up another MB to 1017mb. Since 12.00h so low pressure to south is moving E. A big comber just hit us & a few drops entered cabin skylight. Need I say more. Any thoughts I had of sailing definitely gone. We are between a high & low, high to N. of us, so back to my book.
Another good dinner. Grilled bacon & tomatoes, instant spuds & lettuce. Having coffee now. Blue sky deceptive. Overcast with big shower a while ago but I think wind is easing. Wind steady from SW. direction since yesterday which is good. Wind shifts cause confused seas & rogue waves.
Odd shower still moving but mostly sun now. Wind aplenty but down from what it was & from the South. So we are sailing again under a working jib. Plotted earlier & we showed 45nm for 24h at 16.00h. 6h only of those under w/jib yesterday so we were pushed up well by gale & southern ocean current. That was my first time out today. Barometer steady now at 1019mb since 15.00h. 300nm from Bluff today. Not great going, an average of 45 miles per day but covering everything including 2 gales & being without headsail halliards for a while, I can’t complain. If I get remaining jib halliard down I will be happy. God is good & I have my health, whatever about my sense. Looking back, climbing that mast was crazy. Anyway, it taught me a well-
Light fading now as it nears sundown (20.20h) getting an odd slap as ocean still boisterous after string winds. Just finished a late tea of boiled egg & toast. Still getting big black showers but not as frequent.
Sunday. 3. March
Got up to check course which was ok & made a cup of cocoa & I am enjoying the relative peace as the ocean settles down again. I will be busy later today with jobs on my work list. First I must sort boiled celery, onions & tomatoes for dinner & used stock for instant soup. Had bread & salami while it cooked. Tomatoes holding well in low temp. Looks as if this weather seems to be par for the course so far, we are at 48° 12’ South to clear bounty islands to the South x 20.nm At 18.00h we were 60nm from that way point. Having a pot of tea as I write. Thank God for G.P.S., I take a lot for granted.
No wonder I did not want to get up this morning. Temp 50°, lowest yet. Up since 07.30h & adjusted nell & I am after my porridge. Up during night & at midnight we passed bounty islands 30m to the North. Sky overcast but not as thick as yesterday so sun my burn it off later.
At 1000m we passed 180° of longitude so we have gained a day & are now on west longitude until we get home. Barometer down x 4mb since 07.30h & wind & seas are up, so I don’t know how long more nell can hold us on course. Coldest day yet. Had tea & toast & jam after porridge. & just now I had a scrambled egg with a tomato, onion & cheese & a pot of tea & bread & butter. Still cold & a hungry day. Spend morning at navigation & opening bunk lockers looking for butter, etc. so have not sat down unless to eat & write. We have a shaft of sun now so at least sky can’t be that thick. Lying ahull since 13.30h & again I can’t believe how she held her heading without broaching. We did a few wobbles as Jim says, before I decided to act. Very strong wind now which you don’t notice so much when running but it is the seas mainly stop you & their breaking crests. It is par for the course. Looked up ocean passages & F7 or over gales in the month, but so far, all winds have been at our back. & we have only set headsails with the exception of mizzen once. Barometer down from 1019mb. Home since 02.00h on the first of March. When we passed 170°25’ longitude. Another day confined but still making excellent progress.
Lying ahull since 21.00h last evening. Don’t know how she kept her hog before I dropped sail (w/jib) but when I went on deck, both wind & seas were impressive & it blew harder during the night & still is. Slept from 22.00h until 07.00h & not long up. Pretty hectic seas now & motion. One week out today. Barometer 1014mb which is not low, unless it went down & came up again. It was 1015mb when I hit the bunk last evening. I don’t feel hungry this morning. Normally I enter journal after breakfast. Maybe it is because yesterday I ate well for the first time since leaving Bluff & also I was confined yesterday & looks like I will be today also. Very strong gusty winds. Odd show of sun through a black sky giving cold showers, temp of 55°F. I think I will have porridge. God but I slept well. No worries about sails or wind direction or strength. Before I struck sail last evening, I was very apprehensive, but was slow to do so as we were making up to 7KN at times & it was dark when I actually did so.
Day seems to be improving. Sky lifting & more sun but seas still big & confused. Will give it a while. Topped up my porridge & sugar & powdered milk containers. Will make a pot of tea now.
Day still shitty. Sky black again & wind up so it will be squally & wild for another while yet. Though barometer up x 1mb since 08.00h. Will enjoy my pot of tea & then read for a while as I have my cabin jobs & tidying finished.
Had an instant soup & bread. Still blowing & seas wild but long so things could be worse. Sky all blue now so maybe it will blow itself out. Strain & we could be back where we started. Seems to be jammed in mast sheave where short lanyards (2) are made fast to halliard fall splice. Temp slowly rising today as sky overcast 58°, will put up mizzen st/sail as soon as I finished tea & a cigy. Must write a letter to Nance & Dan who were so supportive to me in Bluff with support & credit when I get time. Wind has eased & sea toggle is holding us up. Barometer now just above 1020mb. Hope wind does not die & leave us to roll & rock.
Fri. March 5.
Woke at 01.30h to pressures of wind & motion & had to drop no. 3 jib at 03.30h as nell had disengaged. Barometer down 2mb to 1018mb but not low. Nice whine to rigging. Having a mug of cocoa & a biscuit before I go back to bunk. Seems to be stop & go lately.
Finished a pot of tea & having a cigy after a breakfast of porridge & jam on toast. Not easy cooking with motion as we are underway since 09.00h under w/jib & doing 5KN to a fresh SW/Y. Strong breeze of night down & back up by 4mb since 03.30h to 1022mb. Felt dopey after late sleep in & being up during the night. Was up & dressed at 07.00h but decided wind was too strong so back to bunk until 09.00h.
Back in after having to help nell with main rudder. Large smooth backed whale to port surface twice about 60’ distant.
Getting odd sun now & then. Just finished best meal yet, rashers, instant spuds, tomatoes, lettuce, half on apple & coffee. Excellent progress & new holding in fresh wind since I adjusted main rudder.
Did my chart plotting & nice to see 80nm for last 24h (18½h sailing) & that we have been heading so that I could get at engine. Making great headway under twin w/jibs. Edging N slowly. If we keep getting these gales of past week (4) will sit on at 47° & see what happens. We are now on 48°44’S. Had dinner in between writing this, of beans (half can) with celery & onion mixed in.
Barometer has dropped half an MB. It does not stay up for long & if wind gets any stronger, will have to drop a jib. Sun filtering through grey weakly now & then & welcome as temperature is 57°. Seas building up now with gone crests which we surf on, with steady wind since morning. Will charge batteries.
Having tea now after rashers & beans. Rans engine for 4 hours, with batteries now up thank God. Solar panels not much use with grey sky’s, dropped one w/jib at 15.00h as wind & seas both called for it, but past hours or so both are down & barometer steady again. So what’s new. Anyway, we are doing ok. Covered engine & batteries when it cooled. Got a good chance to work today. Still edging north. Read for a while this afternoon & will do so again now before bunk. Must put clocks on tomorrow as night falling earlier as we go East. Excellent mileage today.
Wen. 5. Mar. Day 11
Up since 07.00h. Must put clocks forward 1 hour tonight. Today a few degrees up on yesterday but still cool early in the morning. Having more t now as I plotted after breakfast of tea & toast & was cold when I put chart away. Barometer held high since slight fall yesterday at 1012mb but has dropped 1mb now. We covered 95m in the 24h to 07.00h & are still edging North 48°33’S. 630m from Bluff. An average of 53 miles per day & not bad considering gales under poled w/jib to port. We have plenty of sail up. The seas that build up with wind are the problem. Sky not as dense by day & we get an odd shaft of sun. Will have a coffee & biscuit later. Listening to nice music on N.Z. B.C. stations this Sunday as I write.
Lying anull again to F6/7 seas built up until nell slipped. So much for a high glass. 1016mb now. Dropped from 1021mb slowly since 13.00h Longest yet I would say.
Monday. 6. March.
Still blowing 14m now & seas are impressive. We are riding out gale snugly enough considering seas, until we get hit by a comber. Decided not to get up until 09.30h, what for? I have had my porridge & will have tea & toast shortly. Woke at 04.00h & looked at barometer which had not dropped that much. Otherwise slept well until daylight. Sky a uniform grey, overcast.
Having my tea & toast as I write. Nothing I can do now only watch barometer (now 1008mb & falling x 1mb since 08.30h) for a rise & do a few cabin jobs. I have to fix kettle lid, put a new pillow slip on pillow, check fruit, oil jib hanks, tidy dr’s, pump bilge into sink (inside pump), pull out butter, if motion of boat permits. Sliced brown bread is lasting well with odd spot of green showing.
Sailing under w/jib since 15.00h. Wind SW F.6 now. Had eased earlier but barometer has climbed x 1mb. Replaced m/sheets & t/lift while on deck. Seas still boisterous but not as bad as morning. Sky still overcast with uniform grey cover out halliard & I have to run engine. Syphon water from aft cabin, 5 gallon drums, check all rigging and lashings, check solar panel leads to battery to name a few. Plus inside work. Oh god it’s nice to get a break after motion & noise of strong winds & above all to be making progress again.
Been busy since I got up at 08.30h. Was up at 07.00h & all ok as it was a dark cold morning, hit bunk again. Good news – I retrieved halliard. Put a stronger rope on to top & lashed a shark hook to it which gripped & I put it through a block & winched it free. I had already it hooked with bent hooks made of wire through a broom handle, but was afraid wire would straighten with strain if I put it on main halliard. I also plotted course & mileage to clear bounty islands (to the South). At 11.30h we were 120m from a way point 20m south of its continental shelf. Presently we are on 47°51’ south & w/points 48°20’ south & making excellent headway under w/jib which is up now since 17.00h last evening. Was tempted to set no.3 jib this morning & I am glad now I didn’t as we have a fresh SW/Y which is giving us 5KN. Sun came out of a grey, overcast sky a while ago but now back to overcast again. Seas building up now with strong winds & we have a nice whine in rigging. Barometer dropped x 2mb to 1020mb since morning. High barometer gave me an idea to day would be calmer but I don’t care & I am glad I took the opportunity earlier to secure halliard. Mizzen halliard will be no problem. A swap shackle can’t go through sheave & a fish hook will take it down. Anyway, so far have only used headspils as winds have been aster N since leaving Bluff. Not long after dinner of salami (first) & lettuce. Had a breakfast of toast & jam.
Heated a tin of rice to warm me. Blowing hard now for some time. Barometer down by 1mb since 13.30h so it may be a short blow. Back to my lee bunk & book.
Just finished a late tea of bread & butt & salami & a slice of Sonias fruit cake. Barometer up now to 1005mb & wind has eased, but sea in a state of chassis after strong wind. We are due a break. Read for afternoon. Very cold all day & night will be also. Temp 52° now. Will read for another while before I hit bunk.
Tue. 7. March. Day 10
Up since 06.30h as wind had eased overnight, slept through night until light. Previous night passing bounty islands & gale yesterday must have taken its toll. Barometer at 06.30h up to 1009mb, so after porridge, hoisted w/jib to port but HO’s was taking us south so poled out other w/jib to port. We are now on 48°47’ south & are heading slightly north as we make Easting. Ocean passage recommend between 47° & 50° south for Cape Horn route & that was for well found & well crewed sailing ships. So now that we are past bounty islands we will see. Not long after a boiled egg, toast & a pot of tea. Excellent progress & seas settling down again. Sky still overcast. Another cold day, 50° at 06.30h, 53° now at 10.00h. Sun would be welcome.
Have not sat down since breakfast with difficulty due to rolling, but with no water coming into cockpit, I pulled out 2 x 5 gallon water cans & 2 gas bottles & checked st/gland & ok & rudder gland which needed tightening & syphoned water into 1 gallon containers & kettle. Failed to start engine & was downhearted as there was no kick from starter motor. So I said that is that & was sorry I did not get it checked like alternator in Bluff. However, I wiped moisture of all the leads & batteries & re-
Had to unpole jib as it was pushing us to wind ward so we seem to be holding heading better now. Wind not constant, but gusty in strength. Sea state is now wild enough. Having another pot of tea now with a slice of bread with chicken paste which was tasty. Not hungry today so much but thirsty. Must have been the can of beans yesterday. Yesterday’s 95m was covered under twin jibs for 8h & one jib for 16h. Barometer holding at 1010mb since it dropped from 1012mb this morning.
God but I enjoyed that dinner. A potato sliced thinly, an onion, celery & 2 carrots & the stock for chicken & onion instant soup. Oh yes, & 2 tomatoes along with salami. Sun breaking through lately. Excellent headway under jib to fresh W/Y. Barometer still dropping but very slowly, 1.5mb since 09.00h.
Having a slice of fruit cake & coffee. Sun unbroken until now for past h or so & temp 43° which is great. Getting a welcome break these past two days. Confined today & seas boisterous but nell doing great work.
Had a late tea of rashers & eggs. Wind has eased with a good s/set though we are doing 5km under w/jib. Barometer steady at 1010mb. Read for most of aft & will again now after I put clocks forward 1 hour. Should have done it last Tuesday or Monday when we passed 180° long’. Still edging N. x 5m since 07.00h. Stratus cleared away giving sun & high clouds from 16.00h. Nice to see the ocean blue again. If wind holds we should have another good days run.
Thur. 9. March. Day 13
Having a mug of cocoa & a bread & jam after dropping jib, which was giving odd flap in a light wind & swells. Pitch dark night on deck. Brilliant phosphorous in water when I adjusted nell before dropping sail. My sleep was gone so I plotted run since 07.00h yesterday & 110m in 20h (did not count added hr) under w/jib 5.5KN. A total of 720m to date. Not used to temperature 60° now. Last few nights only took off pullover hitting bunk. Last night took of track suit which left me with pyjama legs, t-
Finished my breakfast of boiled eggs & toast & marmalade. Woke at 09.00h & light wind from N so back to bunk until 11.00h (remember change of hour & I was up last night). Anyway, for some unaccountable reason I feel both relieved & content for first time since leaving Bluff. Maybe it is the mileage of the past few days as I was worried about slow progress. I also slept well, dreamt that Donal O’Sullivan & I were cray fishing with rods & he jumped over beside, came up & said “I will be able to pay my bills it’s full of crays down there”. Imagine. The morning is dark & overcast again & I am reduced to salvaging bread from what’s left as it is mouldy. Had the toasted crusts just now & dumped a couple of slices & will have 3 left for today. Not too bad after two weeks. A light breeze has come up from the N so I will see if we can sail. Breeze has increased somewhat with a thick wet mist. Barometer down from 04.00h by 3mb to 1009mb. Temp ok, 60° 13.00h under main (first this leg) & no. 2 w/jib, to N.N.E. wind & doing well. Nearly broad reaching for my speed. Going South slightly again. We can only go where wind sends us. No highways out here. G.P.S. a gift. Must get a few jobs off cabin work list. Already did some this morning. Must put on dinner 1st. Where does the day go when one gets up late. Excellent speed in flat sept as we reach east.
Wind holding steady in strength despite barometer falling. 1006mb now & down by 3mb since 11.30h. Backing wind slowly giving a better heading but still edging south. Had another good dinner, added celery, an onion & tomato to yesterday’s carrots & made usual instant soup, salami & bread, quarter of a grapefruit with sugar for desert & now I will make tea. Sea haze still with us.
Sea haze persists & wind has increased & back to NW so I took a rest in main without any loss of speed, 6KN. Barometer now down x 3mb to 1003mb since 14.45h was expecting much more wind due to both barometer & backing of wind.
Had tea & toast & chick spread. No change in weather. I recall any time I went South from Ireland, I met this weather after 5 days & sailed through it into sun. Cool North & meeting warmer air & condensing. Can’t complain about headway. 7KN now & we are holding our latitude, neither going N or S at 48°34’S on a compass hog of 60°. Seas are building now. Barometer 1001mb, down another 2 in one and a half hours. Another hour of daylight left.
Fri. 10. Mar -
Dropped sails last night at 22.00h. Had taken 2 no reef in main at 20.00h. Barometer had dropped to 998mb & when I got up this morning it was 982mb. So back to bunk for another half hour. We lay ahull all night & I slept through it. Opened my weekly pack of long life milk & had weetabix. Now I am having last of bread, a crust I scrapped the mould from & toasted. Day as yesterday, overcast with mist.
For 10 hours yesterday we did 55m & for 12h lying ahull until 10.00h we did 25m & pushed 10m to the South. Was tempted to leave jib up last night when I took down main & glad now I did not. Barometer now down to 980mb.
Sky brightening now with passage of cold front & wind more sever & gusty. Barometer up by 4m to 984mb. Noisy & motion tricky. Had an instant noodle dinner with cream crackers. Did a bit of tidying earlier & pumped bilge with inner pump into sink. Not much one can do in these conditions only wait it out. Will read for a while.
Barometer 989mb. Up x 7mb since morning. Wind & seas bad now since midday & can only imagine worst wind since the storm off Tazmania & the tail end of hurricane going across to US in ’86. But we are taking it ok. The worst of it should be over before dark which is good.
Three quarters of an hour before sundown & no let up with some vicious squalls. Sky brightening so we may see sunset. Had cream crackers & chicken paste & fruit cake with a pot of tea. Have not been out all day. Wind easing between squalls. Funnily enough not taking too many breaking crests over us though I have had to use inner pump now & again but nothing excessive. Read for most of afternoon. Ocean is in a state of chassis & will be for some time after this blow. Barometer rising slowly. Up 2mb since 17.30h to 991mb so God is good.
No sunset visible last evening as sky clouded up again. Sun & clouds this morning since dawn & no let-
Barometer now 1000mb. Have sun with fine clouds filtering it. Back to the cold again with winds up from polar regions. Not long after a half cup with rye vita & salami & chicken paste, fruit cake & coffee. Still no let-
A turbulent 48h. Wind has decreased slightly & sea has lost its white streaks & big crests which we took plenty of. Sky has darkened again now with sundown & noise is tiring & I oozed a lot today between reading & pumping & eating. Had a boiled egg for tea & finding rye vita ok & do not miss bread. Considering the state of seas I am amazed we are not knocked down, which I am thankful for. Drifted 30m to the North in the 48h. Little did I realise last evening that not alone were we another 24h of gale but more severe winds. However we survived & hopefully winds will ease more. Barometer now 1008mb.
Sunday. 12. March. Day – 16
Wind gradually eased during the night. Up since 07.00h to a cold (52°) bright morning with the ocean turbulent & confused after 2 days of gale force winds. Put up w/jib to S x E wind & was doing a nice 5KN. Had a bowl or saucepan of porridge prior to going on deck & now just finished a pot of tea after rye vita & jam. Sun & medium cumulous clouds, great to be under way again. Drifted another 14m to the North last night in 11h. Barometer now 1019mb. Must look at chart after over 2 days of lying ahull & enter position. We are taking odd slosh from confused seas & it will take some time for the ocean to settle again. I am on a course to take us North at an angle to 47°. At present, we are on 47°49’. So far we have met 5 gales, so maybe higher latitude will give better weather & progress. Slept well enough last night & only woke an odd time. Tension of past two days & nights tiring.
Did my chart plotting & we drifted 47m to the North & 80m to the east in 2.5 days. Bluff is 855m distant for 16 days or an average of 53 miles per day. Not great. We shall see if we do better to the North. We are not receiving N.Z. radio stations at this range. May try tonight. First time outside cabin this morning in 2.5 days. Glad I had porridge as it was cold with S/Y polar air. Sun still with us now & then between dark cumulous. Everything was ok up on deck after gale which was nice to find. Temp up from morning 52° to 56° but still cold. Barometer up by 5mb from morning’s 1019mb & seems to be levelling out at that so I must get down to a few cabin jobs.
Having a hot cup of coffee & a slice of fruit cake. Hope we get a break from strong winds now for at least a week & good to be out of that mass of damp & moist air. If seas settle I will run engine as I have it covered. Have a few deck jobs also, check rigging screw etc. & pump bilge. Barometer 1021mb.
Have been busy today. Ran engine, tightened rudder gland again & syphoned a gallon on from 5 gallon water tanks. Had a good dinner of celery, onion, tomatoes, carrot & spuds & instant soup & salami. Checked all rigging screws, shackles, etc. Wind backed from south this morning & gone light so it would not surprise me if we are becalmed tonight. Having a pot of tea now with a slice of fruit cake. Did not feel hungry after big dinner. I enjoyed today after last 2 days of violent wind. Barometer holding steady.
13. March. Mon. Day – 17
Woke to noise of wind & waves, & wind has backed to N.E. & F5 so I dropped jib under daylight. Do not want to go south again. We will only lose a few miles. My sleep is gone now. This is the first wind with East in it & the first time it has been backed from the South. Barometer down by 4mb to 1016mb since 2200h so it will be interesting.
Interesting is right. Just as well I tied jib well as we lie ahull again to a strong N.E. wind since 07.00h. Made a cocoa last night after getting out of oiler & slept until 09.00h. Barometer had dropped by 4mb at 04.00h & now another 6mb to 1011mb looks like we are in for another blow. Hard to make mileage in these conditions. Seas building up now. Looks like we will have to go above 47° which we are sitting on now for better conditions & progress as we are getting nowhere down here.
Tue. 13 March Day – 17
A very sever gale again yesterday which eased at around 0400.h. Was pumping bilge every hour until then & sooner sometimes depending on water coming aboard. Not the nicest situation & the worst seas ever as wind was against southern ocean current. At 23.00h we got hit by a wave & got swung around so I had to change my bunk & again at 06.00h when wind eased more & wind was running wild I had to change again to port bunk where I can jamb a piece of ply between table & bunk as we were pitching & rolling so much. However, we survived thank God & deck & rigging ok. We are heading north since 08.00h under no 3 & m/st’e at 4KN. which is just keeping sales full. We have sun since I got up at 07.45h which is great so we are heading due north. Made a pot of tea which was lovely with a few rye vitas & paste & jam before going on deck as morning’s can be cold so now I will have a boiled egg. Had porridge yesterday before it got bad & cooking after that was both dangerous & minimal as apart from wild motion I was expecting a knockdown. We got many good thumps from crests but no knockdown thank God, will plot later. Don’t know what weather is up to as barometer has only started to rise now x 1mb from 990mb, which it was at midnight. Roughly, N.E. wind pushed us back 30m & South x 27m. Still have a touch of pain in my head, which I never get, from noise & tension of uncertainty yesterday.
Sun out all day in a more or less blue sky bar a few large cumulous, which have all cleared away now bar a few to the SW. The finest & warmest day so far. The swells beat the breeze at midday & I ran the engine for 3 hours on a north heading, after checking battery & started connections when starter motor whined twice like previously. Hoisted sails again but motley swells again beat breeze after an hour and a quarter. Did not sit down today until 14.30h to peel spuds & make the usual veg stew & soup & salami. Used the last of celery, which was 1st class. We still have a very confused sea after yesterday’s gale which luckily did not last too long & must have passed to the north of us thank God for that as we have the biggest swell from the north. Very dangerous on deck today with rolling & pitching. Did not plot today as I had enough to do, but from G.P.S. we are 26m behind our position before gale & 9m south of it. So we crept north for 26m today. Barometer only rose to 994mb today from 990mb of gale & yet we had the finest & warmest (66° now) day so far. Not long after coffee & slice of fruit cake, will read now for a while.
Just in after securing deck for night. Everything points to a windless night but I don’t take chances especially down here. Covered engine & bagged mizzen st/sle. Having cocoa & biscuit now & will read before bunk. Don’t know where I got the energy today as I was up to alarm on the hr last night until 04.00h & yesterday was no picnic. Must have been the beautiful day & satisfaction of knowing boat & gear could survive yesterday’s conditions. Only swag is progress is bloody awful & the season is slipping away. Also cockpit floor lets a lot of water into bilge before it draws away.
Woke to a brilliant sunny morning after a grim night’s sleep. Barometer up x 6mb overnight to 1002mb. Swells still there but reducing.
I am finished my porridge & other jobs since I got up at 08.00h. Nice to see the sun after all the dull misty days & the peace of a fine day after atrocious conditions. Nature can be either kind or cruel. Will put on a bacon & egg breakfast now as I feel relaxed, like a Sunday morning at home.
Yes, I enjoyed that bacon & egg & a pot of tea with rye vita & marmalade. Enjoying the break & read an old Tazmania paper. Still no sign of a breeze as we roll & rock. Enjoying the rest & fine morning. Will get down to a few jobs shortly.
Working since, restitching piston hanks to w/jib, greasing mast tabernacle where creaking, tidy out dr’s & tool locker & D.W. el switches & fitted a new halliard tie cord, etc. Just finished last of lettuce with tomatoes and sardines, with a mug of powdered milk. Still have a blue sky & motley swells. Difficult to see horizon with them.
No change, sun, no wind, giving boat & self a great chance to catch up.
Changed down jib from no. 3 to w/jib & took one reef in main. Had other rig up since 16.30h /day when we go a breeze. Took it easy yesterday after dinner bar a few jobs. Sky still clear with a full moon & barometer steady at 1005mb sin yesterday morning. No loss of speed with reduced sail. Must make a cocoa. Hit the bunk at 20.00h last night so I don’t feel tired. Miss the radio as I got used to it in Oz, Tazmania & N.Z.
Back to strong winds again. Changed down to storm jib & took 2nd reef in main. Wind now F6/7 but seas not too bad yet. Taking an odd one over cabin. Barometer down by 3mb since 04.00h. Wind N x E & we are being pushed south again. A gusty wind but not hard. Last night we passed 170°20’ which we were at last Sunday evening after 3 days. On Sunday we were at 47°15’ latitude & now our position 47°47’ x 171°02’. Not easy making mile lately & chart has not been looked at since last Sun. We have lost the blue sky, but sky is high with odd sun between grey streaks. Temp is ok at 60°.
Lying ahull again. Wind & seas up again. Sky greyed up at 14.00h & very dark now & was raining when I was on deck. A quieter motion now except for whine in rigging compared to when sails were up. Pushed down again to within 4m of 48°S.
St Patrick’s Day. I am 69 years old today thank God & you would think that I should have more sense than to be down here. 47°59’S x 169°15’ in the roaring forties. I am up since 07.15h & it is now 08.20h & I am after weetabix & long life milk (I open a pack every Friday) & a pot of tea & rye vita & jam Funnily, after lying ahull at 17.00h yesterday, the wind eased shortly afterwards so I had a good night’s sleep. I woke at 05.45h this morning & could hear winds & I said I would await daylight. So now, we have a nice noise of wind & it is from the W. The barometer at 995mb, dropped by 2mb since last evening.
We are sailing & doing 4.5KN. under storm jib & 2 r/main. Should have 3rd set of reef points. Noticed I lost 2 battens yesterday. Will have to stitch them in. I would say we have F6 & we are comfy enough as we broad reach to the E of N. We have a blue sky since dawn with a large cumulous on horizon. Sun must burn them off overnight. If motion & wind ease, will plot chart. We are jumping around too much now. Barometer steady at 995mb.
Little time for anything only lying in Lee bunk & reading though earlier in the day I cooked a good dinner of half tin of spaghetti with an onion & 2 tomatoes & had it with salami. Working inner pump since midday as sea is up. I also pulled out a pack of flora from bunk locker, other than that nothing I can do. Barometer edging up & now 997mb but the main thing is we are going north & I am going to keep going north until weather improves. Seven gales so far & F7 again today is not on for me. Luckily I have a strong boat. I am seriously thinking of taking the Panama Canal route home. Motion & noise is wearing & as Donie O’Donovan used to say “The human frame can only take so much”. After all, survival is paramount. Cooking not easy in these conditions but I will fight my way North. Lucky we have sun today as it is cold. Having a pot of tea & fruit cake now as I write.
Sat. 18. Mar. Day – 22
Spent some time on chart just now. Last entry was last Sun. so I filled it in yesterday at 08.45h. We made 180m to the East since last Sunday at 22.00h, approx 35 miles per day, between 2 gales & being becalmed once for nearly 5 days. Yesterday at 08.45h we were 970m East of Bluff for 21 days or 46 miles per day. At that rate, we would be at Cape Horn late May, nearly midwinter. The good news is we made 100m due North in the 25h at 08.45h this morning. Was up at 00.30h last night as we had come around on the starboard tack. Only saw it to happen once before. We had lumpy seas after wind of yesterday & wind had eased at 22.00h. Anyway, the jib is too small for 2 reef main & between it all she was pushed hard so we are under no.3 jib since & still going north with a west wind which freshened this morning again. I am up since 08.45h & it is a lovely sunny day with not as fresh a wind as yesterday. Barometer up by 7mb since last night to 1008mb.
Day & wind holding great & excellent progress north thank God. Just finished a half tin of spuds with a half tin of beef & mushroom with an instant soup & a mug of long life milk to follow. Have not been out since last night only to look out hatch. Have been kept in since last Wednesday, 3 days now unless to go on deck. Tomorrow is the Autumnal Equinox so maybe that is why the weather has been bad. When running, the cockpit is dry but reaching, you always get flying spray from crests as they slap you.
Wind dying now before sundown. Fresh wind all day eased around 16.00h Was easy making tea as I only had a pot of tea & 2 rye vita & jam, after big dinner did not feel hungry. Went on deck before t & tidied & checked, etc. & had sail tyers of boom to hoist main & changed my mind. I think I am getting sense. Will be dropping no.3 shortly as wind nearly gone now. Sky clear all afternoon & now, but sun looks watery. Barometer 1011mb from 1005mb this morning. Got a good rest today as yesterday was tough going & I was up last night. Amazing how fast the light goes as the sun gets low. Looks like I will have a good night sleep tonight. Great to have got North 45°42’ now.
Sunday. 19. March. Day – 23
Well, I woke to a breeze at 02.30h from N.SW so I hoisted no. 3 jib & we have made progress with it until 08.30h when wind freshened & I dropped it & hoisted w/jib. Barometer down by 5mb to 1005mb now & dropping slowly, so the high pressure is declining. Temp 60° & was too warm in oilers changing sails so we have a warm front approaching by the looks of things. Sky last evening at sundown was unusual with wisps curling up like a witches hair so we are now being edged South again.
Sky which was high earlier has now greyed up. From 10.00h until 19.00h yesterday when we were becalmed, we covered 42m for 9 hours from 02.30h until 09.00h, today 27m for 6.5 hours. Nice to plot chart when you are making progress. So far wind has not increased since I changed jibs & barometer is barely down by 1mb since 08.30h so it may only be a minor depression. So now with my office work finished, I will make a cuppa. Only had tea & rye vita & jam after sail change & as I said last night I had only a small tea. Must have been the good dinner yesterday & being confined.
Warmest day yet 66° & we have a one reefed main up since 15.30h. Barometer slowly on the up, the sun is out & wind giving us a better heading north & has eased since 14.00h. Had another dinner as yesterday, from half tin steak & mushroom only along with spuds. I today added an onion & first of cabbage after stripping some outer mouldy leaves. So thank God we did not get the low I expected.
Mon. March. 20. Day – 24
Becalmed since 19.30h last evening. Up since 07.30h & started engine with usual difficulty after tapping terminals & D.W. 40 & praying. Then it ran for an hour & stalled, so I will have to bleed it before I run it again. Tried to get mizzen halliard down & failed with a triple fishhook. Will try again now. Hard making miles but at least we are 45°20’ north & we have not had a gale since last Thursday which is a break. We also have not the cold of higher latitude we had 55° this morning & 63° now. Barometer up x 3.5mb since last evening to 1012.5mb now.
Got mizzen halliard down ok so will wait & see as I don’t want to go south again. Pity about engine, fuel must be dirty. Will have to take off battery terms 1st chance I get & clean & grease them. Never a dull moment.
Wind from NE until now, so I am letting her drift. Took an afternoon off. Sky grey now for some time & barometer down x 7mb to 1005mb. Had a rasher & tea & scrambled eggs with cheese & tomato for dinner. 24 hours now drifting.
Tue. Mar. 21. Day – 25
Woke at 07.30h & got up at 08.00h to a breeze from the SW so after porridge hoisted genoa (for the first time this trip) & main & we are underway again after 38h in which we drifted 5 x 15m Not bad, sun trying to break through fine mist banks. Barometer fell by 12mb from yesterday morning to 1000 at 02.30h this morning but had climbed x 2mb since. We have a long night now of 12 hours with Equinox & I usually read until 21.00h or later & get up with light at 07.00h or 08.00h which gives me 10 hours or so in the sack. Last night was the warmest yet & for the first time I left off tracksuit top & when I woke at 02.30h took off sweat shirt & pyjama legs. This morning for first time I did not put on a pullover. Temp 60°, had a rasher and a pot of tea after hoisting sails & now must get down to my work list.
Working up until now while I have the chance. Hatch open & cockpit day. Breeze eased slightly so I halved her more to wind & going ok in spite of large swell from W. so there must have been shit to S. Odd banks of sea haze & sun. Taking cocoa & cream crackers & cheese now after fitting a new snap shackle to mizzen halliard. Old one had pulled arm & bent it. Tidied & other odd jobs. Must bring a few sail bags from aft cabin to bow as I think I have too much weight aft. Twice she has come around since leaving Bluff. Once lying ahull & once close reefed with storm jib. Would be lost without G.P.S. Wind inclined to swing more from the W to SW & at times increasing.
Raining off & on since 14.00h & wind up. Back in, put one reef in main & put up w/jib. Wind still SW.
Dropped main half an hour ago. Wind increased steadily & we are doing 4.5 knots under w/jib. Wind still holding from the SW estimate F6 with seas building. Sky grey since rain earlier. Barometer steady at 1002mb since morning bar rise of 1mb at midday.
Wen. Mar. 22. Day – 25
Wind eased overnight & made steady progress under w/jib. Barometer up by 7mb since last evening & up by 1mb since I got up with sun at 07.30h. Finished my breakfast of 2 rashers now & must hoist sail. Thank God we came N, would say all the shit is south of us.
Hoisted main at 09.00h & are doing well. Sky grey until now as sun tries to break through. Have spent the time since plotting yesterday’s 24 hour run to 09.00h today & 95m so it paid off to head north. I thought last evening I would be dropping jib & lying ahull, which I am sure we would have if we were further south. I also calculated & added what mileage we took N to the E mileage & after much calculations have decided (see attached) to head for Panama. At first it was the ferocity of some of the gales encountered & the cockpit floor letting water into bilge that had me worried & rightly so. There is no point in being fool hardy. Also I am late in season due to repairs in Tazmania & N.Z. So maybe it is all for the best & now that I have reached a decision, I feel happier. One can only do ones best.
Have been busy since. Prepared & cooked a nice dinner of spuds & cabbage, toms & 2 rashers with the usual instant soup from stock. Not long after a coffee. Will take it easy & read now for a while. Barometer up by 2mb to 1015mb since 12.30h. Read the faxes, etc. I got in Bluff while having dinner. Ratty’s is gas, also Pete’s, God bless them. We have another thick sea mist like yesterdays since 14.00h. Today not as fine, like early yesterday when cockpit was dry. SW wind holding very steady in direction now since yesterday morning.
Becalmed since 18.00h. Sky still overcast but thick sea mist has cleared. Deck & rigging drenched with moisture. Warm air condensing no doubt. Just finished a pot of tea after a boiled egg. Seem to be eating better today after making decision to head for Panama. Barometer 1019mb.
Thur. Mar. 25. Day – 26
Had the best night sleep for a long time. Got up at 07.30h & hoisted main & genoa to a N.SW breeze. Thick sea haze back again. Barometer up x 3.5mb from 1020mb last night. The highest yet. We are being edged slightly S this morning with N x W wind which allowing for variation is N x E. Must get down to a few jobs. Had 2 rashers for breakfast.
Did my chart plotting & from 09.00h to 18.00h yesterday covered 45m in 9 hours. I don’t know if I wrote last evening, we were becalmed at 18.00h Sky beginning to brighten now as sun begins to burn thro’ this mist. Changed t/shirts this morning & pillow slip yesterday.
Had to change goa down to w/jib & 1 reef main. Sun made a few attempts & failed to breach a wet mist or grey sky all day. Wind fresh since 14.00h & we are edging N all the time at 5.5 KN. Had a god dinner of cabbage & tomato & 2 rashers with instant soup from stock & just now had half a tin of instant rice heated. Confined again apart from cooking & pulling long life milk from bunk locker & deck work & chart, etc. spent my time reading. Barometer up x 1.5mb to 1024.5mb since 14.00h
Fri. Mar. 24 Day – 27
Spent a noisy night in fresh wind until 00.30h when we came about, so I dropped main. The wind had eased so we carried on w/jib until 09.00h when I put up genoa mizzen to a light breeze from the W. We made it 105m at 09.00h in 25.5 hours. Did not get up until 08.30h & enjoyed a good sleep after being up during the night. Opened my fresh long life & had weetabix followed by 2 rashers after being on deck. Wind barely filling sails now & barometer up now to 1030mb. Sky still grey but no fine wet mist like earlier. Temp 64°.
Having a light dinner of tin crab & tomatoes. Tomatoes lately showing black spots, which I cut off. Would not have brought so many only Alan Ackroyd gave me a bag of his home grown before departure. Have been going since I got up as we are becalmed & mist has more or less gone. Pulled 5 gallon drums & gas bottle from st/cabin floor & tightening st/gland, syphoned water from drums & then started to bleed engine without success. No fuel coming through fuel filter when I pump x lift pump. Opening unions from tank & fuel only flowing from port tank. Checked fuel filter caps & port had one slot in thread & to let air in & avoid a vacuum blocked, so now I am giving it time for gravity hopefully to bring fuel back to lift pump so that I can bleed it. The main thing, & it had me worried, is that the starter is working ok since I cleaned & greased terminals. Hopefully fuel will flow again. What little wind we have is from the W. Also a large swell from the W. Sky still grey & barometer now 1031mb, so since I struck genoa mizzen at 10.00h I have had a good chance to get important work done. It is nice to be out without oilers again. This morning we were at 43°54’S. I had intended to go to 40°5’ but will go east now in case we get stuck in the high, but it is giving me a great opportunity to get badly needed work done. I still have to stitch in battens in main & mizzen, which I lost in strong wind but first I have to have engine to charge batteries.
Yes, fuel eventually filled fuel filter & engine is running since 17.00h, thank God. It pays to have patience. Fair play to Peter French for his letter with instructions on how to bleed the engine. Put battens in mizzen & main & greased battery terms & all el’ connections while fuel was gravitating. A productive day & a busy one. Not used to such work with being cooped in so much lately & I feel tired but happy. Still becalmed. Must have my tea. Mist coming down again now.
Sat. Mar. 25. Day – 29
Still becalmed on another misty morning. Did not get up until 08.15h. Had a great night sleep. Had more weetabix this morning with long life milk. Tonight they are having a dance in the Ark for me. I hope they enjoy it & that it is a success.
Having a cocoa & fruit cake (2nd). Had a good dinner, spuds, cabbage & tomatoes & instant soup & salami. Lovely. Mist or fog cleared earlier with a brighter day but still no direct sun. Had no. 3 & mizzen up for 2 hours until 13.00h. As calm as you would ever see an ocean. Taking life easier today after yesterday. Apart from hoisting & lowering sails & checking rigging & a few other jobs, I am enjoying a day of rest with a book.
No. 3 & mizzen up again since 17.30h to a light breeze. A fog came with the breeze. Saw a branch of kelp today, encrusted with barnacles. First piece of flotsam I have seen.
Sunday. 26 March. Day – 30
What a lovely day. Sky beginning to show odd patch of blue after a clear grey or ridged or lined sky earlier. All the mist & fog gone thank God. Was in oilers at 20.00h last night ready to drop mizzen & no. 3 as they were giving odd flat & they seemed to be ok again. So I was lucky as light breeze help up all night & increased enough to hoist main at 09.30h. So we have a full rig up for a change. Got up at 08.00h after waking with light at 07.00h after a great sleep. Barely remember waking an odd time to notice sails filling. Lovely to see the blue of sky again. Barometer holding steady for 24 hours now at 1032mb. Nice to be able to see the horizon again & maybe sight a ship.
Blue sky all day & a lovely breeze. 72°F at 14.30h & had both hatches open along with aft cabin, airing the boat. Had another good dinner as yesterday. Glad I came north. I will never forget the gales we met to the South, or the number of them 10 day now, or last Thurs week, since last one. We did 50m under mizzen & no.3, for a few hours yesterday & overnight until 09.00h this morning. Fri saw us only drifting a few mile, but it was useful getting engine & st/gland fired. Did a lot of work on latitudes & winds from Ocean Passages Chartlets for best route to South America. Sailing on 44° now & so far so good.
Mon. 27. Mar. Day 31
Having a mug of cocoa & biscuit after dropping sails. Most unusual, I woke at 01.00h & all ok but wind up slightly & woke at 04.00h & we were heading W with a S/Y wind, so dropped the lot. It will be dawn in 2 hours.
Got up at 08.00h to a light SE breeze & had pear & a pot of tea & rye vita & butter & jam Barometer up x 1mb to 1031mb so I decided to let her drift & see what happens. Sun out now from banks of stratus. I am thinking wind will go to the E after swinging from the NW last night to the S & now SE. Confusing to say the least in this high pressure.
Hoisted mizzen & no.3. We have a confused sea since before I got up with reversal of wind & are being tossed around. Main would be unlikely to hold wind in it. Did 85m yesterday (24 hours to 09.00h). A 1/3 of the way to where we turn N up the Chilean coast. Just after putting on my thick pullover. First time for some while now. Though I am still wearing pyjama legs & t-
Making very slow progress. 1,370m to date or 44 miles per day for 31 days. Just as well I decided not to go via Cape Horn. So unless things improve, we will be another 62 days or 27th May doing remaining 2/3 of the way to the turn off for Panama.
Still jogging along in a sea fret under no.3 & mizzen. At times, wind light & then it comes stringer for a while. Sun left us after a few hours & though we can see the horizon, it is a cold grey day. Barometer still high. Had a tin of salmon & a tomato for dinner & am having a cocoa & fruit cake now. Have been reading since dinner.
Tue. Mar. 28 Day 32
Becalmed since 10.00h. Had the best night sleep for some time. Hit the bunk at 19.00h as I felt tired. Got up at 00.30h & 06.30h to check wind had gone to the E as I went to bunk & held that way all night. What is there of it now is E or N. Got up at 08.00h & had a weetabix, opened a long life milk as a treat & then had 2 rashers with a boiled egg. Having a cocoa now. Did a good few jobs on deck & will do a few more now shortly. No sun today but a clear horizon with a mottled grey sky but cold. 55° this morning & now 59°. Barometer up x 2mb overnight to 1033mb. I hope I have not come too far north, but I doubt it. In the meantime, we will stay on the latitude 42°45’ & see what happens. We edged N another 25m overnight with wind shift & 10m to the E. Must plot chart now.
60m at 10.00h for 26h under mizzen & no.3 in F4 winds. 25m to the E. E wind from last evening buggered it up. However, it is a welcome change from those gales down South. Will never forget 2 of them. Last Thursday week we saw last of them. 12 days ago thank God. I can’t complain.
Sky held grey all day but clear of mist or haze. Had mizzen & no.3 up from 14.30 for 2 hrs until breeze died. Had a good dinner of spuds, cabbage and two rashers for tea. Bacon is good & holding well. Today is the first day I seem to be eating well. Had weetabix & coffee & fruit cake during afternoon. Ran engine for 1.5 hours today & all in order, thank God. Few birds today & no albatross’, a sure sign of little wind but what there is of it is N.N.E. Barometer still high.
Wen 29. Mar Day 33
Woke at 07.00h & was dozing when, at 07.45h a breeze arrived, & up & at it with main & no.3 after a bowl of weetabix & long life milk. A fine drizzle when on deck from a shower. Going now S this morning with a NE wind. Maybe if wind holds, we will get S of this high which seems to be persistent now for the past four days. Just finished my pot of tea now after 1 rye vita & butter & jam as I don’t feel hungry. Must be after all the grub I ate yesterday. Barometer still 1032mb. Wind easing now at 09.00h No mileage work talking about yesterday. Still a few showers & dark one to westward but we have sun in between with a bright sky so that should burn them off. Few birds & no albatross’ again today. Not a good sign. But I won’t go to jail for doing this as the song says. Must put up mizzen.
So far, wind hold & eased to N x E with plenty of sun, with some more showers & black on the horizon. Otherwise a fine day & lovely to see & feel the sun. Ocean as flat as one can expect, with the usual swells. One coming down from the NE & yesterday we had one from the SE, with the constant one from the S to SW. Not long after a boiled egg. Prior to that, pulled out food from bunk locker & filled sugar, pear & powdered milk tins.
Where does the day go? Just after the usual dinner, if late, spuds, cabbage & soup & Bacon. Had to drop sails at 14.00h a big black shower off our port ¼ horizon for a few hrs & which I was watching, eventually came near us with some rain & took our wind. But since then it has been mostly sun. Wind went to the W & now SW. Sky showing high whisps & cumulous on horizon. I would say we are in for wind & maybe I did not come too far north. Barometer down by 2mb since 14.00h.
Thur.30 Mar. Day 34
Sailing under mizzen & no. 3 since 06.30h for a change to a SW breeze. Another grey & overcast morning. Bit of a sea fret with wind swing.
Wind strengthened at 05.30h & I hoisted sail but it is weakening now. Wind is now south. A misty hazy day now for some time. Barometer is still high.
Still sailing, if slowly. Had to point her more to keep sail from slatting. Edging South as we go E on W long. Slowly but surely we are meandering across the South Pacific. Had beans today with 2nd last tomato in them & 2 rasher steaks. Finished off the last of 1 melon I brought. Nothing else to report. Still a misty sea haze.
Fri. 31 March. Day 35
Was dozing until 07.45h when breeze arrived, so we are under main & no.3 since, on a damp, misty morning. Just finished a leisurely breakfast of 2 rashers & a boiled egg. Seldom hoist sails before breakfast & it gave me a bon appetite. 12 hours is a long time in the bunk though I slept well. One would be better off to be up early with light like yesterday at 06.30h as the dawn gets earlier as we progress to the East. But without wind, what is the point & the bunk is nice & cosy. Must plot chart after 3 days. We made a few miles yesterday.
Chart shows we made 75m for the last 3 days. 45 of them yesterday in 11 hours During the last 4 days we have only made 75m Eastwards but we have come south x 51m in last 3 days. Today we are also edging south so hopefully, we will be out of this high pressure centre in a day or two, which has held us up now for the past week. Anyway, it gave us a break & one can only do ones best.
Sat. 1 April Day 36
Up since 08.00h & have been more than busy since with sail changing & breakfast & plotting. Did 85m yesterday. Had to get up at 00.30h & drop no.3 & unpoled w/jib. I think yesterday was first time I poled a jib. Wind now from S & was SW. earlier. Not easy making a few miles lately. Sea state lumpy after F.5 wind of yesterday & last night.
A good dinner of spuds, cabbage & bacon & half a grapefruit. Have reefed main up with w/jib since 11.30h when wind went South. Lumpy conditions & grey skies now since last Wen but morning’s drizzle cleared. 4 sail changes so far today.
Sunday. 2. April. Day 37
Wind held steady overnight in strength & direction. Got up at 03.30h & 05.30h & ok. Diff’ sleeping with noise & motion but managed & when I woke to another grey sky at 06.45h took another hour & rose at 07.45h. I have since had weetabix & 2 rashers & a boiled egg for my Sunday breakfast. Nice to plot & see 100m to E this morning & see long’ decreasing. Though since after breakfast wind has swung to SE x E & we are being pushed N. Wind has also eased & with lumpy sea fret & swells from 2 days of wind our speed is down but I don’t mind. It is lively to see & feel the sun again after 3 days of dismal grey & good for my morale to be making progress. We were sitting on 43° latitude this morning x 152°39’ longitude. Must get a few jobs done. Still cabin bound unless I don oilers as we get an odd jollop of spray into cockpit.
Mon. 3. April. Day 38
Woke as wind had gone light & got up to check. It’s amazingly deceptive in good sea conditions as we are doing 4KN. Position now 42°29’ x 151°39’ 31m to the N. & 40 to the E since 10.00h yesterday. Full main & no.3 since 16.30h. After being under reefed main & w/jib for 29 hours. It was nice to see sun again yesterday off & on. Having a cocoa now as I don’t feel sleepy. Say an oily streak yesterday so there must be an odd ship down here. Barometer still around 1030mb now for over a week. We seem to be stuck on 43° longitude
Up since the usual 08.00h, a lovely morning with plenty of sun. Wind & light is holding in as smooth & sea state as one can expect. Only swag is we are going N.E. We made 80m at 08.00h for the 24 hours. This morning we are on 42°07’ latitude & 151°22’ longitude. Wind seems to be easing & I will not be surprised if it dies. Who knows? Must run engine & put a batten in mizzen.
Having a cocoa & biscuit now after tacking, starting engine & dipping fuel tanks. A lovely sunny day & great to be able to go out without oilers. Wind from E. The light is holding & I put up light genoa before tacking. So we are going south now for a change. Changed tracksuit top I have been wearing since leaving Bluff the morning for a work shirt & I must wash (1st) & change t-
Just finished other half a tin of yesterday spaghetti with an onion in it. Had last of tomatoes in yesterdays along with cheese. Cut batts prior to that & fitted one in mizzen which I hoisted. Barely going W of S now. Better than going north. Breeze, which is light, holding a total blue sky. Cut batt’s for main also & will take a break now for a while. Engine running well thank God.
Becalmed since 17.30h. Sunset 17.45h an hour earlier than 9 days ago. Got a lot of work done today. Fitted new batt’s to main after I dropped it but will stitch them in tomorrow.
Tue. 4 April. Day 39
Rose at 08.00h to a light NW breeze & hoisted light genoa. Had a great sleep & only waking at 04.00h. I read until I hit the bunk last evening at 22.00h. Had a leisurely s/pan of porridge & 2 rashers & a boiled egg. Read a newspaper with tea & filled in log. We have sun again today thank God, after a clear grey morning. Saw the new moon last evening which was very bright for its size & it turned to a red cover before setting. The other bit of news is that barometer has dropped to 1025mb after being at 1030mb for 11 days now. Between going N & S with light E breeze for 10h yesterday, we made 8m to the S & were on exact same longitude this morning as yesterday morning. So it is a stop & go job lately. Must see what is left of cabbage which is little & see if I can salvage any for dinner as I can smell it whenever I open door.
Had a look at the chart & found our average speed to the E has been 43 miles per day so far, not great. 1680m to date.
Having half a chopped apple for dessert after last of cabbage & 4 spuds & salami. Wind freshened & I have no. 3 poled to port since 11.30h. Total sun now thank God which is great & we are edging S. Was working & found myself starving as I had no snack after a good breakfast.
Excellent progress under poled no. 3 to port & genoa loose to starboard with NW wind. Blue sky now gone & sun, which was diffused, now pale & watery behind high, mackerel grey or mottled clouds.
Wen. 5. April. Day 40
Lying ahull again after a break of 12 days. I woke at 00.30h & we were on course & I only dozed after that as we were running under strong w/jib, having dowsed no.3 at 20.00h. Barometer 1007mb. How Nell held so long, I don’t know & it is a break to be lying ahull instead of awaiting a broach. Will see what the dawn will bring. Having a cocoa now & biscuit. Seas have not built up yet & we are not taking waves over us.
Did not get up until 08.30h to a wild sea & sky. Very confused seas & a short deep swell from SW. Colder at 55° though we have sun in between black showers & squalls. Slept, if at all, poorly from midnight until we broached at 04.00h. We made 100m yesterday in the 20h until 04.00h. I am tempted to heist a jib now as wind between the black showers is easing, but I want to mind my sails & also nell, as the ocean is in its usual turmoil after strong winds from different quarters. Slept well after dropping jib last night.
Having cocoa & biscuit & let up in wind & squalls. Barometer down x 1mb from 1007mb this morning & wind holding SW. Will only have to wait it out.
Barometer still falling 1004mb. Had forgotten how cold it could be with S in the wind. Even though I got into a high when I came north, I am glad I did. Cabin temp touching 60° now. Still getting black showers with rain & wind squalls but seas not coming over us. Had a prawn instant noodle in a mug followed by a coffee & biscuit just now.
Wind gone S since 17.00h & low is moving E. Still plenty of wind & showers & will be a cold night. Temp 57°. Haven’t been out since 04.00h this morning. Just had a boiled egg for tea.
Thur. 6. April. Day 41
It seems as if gale has been blowing for a week – 28h now, with wind swing through to E x S now & easing now & then & showers of night & morning seem to be clearing. Barometer up overnight to 1010mb. Had a pan or porridge & rye vita & tea. Mostly sun now thank God as it was a cold night. Sea very confused. Slept well enough last night, in spite of noise. Left on legs of tracksuit & heavy shirt over t-
Having & coffee & biscuit to keep the heat in with this S wind. Not finished with showers, just got another but they are getting fewer. No sign of sea settling. Short, steep buggers with cross seas & nice whine in rigging. Nice? I am on my last book which I was reading, which I will go back to now as soon as I finish my tea. Nothing else to do. Only pull bag over me & read. Luckily we have sun in between showers. We drifted 35m to the N since lying ahull at 04.00h yesterday morning to 09.00h this morning in 29h.
This South wind is with us since 18.00h last evening & showing no signs of leaving us after 18h. I thought as low moved E, we would lose strong wind & showers & squalls. Rising barometer does not seem to be having an effect on reducing wind either. 1017mb at 12.00h which is a rise of 10 since 20.00h last evening. Another big shower with wind now. Must think of what to have for dinner. The cold makes one hungry.
Under no. 3 jib. Still some lumpy seas but I had to give it a try & we seem to be doing ok. Never saw such confused water after wind as I did today. At least most of the rogue crests are gone.
Fri. 7 April. Day 42.
Put the clock forward last evening. Somewhat before I should as the sun was setting at 17.30h & the mornings were early. Funnily enough, I was up at 06.30h Slept well, waking at 04.00h & before I got u & we were on course & made good headway overnight. Altered course to edge N out of lows. Barometer up to 1024mb overnight. Wind still S/Y. Was expecting it to swing to the W overnight. Only had porridge & rye vita & tea as wasn’t very active yesterday & ate a lot in the cold. We have a lot of cumulous with patches of blue but little sun yet. Temp 66°. Seas still lumpy with large S/Y swell, but big crests gone with plenty of white caps. Must tidy up & get a few jobs done. Great to be out of noise & thumping of wind & waves after 36 hours of lying ahull. Thank God.
Sat 8. April. Day 43
Up since 08.00h after a great sleep. Woke at 03.00h & before, I got up & all ok. So I dozed in these good conditions after the gale of Wednesday/Thursday. Worked all yesterday morning opening up bunk lockers & pulling out tins & long life milk etc. Cabin bound still as wind F.5 & we still have a big S/Y swell. Under no.3 now since 16.00h. Thursday average 4.5KN. Made 90m yesterday & should do better today as we are on a straight heading. Had a nice dinner yesterday of spuds, beans & bacon. Last night for tea, I had more bacon with left over spuds rolled in grill pan bacon fat & grilled with rasher. Opened a long life milk this morning & had weetabix before a boiled egg. This morning warmer, nearly 60°, & last night, when I got up at 03.00h, I took off my tracksuit pants. Barometer 1034mb this morning & highest yet. Up x 6 since last night. Still getting the odd slosh over cabin as we also have a smaller swell from SW. It is taking a long time for the ocean to settle after last gale which leads me to believe we did not get the worst of it & also that there is very bad weather south of us. We had mixed sun yesterday & none today, but sky is high. It was misting at 03.00h this morning. If wind swung a little more to the W, I could set twin jibs. No.3 is up now since after the gale. We are now on 40°5’ latitude & I will keep edging up to 40° or another 51m & then stay on it & see how we get on. Day still grey & wind has eased a little, but very steady in direction. Just W of S now for 3 days. Since leaving Bluff met very little W/Y. Tried mizzen st/sle & pulled out w/jib to starboard but to no avail. So we are under no.3 now for 48 hours & doing ok & holding our heading. Sea moderating now & one can go without oilers. Did a few jobs on deck before dinner of bacon & beans & onions. Must make a cuppa now.
Palm Sunday. 9. April. Day 44
Another good night sleep. Woke at 04.00h & breeze had eased but up slightly with sun. No.3. will be up for 3 days at 16.00h today. Down to 3KN today but how bad & a lovely morning, 60°. Up since 08.00h, weetabix, long life milk & boiled egg. Eggs holding well. Have 3 dozen left out of 6 dozen & dipped a dozen yesterday & no floaters. Checked fruit & 1 lemon which I will make a drink of today with ribena. Bacon is also ok & I have four packs.
Wind freshened & went more W of S so we have w/jib poled to starboard & doing 5KN. Had a tin of herring for tea last evening for a change.
I am often asleep at this time but I am just finished a late tea of grilled bacon & spuds. I had spuds from a good dinner with more bacon & spinach. Did not feel hungry at tea time & only had tea & a biscuit. Barometer still high. At present, we are on 40°21’. I have often noticed that when breeze is up & down, it will die altogether. So that’s my news for today.
Mon. April 10. Day 45
Another good night sleep. Woke at 03.00H. & adjusted nell as wind had gone more W/Y. Woke at 07.30h to a fresh F.5 & dowsed no.3 & poled 2nd w/jib. Wind has gone to SW with a large S/Y swell. We were in danger of broaching. So now, we under twin poled w/jibs & running dead down wind & comfortable. Had weetabix & tea & rye vita & margarine & marmalade as I ate a lot yesterday & was not active. This morning at 08.00h we were on 40°09’ & still edging N at 70°T & it has paid off to come N as we have made good progress since gale of last Wednesday & Thursday. We have made 250 to yesterday at 16.00. Average over 50 miles per day. Mostly under no.3 & today at 16.00h should see another 90-
Glad bacon lasting so well. Just finished 2 rashers with yesterday’s half tin of spinach. Had a boiled egg at 11.00h and finished last of butter yesterday, 4 packs. Could have brought more in this temp but have margarine & peanut nut butter. Wind building up seas now & I had to readjust nell twice already. Looks like I will have to drop one of the jibs as wind increasing. Barometer down by 2mb since 12.00h but still holding at 1032mb. I don’t want to wait until we broach.
Dropped port jib & unpoled sted jib at 15.00h & doing 5KN since. Did not plot days run, as we are being tossed around. Barometer 1031mb.
Tue. 11. April. Day 45
A difficult night due to sea motion. Woke at 02.30h & changed to port bunk, where I can jam a piece of ply between table & bunk edge, but even then it was very uncomfortable. Wind had eased overnight, so we are under twin poled w/jib to a light breeze that has gone back to S x W from SW yesterday. Made 110m yesterday & edged another 40m N. We were on 39°48’ at 16.00 yesterday. Was amazed & delighted that we did not broach overnight as I heard jib luffing an odd time as we broached but nell held our heading even though it was more N/Y than required. Barometer only fell 1.5mb overnight to 1030mb & is holding steady since. Have long swells from S & from SW shorter ones from yesterday’s wind & showers which brought squalls. So motion is wild enough. Grey again today with mist showers earlier but warmer, & I took of my shirt when I woke at 02.30h last night. Temp earlier 62° & now 65° & I did not put on my pullover over track suit top for first time this morning. Good headway lately thank God. Birds getting scarce over past few days for first time as I always had them prior to this. Must get a few jobs done. Pull out tea bags & marmalade & jam 16.45h day held overcast & I would say very bad weather to South as we have big swells coming up from S & SW. 115m at 16.00h & we are now on 38°23’ latitude 140°39’ longitude. Bearing away under jib, carried up overnight. Had to dowse starboard poled jib more for a better heading than too much wind at 14.00h. Warmest day for some time, 67° at 04.00h so I will hold this latitude & see how we do. Wind still S x W. This is the 5th day & bar yesterday, for a while, when it went to the SW, it has held that way.
Wen. 12 April. Day 46
Up early again 07.30h. A great night sleep, woke once at 02.30h & ok. Out genoa & main up to S/Y F5 after breakfast of weetabix & long life milk & 2 rashers. Another mild night & I took my shirt off before hitting the bunk last night. 64° this morning & no pullover. Must be the loner latitudes. This high since gales of a week ago, must be a big one & we can’t be far off its centre with these warm conditions. Otherwise this S/Y wind would be cool. Only put legs of oiler on going on deck & even then I was hot. Barometer held steady at 1028mb overnight & is trying to make 1029mb now. Long time since we had a main of genoa up & we are on 6KN to the East. Ocean has settled down with only a long, low swell from S with usual wind wave in it. Morning again grey but not as thick with odd sky lights & the odd mist shower. Will keep on 38° now & head on E when I can see & see how we get on. Ocean Passage Chartlet show NW to W winds for this area. So S/Y winds of last week are not the norm
Thur. 18 April. Day 48
Woke at 04.20h & wind had swung a little to the East yesterday, it had now swung a little to the S & I hardened up a little. So, this morning I was able to bear off & we are now broad reaching again. I was a little bit wary putting up old & light genoa yesterday morning but it has paid off & we have made excellent progress in the right direction. Got an odd bit of sun yesterday which was nice & funnily enough, we have had a starry sky all night. Ocean settled down yesterday afternoon which helps sleep enormously & is also so pleasant on boat & man. No problem in getting up when I woke as I had slept for 8 hours since 21.00h last night. I often wonder if I sleep too much with the 12 hours of darkness. I usually hit the bunk at 21.00h & get up at 08.00h – 11 hours. Normally 8 hours is plenty for me. Delighted with progress of past week. Just finished a mug of cocoa & I will hit the bunk again now. A mild night, 62°.
Up since 07.45h to sun. Wind still S/Y & we have a slight sea fret with opposing swells from S/E & S so there is bad weather to the S. Main giving odd slap but otherwise we are sailing well. Genoa up now for 27m in ideal conditions. The sea is so blue with the sun, it is only beautiful. Good headway for past 6 days. 560m or an average of 93 miles per day. A big improvement & hopefully it will last. Took off my pyjama legs going to the bunk last night & did not put them on when I got up at 04.00h or this morning, which is great. I have fore hatch open this morning. Temp at 08.00h was 64°, now 67°. Waiting to see if swells ease before I start engine to charge batteries after 10 days. Barometer up by 3mb since yesterday to 1031mb. I have engine covered since before last gale & it is tricky lifting cockpit floor board when rolling & stashing them, so they don’t fly around.
Wind seems to be dying as main is giving odd slat. 70m from the hundred were covered at 08.00h this morning. I suppose one can’t expect sun & wind. Ran the engine for 2 hours. Just pointed more into wind as we were reaching to keep sails full in case wind picks up. Temp 70° at 14.00h. Great to be out of pyjama legs & had tracksuit top off & in my check shirt checking engine oil & water. Had mizzen up today also.
Good Friday. 14. April. Day 49
Becalmed since 18.30h yesterday. What wind there is, is from the W this morning. A warm night, temp 65° when I get up at 07.45h. No wonder we had not birds lately. I think they like wind. Had porridge earlier & now a pot of tea & rye vita & jam. Don’t feel hungry this morning. Slept well last night from 21.00h until 06.15h. High, grey, overcast sky. Very little rolling this morning, a W/Y puff is keeping us bow on to med s/t swell & a lesser one from SW. A morning for stitching in gale battens & syphoning water from the two 5 gallons in aft cabin & checking rigging etc. Can’t complain at progress for past 7 days, 650m.
Having a cocoa & biscuit after taking water from drums & stitching in main battens. Back to work now.
Still becalmed, got a lot of work done and a wash with a toilet cloth & changed my t-
Easter Saturday. 15. April Day 50
Got a breeze last evening at 20.30h from the N & hoisted genoa & mizzen. Had hoisted genoa earlier but breeze did not hold & we kept wind overnight. But it was a rough night as we were tossed in a sloppy sea with waves from N opposing S/Y & S/W’Y swells. Had to drop mizzen at 05.45h as wind swung to W of N & we were going high. Mizzen only useful if wind is abeam or forward of mast. 5 hours of mist since I got up fucking up wind, but we are jogging to E under genoa, which is filling. Went back to bunk for an hour until 07.00h & made porridge & 2 rashers & rye vita & tea. Still being tossed around. A warm night with N wind. 65° at 06.00h & I slept in the nude for the first time. Barometer down by 2mb overnight to 1027mb at 06.00 & steady since. No sign of shipping. It would be nice for you to get the message of life for Easter. I would imagine there is bad weather to the NW that is sending down these waves which are not being caused x the wind of last night or morning.
Having an early coffee this morning. Wind shifting a lot with seas & I put up mizzen again & also mizzen st/sail, but I no sooner had mizzen st/sle up when wind freshened & I had to drop it. So we are now doing 6KN under mizzen & genoa even though we are edging S. A grey morning up until now, when we get an odd shaft of sun from a blue patch & showers.
An unusual day. Wind has eased & I could have mizzen st/sle up now. Wind shifting too. Bacon & cabbage & spuds nearly cooked. Tinned red cabbage. Just finished my tea of boiled egg & rye vita & marmalade. Saw a few birds today so they need wind to both fly & to eat whatever fish waves throw up. Found a small squid on aft deck lately so maybe they feed on those. I know they like to follow our wake. Very little sun today. A high grey overcast sky now for some time which I presume we can expect on this latitude until we head N. This N wind maybe the start of the NW I was expecting, though barometer is down to 1024mb by 3mb since morning. Though I am prepared for a blow, it seems to be slow coming. Did not sleep too well last night & I would imagine that tonight will be the same as we are being tossed around. Light faint now at 17.15h. Have not worn socks now for the past few days only tackies.
Easter Sunday. 16 April. Day 51
Another early start 07.15h. Woke at 05.00h & on course. Mornings bright again & evening dark, will have to see about is it time to change the watches. Hope Dan had a good Easter in sop. Was thinking of him locking up shop at 08.15h this morning. He is one of great young fella, as indeed are they all & Nance. Hope they all have a nice Easter. I would imagine Nance is in Ballyferriter. N wind steady now since Friday evening & fresh since yesterday aft but we are jogging along ok under w/jib & mizzen at 4-
90m for 24h at 20.30h last evening.
Had a tin of sardines & a half a tin of tatie salad for dinner with a mug of milk & a spoon of honey for dessert. Had a tea around 11.00h. Sky has lifted & we are getting sun now & then. Wind which was up & down all morning eased & at 13.00h, I put up no. 3 & main so along with mizzen, we are doing over 5KN. Temp 70° now. That is what decided me on a cold dinner. Wind now E x N & we are being edged S. You can’t make it every way. Happy Easter to all my family & friends.
Easter Mon. 17 April. Day 52
Took down main last night at 23.00h as wind had freshened. Put watches forward 1 hour last evening. Rose at 07.30h after sleeping well. Still a wild motion with this N wind since last Fri, kicking up short waves & opposing S/Y & SW swells. Woke twice during the night & ok. Mizzen & no. 3 jogging along nicely in a fresh wind with a little W in it this morning as we have been pushed S with this N x E wind. Day is grey & overcast, with a patch of blue earlier. Had to dump one of the remaining 4 packs of bacon last evening. Slept in the nude again last night & was warm this morning before I rose to a temp of 67°. Barometer down x 4mb overnight to 1021mb but up again x 1.5mb now. Other pack of bacon last night was ok & I can’t complain after 52 days. Especially since temp gone up. Had 2 rashers with boiled egg last evening & 2 more this morning after porridge.
95m for 24h at 20.30h yesterday. We have been pushed 40m since last Fri to 38°57’ but are edging N again since morning with wind N x W. I will try & hold to 38° as we seem to be doing well on it.
Sun tried to come out at 11.00h but failed & sky filled. Had scrambled eggs for dinner with an onion & I enjoyed it for a change. Wind has gone a little more W or N since. Barometer steady at 1022mb & wind up & down in strength but good headway.
An hour before sunset & getting dark already on this dull depressing day. Only consolation is we are edging N again & making steady progress. Pulled out 2nd last dozen of eggs which are also holding well, along with tubs of marg. A good while now since a day like this. Hopefully tomorrow will be better & will let us out for air.
Having a pot of tea now & only ate 2 cream crackers with margarine & jam. Had a coffee & biscuit earlier & have not been out of cabin since last night when I had to drop main. So I read for afternoon, apart from sticking my head out of hatch, so I don’t feel hungry.
Tue. 18 April. Day 53
A drizzly overcast morning but I don’t give a shit. Seas are down to a gentle rocking & I had the best night sleep for some time. Just had a leisurely breakfast of 2 rashers & a boiled egg. Wind is down to F.3 & we are doing 2.5KN & edging N. Feel a bit dopey & relaxed after a 12 hours sleep, but I must keep at it. Temp 67° & I hate getting into oilers to hoist mizzen st/sail. Barometer steady at 1023mb.
Changed no.3 for light genoa & hoisted main as wind increased. Speed u to 5KN in good sea conditions. Raining now for some time & I left hood of oiler off & got a hair wash.
Another 100mat 10.30h last evening. Excellent progress for past eleven days with only one of them without wind. 945m 3m to N in the 24 hours. Today is the first day of N’Y wind with W in it since yesterday so we may be coming into the NW winds I was expecting earlier.
Raining all day & just now what little wind we had for past few hours is gone. Light going already now with dark overcast sky. 1.5 hours before sun down.
Wen. 17 April. Day 54
A wild night. After dropping sails last evening, an hour later wind came very fresh very fast from the SE, so hoisted no. 3 & had to drop it and lie ahull as we broached with increasing strong winds. This morning, wind is down but seas are very turbulent after wind shift from NW to SE. Barometer last night, when I dropped jib at 22.00h, was 1026mb & this morning at 08.00h, 1025mb & now at 09.00h, 1031mb. Up by 3mb in an hour, so I don’t know what to make of weather pattern. Sky high & beginning to show an odd patch of blue.
Sea state still confused with opposing waves, but not as bad as morning. May hoist mizzen & jib if it settles down. Hard to get a mug to ones mouth. Barometer now 1032mb. Temp down to 60° this morning & could with S wind, now 65°.
Hoisted no.3 at 12.30h & going NE at 3.5KN. Temp 65°.
No change since, though sea state not as bad. Must be very bad weather to the S. There were some big lumps of water around today & still are & not in proportion to last night’s wind. Barometer still 1032mb. No sun today either. A high sky, though plenty of bird life today with wind. Albatross, the lot.
Thur. 20 April. Day 55
Engine running since 09.00h after 7 days. Wind went to NE this morning, so I tacked. We were E or N at 05.00h but after my weetabix we were heading just W of N. Sea very lumpy & with only light wind, I have mizzen & light genoa. We are doing 3.5KN to the SE. Sea state in a state of chassis, with lumps & swells coming from every direction, with a long, deep swell from S. Must have my breakfast now.
Had 2 rashers & a boiled egg. Still being fucked around in this very lumpy sea state & making little progress E. Barometer steady at 1032mb since last evening. Must be atrocious weather down S.
Very poor headway with strong E’Y wind.
Wind still E’Y though light. Sky overcast all day with not a glimmer of sun, but high. Ran engine for an hour & batteries fully charged. Sea state moderating from lumps to swells. Had the last of fresh spuds today, boiled with 2 onions & made instant soup from water & then added half a tin of beef & mushroom & it was nice. Had a Ribena drink with a half a lemon squeezed into it to follow & now I am having a coffee. I could swear I could smell land today, but it could not be so. But there you are. Going south again after coming N lately, but what can I do.
Fri. 21 Apr. Day 56
Another dull morning with a fine mist. On a better heading since 05.00h, but still going S of the NW winds. Had to dump another pack of weetabix this morning, the 2nd one & I can’t complain out of 14 packs & nearly 2 months. So I am on my last pack which is ok. The one I dumped had a sour smell like the last one, & while it looked ok, I would not take a chance with it. Poor headway since strong winds of Tuesday and Wednesday, only going up N & down S with very little to the E & it seems a long time since I have seen any sun. 24 hours of light wind, which only allows me to carry gen & mizzen & even they give an odd flap. What harm, I can’t complain. Could be a lot worse. But it is only natural to want to make progress & it is good for morale. Had 2 rashers & a boiled egg for breakfast as I did not have any tea last evening after big dinner yesterday. I opened a can of peaches & ate half them
as I felt like something different. Must have a wash & change t-
Light on as evening & in fact day dark. Wind holding mainly from E. Barometer down by 3mb to 1025mb at 15.30h & steady since. Worked until dinner time at various jobs and read for a bit, except to make coffee & watch compass. Hoping for a more favourable wind than this mainly E’Y one. Light genoa & mizzen up now since 09.00h yesterday. Sea state settling somewhat at last, but still have swells. The bigger from S & one from E. Had other half of yesterday’s beef & mushroom with a half can of spuds for dinner.
Sat. 21 April. Day 57
Up since 03.00h, as I could not sleep since 01.00h due to noise & motion. Changed genoa for w/jib at 18.30h while I had light, & glad I did as wind now very fresh & still from NE. Barometer down to 1017mb from 1024mb at 18.30h. We have been pushed 120m S since Thursday morning at 09.00h for 80m to the E.
Made cocoa & had a few biscuit & read until 04.45h when I tried to sleep again. But at 05.30h, had to get up as I thought we had broached, so I decided to lie ahull & when I got out on deck we were on course but the starboard spreader bucket had parted at the weld & that was what was making the noise. So after dropping sail, I tied loose shroud to mast as tight as I could until daylight, when I undid b/screw & put a block on chain plate & led a line from shroud to winch & took it up as tight as I could. A pity, but that’s life. Luckily it was the lee one. We now have heavy rain & F7 with seas building up & we are taking the sea crest. Barometer at 08.00h, 1013.5mb. Wind still NE since Thursday. This will slow us down more, but if I can hold the mast, I don’t mind. The biggest disaster of voyage. Will only have to wait out this blow & see what can be done.
The wind easier around 16.00h, so rigged b/hook to jib halliard with a rope to bottom of b/hook, & eventually, in rough seas, managed to get spreader down to top of plastic covering shroud6’ up & lashed loose end to mast. I was lucky to hook it & it was far from easy, but it was swinging around & banging off mast & was driving me round the bend. Wind died at 18.00h. Sky cleared. What wind is there is W of N. Rained heavily all day until 18.00h.
Sunday. 23 April. Day 58.
Going E of N with at genoa to a NW F4 that is filling genoa in sea fret from yesterday’s strong winds. Had a good night sleep after yesterday’s trauma of spreader & wind. First thing this morning, I changed spreader shroud line from cockpit winch to kicking strap, so I needed cockpit winch for sails & so far so good, as we are on the right tack. Have decided to go North to 36° or 37° for better weather & fortunately, this morning’s wind is favourable for that. I still have to remove spreader from shroud & I will have to cut plastic which is covering shroud off x 18’ at bottom to get spreader down first. Barometer low at 999mb & we had some sun earlier but now it is overcast & grey with drizzle. Last night we had a starry sky. No rush with spreader, unless I want to hoist main, which I will only do in reasonable sea & wind conditions. Wind picking up now with drizzle. Unusual weather, yesterday’s wind died fast without changing direction & no wind last night with barometer down. Poor progress since last Tue, with a gale on Wen & E winds & another gale yesterday.
Sky clearing again, so it was only a shower we had a few r/bows earlier. Lovely to see a blue sky again thank God. Just checked mas & so far so good & it is not flying above spreader.
Can’t complain about today, which apart from frequent drizzle showers, gave lovely blue skies & a steady breeze from WNW. Checked fruit today & A1 & while I was at it had an orange. Birds back again yesterday with wind & an odd one today. Barometer down by 2mb since morning to 997mb. Amazing.
Mon. 24 April. Day 59
Woke to genoa giving odd flap. Barometer 989mb so becalmed.
Woke at 04.20h to S wind & we still have it but I can’t hoist sail on starboard tack. Have given it a lot of thought since spreader parted on Sat & if I have to depend on winds that favour mast, I will be a long time making land. So I have decided at the first oppertunity, I will pole out starboard spreader shroud to give the angle to support the mast. It will obstruct the genoa, but it will save my mast & at least, allow me to sail & make my mind easier than it is now, to know mast is stayed. In the meantime, I will sail when I can. We have a fresh wind from the S now, with a nice whine in rigging. Barometer up 1.5mb to 1002mb since 08.00h.
I have planned my strategy as John says. So, at the right time, I will pole out shroud. Went (11.10h) for the nearest thing to a walk I can have. Put on oilers & checked pump. Tied genoa after dropping it on deck last night. Tightened k/strap on shroud & checked mast & little or no flexing. So, my mind is at ease there. As we roll to a confused sea with wind swing to S, waves within swell from S & others from old winds. Not overcast & not unlike yesterday only for more wind & more frequent showers & less sun. But a nice, fresh day for all that. Taking the odd crest. Examined poles & picked one for the jury rigging of shroud. Had last rashers last night for t with mashed (instant) spuds. Dumped remaining one this morning as it had sour smell. Eggs still ok & I have a dozen & a half left. So there is nothing for it only patience. We are latitude 38°45’ today having come up from 39°37’ or 49m yesterday under l/genoa. The main thing is that we have the mast & I will do my best to hold it. Just plotted chart 7 we made 70m yesterday with 40m to the E in 16 hours under l/genoa.
Wind F.6 for last 4 hours & still from S. Barometer going up very slowly, 1004.5 now.
Tue. 25 April. Day 60
Up at 07.15h & had a pan of porridge. Wind eased last evening & we were being thumped with seas when I woke at 05.00h but they were down this morning so I took, or cut off, plastic from upper shroud & removed spreader & then decided to rig a jury spreader on a pole. So we are on the starboard tack again under no. 3 & mizzen. We have a slight bow in the mast, which I will correct when we are on the port tack. Wind SE x S F.4 & we are heading NE. Just finished my breakfast of boiled egg & rye vita & marmalade & a pot of tea. Morning was overcast but day has improved now with a high sky of mackerel patches & odd stratus. In fact, a lovely day. Barometer steady since morning at 1008mb which it also was last evening.
Wen. 26 April. Day 61
Did not sit down yesterday until 14.30h & it was a beautiful day. Wind went off to the E at midday & is still so, but light jib flapping woke me, but it seems to be filling ok now. Barometer 1008mb now for nearly two days. Since hoisting sails at 10.30h yesterday, we came N x 36m & are now on 38°having made 10m to the E.
Wind held overnight, though light. It has picked up again now & we have been heading N with E wind & sometime E x N since setting sails with jury spreader at 10.30h yesterday. Up before 08.00h & boiled egg etc. & opening bunk lockers & pulling out porridge & filling tin, etc. stashing dirty clothes to aft cabin, weekly switch over of clock for water tanks. Another lovely day, similar to yesterday & barometer steady at 1007mb now since Monday evening.
65m to 10.30h for 24 hours to the North. Very poor headway for past week. 115m to the E. Mainly due to 3 strong winds. East in the wind & spreader coming adrift, so hopefully we can look forward to better progress now. Actually, we covered 300 miles going up & down. 37°39’ 126°46’ at 10.30h.
Had to drop no. 3 for w/jib as wind freshened & lee capping shroud was slack. Will have to wait until I go on port tack to tension starboard jury spreader. Still heading N with E x N wind. Sky high with odd blue patches but little sun.
Thur. 27 April. Day 62
Up since 07.30h to a lovely sunny morning. Barometer up x 4mb to 1012mb overnight. Tacked a light breeze gone to NE, so we are doing 2KN under light genoa & mizzen & going SE again. Funny thing is, we have our black birds around even though wind is lt. Hopefully wind will swing to the N & we will get away from the E/Y’s. Had weetabix with long life milk. I opened & finished 2 lambs tongues which I opened yesterday with mustard on rye vita. Lambs tongue my hole. Elephants tongue more like it. I am happy that spreader jury rig is not interfering with genoa which I thought it would. Now I must adjust spreaders while I have the chance.
Unusual sea state this morning. We have a short swell from the E, opposing S/Y swell & we are being tossed around as we go SE. Must plot for 24 hours. Though we are in the same longitude as yesterday & last Sunday evening. Adjusted spreaders 7 oiled old pole pistons as we will have to use it now if we get fair winds. Also checked all rigging screws & shrouds while I had the chance to be on deck without oilers. Barometer up to 1015mb. We have an albatross so it looks as if we won’t be short of wind. Put on sun & lip cream for 1st time in ages this morning. 70° today.
We came up 45m yesterday to 36°54’ longitude 126°49’ same as yesterday, but at least we are now sorted out with & have a mast & will only have to have patience in these trying headwinds.
Day clouded up at noon & wind increased & at 14.00h. I reduced l/genoa with w/jib & we have plenty of sail up now as we thump into this E/Y short swell which came up this morning & we now also have waves built up & NE wind. No rest from this E wind.
Fri. 28 April. Day 63
Hit the bunk at 09.00 last night & could not sleep with noise & motion & got up at 11.00h & had a weetabix. Wind has eased since 20.00h somewhat so I slept after that until daylight & I got up at 06.45h & saw the sun rising in a clear sky at 07.00. Wind still NE. Log shows 9 days now with E in it. We are on the same latitude that we made good progress on over a week ago so we have just been unlucky. Seas down to a comfortable motion today. Yesterday’s sea state was like it was after a gale, whatever the cause. At least we made mileage to the E yesterday & overnight. We shall see at 10.30h. I am thinking of going back to the bunk for an hr. Barometer steady since last night at 1017mb & up x 5mb since yesterday morning.
Yesterday’s run 85m, 55 of them to the E. A big improvement over last few days.
Under the same rig since 14.00h yesterday mizzen & w/jib. Wind still NE. Was only out once today as spray flying. After a sunny morning, a high grey sky arrived & no sign of sunset now. Steady progress to the SE. Had an instant noodle for dinner & just now I had beans with an onion & instant spuds.
Sat. 29 April. Day 64
Just dropped mizzen & w/jib & lying ahull. Fresh NE winds since last evening, increased overnight & sleep was only fitful. Barometer down by 6mb to 1010mb at 04.00 & now 1002mb with heavy showers & sea built up with a whine in rigging. But at least motion is down & noise of thumping of waves has gone. NE wind now for over 2 days & this morning we are on 39°11’ latitude. Having been pushed down 137m in 2 days. Twelve days with E winds, mostly NE.
Plotted chart shows 90m for 23h at 09.30h 55 to the E. Chart shows 230m to the E for 10 days. 110m of them in the past 2 days. 2 gales & spreader did not help & another F.7 today. But what can one do, & the main thing is we have our mast & God is good. Colder today, 60°. Patience, my boy.
Barometer down by 9mb since 12.00h to 988mb. Raining since morning.
Mon. 1st May. Day 66
Under twin poled jibs since 07.30h. F7 winds eased Saturday evening & came again viciously at 04.00h Sun morning from the SE & lasted until yesterday evening & swung S giving us the worst gale since the knock down off Tazmania. So I was too busy to write yesterday. Sea state not as bad as I expected.
From last night to 1012mb now & hopefully we will now get a break from gales & make some headway. Great to be W in the wind again after 12 days of NE & SE winds
Excellent progress since morning & after seas settles somewhat at noon, I could go on deck as we are running. Tidied aft cabin which was in a shambles after being layed over twice yesterday by big crests. Had to dry out tool locker & tool drawer as when I started pumping with inner pump into sink yesterday, I forgot I had cock closed & water sloshed out & ran into them. Oiled tools which was needed anyway. Big deep swell from S all day. Tired after working & tension of last two days gales, but enjoyed being able to move out after being cooped up. Clocks go forward tonight, which I forgot to do a few days ago, last Sat in fact. Had odd sun earlier but high grey light clouds now. Barometer steady at 1012mb.
Have clocks advanced 1 hour. Pulled out last dozen eggs today & dipped them & no floaters. Just had one for tea & it was lovely. Put on socks today for 1st time in weeks as it was cold, also had anorak on & 2 pullovers. Never got above 60°.
Tue. 2 May. Day 67
Great progress since yesterday morning. Over 2° of longitude while edging N again. Woke at 05.00.H & had to adjust nell as wind W. Had to change jibs for genoa after porridge at 09.00.H as wind NW. Will hoist mizzen as soon as I replace a few battens. Will run engine 1st as it is 12 days since last run.
117M for 24 hours at 08.00.H. this morning, with 48.H. of them to the N. Wind flukey as we are getting showers. Had to drop sails once as shower took wind. Ran engine for 3.H. & batteries up & put a purchase on jury pole to keep it from sliding in guys. So, I think we have done all we can now with jury spreader.
Wen. 3. May. Day 68
Woke at 24.00.H & we were going to South of E so I had to drop port poled w/jib & unpoled genoa.
Oh what a lovely, sunny morning. Hoisted mizzen at 09.00H after breakfast. Good headway again. Wind NW, 100.M. to E yesterday. Barometer down by 4mb to 1008mb since last evening.
Barometer now 1002mb & wind freshened & I put w/jib up instead of genoa which was up since 09.00.H yesterday. Sun which we had all day has now been covered x a dark mass to the NW. Wind swinging slowly N but we are still heading E.
Thur. 4. May. Day 69
Had to lie ahull after sun down at 19.00.H. last evening as seas built up & wind F.7. Barometer this morning 994mb from 1000mb last evening but wind has eased enough to carry strong w/jib. Wind still NW & we have sun again this morning. Wind must have swung W overnight as we made 16M to the E lying ahull & only 1M to the S in 13 hours. Slept until 01.30.H & only fitfully after that as noise & motion was hectic. Making 5KN under w/jib. Hopefully we are either into or approaching, the NW wind as this is our 3rd day now of them. Rained during the night.
Wind & seas increased again. Lying ahull as waves were pushing us into the wind & jib was luffing & flapping & I have to mind my sails. A squally morning now with an odd large grey cloud bank showing westward. A pity we were doing well.
Was lucky to have dowsed jib as we are now getting a heavy shower from one of the black clouds with strong winds. At least the rain will flatten the seas somewhat.
We have got a succession of big black showers with strong wind & rain in then but I think they have died away now. 1st lift of barometer now since morning up by 1mb to 994mb. Apart from cooking & reading, nothing else to do & gales are tedious. At least with this one we are drifting in the right direction.
24 hours of wind now. Big showers eased at 16.00.H but wind only losing some of its whining now. Sea state will be in a turmoil for some time after this as wind went to the W this afternoon.
Fri. 5 May. Day 70
Hit the bunk at 09.00.H & slept well until 01.00H when wind had eased but we were being tossed around so much I could not sleep. So at 03.00.H I got up & hoisted the w/jib to a W/Y wind on our port quarter so I might have to head more North. We had a shower when I was on deck & before that, 2 flashes of lightening. when I was wearing oilers. Barometer 1001mb & up by 2mb since last evening. We have had gale force winds on average now every 5 days out of the 70.
Just back in after putting wind more abeam & lightening still to the north. Maybe it will clear up some of the shit we have been getting. Jib pulling better now but we are still being tossed around & I fear wind will die. Had cocoa & a biscuit. Will hit the bunk again & see what the dawn at 07.45.H. which we still have & a dark overcast sky. Wind was S x W at 07.45.H & at 09.00.H I hoisted no.3 to port & dropped w/jib & wind had freshened & gone to the S.S.E so hoisted mizzen also. Unusual weather. Barometer steady since 03.00.H at 1001mb. This is the 1st rain we have had which allowed me to hang a bucket under the mizzen so I may get water for a wash. A damp, dark & chilly morning. Had porridge before going on deck & have now just finished tea & rye vita & margarine & jam. A depressing morning, but we made 38M to the E yesterday between w/jib for a few hrs yesterday & last night & the gale was W/Y. & we are jogging along to the E now so things could be a lot worse.
Lying ahull again to SE F.6 since 12.30.H. Dropped no 3 as mast was bending & put up w/jib & still bending so I would not change it for a few miles. Still raining & barometer down x 3mb since morning to 993mb.
995mb & F.7 & still raining. Wind S & I filled bucket this morning in an hour.
Sat. 6. May. Day 71
Had a very rough night in squalls. Was layed over & swung around at midnight. Later water was forced through hatch spraying galley & bunk. The worst night since Tazmania, pumping until this morning since 16.00.H yesterday. Barometer at 992mb rose at 19.40.H yesterday evening to 1009mb at 08.00.H. Wind eased now & then at 05.00.H except for rain squalls. Rain since I got up yesterday until after midnight & heavy rain squalls since sea was not as bad now but bad enough. Wind held S so at least we have been pushed N x 26M since I dropped sails yesterday at 12.30.H. This morning we are on 36°46’ 118°41’. From now on I will head N to 35° as we are meeting too many gales, 4 since last sun. Inner pump, while working thank God. Must be clogged somewhere as it was not pumping freely overnight & I will open it at 1st oppertunity. Thank God for a strong boat. Oh Jesus, I could do with a few fine days & a decent night sleep. But I am not complaining. Glad to have survived the night.
Wind still very strong in squalls & sea state entirely confused & will take some time settling if wind ever eases. Plenty of sun between squalls & showers seem to have gone.
Fixed pump. Coca Cola bottle top was the cause. Wind now SSE & still strong in squalls & sea state improving but still boisterous & confused. Barometer still climbing 1014mb.
Sunday. May 7. Day 72
Sailing under w/jib since 02.30.H to a F.4 at 3KN. Still big swells around. Would pole other w/jib but with swells & light wind, I think wind will die. Slept from 02.00.H for 6 hours solid. Just after a bowl of Weetabix, having cocoa now.
Had to pole other w/jib as swells were luffing us off & glad I did as wind held & good progress of 4,5KN now. Barometer 1025mb. More clouds than sun but a fine morning with long swells from south. Slept solid again from 04.00.H until 08.00.H after porridge & tea & weetabix & marmalade. On last tub of marg. Must plot chart.
Filled in 3 days on chart. For past 4 days we made 180M to the E & 95M N with gales each day or part of. Sea state settling down slowly and I had to head more N to keep sails from flatting due to swells. If sea flattens, I will run engine & tighten st/gland. I have already checked all rigging & mast which is ok when running.
Good steady progress all day, swells reducing but motion still making us roll a lot. All in all, I can’t complain. Could be without oilers. Tightened rudder gland. If sea state settles tomorrow will tighten stern gland & run engine. No pressure on mast while running. Checked all rigging after gales. Barometer 1026mb & steady since 11.00 & while sunset is not clear we have a red glow to the W. Thank God.
Mon. 8 May. Day 73
Was tired last night & hit the bunk at 19.30.H waking at 22.00.H & 05.30.H & getting up with light at 08.00.H. 12.5 hours sleep & badly wanted but feel a bit dopey yet after it. But rested. Good, steady progress over the last 24 hours at 08.00h. 100m & we came up 48m to 35°24’. S x W breeze, steady now for 30 hours since I hoisted twin after gale. Barometer 1030mb. Jib giving the odd flap in light wind last night & again this morning as we get an extra large swell from S & smaller waves from wind. Will have a go at st/glad & engine.
Going too high so dropped starboard jib & unpoled port one. Got st/gland tightened & have engine running to charge batteries. Engine starting well thank God. Tested self drains & ok & greased battery terms & all engine controls & electrics. So a good mornings work done. God but today is beautiful. Cotton wool clouds & sun & a gentle breeze.
Doing 4KN since I hoisted mizzen st/sle. Finished last of cheese now with coffee. Had a salad dinner. Salmon, pot salad & tinned toms & nice. Must be the relaxation is giving me an appetite. Eating a lot today. Took a kettle & a gallon of water from drum as I had them out.
Becalmed since 19.00h. 2 weeks since last becalmed, had to look up log book, 24 April. A lovely clear night with a alf moon. Sunset at 18.00h good. Looks as if I will have a good sleavan tonight.
Tue. 9 May. Day 74
Yes I had. Bunk at 22.30 & woke once at 02.30 & again with dawn at 08.00. Still becalmed to gentle swells, a great break & badly needed thank God. What wind is there in jib. Barometer 1033mb. 45m yesterday for 11 hours sailing. Today we are on 35°08’ & are going to stay on it if we can. Had porridge & a boiled egg this morning. Biggest breakfast for ages which is a sign I am relaxed. Have 2 eggs left & they are perfect. Must get a few jobs done. I have to pull out marmalade, jam, ribena & tinned spuds from bunk lockers, etc.
Have only sat down now for a coffee & biscuit. After pulling food from 4 bunk lockers & stashing it to hand & marking it off storage plan & entering where stowed, for easy access. A good morning’s work no more than yesterday & great to get a chance for these jobs. Still no wind & would you believe, I don’t give a shit. Enjoying the peace & rest. Still have work on list but nothing urgent so will take it easy for a while.
Just finished a tin of South African Pilchard & tomatoes, followed by an orange & a mug of Ribena. Not a puff now & all sun. Have 2 oranges & 10 lemons left which are A1.
Rigged a bobstay if you like, to pole making spreader jury rig which should easy pressure on guys which were not actually pulling directly downwards. Today would remind one of the doldrums. Will be interesting to see what weather we get on 35°. Though we had a gale on 36° last Sun.
Wen. 10 May. Day 75
Another great sleep. Bunk 20.30h & woke pre-
Put sails up again at 09.30h for an hour. A teasing wind. Fixed compass light, which was out for some time. Took out compass & found one wire undone & all others rusted up at connectors. So replaced connectors & sealed them. Having a cocoa & biscuit as I write. Sky still overcast with strato cumulous. At least the calm gave me a great chance to do maintenance.
Hoisted sails twice the afternoon to SW breeze even pulled twin jibs but breeze eased after a half hour or so. Becalmed now for 24 hours at 18.00h. Just had 2nd last boiled egg for t & perfect. Will miss them. Overcast with strato cumulous all day bar an odd gap when sun came out. Had a good dinner, opened a can of ham & gr beans & instant spuds & half an orange for dessert. Beginning to darken now as s/sets 18.00h Barometer still high at 1032mb.
Thur. 11 May. Day 76
Under twin w/jib since 08.00h & so far, in spite of swells, they are filling though giving odd flap. Wind still SW. Hoisted sails twice last evening & had to drop them again after an hr. Very little headway since Mon evening when this high moved in. Had a few slices of ham for a change this morning after weetabix. Hard making a few miles lately. Gales last Thursday & Friday & Saturday & belcalmed Tuesday & Wednesday.
Wind still holding. Siliconed base of compass as we always had a leak in gales from vent over chart table & it wasn’t doing electricity any good as I found out yesterday. It’s amazing I never twigged it before this, since we got becalmed last Tuesday evening. Overcast again today & yesterday.
Fri. 12 May. Day 67
Wind gradually matured yesterday morning & swung to the W. Woke at 01.30h & seas had built up & we are rolling since. Did not sleep too soundly after that & got up at daylight.
Nearly a uniform, o overcast, grey today & barometer down from 1031mb yesterday morning to 1022mb.
Under starboard jib after dropping port one & taking down poles. We were getting to the stage when anything could happen as we were going too fast & yawing in short waves. Speed down from 6.5KN to 4.5KN so not too bad. Motion has improved. Barometer down by 3mb since 08.00h. I am beginning to forget I have a jury rigged spreader at times & we are back to black showers. Must mind my mast. 100m yesterday at 08.00 this morning. Having a cocoa & biscuit now.
Rain of and on since 14.00h in a dark sky. Barometer 1015mb but no further increase of wind. Doing well under jib but we are being pushed NE now as wind has gone back to the SW.
Sat. 13 May. Day 73
At 19.00h we were going N with SSW wind which at 04.00h was south & still is. So at 19.00h, dropped jib as I would not chance the starboard tack with weather symptoms. This morning since 08.00h, we are dawdling along under no.3. & mizzen which are giving odd flap in a large S/Y swell & others. Awaiting for sea state to flatten or light wind to steady before I hoist mizzen st/sail. Barometer up x 6mb overnight to 1022mb so whatever shit was around passed to the S.
Had to drop sails at 09.30h & hoisted no.3 & mizzen st/sle at 11.30 & had to drop them at 12.30. We have a breeze but large S/Y swell & others fucking it up. Anyway, it is an improvement on gales which we had this time last week. Still no sign of shipping & you must all be worried at this stage & I would dearly like to get word back. 55m yesterday from 11 hours sailing.
Sunday. 14 May. Day 79
Up since 07.30h as sun woke me this fine morning of swells. Sun & what little wind we have is still S as yesterday. More of less becalmed now since Friday evening. Hoisted jib for 3 hours around sunset last evening. Still have large swell from S & others throwing us around. But I can’t complain. Will only have to wait it out. Had a great night sleep.
Sun since dawn but little wind. Hoisted jib & mizzen to a breeze but had to drop them again but I don’t care. I am enjoying one of the finest days for some time. Hardly a cloud. Barometer went up by 3mb in 2 hours from 08.00 to 1025mb & now down by 1mb. Had a salad dinner as yesterday I opened pot salad & a can of peas. Sardines with then & a Ribena drink with a squeezed half lemon. Having a coffee & biscuit now. I changed t-
Mon. 15 May. Day 80
Before I hit the bunk last night, I decided I would have my first drink of schnapps & it was so nice, I had a 2nd, as I was sure from a rosy sunset & glassy swells that we would not have wind. Woke at 02.00h to a light NW breeze & again at 06.30h, as it had freshened with a red, predawn (07.45h) sky & hoisted w/jib giving odd luff as waves or swells push us into the wind. A gusty wind up & down. Feel a bit dopey, whether it was schnapps or else because I went back to bunk for an hour after weetabix. I was so convinced we would have another day of calm that I took out hose yesterday to syphon fuel from starboard tank which stop cock is jammed & was going to run engine, so will have to await another opportunity. Anyway, it’s nice to be under way again after being becalmed since Friday evening. Since Friday evening, we drifted N x 16m & E x 5m. I was beginning to worry had we come up too far N & been caught in the South Pacific high pressure system, but this morning proves not. I am keeping between the low pressure area & the high, as shown on Ocean Passages Chartlets.
Just come from being on deck as wind swinging NW & had to adjust nell. God bless her, on board & at home. Time for my mug of cocoa.
Little did I think yesterday or this morning we would be lying ahull today. Just dropped jib as I think we would have eventually broached & I have also to watch my sails. Wind now NW F.7 & seas building up all the time. Barometer down by 7mb since morning & 2.5mb in last hour. So would you believe it, you never know.
Tue. 16 May. Day 81
Lying ahull since, drizzle & rain since I got up. Not a strong gale so far & wind is steady from NW all the time. Barometer down by 10mb since 14.30 yesterday & not low at 1006mb. Getting nowhere fast between gales & calms for the past week. Though we made 50m to the E yesterday, 300m to the E since last sun or 9 days. Sky leaden now & cabin dark like before sunset. Fitted up hose to sink from pump last evening but nothing much coming aboard. The N wind is soft down here like our S wind at home. Heavy rain as I write. That red glow before sunrise was not good yesterday. But things could be a lot worse. I slept well until 05.30h in a light bag as temp 70° & boat is dry & I still have my mast. Opened a bag of peanut butter yesterday as last pack of margarine is getting low. Nothing for it only wait it out.
Barometer steady at 1001mb since 15.00, when rain ceased & wind went W. But sky still leaden & overcast. Wind had eased since 16.00h but too much for twin jibs & with one jib with present sea state, with wind shift. Sea is a mass of confusion. We would only broach & also apart from strain on nell & jib which I always watch out for. I think it wiser to wait. Lying ahull now since 14.30 yesterday. Put on oilers & went out to see just now, for the first time today. Hate being cooped up. Back to rain just now, a heavy drizzle.
Wen. 17 May.
Heavy drizzle did not last too long & sky was beginning to show a bright spot to the W at s/et 17.30 & at 20.30. Wind went SW, which it is now. Wind down in strength but sea state still very confused since we lay ahull at 02.30. Mon we were pushed E 53m in 41h & for 20ms with NW wind & 16m N with SW wind. So we are 4m from the latitude we lay ahull at. At 08.00 this morning, sky cleared during the night & this morning is bright with clouds trailing the gale. Like a winters morning at home but not cold at 63°. Noise kept me awake off & on last night. Barometer up by 7.5mb since yesterday’s 1001mb at 15.00 to 1012.5mb now. Faintly received 3 stations on transistor last night over 1500m away. Must have a look & see if I can hoist twins.
Got into oilers & decided not to as wind is come more S & we would only be going N. Would be able to hoist jib only for mast bends on starboard tack in strong winds & sea is still tricky. Not worth it. With twins there is no great pull on mast. Slow but sure & fuck the begrudgers. At least the gale has gone. Last Sun week now since last gale & I will stay on this latitude 35° & see how it goes.
Thur. 18 May. Day 83
Wind swing to the SW yesterday & at 10.00h, I hoisted twin poled w/jibs until 18.00h when we were broached, so hauled them down for the night. We made 60m to the E 7 NYH yesterday & drifting overnight. This morning wind more S/Y & I can only carry w/jib & that only as the wind is F.4 with stronger winds. I can’t carry sails on starboard tack. Yesterday was tricky as we were often slewed around & starboard jib would back before nell would adjust. Funny thing, after dropping sails last evening the wind eased. But, between two nights of gale & tension while watching jib yesterday, I said fuck it & had a great sleep until I woke at 05.30. Seas down this morning & we are doing 3.5KN under w/jib. Wind F.4 & jogging along ok on 34°40’ latitude 109°30’ long. Less than 2000m left to Chile. I am off chart since yesterday & from now on will work from G.P.S. until I near the Chilean coast & hopefully speak a ship which will advise me on a port with a clear entry. Barometer up x 5mb overnight to 1020mb & today mostly sun with odd large cumulous.
Fri. 19 May. Day 84
Was able to pole starboard w/jib at 11.00h yesterday which was better for mast & wind freshened, but not as strong as Wen. So we ran until 18.30 when wind eased & I had to drop starboard jib & at 21.00 when I was nearly asleep, had to get up & drop other as jib had gone. Yesterday we had the biggest swell yet from the S & difficult to scan horizon with it. This morning not too bad but big enough. What wind we have this morning is SE. Have engine running since 08.30. A nice sunny day. Barometer up x 3mb overnight to 1023mb. Another 50m yesterday, slow but sure. Pushed 14m to the N with SW wind yesterday & S/Y overnight. The main thing again is we are holding our mast & G.P.S. & engine are working. So things could be a hell of a lot worse. Still no sign of shipping.
Ran engine for 3 hours & batteries up again after an 11 day gap. Swells down somewhat & tried to syphon fuel from starboard tank & failed. But got one good job done & tightened fan belt. Wind, light, 10 now from E & barometer down x 2.5 to 1020.5. A good oppertunity to get work done.
Sat. 20 May. Day 85
Woke to rain & wind during night. Amazing after a rosy s/set & with barometer 1021.5mb last evening & 1024mb now. Wind E & F.7 now. When I woke with daylight I could see port spreader shroud waving around & I presumed pressure of wind on jury rig & was bending mast so I got up & into oilers & put a lashing on it to mast & only then discovered that purchase on jury rig had come loose from jamming cleat. Never a dull moment. A low must have come N of this high we are at the top of. No mileage E yesterday & 16m to the N & this E wind is pushing us back. Lucky I tied jib to deck last night. It was lying there since previous evening after I had to get up & drop it when becalmed. Glad I got the chance yesterday to run engine & fix fan belt. Sky overcast showers & severe with a very good patch of blue. But ceiling is not low. Poor headway since last Tue gale & calms. It was well I spotted spreader & I have secured fall of purchase. Hard to understand it jumping out of the jamming cleats. Not long after porridge & tea & 2 rye vita, one with peanut butter & another with marmalade. Where did the name marmalade came from? Temp down today 62°.
Had an instant chicken & prawn noodle at 11.00 & now just finished a coffee & biscuit. Pumping with inner pumps we get the odd crest.
Wind still gale force but this has swung SE since 14.30h. Just after ½ tin spaghetti with a few tinned spuds in it, some salami & now tea & cream crackers & jam. A late dinner & not easy to cook & read. Sky overcast now with a rain squall. Thank God. I have a strong beat. I am glad I covered engine yesterday as I am pumping every time a wave sausages into cockpit. 19.30h & no let up. Wind still SE.
Sunday. 21 May. Day 86
Still blowing gale force though it decreased slightly overnight as I hadn’t to pump so much, but it came back with the sun at dawn (07.00). Barometer down x 3mb overnight to 1020mb. We have been pushed N x 29m in the 24h at 08.00 this morning & 12m to the W. Some big seas out today with usual gale wave waves going across each other & lumps everywhere, with white patches & streams that would remind me of a snow scene. Morning was grey & overcast but it is brightening now & odd ray of sun. Wind SE since 14.00 yesterday but swinging to the S now, so it may improve later. Could do with a break from whine in rigging & motion after over 24 hours of it. We could do with a break & make a few miles again also.
Had sardines & rye vita & ribena for dinner. Wind seems to be stronger & we are having rain showers with sun between for some time now. Barometer lifted by 1mb at 10.00 to 1021mb but is now down x 4mb to 1017mb. Wind still holding E of S.
Mon. 22 May. Day 87
Still at it & no let up last night. Pumping over 3 hours. Barometer down x 3mb overnight to 1012mb & wind now S x E. 3rd day of gale now & this is the longest blow yet. This morning we are setting on a 33° latitude having drifted 39m since 08.00 yesterday to the north. If it is this bad At 33° what must it have been like down S. Morning as yesterday with sun & black showers. Seems like a week since we were becalmed last Friday evening & we have gale force winds since then. Have not been out of cabin since I adjusted jury spreader on a Saturday morning. Two days cooped up now. Wind holding steady in direction but tanks to swing S yesterday. Today may see a change.
Getting squalls since so maybe the low is moving & we are in the cold front side of it. The whine in rigging is tiring.
A slight decrease in wind & seas since this afternoon but still strong & gusty. Sky greyed up at 15.00h. Wind still E of S. 3 days now of much the same wind direction & streaks.
Tue. 23 May. Day 88
No change in weather but wind moderated somewhat during night. But still had to get up every 3h to alarm & pump bilge. Not taking so many crests or thumped so maybe it will ease. This is the 4th day of it. Since Friday we have been pushed North 121m, 35m on Monday, 35m on Sunday, 31m Saturday & 16m Friday & the wind is still holding S/Y. Garbage piling up. Anyway, it is not as bad today & hopefully we will get a break. So far, this morning we have had no rain with squalls. No headway East now for 4 days. Since last Friday. Sea state wild & will take time to settle when wind eases.
Yes, we got the showers & still are but wind & seas down compared to what was. Squalls are the worst & wind still S/Y. Amazing. Even if spreader was ok, wind too strong & seas too crazy to hoist a sail. Got into oilers & went out & all ok bar locking levers had loosened a little on s/stg shaft, yesterday & this morning I found a funny taste from tea. Live as if there was salt in the water, so I changed tanks & opened another pack of powdered milk & tea after dinner of crabs & tinned tomatoes was ok. Will use old milk for tea later. Hopefully that will be the cause.
4 days lying ahull to the one gale. Today the best of them but the odd big crests still coming over us.
Wen. 24 May. Day 89
Wind & seas moderated yesterday evening. Had one great sleep. Woke at midnight & no water in bilge & did not wake again until light at 07.30 when I got up & I went to bunk at 19.00. Wind still South but wind still healthy & sea state still wind enough. So will hold off. Hoisting w/jib & mizzen as barometer up by 3mb to 1014mb. Anyways I was not having piece of mind knowing mast was flexing. Sky as past few days, showers & sun. Only drifted 15m at 08.00 this morning, still getting squalls in showers. Pa milk was ok. Salt water must have found its way into port bilge keel. This morning we are 1800m from Valparaiso so I don’t see any problem with fresh water as I also have plenty of Kerry water. The S/Y wind is constant now since last Sun & is very frustrating as I could be sailing now if it was after or on my port side. Salt water in bilge keel is also disappointing but that is life at sea & I am not going to risk losing my mast for a few miles.
Just back from being on deck after checking all rigging etc. Leak must be from bilge keel bung. Assessed weather for hoisting w/jib & decided not. Apart from wind & shower squalls, there are some hefty wind & swells to put added strain on mast when rolling. Wind now E of South. So I will only have to have patience. At least the marathon gales of 4 days has gone. Must be satisfied with what I’ve got & count my blessings thank God. Can’t remember when I was on deck last. I think it was last Saturday morning when I tightened jury spreader. Got a few jobs done in cabin this morning as motion has improved. Mainly to do with food, like topping sugar, cocoa, coffee containers & pulling out a towel roll & clean table cloth (tea towel). I still can’t find raisins & sultanas. So nothing to do only wait it out. Will make a cocoa.
Bar steady but sea state still wild after 4 days of gales. Will see what tomorrow brings. Wind easing & showers have gone leaving sky mainly clear.
Thur. 25 May. Day 90
Another great night sleep. Hit the bunk at 19.00 & up at 07.00 to a nice morning sun & cumulous & a F.4 wind. Will hoist no. 3 & mizzen shortly & see how it goes as we still have a sea fret. When I woke I thought we were becalmed. Wind still W x E & I am doubtful that sails will fill. Will see after my pot of tea. Had a pan of porridge also & it is nice to have hatch open again after 5 days. Finished the last of margarine with instant spuds yesterday & I am not on peanut butter which I have plenty of.
Just dropped no. 3, mizzen st/sle & mizzen, which had been up since 08.00. A pity, as we were doing ok until past half hour. First time I hoisted sails since last Thursday when we got becalmed at sunset. A week of gales & calms. 20m to the E & 163m to the N. Finished an early dinner as I was hungry as I am going all morning, drying cloths, checking out aft cabin, greasing engine ignition key & top control 680. I even trimmed my beard & cut my nails. So now I feel tired as I must be out of condition & will bear for a while. May start engine later.
Having a coffee & biscuit after starting engine at 13.00h. Pulled out a clean shirt & v/pants. Wind holding very steady at S x E & the biggest swell is from the SE, sea state improving all the time.
No change & still becalmed, ran engine for 2 hours & did more jobs & oh how lovely it was to be able to go out & look around. You must all be av x 1005 x now for word.
Fri. 26 May. Day 91
God but I slept well. 19.00h until 06.00h & got up at 07.00h to a beautiful day & a light NW breeze. Hoisted loose footed light genoa straight away & we are doing 4KN. Must have been the five night & no raffle & the exercise & work yesterday made me sleep so well then to wake to NW’Y after a week of S/Y’s is only great. Barometer 1014mb since Wen. Wind on right side of mast for a change.
Poled no.3 to port, Sun & blue sky left us as sky from NW & W has darkened up with dull grey sky.
Having a coffee & biscuit after dropped no.3 as wind went more to the N. with a big shower. Bright evening again now so I will give it time & see.
Got another shower with enough wind from the N to make me fear for light genoa so I hoisted w/jib & by that time the wind had gone back to the NW after squall passed, so now we are under twin w/jibs. A busy morning of sail changing but good headway E. Sun & mainly blue skies between showers.
Much the same since though it has darkened up since 15.00 with banks of grey clouds, giving a fine mist. Wind held from NW & good progress. Barometer holding steady.
Wind swung to the W & died just like that. Who gives a shit, we made 40m to the E today. 3m more than we made in the past week. Hard to credit. So how can I complain about being becalmed.
Sat. 27 May. Day 92
Woke to a breeze from the W & hoisted twin w/jibs at 00.30. A starry clear sky with a milky way when I hit the bunk at 20.00h & now only an odd star. Doing nearly 4KN & I hope wind holds. Great to be making headway again & sea state as good as one can expect. Temp high at 69° & barometer still steady at 1012mb. Will read for a while as my sleep is gone astray.
Woke at 06.00 to rain & on course & going well. Sky leaden since & still raining. Wind increased at 08.30n & port jib backing as we broached in seas so dropped it intending to run under starboard jib but by that time we had much stronger winds so decided to lie ahull. Barometer down overnight x 4mb at 08.00 & now by another 3mb to 1005mb. So it looks like we are in for a blow. Came up very fast. Barely had time to finish my breakfast. Made 52m yesterday.
Still heavy rain & seas built up but wind has not increased that badly & let us hope it doesn’t, we have enough already.
Rain stopped at 12.15h but sky overcast bar an odd brightening. Sea built up very fast, only for that would change w/jib. Barometer 1000mb.
Sunday. 28 May. Day 93
Gale eased overnight though it was not a sever one. Rigged inner pump hose yesterday but little water coming aboard. Had twin jibs up since 08.00 to a W/Y wind. Barometer started rising last evening & now 1006mb. A high watery sky with diffused Sun. W/Y’s very scarce since leaving Bluff, last was 2nd & 12th inst.
Carried on under twins until 13.00h when I dropped port one as wind went NW. But doing 4KN under unpoled starboard jib. Barometer climbed to 1007.mb5 at 11.00h & now 1005 since 14.00h. Sky greyed up this afternoon but still high with a few bright strength to windward. Great to be making the mile eastward again. A steady F.5 all day & good for morale.
Mon. 29 May. Day 94
90m for 24h without any hassle to a NW steady F.5. Sky grey but high. Barometer 1006mb last evening & down x 2 at 07.00 & steady now. Slept very well, waking at 2 & now nice to be on course E.
Still going well but housebound unless I put on oilers. Sky still overcast but high & not thick grey. Barometer holding steady.
Had to go out & adjust nell as one slipped clutch. Trying to rain when I was out & sky thickening now & uniform with grey. Barometer down x 1mb from morning’s 1004mb.
Nell slipped again as seas up now as wind freshened, so gave her a hand with main rudder to starboard a little. If that does not work will have to lie ahull. Steady rain now. Barometer steady since 12.30 so it may not be too bad.
Wind ease a little since rain & seas reduced somewhat. No doubt rain is helping flatten seas. Good headway.
Hoisted poled w/jib to port as wind swung W x N 5KN. Still raining. Getting dark already an hr before sunset. Running better now with 2 jibs.
Tue. 30 May. Day 95
A nice a morning as you could ask for. Under twin w/jibs since 16.00 yesterday. Barometer up by 4mb overnight to 1010mb. Wind gone from SSW to W x S at midnight. 100m yesterday. Making the miles again.
Ran engine for 2.25 hours. Still a beautiful day. Sun was watery earlier but the difussed but ok now. Got a lot of work done & great to be able to go out.
Wind back to W x S & has eased slightly causing weather jib to give the odd flap as we have a big swell from SW since morning. Sun diffused again since noon. All in all the finest day for some time. Must be shitty down to the SW to send up such a big swell.
Wen. 31 May Day 96
Another good run 90m. Put clocks forward last night. Today overcast with cumulous. Another great sleep, woke at 02.00 & all was well. Thought wind would die at s/set last evening as it went light but it kept us going through the night & now showers on horizon. Barometer up x 4mb since last evening to 1018mb.
Winds went light so dropped twins & hoisted light genoa & put wind more abeam to fill it. Barometer now 1021mb. Took water from 5 gallon drum in aft cabin while I had the opportunity. Still have the swell from SW but not as big as yesterdays & fucking us around & shaking wind from sails. I am not complaining, made good headway last few days. Must make a coffee.
Wind increased slightly at 13.00h so poled genoa & hoisted no.3 to port & poled it, but had to drop them at 14.00, so we are under a w/jib since dawdling along. Sky overcast still with cumulous.
Had to get up & drop jib as wind died. No problem since I hoisted it at 14.00 & it had to wait until I was in the bunk to kick up a racket. Now I am making a cocoa as my sleep is bolloxed. The joys of ocean hippying. Could be a hell of a lot worse. Barometer 1024mb, up by 4mb since 14.00
Thur. 1 June. Day 97
Under light genoa & mizzen since 09.00 to light N x E breeze on a lovely sunny day. Barometer down by 3mb to 1021mb overnight. Sailed through a slick of globules like froth & not oil, whatever it was. Daylight now at 08.00 with hour change. That slick was the first flotsam I have seen yet. Bar seaweed near the Bounty Islands.
A great morning’s work, pumped 8 galls fuel to port tank. Have engine running again after 2 days as I had the floor boards up & the cover off engine. Topped up oil & creaked water which was ok. We made 32m NE & 13m NS yesterday & are still holding breeze in genoa & mizzen. Sea state as flat as one can get bar reasonable swells from the S & SW. Wind on the right side of the mast so no hassle.
Have main up since 14.00h & bar odd slat is ok. Don’t know when I had genoa, maw & mizzen up last. Even main breeze holding steady from N x E but Barometer has fallen x 5 to 1016mb. One of the finest days yet & having a breeze. Put on sun oil.
Sunset. Sky grew dark from NW since 16.00 with showers on horizon. We just got a light one which took our wind. Had main down half an hour earlier. Can’t complain, one beautiful day. Some heavy, dark showers around.
Fri. 2 June. Day 98
Woke to a breeze at 03.30h and I said I would give it a while as it was from the W & would mean poling jibs in the dark. Anyway, I again woke at 05.30 & we are under twins since to a fine wind. Some big current giving early morning showers on horizon. Other than that, sun & cumulous. Barometer down by 3mb overnight to 1012mb but steady since 06.00.
Lying ahull since 13.00. We broached & I could not get her back & as wind was on wrong side of mast, got wet into the bargain as I had not the time to put on oilers. Sky grey now but high with showers since morning. Wind not that strong, but in showers it is & it has gone to the SW.
Wind now S x W. Barometer up by 1mb to 1012mb. Frustrating when you have to lie ahull when you could be jogging along under a jib. Was really worried about mast this morning & for the first time left both halliards go. Had got a broach earlier but had got her back ok. Anyway, I have my mast & will mind it. Otherwise I am bollixed.
Wind now S & if anything is stronger, but we are not taking seas. What a change from yesterday. Today saw the last of the salami. Had it with instant mash for dinner. Will miss it, was both handy & tasty. Anyway, less than a thousand miles to the Juan Fernadez 1s, & from them 400m to the coast. 32m yesterday for 8h sailing. It all counts. Glad I got the fine day yesterday to transfer fuel to port tank. Glad I came N. Making the miles however slowly & the last strong winds was last Sat.
Sat. 3 June. Day 99
Up with the sun at 08.00. Had porridge & now tea & rye vita & marmalade as I write. Wind still S x W & too strong to sail on wrong side of mast. Anyway seas are too big & confused. Barometer up by 4mb to 1017mb overnight. We could be under w/jib & mizzen only for spreader. But since it came adrift we have not had too many S/Y’s, but what we had of them were strong. Felt the cold in S/Y wind last night. Temp 60° this morning. At least we have a bright sunny morning. Made 86m for 7.5 hours sailing yesterday. Tomorrow is Pentecost Sunday & this being the Whit Weekend in Ireland, Nance is probably in Ballyferriter & more power to her. Dan & Clive maybe too. Hope the weather is good for you all. I wish I could give Nance & you all the message of life as I plod along the South Pacific to South America. Maybe soon. Wind now easing & gone S. So depression is moving away. Things could be a lot worse.
Whit Sunday. 4 June. Day 100
Did ok yesterday. 80m. At 10.15, I hoisted miss & jib but at 12.00, I dropped mizzen as wind was swinging W. At 12.00, we were under poled w/jibs as we are now & doing well. Another nice sunny day with cumulous & barometer steady. I had no sooner hit bunk when wind eased but came up again & that happened a few times so eventually I got up at 04.00 & poled port jib which used to flop around as it was loose since we were under mizzen. I know that was when I got up at 04.00 we were after a shower so that was the cause. The showers take the wind. Gradually bringing down the miles & edging south when I can. 800m to Juan Fernandez Islands this morning which are on last 34°20’. Presently we are on 32°32’ & I want to be South of then for the 400.M to Valpariso. As there is a current going N up the Chilean Coast. Valparaiso is on 35° latitude 50. I plan to edge down to around 36° as I pass islands which will be 100m S of them & 180m S of Valparaiso. So I have to edge down 200m to pass south of islands.
Had to drop starboard poled jib & N pole part one as wind went to S x W & we were going too high. Speed down to a little over 2KN but heading now ok. Saw a very clean glass fighting float ball shining in the sun after dropping sail. Nearly as big as a football. First flotsam so far. First link with civilisation in 3 months.
Whit Mon. 5 June. Day 101
Wind SE this morning & light since last evening & barely filling jib now. Another nice morning & barometer 1028mb. Won’t be going far today. A good day to enjoy a bank holiday. Could be a hell of a lot worse. 60m yesterday.
Re rigged jury spreader to give more purchase down. Which will allow me to sail more on starboard tack. Also have engine running which means lifting cockpit floorboards & removing cover which is tricky rolling around becalmed so I have had a busy & productive sunny morning.
Under genoa & mizzen, 1.5 KN.
Blue sky. Had a salad dinner. Sardines, salad & peas. Ran engine for 3 hours.
Dropped sails as wind went in to the E. What there was of it. Sky changed, with grey veils to the W & NW & sun appears watery. Barometer is still high & steady at 1028mb.
Tue. 6 June. Day 102
Got up at 07.00 to an E breeze so we are heading SE under w/jib. A dull overcast morning barometer down x 2mb to 1026mb. No mileage yesterday. 750m from Juan Fernandez today.
Wind now N’Y & very strong. Sea not that bad. Neil was holding bar odd flutter from jib. As we rounded up, it was my sail I was concerned for. N/Y wind doesn’t kick up a big sea so I dropped jib & lay ahull. Barometer down to 1021mb by 2mb in the last hour. Sky still overcast with dark. 6 hours moving lately. I don’t mind being pushed south as if possible I would like to pass south of islands & make Valparaiso.
Constant rain now. What a change from yesterday. Reading the best of books for the second & third time. Without them I would be lost. Especially on a day like this when you are confined.
Wen. 7 June. Day 103
Still raining last night & blowing as I hit the bunk at 20.00. Found it hard to sleep, but when I did I only woke once to a down pour, until dawn when wind might have died as I found I was inclined to roll off back. So I got up with sun at 07.15 to a W’Y breeze & we are under thin poled w/jibs since. Sea still very confused with the biggest swell I have yet seen from the NW but great to be heading E again after 2 days of winds & little progress. We were pushed 16m to the South in 12 hours overnight. As we lay ahull. A nice sunny morning now as sun has burned off stratus clouds. Barometer down x 10mb overnight to 1008mb.
Amazing brilliant blue sky all day until an hr ago when a big grey mass came up from W & wind went north. Raining now. Had to change jibs for genoa until I see what happens.
We got three quarters of an hour of torrential rain which darkened cabin & put over an inch of rain in 2 saucepans I put in cockpit & which filled a kettle. No increase of wind came with it & sun is out again now. Barometer down to 1004mb from 1009mb at 10.00. So I don’t know what to expect. We had 75° at 14.00h. We also have more black showers to windward with some large cumulous.
Had to drop Genoa at 16.30. For w/jib as we are getting showers with squalls. In fact we are getting another now with heavy rain. So far Nell holding.
Lying ahull again. Nell slipped & when I went off we were nearly deck down under w/jib. No shower but wind was a beam as we had been running with it on our ¼, the wind being NW but what a brilliant night, half moon & a near clear sky & the ocean lit up with it showing its wild beauty. 2nd day in succession now lying ahull. At least we made good headway in the 12 hours today.
Thur. 8 June. Day 104
Blew a full gale last night was awakened at 01.00 by a bang & 2 of my plastic bowls were lying on galley floor, one of them broken. Inner pump working during night & while wind is down now to fit the seas are still wild with odd crest slapping over us. Wind went to W at 01.00 & now SSW, so we will not be hoisting a sail until wind & seas moderate. 56m yesterday for 12 hours sailing. A wild sky with sun & clouds flying. Barometer up from 998mb to 1006mb. Even if I could fly a jib wind is at my wrong side of mast, so we will only have to wait & see.
Wind moderated at 10.30 & we were jogging along to a SW with light showers. Tried hoisting mizzen st/sle which only puts a strain on mizzen mast. But it was only heading us up into the wind. It used a genoa to balance it, & as wind is up & down with showers I can’t fly it. Barometer up by 3mb to 1009mb since morning, sea state settling down somewhat. Jogging along at the E however slowly. 16.00h down job wind gone to the SE & light.
Fri. 9 June. Day 105
Woke to a light NE breeze so hoisted no.3 as we have it on (wind) the right side of the mast. No sign of a star or moon & barometer steady as last evening. Will try & get back to sleep now.
Woke & got up at 07.30 to drizzle. Will hoist main as soon as I finish my mug of tea. Wind still light NE but I think it will fly main.
Lying ahull since 14.30. Got full main up at 09.00 until 11.00 when I dropped no.3 & put up with jib & one reef main until 13.00 when I took 2nd reef in main. Still raining & sky leaden. Barometer 1006mb from 1011mb this morning which is not bad so it may not be bad wind, wind swinging, now NW. So I had a busy day up until now.
Sat. 10 June. Day 106
Under way under win w/jobs since 08.00 & rolling swells left & strong winds overnight. Did not sleep well last night as we had ferocious squalls & this morning was being rolled around on bunk. Until I got up I did not think we had any wind, but there is a nice breeze from the W. With twin jibs giving odd flap as we roll in a sea fret. Sky overcast but high with an odd bright patch, so it may clear. Barometer 1003mb the rain ceased last evening’s apart from heavy rain in squalls last night. Oh how nice to be able to go out today. Don’t know how many times I had to put on oilers yesterday. Today we are 32°58’W. 92° 49’ S 650m. A tough week with 3 gales & poor headway. We are due a break. Odd shower this morning, but wind holding.
Wind holding & sky clearing from S with sun now.
Sun. 11 June. Day 107
Becalmed at 05.00. Wind has been light since midnight, got up at 05.00 to a dull heavy morning with many black showers on horizon. Checked & tightened fan belt & topped water & checked gearbox oil, & started engine at 08.45, & at 09.00 a breeze came from NNW & we were on 120° & when I looked again at 09.15 we were on 40° & wind SSW, so I will leave her run under twins & see, so far we have escaped shower which always fuck up the wind, noise of engine takes getting used to after the peace of the ocean, but I must charge batteries & it is great that it is working. 70m yesterday breeze only barely filling sails due to swells but showers seem to be melting away, though sky is still overcast & dull. Had 3 weetabix after getting up with 4th last pack of long life milk & just finished tea & rye vita & marmalade now. Nice to have mad the miles yesterday. 550m to islands now.
Breeze now SE the opposite of what it was earlier. So I dropped starboard job & unpoled port one which isn’t taking us anywhere, but it is filling & helping us to stop rolling as there are swells from every point of the compass. I don’t think I have ever experienced wind changes like this morning on the ocean like this before. Barometer up by 4mb to 1012mb since 05.00.
Getting a shower now have sail down since 11.00. Shower shifted wind from SE to SW. Ran engine from 3 hours & then lifted out gas bottle, the large one in aft cabin floor & tightened stern gland. Plenty of gas in container yet. So we are becalmed & at least it gave me an opportunity to get work done even if it is the Sabbath. Barometer steady. No sign of sky lifting.
Showers cleared away after midday but sky dark & dreary & what little wind there is from the E. A depressing day & without headway. Ah well, things could be worse.
Mon. 12 June. Day 108
Sailing since midnight when I woke to wind & rain from NE. Hoisted w/jib & by the time wind had increased & waves so hoisted 3 reef main & doing 5 KN.
Had to lie ahull at 0.300. Before I lay ahull noise was weird as we were broad reaching at speed until jib started shaking after Nell slipped the clutch & that was the signal to lie ahull. I have had my porridge & now the usual tea & rye vita & margarine. Glad to have inner pump in weather like this. Barometer down by10mb overnight to 1003mb.
Still raining. At it now since midnight. Though wind has eased since 10.00h. Wind NE again, barometer steady, a miserable & tedious morning but the cabin is dry & I have my book, things could be much worse as I so often said before.
Rain has ceased since 14.00 & wind had swung N since the past hr & now the sky is lightening. Barometer started dropping at 11.00 & down x 8mb to 996mb at 14.00 which it had started at. Fortunately the N wind as I said before does not kick up a real bad sea which is just as well as we have very strong winds since alull at 10.00. Would be nice if it eased before dark. You must be all worried at this stage & I only hope I get word to you soon.
Tues. 13 June. Day 109
Running under twin poled jibs since 02.30h from speedy 4.5 to 7KN on swells & waves after gale to a WNN wind F.6 with odd shower blanketing a full moon. Going again & going well.
Still going well after sleeping again until daylight & a lovely sunny morning. Seas down compared to last night & wind swung a little more to the W so we are on a better heading. As I had to run dead before wind last night in case we broached. We are on the same latitude now as islands & 550m distant from them, wind still fresh F.5 & W x N.
Put clocks forward 1h today. Wind eased around midday but still giving 4KN. Expected it to swing to the W but it went back to NW. Sun all day until now when large cumulus built up to the NW. Barometer steady since morning at 1007mb. Sea state still very confused & tossing us around.
Just dropped twin jibs. Now big black showers. Worst I have seen it with swells from all points making for a confused surface.
Wed. 14 June. Day 110
Under w/jib to a F.4 from S since 09.00. A few blue patches in a grey cloud sky. Temp down with a S wind to 60° & we had a few showers before I got up. Barometer as last evening 1008mb.
The day turned out fine clearing to a blue sky with small cumulus & wind swinging slowly to SW x S now. Enough strength to give us 4KN & not too much of a strain on mast, though I put on oilers twice to check it. But with wind now abaft the beam there is no great sweat. Barometer up by 2 since morning. A good day with steady progress.
Thur. 15 June. Day 111
Made 90m E yesterday & edged down to 15m to 34°43’. All under a w/jib. Poled starboard w/jib at 08.00 when I woke with sun as wind swung SW. Another sunny day with the same steady wind as yesterday barometer up by 3mb to 1015mb. Though high clouds showed red before sun rose we shall see. Slept on & off last night with excitement of carrying wind overnight I suppose. Some time now since we carried the wind for 24 hours between gales & calms.
Fri. 16 June. Day 112
Another 90m yesterday. Though wind went to the SW at 18.00h & I had to drop starboard jib as seas were broaching us. Wind came fresh during afternoon & only that we were running down wind would never have held our course. Wind eased at 01.30 & went S until it died at 06.00h. Sun rose in a clear blue sky at 07.55h so I went back to bunk for another half hour, 350m to 1’s this morning. Barometer up by 5mb to 1022mb.
Hoisted light genoa, mizzen & mizzen st/sle at 10.00h but breeze died at 10.30 so have engine running since to charge batteries. Clear blue sky. Stitched hank to w/jib, so have been a busy little b this morning. Even stitched the knee of my pants. Still no ships & put a stick on patch on a small split in strong w/jib.
Barometer steady & still sunny a good change today to get work done. Tightened spreader jury rig also, what breeze we have is W’Y.
Sat. 17 June. Day 113
Becalmed now since with light NW since 09.00 but it is giving odd fray now. Woke 02.30 & hoisted it also but it did last. Had light genoa up yesterday afternoon also. But had to drop it also. Once getting catspaws of wind. But made 15m yesterday & it all counts. Barometer 1025mb so what does one expect. Some big heavy showers around this morning. So when they clear with sun we may get a puff. Had a great night sleep & ocean is as flat as you can get for a change. Was reading a book last evening where roast chicken was mentioned so took out frying pan I had stashed since Bluff & opened my last tin of ham & fried 4 slices with onions & made instant mash. Also opened a long life milk & had a mug of it. The best grub for some time. A change from beans, spaghetti, sardines, etc.
Hoisted main at 1030mb as breeze developed from the N & at 13.30 had to take a reef in main. Lost sun at 15.00 as sky greyed up & at 16.00 got a shower. Sky still grey but high now. Barometer down by 2mb to 1026mb. Good progress, if noisy as seas have built up & we are broad reaching. Coming on dark early tonight & undecided whether to change no.3 for w/jib before we lose light altogether, as moon which is waning, will be late tonight & sky overcast.
Sunday. 17 June. Day 114
Lying ahull after dropping sails. Dropped main & then decided to drop also as all the signs of a blow & I want to mind my jib. A healthy singing in rigging & barometer down by 4mb since 20.00. 80m since 09.00 yesterday for 15 hours. 250m to islands.
Under twins to a W/Y F5/6 since I got up at 08.30h & doing 6KN. Swells from NW has us rolling. Hardly slept I dropped sails at midnight & then I was awakened by torrential rain & at 06.30 woke & was cold & got into heavy bag & it wasn’t easy to get that with daylight. I did change down to w/jib luckily at dusk last evening. Cloudy earlier but plenty of sun now.
Barometer rose by 2.5mb to 1024.5mb at 13.00. Wind has eased for past hour of so & seas still with us since wind are causing twins to flap & I would not be surprised if wind dies on or before sunset.
Mon. 19 June. Day 115
Wind held, if light & at 03.30 I dropped starboard jib & unpoled port one to hold course & wind. This morning I have twins poled again to a light W x S breeze even though giving odd flap. We are on 3.5KN. Lucky to have any breeze as barometer today is 1027.5mb. Another sunny day when clouds burn off. Swell not too bad today thank God. Another 80m yesterday.
As good a day as one could ask for. Running under twin with a nice wind on our tail & sun until an hr ago, when a few showers came up & sky greyed up a bit. Just the right amount of wind & the biggest swell on our tail also. Great progress without hassle for a change & barometer steady. Looks like we will clear 1s no & we are 40m S of them on latitude 35°
Tue. 20 June. Day 116
Wind held in strength & direction overnight. 118m yesterday at 08.45. Bloody great. Did not have to touch nell was up at 21.30. 02.30 & 06.30h & on course. Barometer down by 1.5mb overnight to 1025mb. This morning we are south of the Western islands by 56m with 80m left to clear E islands. We had sun at dawn but now sky has greyed up & giving a fine mist.
Wen. 21 June. Day 117
Mid Summers Day at home. I wonder is Dan having his usual hat party? One gas man & a great son. God bless him & wind eased during night but we still made a 100m. Sky stayed grey today. 3 days this morning running under twins thank God. Passed S of islands during night by 60m & now 360m from South American coast by 136m S of Valparaiso which I expect Peru current to push me towards. Wind is still light but no flapping of sails. Barometer still steady at 1026mb for third day. Expect to sight ships from now on. You must all be worried as hell now. Great to be past islands.
Ran engine for 3 hours to charge batteries, checked oil & water, etc. Great to have engine running so well. Wind still light but pushing u along nicely. If we had these conditions more often I wouldn’t complain. This is the 4th day now of steady W’Y winds & I have not changed a sail or touched one. Amazing. But so pleasant after previous weather experienced.
Thur. 22 June. Day 118
96m yesterday. 272m to coast now & 147m S of Valparaiso with no indication of Peru current so far. Weather still banks of mist, though wind swung to the WNW since 06.30h & barometer down x 5mb overnight. Four days now with twin jibs & following wind 400m you must say. Beginning to feel the excitement of a landfall.
Fri. 23 June. Day 118
Wind went to the NW after four days of twin jibs x W/Y winds so dropped port jibs & unpoled starboard jib at 16.00h barometer down x 6mb since morning to 1014mb so decided to run under jib & see what developed. Woke at 00.30 to W/Y wind & adjusted nell & now wind back to NW at 01.30 after a cocoa & rye vita & peanut butter & wind nearly gone in a starry sky. Barometer now 1009mb. Jib flapping an odd time.
I dropped jib which woke me at 06.00 flapping & we are under twin w/jibs again since I got up at 05.30. Looks like a sunny day for a change after a cold night 59°, 61° now & barometer up by 1mb to 1010mb. 166m to coast today. 90m yesterday which was ok considering light wind overnight.
Heard 2 hoots of a ship at 14.00 & went out to see a large trawler had passed me to port. Spoke to skipper, a nice Norwegian who settled in Chile & married a Chilean, who will notify Chilean Authorities of my positions & intentions & said he would get a fax to Ireland. Advised me that coast around Valparaiso is clean. So that is nice & I do hope they send fax. Wind shifted from nearly NW to W & now SW.
Wind went S & raining with F.6 very fast so lying ahull. Seldom see wind changing & increasing so fast. Just as well I kept south. Just got sails down before dark. Have no moon on these nights. Good while now since I heard a whine rigging or had to get into oilers. Noticed today a change in the colour of the ocean from blue to bottle green.
Sat. 24 June. Day 120
Plenty of wind last night but not a full gale. Barometer up by 15mb overnight to 1030mb. A morning of sun & clouds but cold with SE winds. Temp 56°. If wind eases & also seas, I might chance a jib & mizzen as wind is on the weak side of mast which I don’t want to lose at this stage.
Hoisted no.3 with the intention of hoisting mizzen also, but mast was bending too much. Will try w/jib later as I don’t want to drift too far N. I think we are in the Chile current as we drifted N x 24m hrs overnight in 12 hours which is above average. How well we would get a SE wind at this stage. Made 40m yesterday for 8 hours sailing. Today 124m from coast & 113m south of Valparaiso on lat. So I am glad I decided to keep S. Put clocks forward yesterday. Have 2 pullovers on for the past 2 days & slept in my shirt & t-
The day is flying with hr change & I was up the latest ever, what for? I slept well & enjoyed the lie in not having sails up. It’s an ill wind. If anything, wind freshened & I don’t trust the high barometer especially after jumping overnight x 15mb. Wind is S now & sun is diffused & watery looking. Having a cup of coffee after a large dinner of beans & instant mash & a tin of sardines. Hope the Norwegian skipper sent fax.
Sunday. 24 June. Day 120
Drift 30m N yesterday. So today we are still 124 from coast & 83 S x latitude from Valparaiso. Being pushed N for past 2 days, winds had died at 06.00 when I awoke & what we have is from SW since a fine sunny morning. If we don’t get W/Y winds, it looks as if we will be pushed N of Valpariso. Barometer down x 4mb overnight to 1025mb.
Sailing under light genoa & no.3 poled to a light W/Y breeze thank God, which are giving odd flap. 2.5KN how bad. Luckily sea state is ok bar along SW swell. Great to be moving again. I was going to start engine after I syphoned 7 gallons into port tank while I had the chance earlier, as I now have port tank full, but fortunately breeze arrived to save the day.
Breeze steadied & is holding W. Good progress E. Barometer dropped by 2mb but is still ok at 1022mb. Sun all day.
Mon. 26 June. Day 122
75m yesterday. Woke at 02.00h to find wind from N so I dropped no.3 & we are under genoa since. 50m from coast now & 96m S of Valpariso. This N wind will keep us heading for coast. Barometer down by 3mb overnight to 1018mb. A very heavy dew when I was on deck last night & this thick mist now is hopefully for fine weather. We were pushed S by 14m last night before I copped wind change. So we can’t say we are not allowing for current (Peru). Maybe there is a harbour S of Valpariso. Will see how we go & I will get in touch with coastguards when I fish my pot of tea, porridge & rye vita & marmalade. If weather was clear or clears later I would not be surprised to see the Andes Mountains. Getting exciting now. Thank God for G.P.S.
Wind still from the N & now genoa giving an odd flap as we roll in swells. Sun tried to break through mist earlier & now we have a fine drizzle. If wind does not pick up, I will drop light genoa.
Had to drop genoa. Don’t want piston hanks pulled off due to slatting N’Y wind. If there is a S/Y swell always kicking up a sea fret. 36m from coast now. 14m since 09.00.
Fog now & what little wind is N x W. Not the best conditions for a landfall. N/Y wind unusual as prevailing winds S/Y & SW. That is why I kept S & also to all SE for Peru current which so far has not made itself felt yet.
Sky cleared at 17.00h & ran engine for an hour. Still a zepher from the NW now.
Tue. 27 June. Day 123
Woke at 03.00 & still becalmed. Woke again at 06.00 to a w/wind so hoisted light genoa & mizzen & when I got up at 08.00 hoisted main though it is giving odd slat. A lovely sunny morning. Barometer up x 4.5mb since 06.00 to 1023.5mb hope wind holds. 30m off coast today & Valpariso 86m N x 30m off coast.
Land sighted. The Andes Range of Mountains with white clouds hovering above them. Have engine running & in gear. Wind not filling sails. But amazing nell is holding us on course with a following wind. So far so good thank God with a blue sky.
Under power since. Getting the odd break from steering with various breezes. Now it is from the SW. Still have a blue sky. Mountains clear at 24m to port.
Cut engine at 16.45h & poled light genoa & no.3 to a SSW breeze which was giving us 4KN but now we are down to 3.5KN & sails giving odd flap in swells. 52m to Valpariso & 22 off coast. A fine sunset in a clear sky. Looking good. Had a good tin of spinach & spuds. Only snacking all day bar breakfast of porridge & tea & rye vita. Heard a call on VHF for Loon around 16.00 but got no reply.
Wen. 28 June. Day 124
Average 5KN since 20.00H as breeze steadied from the south. 28m now to Valpariso & 16m off coast. Set alarm every h but not really sleeping with excitement of good headway thank God. Just had a cocoa & 2nd last biscuit. Can see the lights of towns or cliffs. Will set alarm again now. Thank God for G.P.S.