19 May 2012 9:07:00 AM AEST

Uncategorized Send feedback »

For three or four days it was a struggle against fierce winds, trying to make any way south or west, going back and forth for a gain of twenty miles on the day.  Now, the winds have settled into coming from the south, and we are making good miles west, plus a few south.  The gribs say that in the next few days the sinds will shift to a bit east of south, and I am hopeful that I can then make a lot of miles south.  I only have 7 degrees to go south, and 19 west, but the winds around Sydney are mostly from the south, so I need to get east of Sydney as fast as I can, so that I can sail westerly into Sydney heads.  If the gribs are right, then I need to make a degree south a day, while also doing some westerling.  Yesterday was a tough day.  The winds died mid morning, then while I was not watching, they backed on the sails.  In ordr to get back on course, I punched in a big turn, using the main, and let the jib loose, as well as the genoa when we started to come about.  This was a bad mistake, letting the genoa go free, hoping to just pull  it in with the opposite sheet.  The bit of wind took the sail out so fast, that the furling line got so tangled in the drum at the bottom of the sail, that when I tried to pull it in, it was impossible.  For nearly three hours I struggled to get my fingers and hands into the drum to loosen the tightly wrapped lines, making some progress, but obviously never going to get it loose.  The good news was that there was no wind to whip the genoa back and forth, slapping me, or tearing itself to bits.  Finally I decided to cut the lines loose, and made two cuts.  After twenty minutes of fiddling, I got the ends loose, and pulled out, and that released the whole mess.  I was delighted to see that the two cuts I made only chopped off about five feet of line, at the end, so I had a complete, though shorter line left.  Then it was knot the line through the hole in the drum, and wind the cord back in the drum, I needed a full drum so that I could furl the sail.  Ultimately I succeeded, one of the toughest tasks I have faced on the voyage., and wound in the sail, with only two minor tangles in my winding to unravel during the process.  It was hot and still, and I enjoyed a cold drink as a reward, looking at the fully furled sail.  the wind hinted a bit, so I wanted to pull out the sails to catch the first whiff, and started pulling out the genoa.  No go.  it would not come out two feet.  Absolutely immovable.  The trouble being at the top of the sail.  About four thousand miles ago, one of the strands of wire on the spreader stay broke at the middle, with wire dangling down from above and from the spreader.  I watched this nervously for days, afraid that the stay was going to break.  There was nothing I could do, I could not get up the mast, and if I did, what could I do?  Now.. the top bit of wire had tangled in the sail furler at the top, and it was stuck.  That meant no foresail for the rest of the journey, just the tiny jib and the main.  I decided that I had to try and free it, so I invented a Rube Goldberg set of lines, like a lumberjack, together with my bosun's chair on a separate halyard.  The idea would be to push a line up two feet, step on the line to take my weight off of the halyard, raise the halyard a foot, secure it, and repeat the process to the top of the main.  I had a second body support line so that I would be shuffling three lines up and down.  I decided I had to try, so I got up six feet, and then discovered that with the swinging mast, when my weight was on a line looped around the mast, I was a pendulum, and was thrown around like a top...banging into the mast each time.  Realizing that this was too dangerous, I gave it up.  Then I raised the main, set the jib, and wondered how much speed just those two sails would give.  Would it now take me another month top get to Sydney?  Fooling with the genoa, I turned the furled sail and found movement, so immediately went to the cockpit, and pulled out the sail.  It had come loose at the top.  Lucky me.  Soon the wind came up, and for nearly a day, I have had all three sails fully up and we might make a hundred miles today.  If the winds stay mostly from the south, and are not too strong, I might just be lucky and not have to change them for the last thousand miles.  Hope Hope.  Anyway, we are under 1200 miles, and the gribs forecasts for four days look good so we will see.  Right now, at noon, two hours before Sydney time, the winds are fading, so it might all come unstuck again.

17 May 2012 4:51:00 AM AEST

Uncategorized Send feedback »

.

.

Couldn't write because radio time was being used up by bad reception.  Gribs show that south of here there is a hell of a mess..  winds over 30 knots.  Last night started reasonable, sailing straight south..  into the mess.  Hit ferocious winds and stalled..  one hell of a night.  Now at sunup, in twelve foot seas, I am trying to make west again, with the wind from the south west.  I have to get west, away from the strong winds.  A bit west they are supposed to moderate, and some time today, IF I am far enough west, they will swing to ten to fifteen knots from the south, hopefully giving me a chance to really sail, west to south west.   The last three days I have gone back and forth, and made twenty miles. The fun has gone out of the voyage.  I read the gribs at twenty knots, but in the night they seem like forty mile an hour winds.
and rough.
the floor is a mess.
Everything, that stayed put for 6000 miles came loose.  Man, I sure don't need another day or night like the last one. Wish you were here... still 1400 miles or more to go.

15 May 2012 11:04:00 AM AEST

Uncategorized Send feedback »

.

.

The Fiji chart shows some storms on a line west of here, a few hundred miles, so I am hoping that in the next few days they will go away.  There is a big mess down in the Tasman, going north as far as 30 degrees, not far from Sydney at 33 degrees.  The winds are shifting now.  From the northeast, they went to north, then northwest, then west, and now are wsw, forecast to go to sw later today, and then get stronger, up to 25 knots for a couple of days.  I think they also swing to come from the south.  At present, I can either sail southeast, making miles south but going east, or northwest, and I have chosen that, as I have 25 degrees to go west, and only 8 south.  It is tough now, I am counting on the winds swinging more south, so I can follow them and make miles both west and south.  The risk is that if I am forced to keep westing, that I will end up close to the coast and have to beat my way south.  I have tried to get far enough south so that I could go west to Sydney, so I am gambling that going west first is the better chance.  If it doesn't work out, then I will have to go south east until I am opposite Sydney and can then go straight west.  I still have 1388 or so miles straight.  In these cdonditions I am glad that I have done all the cooking I have to do.  Yesterday I baked a loaf of bread, and mixing the dough was tough.  I only got a half mix, and had to give up, so the yeast was not evenly mixed and the loaf is a bit short and doughy in places.  But it was good enough for french toast for brekky today, with strawberry jam, which was nice.  Today I had a lone Orca visit me.  Hee broached three or four times, but he was never close enough to get a photo.  Getting the charts is getting harder, radio propagation is bad, and I only get 300 bytes per minute.  I get a good connection with an Auckland link, but after an hour of downloading the Fiji chart, he kicked me off, and of course I only get 40 minutes with him a day.  The next best is in Hawaai, thirty minutes allowance, and I finally got the chart, after an hour with him.  But that shot my daily limit on two servers.  I have to wait until 2400 UTC time to get on again.  For six hours I have been trying to beat west, and hav made five miles.  THis is a very tough day, if getting the rest of the way to Sydney means having to beat against headwinds, woe is me.

13 May 2012 12:47:00 PM AEST

Uncategorized 1 feedback »

.

.

Right now it is 11 am my time, 8 in Sydney.  I am about 600 miles north of Sydney, and 1400 east, or about 1583 on a direct line, going south west on a fine sunny day.  For the last day and a half the winds have been favoring us, and we are making over 100 miles a day.  As it is about noon, the winds have softened, we have slowed up from 5.5 knots an hour to just over 3 to 3 and a half.  Last night I cooked up all my potatoes and the last 4 pork chops to make the last meals I will have to cook until a few days after arrival.  Today I will most likely bake a loaf of bread, so that I can have sandwiches, peanut butter, cheese melt, or jam, for lunches.  I still have nearly a dozen eggs, so I can also do French Toast for brekky once or twice on the way.  For some strange reason, I am beginning to feel that I am going to make it to Sydney.  It all seemed like something that was going to happen, but somewhere so distant in the future that I didn't know when it would happen.  But now it looks like I am really going to get there.  Surprise?  Everything is working well, touch wood.  So I am hoping that there will be no dramas or things breaking that can't be fixed.  The ocean seems so empty.  Aside from the rare flying fish in the distance, or a solitary dea-bird once or twice a day, I would hardly know that there was anything in this ocean but me and the boat.  The only variety is the make-up of the clouds, and the surrealistic patterns the foam makes as it swirls past the stern.  I think I am far enough south to be away from thunderclouds, and hopefully rain clouds.  The GPS is now tracking backwards, since we passed 180 degrees, is is counting backwards to Sydney's 153 East.  We are going to pass 24 degrees south later today, so soon I will be in position to head west, generally, into Sydney.  I think the winds off NSW are from the south this time of year, so I can sail straight west, or if necessary, go a bit south and sail slightly north and west to the heads.  It is interesting seeing the daily mileage to Sydney drop each morning.  Very satisfying.  Wish you were here.

12 May 2012 8:52:00 AM AEST

Uncategorized Send feedback »

.

.

Sometimes you get lucky.  The last two Fiji Met charts showed a mess of weather along a nw-se front, two days ago it showed a wide band of clouds and rain, and just below it, sunshine.  And there we were, about twenty miles into the sunshine, and sailing along below the mess to the north.  The same happened yesterday, the chart showing a clear area around 179 west and 22 south, and that is where we were at the time.  It will be interesting to see what the chart shows today.  Right now it is the 11th, we are nearing the international dateline, the clouds are thin and high, with sunshine quite a bit of the time.  The gribs forecast winds from the south today, from noon, right now, at ten knots, staying from the south for the rest of the day, than edging slowly to come from the south east, gradually swinging to the east, and then coming from the north east, over the next 4 days.  That would be good winds for our course, about 240 degrees, to the south west.  But they are not very strong, the forecast is for about ten knots overall.  Now it seems less than that, we are just getting a bit over three knots, hardly enough to get much charge out of the generator.  This morning the deficit had grown to -155.7 and beginning to be of real concern.  While I watched two large rain clouds, to the east and south, we sat with hardly a breath of wind, when it did come it was from the west.  So I decided to run the engine to charge the batteries, the second I started the engine, the wind picked up, but we went for an hour and forty five minutes, heading about 220 to geet a bit south, and the deficit had been brought down to 85.5.  Sydney was 1700 miles away this morning.

Contact. ©2018 by andyaye. Social CMS software.
Design & icons by N.Design Studio. Skin by Tender Feelings / Evo Factory.