This morning started with some frustrating conditions. Basically, the winds were coming from directly where I wanted to go. I knew that there was to be a shift of the winds to the North again from the last few says of SW winds so I wanted to wait until the change had completely settled in. This meant that I was sailing directly South when all I really want to do is get past Tasmania...
I have been looking at it for days thinking I am almost past. Due to the fact that I ended up sailing so far south I have yet to pass by my last point of Australia. I guess I shouldn't wish it to hurry past as it will be a long while before I see it again.
Now my saving grace with all these shifty winds is the way I have the electronics set up on the boat. I have 2 totally separate B&G H5000 Auto pilots with the T3 Rams. One is on the main system (my primary unit) and the other one is on its own backbone with a controller in the cockpit and a remote control should I need to use it elsewhere.
In rough or dangerous conditions, I tend to have both units on so if there is an issue with one for whatever reason I can simply hit standby on one and auto on the other. This gives me the time to run repairs which can be a make or break it moment depending on the conditions.
On the primary System I also have 2 of the B&G Zeus multi-function displays. One is mounted on deck under the cuddy and the other one I wanted to be able to see from my bunk.
This was a bit of a challenge to achieve and we ended up putting that display on a pivoting TV bracket in the navigation station. Depending on what tack I am on I pivot the display to the port or starboard bunk allowing me to see everything in a second right from bed.
I can see radar, AIS, wind, speed, course, heading and charts. Something that I didn’t realise at the time but, am so thankful for now is the fact that you can also operate the Auto Pilot off this display. This did take me a couple of days to realise but is now a feature that I wouldn’t want to be without.
Conditions like this morning mean that even though I need to be consistently changing the boats heading to match the shifting winds I can do this from the comfort of my sleeping bag. A luxury in the increasingly chilly conditions.
Once the winds had veered enough (SW to W to NW) I climbed out of bed, put some foulies on and gybed the boat. I wouldn’t say that it was a perfect course going more east than south east but it was better than going south west. Throughout the day, the winds have continued to veer and I now have winds coming from the NNE direction which puts my point of sail just aft of a beam reach. Perfect!
The winds have mostly maintained the 10-15 knots today however have started to build to 20 knots this afternoon and the weather forecast from Bob at METBob shows that I can expect winds reaching 30 knots later tonight.
My sea temperature is 10 degrees C with a cabin temp of 24 degrees C. It seems a bit warm but the barometer is where the temp comes from and that is mounted inside the cabin. As I am not going outside for long I haven’t needed to do much other than put my boots and salopettes (trousers with high waste and shoulder straps) on with an added jumper. However my hands do sting in the cold almost immediately.
Inside the cabin I have been keeping the salopettes on but underneath. I only have one set of the Zhik hydro base layer, a Zfleece vest and when it gets that little bit colder the Zfleece jumper. Oh…….so lovely and warm.
And while that has been enough so far, tomorrow I am planning a full wardrobe change with a possible bucket bath and will be adding some of the Zhik Merino wool thermals to my layers.
Well it’s time for me to make dinner a lovely freeze dried lentil curry tonight with some garlic fry pan bread. Mumm!