Last night the clouds cleared enough to see a smattering of stars throughout the night sky. The swell was down along with the wind. I was frequently getting 7 knots or below of wind with a constantly shifting wind direction just to keep me on my toes. It was well after midnight when I went to bed but that didn’t mean that I managed much sleep. I was woken every hr or so as the winds would shift too far forward or back causing me to alter the course on the B and G H5000 Auto Pilot.
I kept the 1st reef in throughout the night along with the no 1 head sail out. Even though most of the time the winds were light I was also surrounded by little squalls or dark clouds that would give me that extra burst of wind to push me on my way. The wind shifts often coincided with these squalls. The winds veer as they approach, build to 15 knots for 20 minutes or so and then back once the squall has passed by and drop back to the 'not so enjoyable' 7 knots of wind. I also kept the genset going through the night and switched over to the water maker in the early morning.
The winds have now filled in somewhat and are steady above 10 knots. The winds have now also backed to the NW allowing me to gybe this afternoon in the last of the daylight and make a course directly east for the first time in days. At sunset, I managed to count 4 squalls around the boat so I am sure the pattern from last night will continue.
I have also finally given up on waiting for the right conditions to change out the blades on my Silent Wind, wind generator, these were broken in a storm almost 2 weeks ago when I was knocked down but given that the wind generator is about 2 meters high it is not an easy task. I ended up climbing on the railings and using a sail tie to lash myself to the wind generator mount. This kept my hands free to use the tools however in the 2 meters of swell it was still very precarious. To change the blades, you need to use an allen key to unlock the blades from the generator. I was unable to get enough of a grip on the stumps of the blades or the allen key to turn it. I tried putting the alan key in a spanner to add some leverage but it was just all a bit too awkward and I felt that at any minute I was going to lose the only allen key that fits, to the tune of ping ping plop... Finally, as I was losing daylight I admitted defeat for today at least and will try again tomorrow should the conditions allow.
On other news I am now only 35 nm from passing Point Nemo, I will be passing just under 100nm to the south but effectively in a few short hours I am going to be in the furthest spot on the ocean from Land in the world. That’s pretty neat if you ask me. I also still haven’t seen a ship, person or land for over 5 weeks now and whilst my conversations are interesting I am running out of things to discuss with myself.... Only kidding….. I talk to the boat...
I am still in good spirits however I have noticed that I am tending to get more frustrated at things that should not be an issue. I have put this down to needing some more sleep. I will be making a huge effort to rest up and sleep a lot over the next week and a bit as I am closing in on Cape Horn and need to be ready for anything.