Yesterday, after getting the storm jib up, I didn’t end up going to bed until after midday so I decided to cat nap until late in the evening. While I was trying to sleep the boat continually kept interrupting my efforts with various alarms. I also kept waking up to check my position on the B and G Zeus plotter. I was fast approaching Zero Longitude where I would transition from West to East, this is another milestone of the trip. I just need to sail another 115 degrees of longitude and I am back at the start in Albany... Simple right. Well this was also a chance to see how I was faring against Fedor’s established record. I am pleased to say that I was 9 hours ahead of fedors recorded time at the time of crossing. This is exciting as it puts me in a good position to hopefully break his speed record and set my own time. There is however still another whole ocean to sail across and anything can happen but I feel that I am in a good position which improves my attitude on-board immensely.
I was sailing in 25-30 knots from the SW when I went to bed however the winds abated back to 20 knots by sunset and started backing to the west. I was expecting this shift as it was my indicator that the cold front was almost upon me and I could expect increasing winds again. I think that Bob (METBob) said it best in his email this morning "This front is like a three-course meal of weather: preceded by entrée of strong to near gale NW winds, accompanied by main course of squally rain maybe lightning, and followed by a dessert of showery maybe squally SW flow reaching gale force at times. brace for rock and roll". Thanks for your humour Bob as it brightened my day and I will be sure to tie myself in ready for the rock and roll.
So the next 12-24 hours are likely to be very bumpy with swells forecast to reach 7.8 meters and winds gusting up to 50 knots. The peak of the storm is due this afternoon right when I am going to bed.... Typical. I have also decided that the idea of going to bed at midday and sleeping until midnight might just work for me. The watches weren’t working so maybe this will. It gives me ample time to talk with Australia, also half a day of daylight which makes maintenance jobs and moral a lot better. Also, included in this cold front is some very cold weather. It is 4 degrees on deck and with the wind chill factor, well it is a no brainer as to why I spend most of my time indoors but even inside I have needed to put my Zhik Xefleace midlayer sallopettes on as well as another pair of socks, my toes were starting to get very cold even with my boots on.
So I am now sailing in 30 knots from the NNW waiting for the winds to back to the west so that I can gybe and then they will continue to the south. It is cold and bleak outside and I have found out that my generator doesn’t like to be run on a 45 degree heal... Funny that. Every time I get shoved extra hard and the boat leans over just that bit extra it cuts out. I have now been sitting in the nav station so that I can quickly turn it back on. I could get away with not running it for the rest of tonight but I doubt that the conditions will be any smoother tomorrow when the swell peaks.
Well its almost midday my time so it is time for some dinner and then off to bed for the little snatches of sleep that I can get around this howling gale.