Wow it has been a long day. I know that I have mentioned this a few times but my sleeping habits still haven’t caught up to the different time zones that I am in so it was again 3am by the time I even attempted sleep last night. Normally I can sleep really well once I am in bed, however I managed to toss and turn until the sun came up this morning, not getting a wink of sleep.
Then after only an hour of sleep the B and G Auto Pilot Alarm went off... Beep Beep Beep, Bleary eyed I noticed 2 things……. it was a cold and raining day……and there was absolutely no wind around... When Bob (METBob) sent through the weather forecast the day before it mentioned a warm front passing through mid-morning and the conditions that I was seeing were completely typical of a warm front.
Starting with drizzly rain and the winds backing as the front passes over followed up with variable light airs until the new winds arrive. What this meant for me though is that the idea of sleep was not really an option any more. The winds were 3-4 knots and jumping all around from the west to the east requiring me to continually adjust or hand steer the boat to maintain some momentum for steerage. To top it all off there was still around 4 meter swell around so every time a wave passed underneath the boat it would rock towards the wave, so much so that gravity would take over on the sails and cause them to flop the wrong way. The wave then passes underneath and the boat rocks back. Ahhh.
These are not the most pleasant even when there is no swell around but having only a little snippet of sleep I was thoroughly ready for the winds to arrive. By 9am there was a steady 7 knots from the SW so I was able to get the boat steering under the auto pilot and get my head down once again. When I woke around lunch time it was like I was in another high-pressure system. There was a steady 7-10 knots of winds still from the SW and the sky was filled with endless fair weather cumulus clouds making for a nice light weather day at sea.
Taking advantage of the sunshine I pulled out all the damp tea towels and towels from around the boat and hung them out to dry. In the colder weather, with my body heat warming up the cabin, there has been a consistent layer of condensation on everything. So as much as I try to dry things like the towels everything seems to stay at a uncomfortable level of dampness. Left too long they will begin to stink, so I really try to use the times with the sunshine well.
I also try to air out the boat in these conditions. I have been mostly living in the 5 square meters of the main cabin and only venturing on deck when the sails need attention or I am fixing something so it is nice to have it dry for a change. Even my sleeping bag develops a damp layer on the outside through the night making it uncomfortable to lay against.
After my lunch/breakfast I was ready for my Sky News Australia interview. I have done plenty of interviews over time however this one was really fun. The presenters had so much enthusiasm for what I was doing that it made for a great interview. It was really nice to simply have a chat with some other people. If you missed the interview this morning here is a link to the online version.
Sky News Interview
I was still really tired, so after I had calmed down from my excitement I decided a short nap was in order….. but again, sleep was elusive. Eventually I gave up and pottered around the boat instead. By the early evening, it was time to charge the batteries but as luck would have it the generator once again didn’t want to play. When I eventually crawled into the back of the boat later this evening to take another look at the solenoid, it was obvious from the start that the purple wire had once again broken, so there was no power to the solenoid again. It’s an easy fix that I will do in the morning. The wire is so small it seems to just be chafing against the generator cover and the vibrations are snapping the wires, I may need to look at extending the wire in the morning to hopefully prevent it from breaking again. In the mean time, I have started up the main engine out of gear to put some charge into the batteries. It’s also good just to be able to turn it over every now and again to make sure it will still be working in an emergency.
The winds have now veered right around to the North so I gybed in the early evening and am currently sailing on a beam reach on the port tack. The winds have also filled in again so I have a healthy 15-20 knots, the swell has eased to 3 meters. With the NO 2 jib out and 1 reef in the main I’m not in surfing conditions, but I am still making 7-9 knots of speed and am happy with this for tonight.