d'Albora's Action Project: AUS 360 Blog Update
Presented by Pivotel
Yesterday afternoon almost just as I completed the blog the winds decided to drop out completely causing me to drift in circles until sunset. Finally, at about 1800, I had a light Northerly wind fill in. It was quite unexpected as all the forecasts from Bob and from what I have downloaded was showing Westerly winds. I wasn't going to miss the opportunity though and went on deck and unfurled the Code Zero sail. This is my really big light air sail and looks like a small spinnaker from afar but I can't use this when I am trying to sail close hauled due to its shape so I needed to wait until I was sailing 70 degrees off the wind to deploy her. As soon as I got the code Zero out there was a marked improvement on my boat speed and we shot off at 7-8 knots.
While I was on deck I also had a tugboat pass me within half a mile. It seems that I will be starting to sail into increasing traffic as the vessels that man all the oil rigs to the North would be collecting crew and supplies from Broome. As they were to be passing so close I decided to wait on deck until they were clear and give them a wave as they passed. I then was below reading and filling in the time until I felt ready for bed. As I had such a terrible sleep the night before I was hoping to get to bed quite early and was actually starting to get ready for bed at sunset however the winds had other plans.
As soon as I started to think about sleep the winds started to change and come further to the west until I was sailing in an NW wind of 10 knots. As I still had the code zero sail up I needed to alter my course away from the wind and change from a COG (Course over Ground) of 220 to a COG of 180 and later 160 degrees in order to keep that sail up and make the best speeds. I had to stay on deck as I was also nearing a reef that was on the Baleine Bank so I didn't wish to risk sleeping with the autopilot steering to the wind angle and have the winds change so much that I started sailing into the reef. Finally, at around 11 pm, the winds had come all the way around to the west and I could no longer hold the Code Zero sail so I furled this one away on the Karver Furler and un-furled the No1 Jib. As I had a headsail up now I was able to sail closer to the wind and so I re-trimmed the course for close hauled and was back sailing COG 220.
The winds were still at 10 knots so it was a good sail and I was hoping to get a good sleep in. The winds again had other plans and I was back on deck at 2 am to tack the boat and then stayed on deck for an hour as the winds kept shifting so I needed to keep altering course. By 3 am I crashed back into my bunk quite tired only to go back on deck at 5 am when the winds dropped out to 2 knots. I was then in the not so great situation of having no wind but a little bit of swell around so everything was just crashing and banging around. I wouldn't have been able to sleep even if I tried and I ended up remaining on deck until 8 am. The winds went through an almost complete circle blowing from the W then SW then S then E and finally North again. Out came the Code Zero and we were back to the start again.
I am still sailing with the Code Zero now, however, the winds have started to move more westerly so I will likely need to furl this away in a couple of hours. I am currently 60nm from Broome and I was making the plan to sail close so that I could get cell phone signal and post an update on FB to everyone. Somehow I managed to get a cell phone signal where I am so I have spent most of the avo downloading more books to read (I was starting to scrape the bottom of the barrel) and posted a couple of updates. I am not sure how long the signal will last but I will keep posting while it does.
In other news, I opened my fridge today and realised that it hasn't been working for several days.... :( The Action plan of #savethecheese that went on at the beginning of the trip is now complete fail so it's now #thecheeseisdead. I have been running the fridge every night for 3 hours which is normally plenty but I guess not in this heat or my compressor is down or something. There is no point looking further into it as I can't make any repairs at sea on this from the Gas that is used and also the only real thing in the fridge was the cheese. I am pretty heartbroken now and the cheese must have gotten so hot that it has separated a lot of the oil out of the cheese which is now sitting in the bottom of the bags. Yuck. I was thinking that I might still be able to save the blocks of cheese but given that I am solo I can't risk getting food poisoning. So now I am looking forward to another 3 weeks of now tasteless foods without my cheese. :(
Anyway, I will hopefully clear Broome tonight and have crossed the halfway point and be officially on my way home so that is something to look forward to.
Thanks to the following Sponsors for all their continued support: d’Albora Marinas, Pivotel B&G, Australian Geographic, Zhik , Park Fuels, Karver, 3M, White Bay 6 Marine Park, and Great Circle Life Raft