d'Albora's Action Project: AUS 360 Blog Update
Presented by Pivotel
Last night ended up being a very long night with almost no sleep. There weren't any hazards around like shipping or land but the winds just didn’t want to play nice. I have so far been sailing with the code zero sail up on the foredeck which is great for the lighter winds as it is such a large sail however you cant sail close hauled with this sail as it has too deep a cut to it to catch the winds correctly. So I was aware thanks to Bob McDavitt (Metbob) that the winds were due to change from the east around to the west. I decided that I wanted to be able to keep some room in the bank so that when the wind came around I could alter my course off the wind and hold the code zero for a little longer so I spent most of the late afternoon and early evening sailing WNW in 10 knots of wind. I was able to make 7-9 knots of boat speed which was great.
Around 9pm the winds had changed so much that I now was unable to keep the code Zero sail up so I went on deck and changed to my large jib hoping that the winds would settle in their direction now that I had it blowing from where it was forecast. This however wasn’t true and the winds remained variable all night blowing from anywhere between the SW to NW. The frustrating thing was that every time I would have a wind shift I would come on deck and re-trim the sails and sit and wait to make sure it was going to stick, as soon as I would go below and climb in bed the winds would change again. By about 3am I just gave up all together and stayed on deck as I was needing to tack every hour or so. Their was a large lightning storm over Darwin and I was just on the edge of the influenced weather. As I was on the back end of the storm I was getting the shifty and light wind conditions.
The winds by now had eased a lot as well so I was only sailing in 5 knots of wind but as I was sailing directly into it I was able to make enough apparent to continue moving forward. That was until sunrise when the winds just completely stopped. I had completely given up any ideas of sleep now and just settled in to watch an awesome sunrise over the mill-pond of an ocean. By about 7am I decided that their wasn’t going to be any winds any time soon and finally went below for a sleep. I think I may have managed to get in an hour or two in smaller naps but I am still feeling a little tired.
Again it was another 45 degree day making achieving anything quite difficult so I now have a couple of jobs that I would like to get done in the late afternoon light. I noticed yesterday that one of the bolts holding one of the wind generator blades on is loose causing it all to vibrate a lot so I will take that apart this arvo.
I also had another exciting fly over from the Australian Border Force Aircraft 33 and had a nice quick chat to the fellow up their before spotting my first ship in a few days. It is still in the process of overtaking me and it a little over 3nm away. I can also assume that over the next few days I will have similar conditions with the winds however their will likely be an increase in traffic on the water as I will be passing a major port and also a section of oil rigs to the north of me.
I am still aiming to not get within 10nm of any known hazard as the winds are too unpredictable but I am keeping my fingers crossed for a thunder storm today as I can see some large clouds forming over Darwin in the distance so if it rains I might be able to at least cool down a touch.
Oh and I thought that you might all appreciate a photo of how bad my hands are at the moment from all the line handling. All the skin hardens from the constant coiling of ropes and then as I am sweating so much at the moment it all is peeling off looking way worse than it feels. Anyway, off to fix the wind gen.
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