Day 17 towards Cape Horn - slow day but excellent speed from evening on!

Wednesday 7th November 2012

Wind had died down again by early morning and for most of the day - around 7 kt earlier but 10kt by mid-afternoon and, by evening, up to 15kt. Took the genoa over to starboard on its pole - we're headed downwind in a mainly NNW wind under grey skies with occasional light rain and a fair WNW swell. By 9pm, wind was up around 18kt with rain & I'd tied in the 1st reef ...making good speed ...  

Soon after, I noticed the wind display was giving 'silly' readings - saying the wind was light and heading us when clearly it was strong and from astern and our speed was well up.. I'd heard some squeaky 'bird noises' earlier, so I wonder if a frigate bird or booby might have tried to roost at the mast top, damaging the anemometer in their efforts?? The Windex is still working fine... but it doesn't tell me wind speed and isn't connected electrically to the instruments to give a read-out. A nuisance, for sure! I have a spare transducer so sometime when it's calm, I'll have to go up the mast to change it over, I suppose... That will get interesting...!  

For the next few days, the wind should be pretty consistently from around NNW-NW so we'll keep sailing downwind, as now...  

Very little shipping, now I'm further out from the coast, and the coastline has disappeared from my AIS screen - doubt I'll see land showing on that for several months...  

24hr DMG to 1500PST/2300GMT:113n.ml (best yet, with the slow conditions since leaving SF!); Golden Gate Bridge:188n.ml;Strait of Juan deFuca is now 818n.ml away and our position was 153n.ml due west of Point Sal (in between San Luis Obispo and Pt Conception - we were 165 ml WNW of that infamous Pt., which is renowned for frequent strong winds)  

Checked in with the friendly Baja Net at 8am - made contact there with friend Steve on 'Westerly', nearing Ensenada, who did the SHTP race from San Francisco to Kauai (Hawaii) in '06, when I did. A lot of noise on that frequency - distorted music from nearby stations makes it difficult to hear clearly. More static noise on the PacSeaNet later - propagation has often been bad for a time now - solar flares.... but had fair copy again on NZ stations.  

Finished up a tuna and sweetcorn pasta and then had some creamy brie afterwards - have plenty of that and I'm determined to enjoy it, rather than later finding it's got well past its 'eat-by' date and is inedible!!  

The air feels cold still - but I'm not in my fleeces any more and I'm looking forward to warmer weather soon! But in the meantime, my bunk is a nice warm cosy place to be, when not busy with other things...