Day 4 to Cape Horn - beating into rough seas...

Thursday 25th October 2012 - rough weather- beating into short steep seas and strong winds, trying to head S

By 5am, the strong, gusting WSW overnight wind had calmed to SSW 9-10kt, although seas were still rough, and by 7:30am, the wind had backed to SSE and remained S-SSE for the rest of the day.  

We were initially ambling due E and I didn't particularly want to head towards shore any faster so I left 2nd reef in. The 'Alison F' had been fishing not far away all night & was still close by under grey, overcast skies. But after the wind had backed, we were able to tack around & head SW on a very close reach.  

Overnight, the sail had collected water - I'd not tried to tie in the 2nd reef points early enough before the heavy rain, so hoisting the sail in the light wind solved that problem.. Later in the day, as the wind slowly built, I made sure to tie in the 2nd reef points in case of further rain - not easy to do, balanced over the awning/dodger ... & they turned out to be just too short & needing adding to!  

Going has been rough with very short, steep seas - and got rougher as the wind increased over the afternoon to ~20-22 kt - we were beating into the weather, often seeing close on 30kt of apparent wind and waves were regularly washing the well-heeled decks.  

I noticed that the painter line to the raft was wrongly tied - to a strong point on deck, rather than to a weak link on the hydrostatic release which itself was tied off to a strong point. (The idea is to release the inflated raft if the boat should go down, not have the raft still tied to the submerged boat.) I re-tied the line correctly and tightened the tape holding the raft in place on the pushpit.  

The weather over the next few days is not looking too helpful - mainly S-SW winds, sometimes strong, after a short time of NW wind following a Front, expected soon - sometime overnight/early tomorrow.  

The autopilot rudder reference unit is giving either no rudder bar display or an incorrect one - but it's too rough just now to investigate - I may have to change the unit over.. In the meantime, we're sailing along just fine under windsteering, with Fred in control.  

DMG (at 2300GMT/1600PDT) was a mere 53 n.ml. due to tacking against the wind and we were only 175 n.ml. from the entrance to the Juan de Fuca Strait!  
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Tracking 'Nereida'  

Apart from my own daily position/weather report to Winlink/Shiptrak/Yotreps, accessed via my website's 'Travels' page link ("Where is 'Nereida'? etc), there are two sources of automatic tracking:  

Using my AIS signal: http://www.exactearth.com/media-centre/recent-ship-tracks/tracking-nereida/  

Using a GPS transmitter: http://oceantracker.net?event=nereida