Jeanne Socrates Nereida
Friday 22nd March 2013
Up before dawn to gybe mains'l with increased, veered wind - now from NW. Pressure was down - and kept dropping over the day to 1007 by nightfall - more than expected .... and wind stronger, also. Rough conditions - enormous swell of 6m or so, with wind waves on top, foam streaks and lots of 'white horses', wind 30+kt ...whistling in the rigging... mainly overcast with occasional weak sunshine getting through gaps in cloud. Kept going OK until about 4pm when heaved to after a wave had knocked us rather suddenly and damaged the radar mount - the bracket welded on to the pole, holding the nice Scanstrut gimballed fitting, was skew and the radar was no longer level. I tied the radar holder to keep it from moving too much in an effort to reduce stress on the weld joint- the GPS is on the same fitting - I don't want to lose that. We'd made good progress up to then but seas had built more with the constant strong wind. I came below, as darkness was falling, to make up the log and prepare my usual daily position/weather report and then made some radio contacts. Later, I heard an odd noise from on deck - the wind generator had come off its pole and was swinging around on its thick cable, banging into things. It had already lost two blades and most of its tail and the third went as I prepared to go on deck (foulies, boots & harness take time!). I had to tie it off to prevent it moving - It was threatening to damage a solar panel and possibly the steel arch itself - it's a heavy item.. We'll stay hove to in the strong, gusty conditions overnight and hope the wind and seas will reduce soon... I'd watched the scene around us a lot over the day.. Lots of the usual birds, enjoying the strong winds - but among them were two White-faced petrels very close by- eye-catchingly different from the many Soft-plumaged petrels. As I was organising the boat to heave to, I noticed a lovely Royal albatross not far away - but I was too busy just then to pay it my usual attention... DMG at 1100 GMT: 122 n.ml. C. Leeuwin: 589 n.ml.; WP due S of C. Leeuwin : 316 n.ml: King Island (entrance to Bass Strait): 1612 n.ml. ; SE Cape of Tasmania: 1689 n.ml.