RTW Day 172 - good relaxing sailing and a beautiful sunset

Sunset... A magnificent Salvin's albatross just settled on the water for a rest, having been circling nearby on fixed wings for a long time as I watched it from the companionway - I took the chance to finish my waiting mug of tea!

Sunset Aboard
Jeanne Socrates

Sunset... A magnificent Salvin's albatross just settled on the water for a rest, having been circling nearby on fixed wings for a long time as I watched it from the companionway - I took the chance to finish my waiting mug of tea! What a lovely way to celebrate my passage up the Tasman Sea... We're just beginning to pass the SE end of the Bass Strait - passing a good 160 miles off the Furneaux Group of islands, just off Tasmania's NE coast.

We've had unexpectedly good winds up to now, after the initial headwind that sent us back down to 44S the night after rounding Tasmania's SE Cape. Clearly the Southern Ocean had wanted to bid me another farewell before I took off N up the Pacific to the Strait of Juan de Fuca and a hoped-for successful completion in two months' time...!!

We had 25-30 kt (and lots of rain!) overnight, initially from the NW in the evening, backing to SSE by dawn as the Cold Front passed over. With just stays'l and double-reefed mains'l, we were making over 7kt a lot of the time, with Fred keeping us nicely on course, although the Southern Ocean made its presence felt with a boisterous 2-3 m southerly swell that kept knocking us about on our beam.

Now the wind has died right down, so we're ambling along at around 4.5kt under a sky with occasional big grey clouds, but mainly fluffy white ones as the sun slowly sets...

7pm Wind seemed to die and we began to drift in a circle - but then wind picked up, so trimmed sails and adjusted Fred for a close reach - so we're back on course for time being, making 3.5kt... but expecting wind to die and back - will need to keep an eye on things overnight...

10pm A beautiful, starry sky... Milky Way strewn across... Arcturus in Sagittarius, the Archer. high up to starboard and the Southern Cross high overhead also. Great to have a dry cockpit overnight - it feels almost warm out on deck... Striuggling to maintain our course in very light wind and with swell knocking us off frequently, .... mains'l keeps being backed... Difficult conditions...

D.M.G. over 24hr to 9am LT: 133 n.ml. Hobart : 215 ml (232T); Sydney: 414 n.ml. (001T); New Zealand's North Cape: 1104 n.ml. (077T)

Click here to read more from Jeanne Socrates' Around-the-World blog.