Crossed the 40th latitude this morning

It never rains, but it pours.

For the first time in what seems like two weeks, I had the sun shining all day, a flat ocean, and a 10 knot breeze that started on my port quarter and ended up on my port beam by the evening.

I crossed the 40th latitude this morning at about 5am local time, so now I’m officially out of the roaring forties. There must be a magic line that immediately gives nice weather!

It’s nice to be out of the southern ocean, especially considering the lovely farewell present that came within an hour of me daring to turn northwards.

I unfurled and dropped the genoa this morning and spent most of the day on the foredeck sewing in the sun. I had a 20 by 30 cm reinforcement panel on the leech of the sail near the clew completely tear out, but apart from that, the only damage sustained was to seams, which just needed rethreading of the pre-existing holes. In all, better than I thought at the time!

It’s slow going, especially with my poor bruised and battered hands, but I’m about seventy percent done. It seems to be strong enough – I’m using a zig-zag back stitch.

Instead of the genoa, I have the storm jib hoisted at the front to complement full mainsail. This means my boat is a little unbalanced and I’m probably losing 1.5 miles every hour, so it’ll be nice to be able to get full sail again. Today’s run of 105 miles really should have been 140 in what were close to ideal sailing conditions.

I wired up the inverter this morning. It burst into life and happily charges my laptop. The only caveat is that it refuses to stay off. Whenever I press the push button off-switch, it turns off and a few seconds later springs back into life! I can’t put a switch between it and the battery as it draws 60 amps at full capacity and I don’t have anything that beefy on board.

One of my many weaknesses, as my siblings will attest to, is that when I develop a taste for a new song, I’ll play it on repeat for hours on end. Out here I can do what I want, and I’ve played Leonard Cohen’s “If it be your will” all day to keep the sewing company. It is a lovely peaceful song!

I should mention that with very limited bandwidth over Iridium satellite, I don’t have direct access to any of my pages.

Each day I email my sister Madeleine with the latest news and she dutifully updates everything. Every morning she sends me a new motivational message. It is the highlight of my day!

She also sends on all the messages that people post which is the second-placed highlight.

A big thank you, first to Maddy for all her hard work keeping the updates flowing, but also to everyone else for your messages of support.

It warms the heart and keeps me going, knowing that there are so many kind people thinking of me! Mum sent me a message during the storm – “Please don’t die, everyone will be so disappointed!”

There are quite a few outstanding questions and I’ll try to get around to answering them, but I’ve got some sewing to do first!

Latitude: -39.186, Longitude: -144.183, Time: 05:08:58 13-05-2018 UTC