I slept very badly last night – my muscles were going into spasms because they have not been put through so much effort for years – if not ever. The tiger balm had to come out in the middle of the night, and that eased them somewhat. Still didn’t get so much sleep though.
The first jobs in the morning are rather arduous – getting all the sails ready to pull up from the floor below, pulling them through the hatch, getting them out and then hanking them on to the ropes. Well, the ropes that are not the ropes. There are so many ropes on this boat, and hardly any of them are called ropes. Sheets and halyards, but not ropes. We pulled off the berth and the skipper said we would see Gosport again on Thursday. That has scuppered any plans I might have had for taking the easy way out and coming home early!
It was not a particularly nice morning – a bit of rain and very overcast. But get cold we did not! I have never sweated so much in my life before. I have a feeling my muscles may very well be screaming again at me tonight.
We did a bit of the usual, and then something different. We had to do a “racing sail change”. This means you pull one sail down and immediately put a different one up where that had been. It is a bit different in size – either bigger or smaller. With all the effort it took I think I would have preferred to have kept the same one. When one sail right at the front of the boat was down, the next one had to go up. Someone had to sit on the front of the boat, when it was rocking up and down, and get the hanks off, and put the new ones on. And the old hanks had to be put somewhere else, and then taken off. I am sure it all makes sense! A great big ferry went by just as we were doing this – that made the boat rock a bit!
Then at the end of the day, it was decided that I would take the hanks off the front when the sail came down. Bugger! I had to stand on the top rail, with nothing but ocean behind me. Not only had I got to hang on, I had to undo the hank and take it off the forward stay – getting to know some of the names now! That was probably the most scary part of the week so far – although at this point I’m not sure what else is to come, and I can’t sneak off anymore.
We moored in East Cowes – but to get off the boat to go to the showers you had to jump off the side as it was on a sidewards berth and the steps on this boat are at the back. Not having one then! Done my scary thing for the day – I am not getting off and then not being able to get back on again. Oh my god – am I really considering going around the world in this thing?