Good start to the day – a hot shower and a proper toilet! How quickly small things can make all the difference. After breakfast we went through some safety briefings and set sail for 200 yards to the petrol station for boats. The generator uses diesel as well as the engine, so we needed a full tank before we headed out. This boat has four tanks, all with different holes in the floor of the living accommodation – and for good practise four of us filled a tank each. The first three managed perfectly – and then along came Mrs Bean. Each time the nozzle was removed a piece of kitchen roll was put on the end to stop the drips. I put the end in and somehow it managed to jump out and diesel went several places it shouldn’t have. You always get one! I now know how to fill up and how to clean up! Wouldn’t have wanted their bill – over 600 litres went in!
It was a lovely sunny day when we left, but then the fog came down and partially obscured the Isle of Wight and the view of the Needles on the way past. We had to put up the Yankee 3 and the Stay Sail 2 – and then it all came back to me that ropes were not ropes and you didn’t sleep between sheets on here. I remembered the pulled ligaments in my left hand and the swelling from last time, so didn’t offer to “sweat” any sails up. There was a boat full of several strapping energetic young men that would relish that task!
With sails up and the wind gathering, we sat and had lunch “Al Fresco”. Then the wind gathered a bit more, and a few turned a little green. Charlotte knew that she suffered with sea sickness and had bought a special pair of glasses that supposedly helped. They looked a bit like swimming goggles with an extra pair of eyes at the side. They didn’t seem to be doing the business though! After helming for a while she sat rooted to the spot with her eyes firmly on the horizon. A few hours later, and she still was not well. She was sent below as she was getting very cold. That did not help – poor girl was suffering terribly with her head constantly in a bucket. We did a man overboard drill – “Bob” was the man overboard we (the royal we, that is) had to go and rescue. The Isle of Wight Ferry snuck up on us and almost ran Bob over! He was safely brought back onboard by Ross in a dry suit – at least he stood a chance which he wouldn’t have if I was the rescuer.
A few others were seeing their lunch again as well – not me! I don’t get seasick!! My turn to go and fill the navigational log in. Down the steps to the dulcet tones of retching and heaving above and below. Sat down at the nav station and my stomach decided to turn inside out. No – I don’t believe it! I am actually going to be sick. Luckily the toilet is next to nav station so by the time I had worked out this was really going to happen I didn’t have to go far. Oh dear! The galley is next to the toilet – and I could see the lads wondering what to do with a bag of pasta. In between putting my head down the toilet bowl with one foot in the toilet and the other in the galley I managed to orchestrate getting the dinner on. Not feeling too good – I headed back up on deck. Felt much better up there!
I decided not to partake in dinner – after all I had seen my lunch twice! We then were put into two groups or “watches”. 6am to 12pm, 12pm to 6pm, 6pm to 10pm, 10pm to 2am and 2am to 6am. My watch consisted of me together with Ross from Australia, Jonathan from Columbia and Andrew from the UK. Three exceptionally talented guys. Think I might be safe here. The other watch was Charlotte, Nick from the UK, George, a native from India but having lived all around the world (including working for Willis in Ipswich) comes now from the US, Toby from the UK and Steve from the UK. Our watch headed off to bed. I had three base layers on, the foulie dungarees, my exceptionally expensive Dubarry Crosshaven boots and my foulie jacket. The boat was pitching from side to side and as soon as I got below I could feel that feeling again! I took off my jacket, and got into my sleeping bag with the rest of my clothes and even my boots. I did contemplate bringing my pyjamas again, but decided against it. Don’t think I would have used them!! As soon as I was horizontal I felt fine, and slept for my four hours.
At 10pm we were woken to take over the watch. Putting on my jacket and life jacket I started to feel my stomach go again – I quickly made my way out past the bunks, and after briefly stopping to heave into Charlottes sick bucket got outside and felt much better. If this is the English Channel, it does not bode well for the Atlantic! When I got up to the deck I found that we were heading towards land. Charlotte was now really unwell and the decision had been made to drop her off. We headed towards Portland, and docked for a short time to let her off. Poor girl – she really had been suffering for a lot of hours.
We put the kettle on before we headed out – the wind had dropped significantly so I risked a hot chocolate. I took the helm from here, but with the wind dropping so much it made it quite hard to drive in a straight line. Better than being pitched from side to side!