Next shift I was on was 6am to 12pm. It was a beautiful morning when I got on deck – the sun was just coming up. I still had to make a run for it from the bunk to the outside, as standing up down below was still an issue. Good job my boots are comfortable, because I can’t see that they are going to be coming off any time soon. Felt so much better this morning I even partook in a bacon roll that was offered. That may have been a little optimistic, as the sea started to get quite rough again. That brown sauce taste stayed with me for most of the morning – but at least I kept it down. When I say the sea was rough, the technical term actually is moderate. Moderate though, does not fully paint the picture of the size of the waves when you are standing on a little boat in the middle of them. Or when you look back at the helm and can see no horizon behind, only a wall of water. The sun disappeared and it got quite cold. I find standing at the helm quite enjoyable, but it does get very cold. I have bought a lovely pair of warm helming gloves – huge things a bit like ski gloves, but they are no good whatsoever if you have to start pulling ropes etc. Hard to know what to bring up on deck with you.
After our shift finished at 12pm we had a couple of hours “classroom” training, so didn’t get to fall into the bunk until about 2pm. As I had been getting from A to B very quickly when I got up I had not been putting my sleeping bag back into its water tight bag. Consequently it was fairly damp – and the pillow was very damp. As I was sleeping in mostly foul weather gear I didn’t feel it mattered too much. Just not nice putting your face on a moist pillow. Didn’t stop me sleeping though – seemed to still be able to have the knack of dropping off about two minutes after becoming prone. I did remember to hoist my bunk up at an angle – the boat was pitching quite violently and I did not want a rude awakening on the floor! Not only was the boat pitching at this point, it was rolling as well. As it still was when I had to get up at 6pm for the next shift. Another quick dash, head down the toilet for a couple of minutes, and up on deck to report for duty. Whilst sleeping, we had missed a couple of porpoises playing at the bow for a time. Shame! Right – 6pm to 10pm shift it is. We had already travelled as far as Eddystone Lighthouse at Plymouth, and turned round to head back. Think it may be a bit further for the first leg to Rio!! Thought I would give dinner a miss – one of the other watch (Seasick Steve – not the Seasick Steve) had already retired. It’s getting to everybody! The seas were very sloppy – non technical term, but you understand what I mean – and it was quite cloudy. The cloud cover then moved away, and the moon and stars came out. What a difference, being able to see a bit where you are going.