Up at 2am for the next shift – it is really weird getting up and it isn’t a different day. We should be on Thursday by now! And what a surprise – I don’t feel sea sick! Apparently the oven blew up during the night – didn’t hear a thing! Note to self – do not be the one that leaves the gas on!! The boat was not rolling around quite as much, so that may have had something to do with it. Didn’t really want to wake up – I don’t often see 2am in the morning, and would have preferred not to at this point. Can’t let the side down though, so up I got. We did a bit of “reefing” and “trimming” – I think just for the sake of it. It didn’t seem to make much difference, but at least it kept me warm. It is very peaceful up here when the wind isn’t howling a gale and Orion’s Belt is twinkling down at you.
Finished the shift and had porridge and a banana for breakfast (?) Not sure which meals should be called what when sleep is all upside down. At the end of this shift is “the long sleep” – a whole almost six hours. Less the time it takes to get into bed and being woken half an hour before the next shift starts. But the longest I am going to get on here anyway.
Got up at 12pm for the next shift – and there were no waves. And when I say no waves, I mean no waves. No wind, hardly a ripple on the water. One extreme to the other! The sun was shining, and life is good! We did some sail changes, I helmed for a bit, Ross and Toby went up the mast and Nick rescued Bob. There was so little wind it felt like we were standing still. No – not standing still, going backwards. We were overtaken by two lobster pots! Someone shouted that there was a critter coming up on the starboard – a pink critter?? No, a lobster pot buoy! Hmm. How am I supposed to steer – not practised reverse yet. We might not be going anywhere, but I much prefer this weather!
When I was woken for the 10pm watch, it seems the weather has changed a bit. We were pitching from side to side and seemed to be going quite fast. Oh what joy! Got my jacket on and made my way on deck. The other shift disappeared down below, and Daniel said that we were overpowered and needed to make a head sail change. Should I pretend not to hear? Don’t fancy that at all. “You take the helm” he says – suits me! This was not quite the helming I have been used to. The wheel was constantly being thrown from side to side by the waves, and it was difficult to cling on to.
Andrew, Jonathan and Ross were at the front of the boat, and were taking one sail down and putting another one up. I did not envy them at all. They were clipped on, but having to get up on the rails and change a sail in the dark with the boat doing 180 degrees from one side to another was not my idea of fun. The four hours went in a flash. My hands came off the wheel like claws – my fingers seemed to be set in a wheel grip. My legs didn’t seem to want to work properly – all they had had to do was to keep me balanced for the last four hours. The guys came back and said they couldn’t believe they had left me on the helm for four hours. Not a problem – my position at the helm seemed to be a lot safer than their position hanging off the rails! What a shift. I think we all felt a little elated at what we had achieved (albeit in technically moderate seas, but in our minds a storm). I absolutely dropped into my damp sleeping bag, and really couldn’t care less that my pillow was wet. I was alive!!