Thankfully the weather has improved. The seas have calmed, and today the
sun actually came out. A huge change from the last couple of days.
After leaving Rio, we have had to wear our cold weather gear constantly,
and my lovely snuggly sleeping bag had to come out. What a difference from
coming into Rio sweating buckets. The deck has been turned into a gushing
river – torrents of water constantly sweeping across anything and
everything in its path. It is like having someone throw a bucket of water
at you from a few feet away. Focuses the mind to make sure all the seals
on the jacket and trousers are tightly closed after having water drip down
your neck for your four hour shift! The waterproofness of the trousers are
still OK, although some seem to have issues. It is like sitting in a small
stream most of the time, so I do not want to have any holes!! And I
have never been so cold. The wind whistles around the boat, and really
gets into your bones. I think more layers are going to be needed.
The bow person on the other watch, Pippa, was at the bow when a huge wave
came over and swept her off her feet and under the forestay. She was more
shaken up than anything, but that was a scary moment. We were below decks when we heard that there was a casualty coming down. She managed to get herself down, but until she appeared no-one really knew what to expect. She is the A & E casualty nurse, so not the best person to be injured.
We saw the first flying fish of this leg yesterday – a huge one that landed
on the deck at some point during the night. We didn’t actually find it
until the sun came up – it must have come on board with such force, hit
something solid, banged half its head in and lost an eye. Yuk. Found the
fish but not the eye. Wonder when that will turn up?
We also saw our first albatross today – it was one of the smaller
varieties, but a lovely sight nevertheless. Wish I had had my camera, as
you know I do like to get a good bird shot! It skimmed above the sea by
only a few inches – must be looking for dinner!
Yesterday was not a good day for my watch or my sunglasses. First of all I
caught my watch strap on my lee cloth, and the bit that holds the prongs in
place pinged off. Not impressed – it was bought specifically for the trip
so not exactly old. Worn for about seven weeks in total! Apart from the
strap, the watch has been brilliant. It glows in the dark, so can always
see it on night shift without my glasses. Now I have got it inside my
pillow case so I can see what time it is when I wake up, but no idea what
time it is whenever I am on deck. I really miss it – so the first stop in
Capetown will be to a watch shop for a new strap. Then I went to clean my
sunglasses and one of the lenses fell out. Again, not cheap. Oakleys, but
Never have been impressed with Oakley sunglasses, so won’t be
getting any of them again. At present the lens is taped in with black
electrical tape. Not sure how long that is going to last – but I will be
wearing it with one lens rather than none!
As the seas have calmed down, most people are now feeling better. It is a
completely different boat when people are feeling well rather than
struggling along. Although quite a few have gone down with a horrible
throat – nowhere to hide here to avoid cross contamination! Not got it yet
– let’s hope that isn’t famous last words! The spinnaker came back out
again today – and I helmed with it up. I was very nervous to start with,
but David the watch leader gave some really good advice how to handle it.
He is such a well sailed person (not sure if that is correct terminology)
with years and years of experience, and has such a great way of explaining
things. Not sure if I am ready to helm in bad weather though!
When the sun went down the temperature plummeted. It is going to be a
cold, cold nightshift again tonight.