So, I now have more information on the storm that I missed. David, our
watch leader, had gone up on deck to help out. He had been at the helm when
a huge wave came and washed him across the boat, and he caught his leg on
the helming station at the bottom. Very painful, but on the mend now. We
were just going round the Cape of Good Hope – wrongly named I think!
We are now sailing with our storm jib up in the place of the stay sail.
This is a very small sail, and aptly coloured in Danang orange. It isn’t
as efficient as the stay sail, so we are losing speed. But this doesn’t
seem to be having an awfully big impact as we are slowly making our way
back up the field.
Sleepless in Seattle had big problems with their main sail during the
storm, and it seems that they do not have theirs up and running properly yet,
and are some way behind the rest of the field. Whilst Lmax, on the other
hand, have had their three weetabix for breakfast every day and are
storming out the front again.
We have seen whales again on our watch. A couple of nights ago a couple of
huge humpbacks were swimming beside the boat for twenty minutes or so. We saw others further away, but these two were quite happy to keep pace with us. It was beautiful to watch. The sky was clear, and the stars were out. What a difference that makes. And at the other end of the same watch we had dolphins zig zagging under the boat and swimming beside us.
We could see their phosphorescence from yards out – it looked as though there were multiple torpedo’s aimed straight for us. We are now known as the Nature Watch. Better name than Port Watch!
We are going further south now, and have been given a “virtual beach” that
we shouldn’t cross. That should mean that we don’t “bump” into any
icebergs. Glad about that! But we might bump into growlers – which are
little icebergs. Rather not! We have to take the temperature of the
water, and if it drops considerably suddenly it may mean that there is ice
During the last two legs when we are on deck there are two big electronic
displays that show the boat speed and the wind speed. Really useful for
all the crew to know what we are doing, and when the wind picks up to make
a sail change.
Not on this leg. Derry apparently kept getting electric shocks off theirs when they were putting a reef in, so Clipper have disabled everyones. Not so good for all the spectators on deck who haven’t a clue anymore. Wendo thought that giving someone an electric shock might keep them awake – I suggested buying cattle prodders that would do the job more efficiently. She liked that idea – not sure the rest of the crew would!
The sea is getting rather mountainous. At one point the waves were all
around us with the boat at the bottom – it was like being at Annapurna Base
Camp and having the Himalayas surrounding you on all sides. Consequently,
we still have some sick people. My bunk mate is still sick – last night
was the first night I have not slept in my allocated bed as she has been in it, not well.
Horrible. Nowhere to go to get off and get better. Another three
weeks of this – or worse!
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