Another storm has hit.  Gusts of over 100 miles per hour, and very heavy
seas.  It started just at the end of our shift – the wind changes very
quickly here.  We no sooner took out a reef, then we had to put two in.
All in the space of about half an hour.  And then the primary winch broke.
Things always break when you most need them.  the wind was howling, the
boat was overpowered, and we had no winch to wind in the reef line.
Michael and Wendy between them got out the tool box, and with a few (or
more than a few!) swear words interspersed it was fixed.  Hoorah.

The worst of the storm was when we were off watch – and I was sleeping
again!  Although this time I can say that it woke me up a few times – my
body physically left my bunk when we hit one of those pot holes in the
ocean.  And we hit a few!  Although I think it may also have had something
to do with Harry’s driving!  We got through it – and it was fairly calm
when we went back on deck.  Good!

We also had the tricing line snap when we were changing the yankee sail.
The tricing line is a rope that pulls the non active running back stay
forward – just in case you wanted to know.  When a sail is launched, the
sheets can flog quite dangerously, so the back stay is put into “guard”
position to protect the people on the deck.  When the line broke, everyone
hit the deck and no one was injured.  Thank goodness.

We have had a few minor injuries again this leg.
George was ejected from the nav station by a wave – not actually the water but the motion of the boat.  He flew straight out, and cracked his elbow.  It may be chipped, or just bruised badly.  Ollie cut his finger, which then got infected so he is having to take antibiotics.  Neil has cut his hand, but is holding up well!!

Val had her birthday a couple of days ago, and she made a lovely chocolate
cake as she was on mother duty.  Cake is such a rarity, so it went down
very well.  It even had candles on to blow out!!
She made up a very clever poem to the “Owl and the Pussycat” which also went down very well. This can be viewed on the first of two blogs from the Danang Clipper Crew for November 6th – well worth a read.  Clever girl!!

Craig spotted a lifebuoy floating in the ocean yesterday – just hope it had
fallen overboard rather than had someone attached to it at some point.  We
didn’t go to retrieve it – hope that was the right decision.

The night shift last night was very lively.  The wind was gusting up to 60
miles an hour, and the waves were very large.  Well, it was really cloudy
so there was no light, so it is very hard to see them.  But when the boat
thrashes through the ocean, the phosphorescence animals in the sea light
up, and the waves are alive.  The water was coming over the boat in
torrents, bringing lots of phosphorescence with it.  One of them stuck to
my boot, so for a while my left foot was glowing in the dark.  When huge
amounts of water come in to the pit, the phosphorescence are swimming about and it looks like disco lights.  When the waves are so high, they can actually reach the main sail over the boom, and they stick on there as well.  Looks like stars in the sky.

I think I am romanticising this too much.  It is extremely cold, extremely
wet and very uncomfortable. Although there are some on board whose eyes
light up with glee when a front is predicted.  I am not one of them.  I am
very pleased to get back into my bunk in one piece when it has been a bit
hairy.  Although my hairy, I have no doubt, is very different to another
persons hairy.  Glad there are a few of those on board to counter act the
wimpy one!

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