We have now been in a “front” for nearly two days.  The wind started to
build, and has only got worse and worse.  And it is still on the nose!
That means that the boat is constantly being launched into the air, and
comes down with a huge bump.  Not comfortable at all.  Everything has to be
put away, otherwise it is all over the place.  Everything is hard from
drinking a glass of water, that you will end up wearing, to trying to do
sail changes.

So, after the wind started to build we put three reefs in the main sail.
That went not too bad.  Then we changed our head sail for the “ginger
ninja” storm jib.  That didn’t go quite so well.  With waves crashing over
the bow, the yankee had to come down.  There were four on the bow pulling
it in, and it still nearly went into the water a couple of times.  It was
eventually brought in safely, but whoever had tied the knots for the sheets
had not done a bowline and the knot was stuck solid.  Another job for the
mallet!  That done, the ginger ninja went up, and it is still there now.

We had a little issue in the lazarette.  We were taking on water – about a
bucketful an hour.  The rubber housing around the rudder had split.  We had
to tack to get that bit out of the water, and Wendo went to work with her
DIY kit – no mallet involved this time!  What was involved was sikaflex
and a rubber glove to make a patch.  Very Apollo 13 ish.  It is still
holding as we speak (hopefully!).

We also had a lovely black and white dolphin swimming beside us today.
Just the one!  Rob said we nearly hit a 30 foot whale earlier this morning,
but no-one else saw that.  Not sure what he had for breakfast!!  The
albatrosses are also suffering with the wind – they are having to flap
their wings rather than the graceful gliding they usually do.

When we took one of the reefs out, a large squid fell on to the deck.  Must
have been washed in with one of the large waves that have been crashing
onto the deck.  The last couple of shifts have been the worst for waves on
the boat so far.  One physically picked me up and deposited me in a
different place – not too far away as I had my short tether connecting me
to the guard rail stanchion.  Another one took a few of us out – arms and
legs everywhere!
It is like sitting in a bath of freezing water on deck when that happens – you aren’t wet underneath but the Southern Ocean sea water surrounds your body and cools you down.  I had forgotten how rotten it feels to constantly put on wet clothes.

When we were due to go on watch this morning, Lauren shouted down the hatch “Woohoo, it is snowing”.  Woohoo is not the word I used!  No basking in
sunshine sailing around the Australian coast for me.  I think she wanted to
get the snowboard out.
With all this “on the nose” wind it has slowed us down considerably.  I
hope we get into Sydney on 12th/13th of December, in daylight hours.  Both
because some of my family will be there then, and it is Wendo’s home port
and I think she will have a fantastic welcome at a weekend.  Fingers

PS – please keep a lookout on the Stormhoek Wines facebook page and vote
for Danang in the social media competition when it opens.  Thank you!
All of this “on the nose”

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Bridget only has basic email facilities on the boat. Editing and the choice of images on this blog is entirely by Paul keevil!
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