We had quite an experience during a couple of night shifts going between
the Phillipine Islands.  A whole fleet of fishing vessels were laying out
nets for fishing.  They were everywhere.  And it lasted a good eight hours,
so goodness knows how many there were.  Not only did we have to avoid all
the boats, we had to avoid all the nets as well.  Luckily we did – that
could have been catastrophic if we got one of those caught up in the
rudder. No-one answered on the radio,  so we presumed on one spoke English. Not surprising really.  Would have been nice to get some fresh fish on
board for a little menu variation!  But we wouldn’t have had chips with it,
as all the potatoes have now gone.  Mostly thrown out in the latter days –
they did not keep well.  That is going to give the person who is mother on
Patatas Bravas day a headache!

It was my turn to clean out the bilges again this morning – the glamorous
job being filmed by Rich with my head down a wet, dirty hole in the floor.
Not sure how much of this footage will ever make the documentary, but I
feel none of it is going to be flattering.  Last time I did it a bucket of
dirty water got half way up the companionway before a wave knocked Pete
sidewards and most of it came down back on top of me.  Nice!

The bilge cleaning job actually came at a good time – and was a handy
diversion.  I have hit another very low point in the race, that seemed to
manifest itself when I went onto watch this morning.  It was raining hard,
the skies were a horrible grey reflected in the horrible grey sea.  I had
yet again put my wet foulies on – and I mean wet.  They are saturated all
the way through.  All my clothes underneath are wet when I take them off,
and hardly get a chance to dry out on my body whilst sleeping and then it
is time to put them back on again.  There is no point putting dry ones on –
the insides of my foul weather gear are almost as wet as the outside.  My
skin is sore, my clothes stink, and I feel very dirty.

I sat on deck this morning and cried.  I felt totally sorry for myself,
even though I was telling myself I was being pathetic.  The rain was coming
down in torrents, so no one noticed.  The watch I am on this time is a very
different dynamic, and I would put this one fifth out of the five legs I
have already travelled.  Was it just the weather and my wet state of
affairs?  Was it the people that have left the boat that I miss?  Or the
people that I get on really well with that are now on the other watch?  Was
it the thoughts of being at home with my family, and going to work to the
job that I love and the people that I love?  Is it the fact that I now have
lost the new found confidence from the last leg, and am feeling not worthy
again?  Who knows.  It is probably a culmination of everything.  But I
think I will have to dig deep this time, and hope that I have a shovel
capable of the job.

– – – – – – – – – – – – –
Bridget needs your comments! I will pass them on via email tomorrow.
If you are watching Chewie and Emily and Serg – that means YOU aswell.
If you can’t do comments use my facebook please.
Thanks Paul