Those three hours sleep I was going for at the end of my last blog did not
materialise.  Just as I got to sleep we inadvertently tacked, which means I
have to get out of bed before I fall out and hoick the bed up.  Then we
tacked back, so by the time that all happened it was time to get up.  I am
afraid I had to give back the “Tough It Out” award, as I missed one of the
night shifts that night.  I really could not function without an extended
sleep.  I had one, of sorts, but didn’t feel that much better afterwards.
This is just going to have to run its course.

It was Wendo’s birthday yesterday.  Emily had left a Hotel Chocolate Happy
Birthday box of chocolates to be left on her pillow, which she loved.
But things went downhill from there!  For the last two days we have been in
winds touching up to 50 knots.  Straight at us, so really unpleasant
sailing.  When we went on shift yesterday morning, we heard that we had
nearly lost a sail in the water during a sail change.  It was recovered,
but slowed us down.  Then the leach line on the main sail snapped, and got
caught around one of the reefing lines.  We can neither put a reef in or
take one out until the main sail is dropped and that is sorted out.  But
that isn’t going to happen in these winds.  And one of the batons on the
main has broken, so the top is flapping about.  Doesn’t put one in the best
of moods on one’s birthday!

The day improved, as we had chocolate cake.  Always put everything right.

This boat must be one of the worst places to be when you don’t feel well.
The constant thumping down in the sea, and the 45 degree heel means that
moving about the boat is hard when you are fully fit.  As I hauled myself
into the galley last night to get a glass of water I did wonder what on
earth I was doing. There is absolutely nowhere to go to get comfortable to
help your body recover.  How I wish I was on that sofa at home, curled up
in the warm and dry.

Warm and dry is not what we are here.  The amount of water coming over the
deck is just about as bad as we have ever had.  Some of the waves
physically lift you from where you are sitting and move you three feet.
The good thing is, the foulies seem to be holding up after I re-proofed
them in Danang.  Hopefully they will hold out.  Below decks is rather wet
as well.  There seems to be holes in the mast, which is letting in water
whenever a wave comes over.  So there is constantly huge amounts of water on
the seats and floor, and dripping from the ceiling.  There is no escape
from it.  It isn’t that cold yet – but gradually getting that way.  The
night shifts are definitely getting a chill in the air.  Not long until we
get into the minus figures!!

On the night shift last night we did an accidental tack.  Because of the
size of the waves, I had my short tether on the stanchion.  When we tacked,
I couldn’t get it undone, so was stuck on the low side – again!  Lara
noticed and Craig came to the rescue – although he couldn’t understand why
I wasn’t moving as he was pulling my arm nearly out of it’s socket.  It
wasn’t long before it was undone, and I was safely on the high side again.
One of these days I will manage it on my own.

There have been a couple of injuries in the last few hours.  Linda “flew”
from one wet locker to the other, and has banged her shoulder and lower
back.  She is in her bunk – probably for the duration.  David had a wooden
cover slide off and hit his head, and cut it open.  But he is up on deck – not
much stops him!  A couple of others still haven’t made it out of their
bunks since we left Danang, so we are quite low on crew members.  Let’s
hope there are no more accidents!

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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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