I woke up suddenly with huge jolt as I hit the side cabin roof, it felt like it any way. At first confusion as the noise things crashing around the Hot Ice reverberated as I wiped the sleep from my eyes. We were leaning hard to starboard and I was pinned to the starboard wall of my bunk by gravity and the bell was ringing! We had just run into a force 7 wind storm with full rigging up. The bell is the way of calling for help on the bridge.
Mark our skipper was on duty and needed us. Trying to put your clothes on at a 45 degree angle or more is some what difficult in the dark especially in a rush! Shaun, Warrick and Kevin were already there, Kevin just in front of me and I think Warrick and Shaun were already there when it hit. Kevin put on his harness while Shaun and Warrick manned the sheets. We needed to bring in the genoa, bring up a storm jib and reef the main, in a hurry. Hot Ice was taking strain in the wind but she is a very tough old girl and manages quite well in these situations.
Kevin made his way to the bow and I was the co-coordinator relaying the massages between the parties. It was a bit tricky going but finally we got everything done and Hot Ice calmed and we hit a steady 8 kts again. Once back in the warm cabin, the adrenalin began to subside. Earlier in the evening my brace had broken – rusted through from the sea air – so I was reluctant to go out on deck without testing out my footing properly without it. It seems to be fine though. I tried to get some sleep and slept through to 2.30am and then was on watch till 4am.
We now tracking along quite well and it was like that all day and into the evening. The weather was over cast all day with occasional showers. In the early evening the wind died a bit and we took out two of the reefs and put up the genoa again. I was able to manage to go forward to the bow without a brace so I am happy.
Kevin and Warrick had some fun on the helm in during the day and it takes some getting used to at first. As Kevin says, without any land marks your direct is by feel if you are to maintain it properly. Of course you keep moving back to your direction reading but with swells it’s hard to maintain while surfing down and over waves.
Warrick is doing the trip in support and as an inspiration to a children’s home and I will get him to write a piece on it for tomorrows blog. In the meantime though he wrote a piece about my culinary expertise which I think is a bit exaggerated but:
“We have a master chef on board! After eating noodles and cup soup for two days it was a very pleasant surprise when Rob (aka Master chef) whipped up some grilled chicken fillets, potato wedges and vegetables. Have no idea how he did it in this tiny galley; delicious it was! Just what we needed before battling force 7 winds and heavy rain:)”
Mike is now back, he now spoke for the first time since just after we left. He has suffered quite badly with the sea sickness along with Shaun. I think it might be difficult to keep him quiet now! He has already told me that he will do it next time in a “cat”. – Mike what happened to the never again story from a day ago. 🙂
The day was spent shooting the breeze and Mark was telling us about his sailing travels around the Caribbean. We seemed to have a good route planned to get a head but it depends on the South Atlantic high staying at lower latitude than normal. The winds need to shift more to the south so that we can make through the gap by going slightly more north.
Let’s see and hope….