With two nasty blows in quick succession we had a tiring few days. Including a bad knockdown our computer navigation system crashed, meaning it’s back to the time of “steam engine”, this log was recorded over the sat phone and we are using paper charts to navigate.
Very often after a bad patch you feel that’s it, finished – however resilience to recover and mend things I decided to get away from the ice exclusion zone, though that’s the shortest and windiest route, and get a couple of hundred miles towards Perth, “wouldn’t that be a great place for Christmas in the height of their summer.”
Now two days later following a hike south we’re back in the race again, powering along at 15 knots in 22 knots of wind, although sailing a little blind. The sun has returned and it has warmed up – three layers down to two.
The first blow was hard going. Miserable. Overcast. Cold and wet and living constantly on the edge wondering would that next fall and wave be the one? Then we had a resbite for 10 hours before it raged in again with the windspeed reading 50 knots at times.
I was in my sleeping bag when I heard a roar and the side became the roof as I scrambled to try and find my Dubarry boots. Whatever else, even stark naked, without good boots to climb and crawl to take action I’m helpless. After a clatter below I climbed out topside it was tranquil, as the boat was on her side effectively there was no mast or sails to catch the wind, here the cantilevered keel makes this worse, with the main backed and jammed against what was the weather runner. So first I triggered the keel, and slowly released the runner, making sure to pull back on the lazy jacks, otherwise it would catch in the main, eventually we got moving again and set about sorting out the mess.
It shook me. Later on deck sorting out a sheet, as I stood between the mast and daggerboard, the nose of the boat dived into a wave and a wall of water dragged and slapped me into the daggerboard, effectively saving me from going over but mu leg did slip, straining my pelvis but was lucky the damage was not greater other than strained ligaments.
Ranging from fixing the hydro generator, splicing some line, fixing the starboard main winch, and so forth, we still do not have the computer up and running, backups are a problem. Hopefully it will be ready for Christmas, if not we can continue but somewhat handicapped and since we are getting the basic information the race committee have given formal permission for me to get weather information by phone.
Meanwhile the race trundles on, my only contact is by phone and the regular Southern Ocean Residents Association Meetings, as different parts of my mind argue, play games, and entertain itself.