Today there was a total change in the sky and ocean. It went from being overcast and stable to blue skys, then green ocean and turbulent squalls. Or, as James Joyce describes it in Ulysses "The scrotumtightening snot green sea".
One such squall caught me off-guard with its viciousness and strength..(*NB Big Toe)
The squall overpowered the self-steering and the boat broached on her side.The loads on the rig were enormous but forgiving - in releasing one sheet - by a near miss - it almost brought my hand with it. Every moment every day there are risks. As a self discipline, I keep having to force myself to stop, appraise and think of my body first before jumping into any situation. Being caught off guard is what gets you.
Anyway, such was the speed and severity of the squally with little warning, I reckoned there could be more damage done trying to get all sails down - and I knew it would not last - so I simply took the helm and drove off in front of it. For 15 or 20 minutes it roared, the rain lashed and the boat took off downwind - it was a great ride on the edge and exhilarating.
Eventually, like life itself, it ran out of steam. The wind once again dropped back to 10 knots from 30 knots. After that, for the entire day, the wind was up and down, also changing direction, to make for a very demanding snd physical day.
Happily though it is warm, we seem to have exited the doldrums and though now upwind we constantly make ground south towards the equator and the pace is unrelenting.
*NB Guidance from Aisling on damaged toes ( I think she thought it was worse than it is )
"Maybe if u can find something hard to tape around ur big toe. Little flat
plastic sticks to Splint it on both sides, protect it from constant little
knocks... like mini battens on front and back of toe...lols .. nerves from
big toe go right up to brain so can be quite an annoyace. If you tape ur 2nd
and 3rd toe together it can work as super toe and keep weight transfer in a
good alignment thru middle foot. (Big toe being the 1st toe can rest bit
more to recover, weight is directed to 2nd 3rd toe which is actually best
line for skeleton anyway... lots of Classical dancers and super models do
this as general practice.... not the splinting... the 2nd and 3rd toe
taping... I'm giving away trade secrets here so hope it helps ;"