Getting frisky

Not even in the Southern Ocean and we are pounded by winds of 35 knots as well as waves the size of houses.

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Working on the foredeck is challenging to say the least.  However clarity about what needs to be achieved coupled with single minded determination and focus along with a healthy dose of adrenalin gets me through the task, even when I and my watch mates are rudely interrupted by a wave that would prefer us to be placed elsewhere on the boat.

Taking down the staysail to accommodate the storm jib left two with inflated life jackets and me and Gordon our bowman hanging on for our life. Both of us screaming rather impolitely at the unruly sail informing it that in no uncertain terms it would behave and allow itself to be man handled to the deck and unceremoniously tied down.

We did it.  Not before being tossed around like rag dolls by Mother Nature’s wrath in the shape of a black and noisy ocean.

One third of the crew are suffering sea sickness and the rest of us are holding up. We compare bruises, enjoy re telling foredeck stories which I am sure become more and more exaggerated from one watch to another.

As we sail, the sea erupts into a furious foam, white capped waves crash over one another and us. The rain is spiked and heavy, like fine needles thrown at your face. The noise of the wind like a steam train careering through a darkened tunnel.

And the laughter on deck as we are once more drenched by a wave crashing over us – usually when you’ve just taken the lid off the snack box or have a long desired for hot drink in hand! Soggy biscuits and salty tea… Nothing quite like it.

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Time for bed, but not before I check the bruise colour spectrum on my shin and elbow. Knee pads are essential and I am seriously considering asking for some skate board elbow pads!

One more degree south until we reach the forties and more fun and frisky weather awaits us. We’ll be ready!

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