Wind, rain and fun

Getting dressed is a major layering activity. Wearing enough of the right layers to keep you warm and not too many that would mean impaired mobility, especially on the foredeck. Think of a three year old having a tantrum about getting dressed and this is what getting oneself dressed in a lumpy sea is like.

My boots are permanently damp or simply wet. My best buy is most definitely my dry suit albeit it takes a Houdini contortion capability to get in and out of. And you do not want to be desperate for the loo once in it!

A knack to staying dry in it though is to squish out all the air through the rubber neck line so that the warm air inside doesn’t condense and create dampness. Forgot once, worked hard on the foredeck and finished my watch very damp. Yuk.

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Once ready to venture on deck the off coming watch clip you on whilst you’re still on the companion way. Creeping out into the damp, howling wet conditions keeping your centre of gravity low ensures a better chance of staying upright if walloped by a wave.  A frequent dousing in icy sea water becomes routine and when the helm shouts “wave” so that we can brace ourselves (frequently 30 seconds too late) we simply grin and wave back.

Venturing onto the foredeck has now become second nature, knees bent low and once past the mast very often on hands and knees, always in pairs. The weightlessness as the boat roller coasts the waves is usually a precursor to a wave walloping you in the belly, chest and face or simply taking your legs from under you just as you think you’re about to land safely back on deck.

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And then just as you have your sail ties ready for a headsail drop you’re washed down the deck. Thankfully that hasn’t happened for a few days although it undoubtedly will happen again before this leg is over.

Wet, cold, bruised and still laughing. Between the on and off coming watch last night we were singing “Jerusalem” at full pelt. Well, I say “we” what I mean is the British contingent with our Norwegians, French and others looking on aghast with big smiles of amused bewilderment on their faces.

We’re having fun!

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