|a better day - January 5|
Location:Sun Jan 11 12:45:00 EST 2015, 25 44'S:110 37'W
[If you wanna know where Richard and crew are, it is bloody nowhere. Santiago Chile (26 S, 64 W) is about 2,500 miles east, I estimate. Their current course seems to be SSE. Speed 5 kts.
by Capt. Richard Hudson
"Just in case you thought it's all fine food and sunny sailing on an ocean voyage, let me tell you about a particularly miserable morning, that ended up with me grumppy and drying my sea soaked clothes...
I was up for the pre-dawn watch after a short and very poor sleep.
Sailing close on the wind in high seas the ship sometimes moved violently, and we were constantly well heeled over. Imagine your bed against the wall, and then the whole room lifting and tilting so much that you were actually sleeping on, and sometimes pounded against, the wall! In all that I was cold and aching, having used my jacket as a pillow for extra support at the weird angle.
Getting up to seek a blanket in the dark and bouncing boat seemed even more uncomfortable at the time. I was so sore, cold and tired.
Once on deck I found the cockpit wet with spray and the wind fitful. It's speed and direction wavered, and getting tossed around on the waves made it even more difficult to manage. Carry sail and white knuckle through the gusts? Shorten sail and become more susceptible to the seas?
I didn't have much time to think on it before the conditions briefly caught us head to wind, then a thunderous slap, and all the sails were aback! (A sudden change in direction put the wind on the wrong side of the boat for the way the sails were set.) Quickly and desperately I tried the tiller over hard hoping a wave would help knock us back on heading, but no such luck. I had a lot of work to strike some sail, gybe to change direction, and set the sails again in the tossing seas! I was so frustrated and fatigued.
Finally back on course, I contemplated if the conditions would hold long enough for me to dash below and start the kettle for a comforting cup of tea. Stepping to the high side to better check, in the dark I heard that roaring whoosh-slap-splatter of a great wave crashing into the cockpit! I only had time to turn my back before me and everything around me was soaked, making me even colder.
The force of the wave was great enough to knock coils of line apart and across the ship. I was dripping wet in a heaving mess! I had a good jacket on, but I had such a good dousing that water ran inside the jacket and down my back and arms, and soaked my legs. With the salt water, these clothes would remain sticky and never fully dry. I straightened the deck while I dripped off a bit, then used that dash below to change the worst of the soaked garments. I was so cold and wet."
'via Blog this'