Good news – the weather has calmed down. Bad news – we found a hole in the boat. It’s not as bad as it sounds. After quite a few hours of emptying the contents of the hatches in aft cabin we think we have found the source. We think it may be that one of the food storage hatches has not been sealed properly. From now on we will just have to monitor the situation closely.
The weather is getting better with North Easterly winds of 20 - 25 knots. The winds should be moving to East North East which in layman’s terms means that we will have a good following wind but potentially a few more days of rough weather. At the moment we are heading South, rather than directly West. The reason for this course is to allow us to pick up the trade winds which will assist our progress toward Antigua. We have about another 500 miles until we cut the corner and start heading more directly West.
Thanks to an improvement in the weather we are not in oilskins for the first time in about 10 days. Our Musto clothing has been amazing. With the awful weather with cross swells and side-swiping waves our kit has really kept us well protected. The side swipe from a wave inevitably happens when Scott and I do the seat change, the time when we are most exposed to a jet of water down the back of the neck!
The weather has meant that up until today, life has been driven by routines and getting on with rowing and being safe. The boat almost went over a couple of times but thanks to some good steering we are still ok. We couldn’t socialise much. We have just been getting up, getting soaked by a wave and then getting on with rowing. Severe night time weather meant that the 3 hour night shift has been reduced to 2 hours. It was just impossible to concentrate for 3 hours in those heavy seas. Overall the whole crew is doing well. We are still having a laugh both at ourselves and at the weather. I feel very fortunate with my sailing experience and I have massive respect for some of the other guys who have never been in these kind of conditions – it must be doubly terrifying, it really is big out here.
But despite all this, I am having the time of my life! The last week has been so challenging and I have felt so fortunate to be back in the action. The reward is facing the challenge and coming through it.