Skipper: Kate Cope
Mon 3 Jun 2019 07:44
Well what an eventful 24 hrs we have had, so much to say and so few Kb in which to tell you.
Significant bruises = 2
Minor bruises = too many to mention
Ships rescued = 1
Last night was very very bouncy and rough. There was no moon so any attempting to steer round the big waves was impossible. By morning conditions were still 20kts close hauled and bouncy but at least hand steering did help miss the worst. The seas out here really are wild and desolate, but somehow beautiful as well. Steering in big waves is a bit like skiing in moguls you pick a track and try and slide down the backside versus flying off the top. Also avoiding repeated cold showers from waves slapping up the side is a bonus ...but not always possible
Anyway by 11am the wind had abated slightly and our position looked great, we had overtaken Zest, fluke and the Dutch J109 and were only 2 miles from Bigfoot was in the chasing pack... in fact I could see Bigfoot which is a first 24hrs into a race.
First we got a pan pan from Bigfoot pop up on the plotter , we called then on the vhf and sat phone but no reply so assumed it was an error until 10mins later they turned round . Bobby then took their Mayday call as I tacked across to them. Lucky that new Purple Mist is speedy enough to have stayed so close as we were alongside in 10mins.
Bigfoot was taking on water badly. Now we all know that the J105 is a wet boat but water up to the settee berths is a new record even for Bigfoot. You could say Bigfoot reached new depths !
There were cracks in the hull around the keel bolts and water ingress. However as they turned downwind it stabilised and the pumps could clear the water faster than it came in.
Falmouth coastguard was alerted and tasked St Marys lifeboat to rescue. However the Lifeboat was over 2 hours away we shadowed Bigfoot as we cruised back downwind towards the Scillies.
Other boats also lent a hand. Thanks to Polished Manx who mayday relayed and talked to Falmouth CG, Zest who stood by with us for a while and AJ wanderlust who saw Bigfoot going to wrong way on AIS and checked in.
As we made our way back the concern was a total loss of keel similar to the Cheeki Rafiki accident so Bigfoot made ready the liferaft.
3pm and St Mary’s lifeboat was 10nm away, at this point Bigfoot’s radio decided to flip to low power so I could hear him but not the lifeboat. Purple Mist did what she does best ...talking... and relayed messages between Bigfoot and the Lifeboat. Finally a chunky looking orange boat was on scene and we bid farewell to turn round and beat into the 20kts on wind and sea all over again.
Oh and the bruises. Well the absolute most bouncy bit of the boat is the front with the heads or Toilets. So bruise number one was when I was
Literally bounced off the loo luckily landing on a storm sail and a bag of rubbish to cushion me. But my elbow somehow hit somewhere and I suspect some bleeding but frankly haven’t peeled off the 3 thermal tops to investigate.
Bruise 2 is a very sore bum from falling when tacking to Bigfoot single handed.., I think I forgot tacking in 20kts is a bit feisty.
Tonight the sky is much clearer so we’ve been treated to a spectacular star show. I’ve sparkling luminescence trailing out the back of the boat. Maybe they are following a trail of pot noodle that kept blowing out of my mouth and is now sat on the liferaft. Indeed you can’t eat pot noodle at 90’ to a 20kt wind...however close you get your mouth to the pot...they blow away.