Thursday 13th October 0742 UTC 0842
Wind: NE 25 knots, COG 355 Deg True, SOG 6.8
Apologies in advance - this is very difficult to
It is good to know that all my investment in dread
and anxiety befor ehitting this wall to wall of nor easterlies was a well
founded investment. All the fundamanentals were right and my expectation
that the forecast 20 knots would be 25 knots.
And so it has been for the best part of 24 hours
now. The angle of heel is maxed out before too much leeway takes over and to
allow forward direction to dominate.
It has been non stop relentless heavy pitching and
slamming with occassional violent lurches. Pounding, smashing -ploughing
our way ever northwards.
The seas are a good 3 metres now but the pitch, or
frequency of them is not as bad as the Bali - Singapore run which meant we
aretaking less green water over the deck but we are certainly taking endless
white water. Foredeck and side deck are a constant swather of white frothing
water and of course the leeward side decks have an ample supply of green
The scale of the seas and conditions however are as
a millpond compared to our Mauritius - Durban run. Buit they are never the
less relentless. Just a wee refresher for some of you. Twenty five knots, though
sometimes as expected 27 or 28 knots, does not seem like much but add our
6 - 7 knots into it and we have Apparent Wind of 30 knots +. So therefore a
solid force 7 is felt. Of course we have a Force 6 but the boat, the
rigging the sails everything on deck is feeling the effects of a force
Conditions have been so poor I have even put some
reefs in ............... All day yesterday and all night I have been trying to
find the optimum sail plan and point of sail. If it feels just a little to much
I am out there clipped on, slithering and crawling easing sheets, reefing a
little more canvas changing point of sail just a little to ease the
slamming - sometimes even pointing higher to spill some wind and gain some VMG.
If the wind or our direction eases just a little its back out to harden up a
little. Shaking out reefs is not done particularly with the main unless the
easing looks long lived.
Its been a battle, a war of attrition. I feel
desperately worried something might break but I assure you it won't be me. I
feel like a boxed in a big fight, trapped on the ropes. The all powerfull
opposition is throwing punch after punch at me slamming into my arms protecting
my sides. Nudging with his head, an odd butt, slam after slam of punches.
Shouldering me puishing back against the ropes - jab,jab, jab. I won't give in.
It's too early to call but I expect to come off the ropes tonight, put in a
wee shuffle and take the points at the bell!
However I just need to make sure the ropes don't
break before then so ............ off outside just now - we are taking some
green water up the coach roof. ............... I've eased the sheets a bit but
carefully hold my course ..... for now.
According to the forecast I should sail to the edge
of the strongest wind later and hopefully get a bit of respite.
Adding to the anxiety of this situation is the fact
that I am only 50 miles away from my outward track! Anyway hang in there, I'll
keep you posted.
Last night the VHF pantomime continues with some
new cast. There was Talk Small, Mario and Animal man. Talk small's performance
goes: "Talk Small!" "Talk Small" this decends in volume and treble over a period
and then evolves into a different accent. The next series will start "Tock
Smoll!" the next series is "Tok Moll!" and so on it decends to being
inintelligible. Then silence. Later "Talk Small" appears again quitely and
pleadingly then the cycle begins again.
"Mario" man uses a similar technique calling
"Mario" which of course eventualy decendes into a bleeting sheep. The mind
boggles to think what "Maaaaaa rr iiiiii oooo" did to deserve
Animalman just goes rounf the whole farmyard
broadcasting his animal noises endlessly on through the night. Over all
this teh poor Filipino's are still taking a hammering.
One call went like this; "Banana Port Control,
Banana Port Control - Filipino Monkey do you read me". Someone responds; Banana
port control comes back and says " Filipino Monkey I cannot hear you - BUT I CAN
Brutal stuff. I had the impression that it was the
Filipinos whoi were getting the blame for the whole carry on but this exchange
suggests other wise.
Vile though it all is, this one cracked me up
completely.... One minute gotta go the wind has eased a little - that's better speed up again and wind eased for a wee while
Yeserday and middle eastern sounding radio
operator calls looking for a ship. Nothing heard but one of our comedians
replies as Banana Port Authority. The middle eastern operator shouts "Fxxx You!
Fxxx You!" Silence. Our comedian then comes back "Station calling "Fxxx You!,
station calling Fxxx You how do you read me?"
And I have to say, sad though it is that was my
only highlight last night. The rest was a relentless