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Date: 29 Jun 2015 01:20:09
Title: Fiji to Australia

17:11:8S 162:00:2E
 
Monday 29th JUne 2015
 
Some Passages Are Easier...
The night before last  the clasp on my St Christopher broke and fearing I may lose it I left it off; should I attribute a run of bad luck to this? Within minutes, Simon called me to say I was on watch, actually it he was an hour early, I was up before realising. The Aries wind steering new rope kept jamming ( now replaced with thicker during the night). Finally as I sat down to take my watch, I asked Simon to go below and take the bread I had baked out of the oven, when we were hit by a huge breaking wave. It came completely unexpected, literally out of the blue! But with huge force. I was knocked flat, and WD was knocked down on her beam end. The water was pouring it and out of the cockpit, glancing around I saw that the outboard, which was fortunately tied on and had been ripped off the pushpit bracket. I grabbed it quickly before it dangled further into the waves or smashed harder into the hull. I called for help and Simon rushed up to help pull it back into the cockpit. Looking around the wave had ripped the spray hood from the  combing and pulled two dodger / bimini supports out of the deck. David appeared from the Companion Way saying there was carnage below decks. The heads port hole had been left open (usually shut tight on a lively passage) and a 30cm jet off water had surged below decks. Most of the toll being my cabin, where everything was sodden. The bilge pump kicked in and soon emptied the 10cm of water from below decks. We have now sorted the mess, although drying out may take a while. The out board engine is tied beneath the saloon table and there will be more repairs to add to the already lengthy list.
 
We were so lucky! Worse things do happen at sea, and we need to learn from this. I could have been swept from the cockpit, as I wasn’t clipped on or wearing my life jacket (my mandatory policy had been always wear one at night and if wind speeds exceed thirty knots), familiarity leads to complacency and that is dangerous. We all need to check hatches and port holes and remember they must be shut. The problem is, when it seems calm, you relax and that is when we are at our most vulnerable.
 
Mileage in the last 24hrs: 172 for the second day in a row....maybe we were on a roll, only too far to one side.
 
 

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