Riding waves between three to four metres high, passing under the boat from right to left, watching them roll on down hill as the next wave erupts before you, with the wind blowing loud enough that we have to shout to each other, whilst watching an approaching cargo ship appear on Esper’s beam, is one of the most exhilarating experiences either of us have ever experienced.
It was 0600 and I was lying in bed, vaguely aware that my body was rising, dropping, sliding and twisting like a corkscrew. Clearly there was some weather going on outside. I slid into my salopettes and stuck my head up through the companionway. There, at the helm, was Liz wearing the same grin I’d left her with the night before.
Ourselves and ‘Roam II’ were due to leave Turkey today with the aim of hitting Rhodes to fuel and provision, meet up with ‘Storm Dodger’ and ‘Rhumb Do’ and then head off SE on Friday to meet the Vasco Da Gama rally in Port Said, Egypt. Hmmmm. Have you seen the weather lately? I’ve animated a grib file (weather information) for your perusal to prove my point. In an unexpected turnaround of weather for this time of year the south of the Aegean is being hit with some vicious northerlies. Normally these die out by the time they hit the same latitude as Cyprus but these winds are whipping right across the eastern Med and across Port Said. I wonder how many leaving drinks we can get away with…
Another miserable day on the weather front (the second in a row with no sun), giving us a grim backdrop for the bad news: the batteries had stopped charging and neither the skipper nor the first mate had any idea why this was so. Ocean Indies is, after all, a new boat. This situation meant we now had to run what is called a ‘dead ship’, i.e. no electricity.
Never let it be said Sunday is the day of rest. After getting stitched up on the watch system (due to the clocks going back and a watch system change) I decided to go for a lie down. After a couple of minutes there was an almighty clang, followed by the skipper shouting “all hands on deck”.
The next 24 hours became a blue of slamming, spray, 5 metre waves and queasiness. Most of the watches were done in saloon, though I preferred being outside, harnessed in and riding the boat as if on a surf board! It was either feel sick and feel sh!tty, or see it for what it was and make the most of it.
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