Well last night the winds maintained around 15knots from the SW making for easy sailing. I thought that I would finally have a chance at a really good night’s sleep...... I was wrong. I was standing by the galley sink brushing my teeth at 10.30pm last night. I was thinking how well behaved I was to be actually getting into bed at a reasonable hour, giving me the chance of adjusting to the time zone changes. Hopefully I would wake up early as well.
All this was running through my head while I finished brushing my teeth. A few seconds later and mother nature once again destroyed any ideas I had of sleep... I heard the roar of a large breaking wave. I had been sailing almost on a beam reach so I was going across the waves not with them. This meant that the big ones tended to shove me around a bit. With the roar in my ears I held on waiting for the shove.
Instead the wave decided to bury me under tones of water and with force. The whole cockpit filled up and the water barrelled towards my companionway entrance and hit the wash board with such force that it sucked it right out of the entrance leaving my companionway wide open. The next second buckets of water came in soaking the two bunks to the low side and everything in them... This just so happened to be my bed... again...
Not only this but it dumped so much water on the top bunk that it dripped for the next several hours on to my bed below making it feel like i was sleeping in a rain shower... I grabbed some towels and flicked as much of the water off that I could. I was thanking my lucky stars that since the last soaking of my bed I have been keeping the water proof bivvy bag well closed. The inside of my sleeping bag was mostly dry but everything else was soaked.
An hour later and I tried to crash into bed but the weather once again had other ideas with the winds shifting forward to a 60-degree wind angle the second my head hit the pillow. Out of bed again and back on-deck I re-trimmed and tried again.
Unfortunately my B and G 4G radar guard zone alarms decided to keep getting triggered by the rain clouds so just as I doze off the alarm would go off causing me to wake and need to acknowledge it. The last time I checked to see what time it was…… and if I was getting any sleep that night it was 4am...
The other thing that happened last night was that I hit the highest sea temperature of the trip so far at a whopping 16.2 degrees Celsius. This makes my trip very comfortable as it makes everything quite warm and I know that there is extremely little chance of an iceberg. Ice bergs are normally found in sea temperatures of below 8 degrees. I am always on a higher alert when sailing in these colder temps and have seen temperature. as low as 7.8 degrees. This is one of the considering factors with the weather routing and Bob from MetBob always tries to keep me in the higher temps.
So when I finally crawled out of bed this morning after my crap night sleep I had already set myself the task of fixing the generator. With one wind generator, still down and now the hydro generator I know that I will be needing the generator to maintain the power on the boat.
I had arranged with Chris from SLR in Albany to give him a call and he was going to help me to diagnose. Once I got Chris on the line we kicked the genset over. The sound it was making identified that it was likely a solenoid issue. I crawled into the back to take a close look and sure enough there was a broken wire on the solenoid. Once I re-wired this back up the generator worked like a dream and has been humming away all afternoon topping up the batteries that were low. While I was there I also took the opportunity to change out the water maker filter. This is recommended to be done once a month. I also emptied the strainer in the bilge system.
The winds today haven’t been playing nice and were mostly below 7 knots and variable making it hard for me to keep the boat sailing in a nice line as there is still 5-6 meters of swell around. The Swell is rolling though and only has the occasional breaking wave where the top crumbles but they still shove the little bit of wind I have out of the sails.
It seems though that this is changing as I can see thunder clouds building around the boat and the winds are now mostly stable at 10 knots or just above. I am about to Gybe the boat to the North again and will be closing in on the 45-degree line tonight with an anticipated gybe back to the east at sunrise. This will likely mean not much sleep again as I carefully watch that I don’t sail across 'the boarder' …………… just another day at sea.
Note from Mum
I know Lisa’s blog is starting to sound a little repetitive, talking about lack of sleep, talking about wet beds, talking about waves crashing through the hatch. This is a true reflection of her world right now. She probably is tired, she probably is annoyed when a wave soaks everything. This is how she feels so this is going to be uppermost on her mind. I know we all want action, serious action, but quite frankly, as her mother, I am quite happy with repetitive.
Along with food intake, managing her sleep is probably one of THE MOST important factors of the trip. Being that she has not had more than one or two hours straigh sleep without waking to her alarm clock to check the instruments for over a month straight is a big deal in itself. When Lisa talks about a good night’s sleep she still must wake up regularly and check instruments, even if briefly.
It is so important that she takes every opportunity to rest when she can so she has some chance of being able to cope when she does have to deal with 80ft swells, knockdowns etc……She knows this. It is important. It is real. This blog is not a book. This blog is not a movie. It is a glimpse of what her life as a solo sailor is actually like in real time. A chance to share the adventure warts an all.