After shaking out to the second reef last night once the winds had dropped out I enjoyed a rather un-eventful evening getting a good night’s sleep. I awoke feeling really rested for the first time in a while. Even when I am in bed I tend to spend a lot of time dozing but last night was a deep, restful and healing sleep and my body and mind felt all the better for it.
Even though I don’t like to admit it there are times on this trip where I have been down, depressed or angry for no identifiable reason. I am only human and with that comes mood swings. Small things like a rope getting tangled when I am trying to undo it has at time brought me to tears. At the very least I will have a few choice words to share with the Climate Action Now. Seconds later I will be mortified at insulting the boat in such a way after she has given me safe passage across these seas.
Or, like when I walked past the engine box the other day and my boot was caught on a latch. I almost broke the boots in my fury to get free. This fury that came out of nowhere... Its really hard to explain and I guess the best explanation is that my emotions are heightened with the sleep deprivation and the isolation. This causing me to be extra happy at times or extra angry and frustrated. Lucky for me these mood swings are few and far between but when I am in that state, walking on the edge, it’s like an itch I can’t scratch.
Well, the good sleep I enjoyed last night scratched that itch. I am currently not having any of these mood swings. I am just back in my happy place sailing along and enjoying the adventure. Don’t get me wrong. For most of this trip I have been openly enjoying the challenge and the solitude but there are always those handful of tougher times that test my patience……… maybe that is why I am better at SOLO sailing....
So this morning I really bounced out of bed ready to tackle the day. The sun was shining and the wind was still at a consistent 20 knots from the South. Climate Action Now was sailing along merrily on course.
I thought that today was a day that I could even take advantage of the warmer weather and have a 'bucket bath' to wash my hair... It has been almost 3 weeks since I have had that luxury. Whilst I am using baby wipes on my body, they don’t do too much for your hair. I got so excited by this idea that I even turned on the Wallas heater supplied to me by Diesel Heat in Tasmania. It’s a little heater that uses a combination of fuel and electricity to produce heat and is quite economical on consummation rates. I haven't used it yet as my clothing has been enough to keep me warm but I figured that it may take the edge off having to strip naked in freezing temperatures and having wet hair. In the end it didn’t matter, because the clouds came back, washing out the sunshine and blue skies to a mix of greys. The temperature dropped once again. Burr... I decided that I would wait until I sail into this high-pressure ridge due over the next few days, as I will likely be back under sunshine..........was such a nice thought though.
For the rest of the day the winds have been shifting from the SSE to the SE to the ESE and back again and also going from 20 knots up to 30 knots for a time and then back to 20 knots before repeating again. The swell is still from the SE so I am sailing in but it has dropped off to less than 2 meters in height. Currently I am sailing in 27 knots and only have a small amount of the jib out so I tend to be a little slow in the lighter winds. With the 2nd reef in the main and that small bit of jib I am not leaving myself open to the exposure of a large gust of wind, especially at night.
Also I just wanted to say HAPPY INTERNATIONAL WOMENS DAY from the Southern Ocean. There are so many amazing women out there achieving so many great things. My mother for one, who helped me succeed on this incredible journey. Here's to the women in my life who have taught me life's lessons and helped me grow into the person I am today. Here's to all women in the world. We are all amazing, so celebrate it.
As I am sailing this course with the intention of becoming the first women to sail around Antarctica it seems fitting and touching that I should receive a message today of all days from Kay Cottee. Kay was the first women to sail solo, non-stop and unassisted around the world. Reading her book and was another big inspiration to me so I just wanted to say thanks to Kay. Also to Jessica Watson who was such an inspiration to me when I first got my teeth into sailing. Both amazing women who have not only inspired me, but already achieved world firsts. It will always give me something to strive for and I don’t think there is a better day to say it except on a day dedicated to celebrating women.
So for now the winds are between 25 - 30 knots and has shifted back to the SE causing me to sail a course more to the North than I would like but by tomorrow this will hopefully have passed and I can start chewing up the miles to Cape Horn. At the moment, I have 800nm to run. Just past Cape Horn also represents the half way mark of my journey so I will be making sure that I am sailing as safe as possible to get around the challenges presented there before I am on the home stretch.......