Well, I have to say sleep has not been my friend of late. I give my best effort however the weather seems to have other ideas. Last night I was repeatedly woken by the boat getting shoved off course by the big swell. It seemed that as soon as my eyes would close I would hear a screeching beep, beep, beep, demanding that I wake up and do something. There was not a whole lot that I could do so I usually looked at the display and then ignored it and the beeping would stop once Climate Action Now managed to get herself back on course.
At one stage the winds had dropped off to below 20 knots and I was still sailing with the No 2 reef in the main sail and the Storm Jib however I was also suffering from unexpected squalls, so I was really hesitant to put more sail up. When these rain squalls would come over, I would get blasted with 30-35 knots of wind from nowhere and as I was trying to sleep I was not going to be watching the instruments to see if bad weather was coming.
I finally had enough of rolling in the large swell with the light winds when they dropped off to 12 knots. I know that there was more wind due shortly but I simply couldn’t handle going that slow. I ended up putting the No 2 jib out, but I didn’t bother to drop the Storm Jib, as I was well aware that I would be needing this again soon. Instead, I sailing the boat with both head sails up like a cutter rigged yacht. I decided to sleep in hour long sections and would set the alarm to wake me just long enough that I could spy the wind strength and keep an eye out for a change in conditions. By 10pm that night the winds finally filled back in again and I was once again sailing in 20-25 knots, I furled the headsail away now as it was no longer needed to give me steerage in the swell.
When I woke up at midnight I wasn’t too keen on getting up as I felt like I had hardly slept, but I wasn’t actually getting any sleep, so I figured I might as well be awake. I set about making my daily porridge and adding some extra layers of clothing now that I was out of my warm sleeping bag. I have been pleasantly surprised that there hasn’t been any more drama today, even though I am in gale conditions and still with a rather large swell. I wasn’t about to complain, so I celebrated this mild morning by making scones for lunch as an extra treat to myself. Apart from the odd extra big wave shoving me, I enjoyed some time with my nose buried in a book. Even with these conditions I am still chewing up the miles and should be passing another infamous cape tomorrow, the Cape of Good Hope off South Africa.
With all this cold weather the condensation has been really bad of late, making it seem like it’s raining every time I fall of a wave. With all this dampness, I am also starting to get mass outbreaks of mould around the boat, in lockers and on my bags etc. Apart from wiping it from the walls there is very little that I can do about this until I can open the boat up in some warmer weather and air her out. I think I will be needing to wait a little longer for this to happen. It would be just my luck to open the hatches and cope a massive wave down that would wet everything. So, I will be waiting for section of weather with very little swell and if I can swing some sunshine all the better. I fear this may only occur when I reach the shores of Albany in approximately 4weeks’ time.
Speaking of 4 weeks, it has now been that long since I was able to wash my hair... Yuck. Not much I can do to change that situation as it has simply been too cold to have wet hair but I am thinking on the next calm section I will be making this a priority to get done. For now, I will just keep using my baby wipes and trying to get more sleep.