The first thing that greeted me this morning was a dull ache in my hands, fore arms and lower back. I tried to get out of bed, but the exertion was too much, so I laid back down to try to assemble some order from the foggy chaos of my thoughts. I reminded myself of the previous day’s physical exertion and emotional stress and my current state started to make more sense. After a few minutes I was able to stand but my balance wasn’t great, so I had my coffee inside while I slowly regained consciousness and an ability to stand. I was tired. Really tired. While I’ve had a rest day here and there in between dramas, it’s never been enough to regain full strength and the sleep deprivation on top of this is resulting in my physical (and mental) performance starting to wane and my mood dropping. I just need a few days where northing major goes wrong and I’m pinning my hopes on the doldrums which are now less than 400Nm away.
I’ve decided to change my sail plan and will use the third reef until I pass the equator as the squalls aren’t letting up and this is where the real damage to gear is done. When wind is less than 10knts I’ll have the genoa fully unfurled though so I can still maintain boat speed while reducing the pressure on the gooseneck connection. The join was creaking a lot during the night, partly because it needs grease and partly because it’s simply not an ideal repair (but the best I could do) which makes me think this friction will sooner or later result in a complete break. If nothing else this is resulting in some unwanted anxiety.
My ultimate back up plan if it does break irreparably is to use the storm trysail as this doesn’t require a boom and, combined with the genoa will give me enough forward momentum to keep going and not have to pull into a port of refuge. At this stage I’d only pull into a port in either the Solomons or PNG if there was a medical emergency as I know they’d put me straight into quarantine (assuming they let me in) and likely impound the boat given their borders are closed so it poses a whole different set of risks by stopping. In essence the best strategy is to:
Just. Keep. Going.
While I’d hoped for a calm evening, a series of squalls hit around midnight and the seas started to get quite messy with winds variable at 18-20knts. By 3am the going was painful and slow with the boat getting thrown about the place, so I decided to furl the jib and put the engine on as I desperately needed sleep. Once I know the boat is secure and engine on, I find I’m less sensitive to the exact angle of heel or boat noises and simply trust that the engine, the hull and auto pilot can sort out the situation and am able to get a semblance of restful sleep, though it’s never enough.
The Little Prince is a special book. I’m glad you’re enjoying it with Lucas.
@ Donald Hunter
Love your humour Uncle Donald
@ Elieen O’Farrell
Many thanks for sharing Eileen
@ Stephen Bottomley
Any chance you can order me a Beef and Liberty Cheeseburger, Chilli Fries and a large Chocolate Milkshake to be delivered in approx. 1 week from now…?
@ Doug and Jenna
Still not sure how I’m getting down from Cairns to Sydney (or when) but I’m really looking for to seeing you both when I get there.