Day 5 – 29th November – I wake at 4:00 for the sunrise shift. I listen to music throughout and the sunrise doesn’t disappoint! The sky shifts through a glorious ensemble of colours, from dark grey, to orange, yellow, then through pink, purple and blue! The rest of the crew join me about 8:00 for a delicious breakfast of scrambled eggs.
The wind has been blowing over 20kts all night and we have covered 165 miles in the last 24 hours. Gaining good ground. We are now catching the Trade Winds as hoped and they continue to blow above 20kts. The waves have increased notably in height – it is a good job we have all got our sea legs. I think that mine have finally arrived today, thank god for that! Feeling nauseous for the whole passage was certainly not my plan!
It is day 5 and we have all decided that not another day can pass without a shower! Wet wipes have been our friend until now but this is officially the longest I have ever been without a shower or a bath and it is really not my thing!! I am craving full body cleanliness! The salt water hose is working again so we don our swimwear (a brave move given we have been in long sleeves and trousers until now) and head to the bow of the boat. God it felt good to wash my hair – all done with salt water, with a frugal dose of fresh water right at the end. The sun shone but did little to stop our bodies shivering in the wind!! How can we describe it? Utterly invigorating! We stopped to check ourselves as we washed, looking around us, thinking that we certainly haven’t done this before and it is something we won’t forget!! The towels felt delicious as we wrapped them around us and we sat and brushed our hair dry in the wind, which by the way is an excellent hair dryer!
Today is the first day that we are all barefoot. We are feeling the pull of the Caribbean! It will be time to move our clocks forward soon – how wonderful to be sailing through time zones!
We haven’t seen any marine wildlife yet, despite 8 pairs of keen eyes! We have seen 2 birds swooping low to check us out but no sea creatures. The fishing lines remain untouched and the wish for BBQ for dinner remains unanswered! The lines have just gone in again this afternoon – we are keeping the faith.
Day 6 – November 30th – The wind blew up over night and continued into the day – circa 30kts. We are going across the swell so the conditions are more difficult to weather. It feels as though we are on a bizarre rollercoaster that simply won’t stop. The kids are dealing with it very well but the best way for me to stomach it is lying down. Even then with such a strange motion, my internal compass simply doesn’t know which way is up! We are going up and down big waves and being thrown continuously from side to side. Our insides are constantly compensating for the irregular shifts. This is not a motion that I am keen on. At all. It is akin to being trapped inside a washing machine.
We had a lovely family chat in the saloon after lunch. Everyone hunkering in, swapping stories and entertaining each other. This is the highlight of the day. Until we get the fishing lines out. We have caught something! Much excitement in the cockpit, then someone exclaims that it looks like a sea snake! Indeed it does, a long sea snake wiggling and fighting its way toward our boat. Alas it as a long piece of heavy rope! Dismay!! Vegetable pie for dinner it is then!!
Jason does a boat check and is mystified why our water tank has gone from 7/8 to 5/8 in 24 hours. Not good news and no-one understands how as we have all been so frugal. Jay manually checks the level of the water tank and checks for any leaks. It must have come from a tap not being turned off properly. We must all be vigilant going forward otherwise we will run out of water way before we get to land. Crikey!
Day 7 – December 1st – I did the Sunrise shift and dear Ruby woke up to join me for the last hour, where we watched the multi-hued sky with pleasure. When Jason woke up, he took over at the helm and I grabbed another hour’s sleep. I awoke to the delightful smell of a fried breakfast. Utterly delicious and devoured by all. It is the first of December – advent calendars! Much delight amongst the kids!
Another ARC boat, which we had seen in the night, sailed up close to us and shouted their hello’s! It is comforting to know that there are other boats in the vicinity of this vast Ocean!
The winds are still high, between 20-30kts which is between a Force 6-7 and the sea is still churned up. Infact, that is exactly how I would describe my stomach too! By now, day 7, I should be at one with the motion of the waves. Alas, I am not and by mid-afternoon I decide to take another seasickness tablet – a different brand this time, which hopefully won’t make me feel so sleepy. Hurrah, I perk up and enjoy the latter half of the day far more than the former.
We head to the bow of the boat for a different perspective and find a flying fish that had flown onto the deck and got stranded. Poor thing died in it’s struggle and is inspected by our fascinated crew. So we have caught 1 fish, just not in the traditional sense!
Today marks the day, 1 year ago, that my dear Grandpa died. We have swapped our favourite stories of him all day and feast on a delicious meal of Beef Black Bean and a pudding of home baked chocolate shortbread. God bless his soul!
We have sailed a record 181miles in the last 24 hours. Yay!
Day 8 – December 2nd – Bliss! A night off from watches last night for me. On Dad’s recommendation I popped my earplugs in and got some decent sleep! What a world of difference that makes. We woke up to the sound of Jago & Liberty giggling in their bunk – both excited about day 2 of their advent calendars!
We decided it was time to get a little more festive. The kids made a yummy gingerbread house which was made, decorated and demolished in an hour and a half! We bought some festive window gel gems and the kids stuck them onto the windows in their bunks. Jago and Liberty both decided to write Christmas stories – some very sweet creation going on! They are becoming increasingly inventive about how to while away the hours.
Alex is getting on so well with his cousins. He has brought a wonderful fresh dimension to the boat. Such a gorgeous boy and a total joy to have onboard. When he sits with the kids there is much merriment and some fabulous accents! Dad and Jago have been strumming away on their guitars together. We are all enjoying quality time with each other & are reminded how important it was to get the right balance of people on this adventure.
There has been sunshine for most of the day, which we have all enjoyed. The wind has come off a bit and the seas are a bit more settled. We have covered a respectable 179 miles in the last 24 hours.