Wednesday, June 14, 2006

All change

At 00:20 GMT on Tuesday June 13th ReVision II is at 7 deg 06 min South and 124 deg 55 mins West. We have 841 miles to go to Fatu Hiva in the Marquesas - breaking the 1000 mile to go marker was a really big deal for us, we are now on the count down. The weather has taken a bit of a turn for the worse as we hit a convergence zone - this brought high winds and big seas. We were getting a bit frustrated as the wind was really not strong enough to keep us moving through the fairly big sea and we were 'slopping' around with sails and rigging banging for two days. We did take the opportunity of going slow to do a spot of fishing and it only took ten minutes before we had a fantastic little wahoo just enough for a meal for two - and very tasty it was. Then out of know where the wind picked up, the sky was full of clouds. We knew to expect this as the others ahead of us had had a couple of really miserable days. We had near gale force winds and the seas just got bigger and bigger, breaking and slamming into the side of the boat. Seas got up to about 18 feet - ahhhh. People told us to expect calm seas on this crossing and possibly periods of no wind - we have learned one thing about all oceans - they are all big and when the wind gets up the sea does too. Andrew did a top job of getting the sails balanced and we took turns doing short watches to make sure the boat didn't round up into the full strength of the wind - it happened a couple of times and would take all my strength to turn the wheel to get her back on course. The other problem is some of the really big waves seem to lift ReVision II up spin her around and then put her back right in the force of the wind. She has been amazing though taking the sea and together with Malcolm, the windvane steering, they have been partners at keeping us on track. But the rain is relentless you can hardly see the sails at times! We have both gained a few bruises from being thrown around. Tell us why we do this again.... oh yeh it's not cold. Anyway we got in a routine and once you get used to it it's not nearly as scary, just tiring. The next day was Andrew's birthday. When we called in on the radio first thing Nick played happy birthday on his trumpet, he also got a poem from Ellen (which she's promised to email so we can add to blog), singing and harmonica playing from Matt & Togs plus kind wishes from everyone else. Andrew was surprised I had managed to get the message out. The day was dampened a little by the weather but I still managed to cook a special birthday tea of Parmo (a Middlesborough delight) and treacle sponge pudding with custard. The weather continued into the night and we sat watches all night. Andrew had two visits from the sea - first a huge squid flew out of the sea and hit him on the side of the head (not sure who was more shocked) then when he was sleeping a wave broke into the cockpit and managed to get through the gap in the washboards and land on him in bed - the storm board is now in place! Today things have eased a little and the sun has come out so it feels much better. The good news is that we've been speeding along nicely in all this wind.

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