Day 10: Freak wave

The wind and waves have been building overnight and together with the occasional squall we had 30+ knots of wind and more than 5 meter waves. The waves were very frequent and slammed the boat all over the ocean. It got to the point that even the autopilot couldn’t keep up so we had to hand steer all morning. Caro was overwhelmed so Thomas took over her shift and also hand steered through his own shift before it calmed down a bit.

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Basti and I were down below when a massive freak wave hit the boat from the side and dumped bucketloads of salt water through the just opened saloon hatch. The devastation was enormous: the books, cameras, laptop, bedding and my clothes were completely soaked! So stupid to open a hatch with wild seas. I was really tired from the night shifts and took it out on poor Thomas. When I calmed down a bit we hang everything outside to dry (the sun came out to help) and I decided I should get a bit more sleep to get into a better mood. And eat something. It helped.

The soaked bedding dried, the soaked laptop works again, the books will be fine and our camera is also working. The only casualty is the most expensive device we’ve got on board: Basti & Caro’s professional Canon Mark camera. They put it in rice and we are all crossing our fingers really bad that it will work tomorrow.

We had a Christmas celebration in the cockpit with all kind of little presents: food, drinks, candy and games. I have been excited about one of these presents and can’t wait for calmer weather to play it: sea battle! Boom boom boom!

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The rough seas stayed until the evening. We are all a bit tired because of the waves slamming us around, so we are giving Helmut a pause and using the autopilot tonight. What a treat! The autopilot has taken a real beating because someone turned it on while we also fixated the steering wheel to use the hydrovane. That means that the mechanic of the autopilot has been working against a fixed rudder for hours. It has more play now, we hope it will be fixable once we’re on land again.

Thomas made a schedule where we can fill in our progress and we can see if we are still on track for making it to Grenada for New Years Eve. If we average 150 NM a day we will make it! It’s doubtful if we can keep it up..

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Miles of the day: 158 NM

Coordinates: 14º01.45 N, 46º31.90 W

Highlight of the day: Christmas presents

Drama of the day: a wave inside the saloon!

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