AC Day 13: HALF WAY DAY

We expect some serious weather today, starting tonight. Ben takes over from me at midnight, and the wind starts to calm down a bit. Do we already have the worst behind us? Its quite calm and after some time in my bunk I come up to get the news.. Did we get under 1405 NM to Ireland yet!? Half way day!

During Thomas’ morning shift, Helmut gets overpowered by the growing waves. We get off course and get hit by an enormous wave sideways. Thats quite dangerous, before you know it your mast is in the water at a knockdown! Thomas rushes to the cockpit to hand steer from here on. Martijn takes over, and after half a shift I take over from Martijn. While I try not to gybe or (worse) capsize, he keeps an eye on the waves as well. The only thing he says is ‘big one…’ now and then, and we are fully focussed on the elements around us. Every set of three waves throws us off course, and we have to steer like crazy not to have them hit us from the side. Once every half hour or so, we get soaked by a breaking wave into the cockpit.

The sporty day is a nice variation on the past, more boring days. But after a couple of long hours outside in the rain, spray and wind we kind of get it: its a storm. Now please calm down again so we can get back to our daily business. But it doesn’t. 

We only have to hand steer during the morning, as Ben gets into the cockpit for his shift he gets Helmut on course again. We spend the rest of the day watching Helmut steer tirelessly down wave.. after wave.. after wave… after wave… Still, once every half an hour a big wave hits us from the side, making life inside the (warm and dry) cabin a bit uncomfortable. We all just stay inside, hold on and wait for this day to be over. 

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As I take my second shift, the boys start to get seriously bored. Thomas gets a headache in the V-berth because he has used up all the air, Ben can’t get himself to watch a movie and Martijn is done with sleeping. He makes me a tea to get warm again, but as he is almost finished he falls and hits his side to the navigation table. He is in shock and collapses in pain.. Life on a boat isn’t always easy!

As the low passes, wind shifts to the north and we have to head southwest to have the best course according to the waves. That means that we aren’t making any ground towards Ireland! But heading south puts us in a better position for the next upcoming lows.

The next low in about 48 hours, for which we decide to sail even more south

Position: 43 32 N 39 03 W

Miles of the day: 144 (121 towards Cork)

To go: 1339

Highlight of the day: Watching Helmut the hero at work.

Drama of the day: We sail through a storm. My iPod gets soaked. Martijn hurts himself badly on the navigation table.

Food: Chili con carne, Ben bakes a bread, Chinese noodles for lunch and leftover lasagna.

Weather: 30-40 knots of wind, high waves, breaking onto the boat and us

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