Driving into the dark + unknown

Post race Jamaica is now motor sailing down to Panama – if life was surreal
before it has certainly become a lot more surreal now because the focus on
sailing has gone, all we have to do now is get there in a straight line
asap. Our route will be taking us to within 3 miles of the coast so the
hope for whale-sightings has been rekindled.

At the end of each race the boat is subjected to a deep clean, so in the
absence of any other pressing agenda we are getting on + doing the tasks
piecemeal as we go. Yesterday I was set on scrubbing the deck (well ok,
washing out all the blocks with fresh water – sea water corrodes everything
very quickly). I was then given buffing up the fenders – a task that
ultimately proved more intractable than it had first seemed.

Busy day yesterday.

Because of shortage of sleeping accommodation the watch system as we have
always known it continues. Thus it was this morning post-midnight Port
Watch was on duty + I was asked to helm. What my fellow crew members did
not know was that I have never helmed at night.

Driving into the dark + unknown (yachts don’t have headlights as such) is
quite frankly terrifying, added to which somebody came up from the nav
station to say that a whale had been sported on radar somewhere to port +
to keep a look out. Quite frankly given the level of darkness it would have
had to have climbed on board or us hit it to have been seen. As it was
trying to keep the compass to a bearing of 104 degrees proved surprisingly
difficult. I was definitely having difficulty focusing on the instruments –
but that was probably a lack of reading glasses or maybe because it was 4am
in the morning.

Suffice to say we survived, although on going off watch shortly afterwards
sleep did prove difficult. But that most probably something to do with the
adrenaline in the system …

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