Sick as an (old sea) dog

Another day of mountainous seas + boiling sea-spray + fizzing foam round
the boat as Jamaica lurches + heaves ever eastward towards the finish. Life
on board is far from easy – we are leading the fleet + there we plan to
stay by eking out every last knot out of the conditions we are given.

It will come as no surprise that speed and comfort have a mutually
exclusive relationship with each other. Living life on the edge is
emotionally as well as physically draining – it also generates a fairly
high level of seasickness in the crew.

This time round it has only been incipient low-level nausea for me – maybe
I am getting used to living life inside a tumble drier with added heavy
drenching as big wave after big wave pounds its way over the deck.

Accidents happen. This morning I was thrown from my bunk by a particularly
violent lurch – out from my upper high-side perch where I was sleeping off
watch + unceremoniously letter-box posted over the lea-cloth across the
companion way + into the lower bunk on the other side (a distance + drop of
2m) only waking went I smashed into the back wall of the lower bunk. No
bones broken but I feel like I have been in a car crash. No shirking on the
boat – I am on ‘bruised + battered leave’ for the current watch because of
whiplash to my neck + back but I am back on duty this evening.

It is miserable when you don’t feel well but I’m not feeling sorry for
myself instead I have acquired a sail-tie + plan to make my bunk less
escape-proof the next time I am in it. There are absolutely no plans to
take up diving.

Meanwhile the boat has just covered 43 miles in 3 hours. The air
temperature has plummeted + we can see our exhaled breath. We are working
hard – everybody is grimly determined. Somehow you tell yourself it is all
worth it. Those nerves before the race – because I knew this wasn’t going
to be a walk in the park. But miserably cold + wet as we are inside you
steel yourself to keep going because at the end we can say to ourselves we
gave it all all could.

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