14/05/2010 - Preparing for the storm

Awoke this morning feeling positively warm!  A sensation not felt since the days of Zebroid which now feel like years ago!  Cheri’s alarm clock/thermometer measured her bunk temp to be 7 degrees on leaving Lunenburg, 11 the following day, 14 the following and today a heady 16,5ºC…… Mike confirmed the water temp as 16ºC today and this evening we should enter the Gulf Stream and a water temp f 25º!!  I remain cynical but look forward to being proved wrong!

Watch this morning consisted of learning how to seize lines (tie smaller twine around the end of ropes so they don’t come undone), helming, tarring lines (I love the smell of tar!) and for the first time ever feeling a little seasick despite the drop in wind and swell,.. I blame spending an hour or so focused on the seizings which meant I was focused looking down onto the deck for longer than normal!

Water is now a constant element on the main deck and washes over with every swell, I am pleased to say that my freeing ports seem to be working perfectly, but wellies are definitely the order of the day and de rigueur footwear of choice.  Either that or bare feet!

We were told to lash everything down to prepare for the incoming storm today.  Lashing the bunk down in preparation for the storm I found it incredible that despite the size of our bunks, how easy it is to lose stuff, I swear there is a bunk fairy who moves my stuff around constantly.,..  There are rumours of a ghost on board, Mr Roundhouse, so I suppose it could be him!  Apparently he died in the engine room and has been rumoured to finish singing songs for you if you are singing out loud!!

The afternoon was uneventful, the waves and wind grew steadily over the afternoon and  despite sending a line off the stern, no fish were caught,.. we still hope for tuna!!  There were more dolphin sightings, but they were short-lived and far off. 

We all prepared for night watch in the same fashion as normal, but despite becoming increasingly stormy it was so muggy that less layers were required and actually would have made you uncomfortable!    One of the highlights of the evening,.. Jo made me a cup of improvised hot chocolate and marshmallows as I missed out the previous evening,… I could feel my teeth dissolve as the sugar content was probably slightly less than that of pure sugar, but at least it set me up for my lookout.

On lookout again this evening from 23h to 24h, but a few key elements had changed,  the wind no longer chilled to the bone and the spray no longer stings… we have really hit the gulf stream and the water temp is now 22ºC… I have never been so pleased to be proved wrong! The fog closed in and the wind upped to a force 5, it occurred to me up on the fo’c’sle head that if I went overboard, no-one would know until my relief arrived at midnight.. by then it would be way too late to do anything about it,… I ensured that I had a firm grip for the rest of the watch!  On the starboard side, the green navigation light gave everything an eerie green glow and the ever-present bioluminescent plankton create their own little fireworks show below me as I look down to see the bow plowing through the water.


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