A Big Thank You Again…

to all those that have sponsored me, you are keeping me going at the moment. All your support has helped to raise £3,400 for Cancer Research and has helped to remind me that people back home are following my progress and rooting for me.

We have been head to wind now for 7 days in rough seas and gale force winds. We currently have a storm jib up, a staysail and a reefed main. Our topping lift had come free (and been re-attached), we have snapped a reefing line (now fixed) and finally we have had a broken halyard on the staysail – this means that the rope that holds the sail up the mast snaps of it’s own accord and your sail comes shooting down, you then need to retrieve it before it falls into the water – in line with everything else we have found a solution and have re-hoisted the sail.

The discomfort of the sailing angle and lumpy seas has been enhanced by getting in and out of wet kit every watch and enjoying the condensation drips from inside the boat and the joy of the ‘never drying’ wet locker. Add to this the fact that all the water in the boat seems to run to the bilge under my bunk (it’s the lowest point in the boat) and need bucketing out every 3 hours to prevent me drowning in my sleep (a little melodramatic!) and you have the beginning of what this small jaunt across the South Atlantic is like. Let me continue to share the highlights… lunch today was 2 bits of bread and cream cheese, one of which fell on the floor as I slid arse over t** from the galley to the saloon (lovely soaking wet seats in there, I might add), I did manage to keep hold of one bit so that’s a bonus. We also have a number of people ill on the boat either through seasickness or a very pleasant bug. There is one legger who has not risen from his bunk other than to eat a bit at meal times and crawl back in (illness or something else I’m not sure?). Each watch is becoming slightly repetitive – struggle out of bunk, put on as many clothes as possible (some damp), clamber through the saloon to the wet locker, put on wet outer layer, negotiate everyone else in wet kit, clamber up on deck unable to see much past the baseball cap and hood you are wearing, grab a few knees on the way past as you work yourself to a damp space on deck and clip on your safety line, providing nothing goes wrong; sit there for 4 or 6 hours in the wind and sea spray/waves getting wetter and wetter, come off deck and reverse the whole process. Oh, let’s not forget to add, that due to the winds we have we cannot go in the desired direction (lots of East and a bit of South from Rio to Cape Town, so we have to do quite a bit of north and some west with a few bits of what we would like now and again – it takes demoralising to a new level. I sometimes wonder if the skipper made the right route choice as we appear to be last again, but with no passage planning experience, who am I to criticise.

So, there you have it the joys oh the big adventure – yet again I ask myself, which books I have read by any adventurers painted a clear picture of reality? The Clipper brochure certainly painted a different picture – this was supposed to be a downwind sail all the way in sunshine!

And the silver lining… the rain water washes the salt from the oilies, our watch is getting better at singing Christmas carols to keep us amused, there are a lot more sea birds in the south Atlantic than the north (we still call them all Albatross because we all too stupid to know any breeds and don’t want to get the ‘big one’ wrong when he comes by, I have a favourite though – a little black and white fellow who looks a bit like a small flying penguin!) and I’m learning patience and tongue biting.

So, thanks again for the sponsorship and the opportunity for me to have a little rant – I feel a bit better now. Once more into the breach…

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10 Responses to A Big Thank You Again…

  1. lesley anne cantwell says:

    Well done lesley you are doing great on your adventure x we are all very proud of you x love lesley anne and the gang x x

  2. Martyn Roan says:

    Comment..??? Absolutely Lesley … just terrific as ever girl. Please stil try to keep it going . Love the pictures conjured up as you get back on deck …like the knees bit . . Don’t worry you’ll soon spot the Albatross when it comes, as it has a wingspan the size of a Yankee 1.. It will be just like an inordinate dark cloud approaching from above ..and you’ve weathered your fair share if those over the past few days !…Thank you for the non marketing version and keep safe. Martyn

  3. Sal says:

    Well I suppose the sunshine and warm weather couldn’t last forever …… but still you seem to be summoning head winds wherever you go – are you sure you’re sailing the right way round the world??? Hope the gales ease or it will be more than the sheets that are chaffing!! Not sure how much further down you can dig but I suppose you won’t know until you get there! Keep roaring. Sal

  4. Geordie says:

    Patience & tongue biting ? – I don’t believe it !…

  5. Alysoun says:

    I can’t wait til you really do see an albatross . They are beautiful and you’ll know it when you see it (or them). They have the largest wingspan of any bird in the world, they can glide for thousands of miles on wind currents without flapping their wings – it’ll fly up to 10,000km to find food for its chick.They only lay one egg per breeding season. Average life span in the wild is 50 yrs,they live to 60 yrs and more. You can be sure that your flying bird won’t be a penguin! LOL Add that to your giraffe facts! Stay smiling you hardy woman. Can’t wait for the next blog – how the heck to you manage it in amongst puking crew, rough seas, dampness….. incredible!! Big hug to you. xxx

    • Martyn Roan says:

      Hi Alysoun, not too sure where you live to see so many albatrosses that you’ve learned all that about them …live in North Northamptonshire and not too many of them around these parts…mind you if you need to know anything about tigers… Martyn

  6. David Cockburn says:

    Hi Lesley, my bet is that if anything your blog doesn’t do full justice as to how tough this last bit has been. Constant pounding, damp, lack of sleep/food, spray and even the noise of the wind through the rigging is all very very wearying – you’re doing amazingly well to keep this up day after day. Route choice? Dinna be too hard on the skipper – the forecasts haven’t been coming true (whats new!) and with the bad luck and mast climbs he’s keeping you safe at least.

  7. David Cockburn says:

    Book choice? Robins Knox Johnston’s book of his 1968 solo circumnavigation is the one to read. He didn’t stay far enough south (at this bit) and lost time missing the westerlies. He’s advocating South in his commentary but looks like the boats to North East are going to get lucky and you unlucky again. Maybe forgetting the scoring gate and going south earlier a better bet? Good luck!

  8. English Sis says:

    And all this from the girl who changed her clothes on the way down from a hill walk because she was a little damp around the edges – You have come far Scottish one ! – you can definitley do this xx

  9. Luce says:

    Lesley, have a little RAAAAAR during a particularly windy and wet squall (so no one gets freaked out), then laugh at the sheer craziness of the situation and then smile at the thought of how A-mazing dry land and showers and clean dry clothes will be and then crack on girl, you can DO this! Xxxx

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