Day 2, June 17, 2007
Did my first assisted watch last night from 12 to 2am. The Milky Way was shining so brightly in the sky and Deon an chatted about may thing to a backdrop of shooting stars. One particulary bright one lit up part pf the sky and left a smoke trail as it blazed down. Dawn came late this far south, around 7 30am, and we have been in the same seas all day, only about 130 nautical miles from Cape Town and motor sailing our way up to the trade winds that should start sometime soon. These winds take us strait to St Helena, unlike the winds are in now, from seem to be doing everything but that. The swell is strong, and since its best that we don't go strait into the waves we are taking an oblique approach which results in a very dizzy circular and bouncing motion that every so often brings down the front of the boat with a violent and disturbing crack. Since my bed is in the front of the boat, I write this from a prone position on a bed that is rising and falling about 3 meters every two seconds. Like unrelenting air turbulence, it gets more alarming the longer it lasts…and we are now one day into it with who knows how many more to go. The day was long, and I am itching to upload the video I have been shooting, but every time I open my computer below, I get very seasick. Otherwise its fine, and I feel much better today. I did manage to get about a third of my editing of the pictures and film done. Maybe more tomorrow! We have seen many frigate birds and petrels but alas, no sign of the great Auk yet. I am waiting for him. Deon and Andre are doing well, but both are showing signs of stress from very little sleep. I cannot stand watch yet in such violent seas, being such a neophyte sailor, so one of them has had to be on the deck every moment for the last 31 hours. Once things calm down, I will be able to assist and things will run much easier I hope. We haven't been able to cook much, with the boat canted over at about 30 degrees it possible still with our swing oven but very uncomfortable. Instead we have been pies, bagels and cream cheese and some fruit. I am a big eater, but I have to admit- to the amazement of my friends reading this, that I have lost my appetite for the moment. Another lurch…its like swinging in a very large swing, very very high. It was gorgeous to be out here today, even with the rain squalls there was also sun and a brilliant moon set just after the sun went down. Deon is on deck right now, the wind is howling like you cant believe through the rigging and it looks like its going to get uglier before it gets any better.
Day 3, 18 of June 2007
Stood a clear but cold 12 to 2:30 am watch last night while the exhausted guys snoozed a bit. The motor was still on, but by 7 am we had hit the trade winds and were able to turn it off. Today I was finally able to edit the video of the project, and get something done. That felt great. I was a bit woozy for the 6 hours that it has taken to get it all together, but it is done now, thank goodness. Now all we have to do is find a stretch of sea calm enough to upload the video through the Bgan connection (it stands for Global Area Network B)