10 days sailing and a Force 9 Storm !!!
28.03.2007 - 07.04.2007 5 °C
Overnight and sea and winds had calmed down and we set sail for Tristan following a Roughly Northerly direction to get away from any remaining Icebergs and then easterly towards the islands.
it's some 1400 Nautical miles and we hoped to make it in 10 days or so.... 140 Nm a day.... an average of 6ish knots an hour....
The watches were changed slightly and having been out for a cigarette I was unfortunately named Watch lead for our watch (Blue Watch) We'd been joined by a few new faces also so it would be nice to speak to some other people whilst on watch we thought.
The Next 10 days were eventful and yet boring... if you can have such a thing.
We sailed a lot.
We saw Whales and Dolphins.
Some of us saw a Moon Rainbow (This is like a Rainbow but generated by the Moons Beams of light rather than the suns... absolutely amazing!)
We saw many...many birds and notably Albatross so I couldn't fish from the ship!
We had to entertain ourselves... we decorated eggs for Easter, had some practical jokes played on us by the crew and vice versa for April Fools Day, watched DVD's, gave lectures and the beard growing competition was going strong!
It was rough....
It was windy...
On day 31....
4 days out from South Georgia...
the storm hit !!!
It was a force 9 storm and had been steadily building up the previous 12 hours or so.
We only had 2 lookouts as we were luckily out of iceberg territory (having headed North from South Georgia!) and these lookouts were at the back of the ship.... we were still steering though and had to go on deck through the wheel house at the back of the ship. Harnesses were permanently on and as the ship rolled in the 6 meter swell we were all briefed for what was ahead of us by the captain.
We started our evening watch that night at 8pm and in the next 4 hours the main bulk of the storm was to catch up with us and last for 4 hours after which it would hopefully die away as it passed over us... this was the theory anyway!
As the wind increased steadily... we began to furl sails and in a force 9 gale this wasn't the easiest thing in the world.... 60 feet high up in the air hanging onto the yards whilst being thrown about in 10 to 12 meter (30 to 40 feet!) rollers whilst 100 kph winds whip around your ears (which are still quite sold incidentally) with the thought of falling and being lost at sea firmly lodged in your head...... Fun isn't the word !!!
I helped furl a few of the sails and with waves breaking over the deck regularly... Steph and I finished our watch soaked and thoroughly exhausted... we didn't sleep though.. The watch was handed over at 12am and we lay in our beds and listened to the storm above decks....
We were woken up for our morning shift at 8 and the seas had begun to drop... the rollers were more regular and less violent and the wind had dropped! It was great sailing weather and the sails slowly came back up and the winds dropped!
We'd survived a force 9 storm in the middle of the Southern Atlantic (Perhaps the roughest sea in the world) and to be honest... it hadn't been that bad after all!
Tristan Da Cunha came into view on day 11 (the 7th of April)
We'd been at sea for the past 10 days and had experienced some rough seas... but we'd come through and with the help of the ship and the crew managed to sail to our destination with no injuries and some good stories!