On one of my watches I heard a great ‘thump’ on the spray dodger above me but I put it down to an unusually aggressive wave or something. This morning Stu noticed scales on the dodger so the thump must have been a flying fish. We had heard that they often leap out of the water on to the deck. On further inspection we found another flying fish up by the dinghy on the bow, and 3 baby arrowhead squid. Not big enough (or fresh enough!!) for eating... I’m not looking forward to the night I get a fish or a squid launched at my head while I’m on watch...
Unfortunately the ingenious steering system only works when the wind is at a certain angle, and as of last night that angle changed and will probably remain that way until Hilo. Back to hand steering. In the current conditions the boat really wants to swing windward and when it does it heels dramatically and really speeds up – but in the wrong direction – and it’s hard work to get it back on track.
Ahh, the inevitable breakdown... Well, I say inevitable but if the autohelm was working I’m quite sure it wouldn’t have happened as it’s rather nice sitting in the cockpit having the boat drive itself and even night watches are relaxing without having to steer. But last night the boat was so heavy and hard to control, and the frustration and exhaustion kicked in and I cracked ‘ sick of this bloody boat, this trip, of being so tired, of not seeing Stu for more than an hour or so a day, of sleeping in clothes so I’m ready to take over at a moment’s notice when it’s my turn. I may have even said that this is the worst holiday ever. And there may have been tears. Stu once again came through by giving me a massive hug (as well as he could while steering!!)), letting me have my rant and then telling me to go back to bed. Guilt then kicked in because I knew he was as tired and frustrated as I was and he also needs more rest but he was having none of it and refused to let me take my turn. Eventually he hove to to get some rest.
For the record, it’s not actually the worst holiday ever and for the most part I’m enjoying bobbing around on the Pacific, but I like my sleep and I can’t wait to get to Hilo (but probably still 12-13 days away though).
So, rant over and done with and all is good. We’ve both agreed, though, that that now that we can tick ‘dual handed Pacific Ocean crossing’ off our list we’re in no hurry to do it again. That said, once it’s over I have no doubt that we’ll remember the good bits and the frustration will fade, and we’ll talk very fondly of the whole experience! I guess we just expected something different based on everything we’ve read and what people who have done the crossing have told us.