Merel's Story

It’s been very rolly since we left Walvis. 2-3 meter waves most of them coming from the south, some come from the middle of nowhere while your not looking sending a spray over the deck and into the cock pit. Then I’m wet again. I have learnt in earlier boat experiences not to leave my hatch open in the bow cabin, in an instant your bed will be wet and that always happens when it’s least expected. Dave doesn’t mind the galley, head or even the salon getting a spray now and again over having less airflow. For me I would prefer keeping everything as salt free and dry as possible, of course it’s hard to avoid completely but it’s a hard thing to get used to always feeling and touching that salt stickiness…

I do a middle of the night watch and I enjoy it very much. The quietness, the motion of the waves and dark contours. The ocean has a different kind of aliveness to it in the dark. Like a big blob breathing and rolling about. Other nights it has rained and it doesn’t take long then to decide to sit in the salon. On this fourth day you can feel the air already getting warmer. And the sea temperature too.

We need to run the engine a few hours a day to work the fridge, charge batteries and fill the water tanks. That’s a noisy affair, the engine is loud and smelly. I find myself even quieter then and in a mood of just getting through the hours. If we have a lull in the wind then at least there’s an excuse which feels somewhat better for running it then when we are sailing nicely.

I prepped some meals before we left and I really do think it helps me immensely not to spend too long in the galley in the first few days. I’m also finding really simple food is best the first few days too. A beautiful favoured curry or veggie bake goes to waste on me in the first days of sailing.

Yesterday I felt better and today I feel fine. A sleep rhythm is the best cure for hardship. I look around sometimes and think how lucky I am to have this opportunity to sail across the Atlantic in the lovely Anjea with Dave. I dream about my own boat one day and how that would feel like. It’s a beautiful simple thing to put up sails and let the wind take you where you want to go.

I have found some good sleeping positions. When Anjea is healed to one side I stuff blankets in that corner of my bed and I sleep lying up against it. It makes me feel more comfortable thus a better sleep.

Going to the toilet is a hard job, not once your sitting but getting there and up. I’m still not getting used to that. A shower is ok. I lean up against a wall or the sink. Walking around through the galley from the head to my cabin, I need to be very mindful of edges sticking out, I try to move quickly pass them and find a flat surface to lean against again. Walking around with something in your hands is another story and I’ve learnt it’s not worth having two hands full for sure. Getting used to your personal maneuvers and the boats is an adventure and interesting challenge in itself. Can it ever be fully mastered I wonder…

The adventures of sailing, puff and we are only on our day four with six more to go to St. Helena. My mood is good, there is an enjoyable chilled vibe in the air. Anjea is sailing lively and well.

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