Perpetual motion

Position. 18 43’N. 033 33’W
Wind. E15-20 knots
Course. 265
Distance run. 172 nautical miles.

For me, the hardest part of these long distance passages is the perpetual motion. Which means that 24 hours a day, awake or asleep, you are never still.

It is particularly tiring on trade wind passages like this as we have wind of between 15 and 25 knots and waves about 12 feet high from right behind us. So we’re in a perpetual rhythm, wave comes up behind lifting Cherubino’s stern and she starts to surf down the wave. As we all know from watching Point Break, nobody surfs in a straight line, and Cherubino slews off to one side just like Keanu Reeves, tipping over as she goes. As the wave runs on past, she pops out the end, slumps in the trough, rolls back the other way and so the whole process starts again. Down below,in particular, this motion is exhausting as you don’t actually see the waves coming. Moving about requires careful planning and strategic lunges for the grab rails (which are not designed for Dora’s height as we have found out), or sideways shuffling, leaning against any immovable bulkhead, or locker. As you can imagine it all results in multiple bruises,stubbed toes and colourful language.

If you’re on land right now – stop and have a go (some imagination required!) – one hand must be free at all times to stabilise yourself and your floor is tipping to and fro and back and forth through 2-3 feet. Now think about making a cup of tea, cleaning your teeth, getting dressed crossing the room and don’t even get started on how to handle a pan of boiling pasta water.

Surely some respite from all this once you’re lying down? Well no, not really. It is most akin to lying on a bouncy castle, wedged in between pillow and wall with a couple of sumo wrestlers getting stuck into each other next to you.

But the relief of arriving and finally stepping on dry land in Martinique? Well, yes, it is my current daydream. But the reality is that on arrival we will be incapable of standing on a stable surface for a good few days and will stagger about like crazy drunkards until we acclimatise. Let’s hope our fellow sailors realise the cause and don’t assume Daisy and Dora have been at the rum.

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