What an eventful time it has been since my last update. With all fairness to Andy, he did continually warn us that we were going to start travelling upwind and that it was going to get ‘fruity’. We just nodded and smiled and shuffled a few things around and kept enjoying the calm of the doldrums. And then we started sailing again. As soon as we did this we were heeled over at a horrible angle and the nightmare began. As Andy described it was like watching toddlers learning to walk. Getting in and out of bed was even harder than usual. I haven’t slept with my arm clinging onto a cubby hole before, but I have now. I also have to sleep with my knees wedged into a bar above my head. I keep having a recurring dream that I am trapped under a sail, then I wake up and realise that it’s just the white ceiling about 10cm from my face.

Our first night at that angle crashing and banging around was tricky. While a few people were losing it on watch, I think I have coped well and tried to stay positive and upbeat in difficult conditions. I have been trying to make everyone laugh, mainly by singing Robbie Williams’ AWFUL song “I love my life” when it has been really bad. That seems to raise a smile! I have been quite surprised at my resilience so far, I think it’s because I know this is a holiday in comparison to the Southern Ocean (leg 3). I will definitely weep on that leg I think. As always happens after a tough day or so, the sunshine appears and we all start to see the funny side. I was on the bow yesterday morning at about 6am doing a sail change and I got SOAKED. Everything was wet. This always seems to happen just before watch change so that you can guarantee getting into bed damp. I also trod in one of the sail bags and had water up to my knee – it was like stepping into a fish pond as there was actually a dead flying fish in it as well.

A couple of notable incidents over the last few days. Firstly, we need to discuss the flying fish situation. They are starting to treat our boat like an aquarium. We frequently have these winged, scaly visitors, usually at night. And although my dream of seeing someone hit in the face with a flying fish hasn’t yet been fulfilled, Catherine did take one to the back of the head last night. Gra-Ham then threw it at us, to our delight – everyone likes a fish in their hair at 4am. Antonia was hysterical about it being alive and needing to be saved but refused to actually touch it. It was definitely a highlight of our 12-4am watch. The best flying fish story involved Gareth (aka Pork Chop). I was having one of my fitful sleeps at an angle and heard Gareth say “Guys, who put a fish in my bed”?! I thought I was dreaming, but a flying fish had managed to get through the porthole and actually into Gareth’s bed. Oh how we laughed.

The other incident of note involved Johno (the famous John Olsen). We are rather partial to a mint humbug on this boat and after a very fun game of trying to spit one over the high side of the boat (don’t worry, we didn’t waste many, but I did get one down my top), someone put the full bag under the companionway. They didn’t realise that there was an open hatch to the heads next to it….Johno was sitting on the loo and got a mint humbug shower. All we heard was “thank you very much”. Hilarious.

So life at sea continues, it will be 3 weeks at sea tomorrow (Sunday) which feels like a very long time….it’s no wonder the ancient mariners went mad. We are starting to go a little stir crazy ourselves, we talk to the birds who fly past and as we are now 1000km away from any land a cold G&T is a very distant memory. If nothing else, this passage is providing my liver with some excellent rehabilitation and preparation for Uruguay.

It is Sunday now (as you can probably tell, these posts are written over the course of a few days) and it is another tough day! Literally it is swings and roundabouts (and rocking horses and bouncy castles) out here on the ocean! We are still at an awful angle and I have a lot of bruises from being bashed around. I can only ask you to use your imagination as to how we use the loo – the ladies are currently planning a swing that can be lowered from the back of the boat. I have been talking today about what I would usually be doing on a Sunday night and before I stopped working I would have spent the day dreading getting on the tube to Canary Wharf on Monday morning. This is most definitely better than that, however I would love a Domino’s, a glass of red, a bath and my lovely bed with its cosy duvet. Please can you all appreciate your beds and your bathrooms – every time you get into bed think of me! I have now resorted to sleeping on a bean bag on the floor of the galley because getting into bed is just too much at the moment and sleep deprivation is becoming bad!

But we soldier on stay strong and keep on sailing!  We can do this…