Oh wow. Just wow. It’s amazing how quickly you can forget sunshine, lobster, cold white wine and a loo seat.

I have gone through the first 5 days of boat adjustment….the first 3 are usually spent in a zombie like state, I can sleep anywhere – on the grinder, the companionway steps, anywhere basically but my bunk. The next 2 days are what I call the ‘old lady’ stage. Everything hurts, joints, limbs etc. If I could have a sick note at this stage then I would, unfortunately Tess the medic isn’t very forthcoming with signing us off sick!

After our doldrums start we had a baptism of fire yesterday – 40 knots sailing upwind. I have been asked if it actually feels like we’re on a rollercoaster. I can confirm it does. Your tummy lurches up and down as we tackle each wave. I got absolutely soaked again, a tidal wave hit the deck and filled up the pit while I was happily snoozing in it dreaming of trees swaying in a gentle breeze. My hood filled with water and I got another very rude awakening! I don’t think I have ever hung onto a winch for dear life quite like I did last night. We are still crashing and banging around, have not got much sail up at all so that we can control the boat, but we are still trying to go as fast as possible.

The seasickness has hit the boat now and surprisingly it is the European contingent who have taken the hit. I am sleeping above the man mountains Jeroen and Johannes and they have stuck up an EU flag at the head of their bunk – I love it! Anyway them as well as Stefan have got to know our sick bucket rather well over the last few days. The sick bags have been vital (thank you again Jenny and Graham!) however I didn’t take into account their colour – they are exactly the same colour as the ration packs! When a full sick bag was sent up on deck yesterday someone asked what flavour was it. There was a lot of shouting of “nooooo” from down below!

One particular incident that is getting me through this difficult phase is the vision I have of Karen last night. We were hit by a wave and suddenly I heard a ‘pop’ and then I heard her shouting “Andy, what do I do”, I turned around to see her flashing and beeping – her lifejacket had inflated and she was transmitting signals from it! She stumbled along trying to get down below while still flashing and beeping, it really was hilarious!

I was hoping that the wind would have changed by now and we would be sailing a bit more downwind so that we weren’t crashing and banging over waves quite as much – I have counted that we are airborne for 2 seconds before crashing down again giving me time to brace myself for the next crash. It’s not pleasant. I think the dry suit is going to come out on my next watch as well, it really is rather damp up there! Oh and the rainforest is back down below.

Only 20 more days of this to go…

Toodle pip!