Yesterday’s excitement started during dinner, but was nothing to do with the food (which was excellent as always – never upset the chef!!). There was a call on the tannoy for the permanent crew to go on deck to hand (take in) the Royals. Then Richard appeared in the lower mess, saying we need more help – you, you, you and you! So four brave souls abandoned their dinner and the rest of us congratulated ourselves on sitting in inaccessible places and continued eating our food . For a few minutes…
Then another call for all hands – so dinners were abandoned to help hand the spanker, royals and t’gallants, and to brace the yards. The gentle variable breezes of the day had suddenly changed to northerlies gusting to 30 knots. Naturally, it was also raining, and most of the crew had dashed up on deck without stopping to put on wet weather gear – so an hour later there were a lot of cold, wet and tired bodies.
The sea was now a lot rougher, with Nellie rolling and pitching, which resulted in quite a few sick bags being sent over the side. Those not affected enjoyed the treacle sponge pudding, eaten only an hour after it should have been!
The strong wind and pitching and rolling continued through the night. The midnight to 4 am watch were called early, to help the previous watch to set the main staysail.
On the 12.30 to 4 pm watch today, the sun came out while we bumbled along under light winds, with the St Kilda islands in sight.
Aft Starboard: Tom, Ciaran, Andrew, Jimbo, Katie, Emily, John, Penny, Gwen