FROM 1-11. South Atlantic-26°S

Apr 08, 2005 – 1200hrs UTC

1200hrs 08 Apr 2005 UTC Map Ref 156

Another awful night and it’s still not over – I don’t remember a longer, blacker,h busier night. You nay have got the feel from the short update at the beginning of it. The 50+ blew for hours, howling in the rig and building a short very steep really uncomfortable sea wit Berri rolling and pitching so violently that I’m covered in bruises, sleepless and very tired. The wind eventually dropped to about 30 but we were then in the biggest, scariest thunderstorms ever – mostly sheet lightning in the 500ft overcast lighting the whole world with eerie grey green flickering light but some big strikes into the sea quite close to us. Actual visibility about 500 metres in crashing rain for most of the time. Eventually dispersed and there was a ship close to us, unable to contact but seemed to be aware of us and standing by. Followed by more wind from dead ahead that has gradually backed to astern. We’re motoring  at just above idle to keep us moving through the slop – big effort to get out of this area and up north before the next one inevitably rolls in.

Now daylight, grey, heavily overcast,humid, barometer creeping up and we’ve got the 5 and the storm jib poled out for about 5 kts normal 7 in the gusts. Really glad that night is past – I know real sailors don’t ever get scared, but this one was – that sort of howl in the rig induces a kind of numb inability to focus beyond the moment along with a churning stomach and the lightning was something else again. I sat out in the cockpit in the rain monitoring the vital signs as it were, and the ship, and the power of the thunderstorm was just a bit overwhelming and up close for my sensitive nature. Like the Vortex – and JJ referred to me as Ford Prefect the other day, so at least there’s someone out there who understands why I look after my towel so carefully. A settling and calming Consultation has been scheduled for after sleep.

Anyway, really need some sleep. See yez later

Later still – slept and Consulted –  propagation not good so will try again to send this now.

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