I managed to get a couple of hours sleep on and off, although i was conscious the seas were growing and could here the wind picking up in the rigging. I woke at about 11 pm hearing a now huge wind outside and with the boat heeled over so far that it was almost impossible to sleep. I was laying with my feet to the port side and head starboard. It meant that as the boat heeled over on its side, the port side wall would become the floor and i would take the weight onto my feet and almost standing. I clearly wasn’t fully awake and was trying to pretend i could sleep, however on a couple of occasions the boat would be hit by a wave whilst already heeled, sending her almost at 90 degrees with me standing on the side wall grabbing the doorway in order to start my escape. On two occasions i fully believed the boat had gone beyond the point of return and made for the exit, only for the boat to level back out. I realised at this stage there was no chance of sleep and i had to get dressed in my full storm gear and head up deck to see how the guys were coping with the storm. This was too early in the journey for all this, i hadn’t found my sea legs and this was not what was needed.
It must have took me about 10 minutes to manage get into my all weather gear, banging my head against the side wall on more occasions than i care to remember. I went up to deck to see the guys drenched in water, but both with smiles on there faces. Des’s the skipper caught sight of me and asked if id slept well, clearly knowing the answer. I checked the wind speed, it read 40 knots still coming over the starboard bow. The waves had built to an aggressive 5 to 6 meters with most waves breaking over the side of the boat. The mood seemed to be pretty good although George and I were a little apprehensive over our safety. Des the skipper tried to calm our nerves by requesting we put another reef in the main sail and then have a cup of tea. We followed the orders and Des made the tea. The sail now was very small and pretty much just used for steadying the boat over the waves.
With the waves coming over the bow and over the side, we managed to get pretty wet, and to add i was now experiencing my first sea sickness illness. It made me feel awful and throw up which did nothing for my recovery. I was now scared, sick and cold. Not a good first night. My only hope was it would all pass soon and we could relax. I was right about my sickness, after about 45 minutes the sickness feeling went, i got used to the waves and wind, but we had to endure a further 10 hours of it, taking us until about 10 am the next day. By this time, it had become nothing more than a hindrance to making tea and food. I was no longer scared of the boat and i had learnt when the waves were coming over and could therefore avoid most. By 10 am the wind dropped to 20 knots which was relatively quite and we got changed into dry clothes and tried to get organised from the night’s storm assessing the damage.