ust got our pole on after 18 hours without. Should stop the
Again, my apologies for not writing more and at the right time,
but it has been full-on the last two days.
Last night we had a night that I will never forget. Just after it
got black dark, we got hit by a 40 knot squall. We broached and
were stuck head-to-wind for 10 minutes. We flogged the spinnaker
to shreds and broke our second pole. Everyone was OK, but the boat
is real beat up and we are real tired.
Before the mother of all broaches, we had one spinnaker torn from
two nights ago just being finished up when we got a very small
tear in the one we had up. To be cautious, we took it down and set
another. In the imbalance that is created when you change short
handed, we broached and got a tear in the next one. It was OK for
an hour, but then we changed to the third, which was later
The galley has been inoperable for two days. Dishes were washed
on deck in the tide pool there. Marco Constant has put all but
one spinnaker back together, but while he worked below, I had to
stand his watch, as we need five minimum in these conditions.
The decks are awash . . . that is an understatement. There are 2 feet of water on the deck regularly. When the squalls come, it
doesn't rain, it snows. Everything is wet because our heater
broke in the first day. It is bitter cold. The pain I experienced
one night defrosting my numb fingers was second to none I have
experienced. Kimo got some minor frostbite. Your hands
get so cold you have to shake them constantly trying to get the
blood down your arm. The water temperature is 37°F., the air about the
The boat is slamming and shaking violently as we speed down the 5-meter waves, first flopping onto the bottom of the trough, then
crashing into the one in front. The bow buries at that point and
a wall of water 2-3 feet comes down the deck. The flopping is like
the boat being dropped from 4-5 feet in the air, truly
unbelievable. You wonder what keeps this thing together.
The basic human needs get very basic. To take a pee, one must use
the three point stance. In these conditions you pee inside using
the toilet . . . two feet down, forehead against the wall forward
on which the toilet is mounted. This leaves one hand free to hang on with
and one hand to aim with. Inevitably, the boat lurches and you
slam you head against the wall a few times while you seek relief.
Of course, there are a few leaks right there so you get rained on
constantly during the exercise. Finally, as the urine hits the
freezing toilet bowl, it vaporizes and that is the final stage of
Right now we are sailing with no pole as Josh is trying to make
one from the broken bits we have. This is slowing us down 10% and
is the reason Silk Cut is sailing lower and fast than us. It will
be real close on whether we can get the pole up and working before
he passes us. We have broken three battens, so the main is not
100%. The starboard wheel is bent where Juggy got washed into
it. We have no life lines on the port side . Spinnaker sheets get
burned up every 2 hours.
This is not the same boat we left Cape Town with, physically or