Lisa Blair blog: Catching up on sleep

Blog day 55
Latitude 51 17.05S
Longitude 18 05.33W
Barometer 1003
Air Temp 4c
Local time – 0428 UTC-3

Hi all,

Well I am happy to say that I basically slept the whole day. It was amazing…  I went back to bed after finishing up yesterday’s blog, I went right back to bed. The winds were holding steady, and I didn’t need to get up for a micro plastic sample change. So far, I had only had a few short hours sleep and I really was feeling it.

I crashed out and while I checked on the deck and the instruments throughout the day, I managed to stay napping and sleeping right up until 7pm that tonight.  It was likely one of the longest stints of sleep that I have managed this whole trip, and I felt so much better for it.  I am far from rested, but I finally feel well on my way.

When I woke up it was actually the sails that demanded my attention as the winds had now eased to 15 knots from the WNW and I was still sailing with the storm jib up and the no 2 reef in the mainsail. So, after a little pep talk, I dragged myself out onto the deck and made an assessment. It was actually a really beautiful night.

The seas were between 2-3 metres, there were no stars as there was a thin cloud covering the whole sky, but the full moon was bright enough to shine through. It was so bright I didn’t need my head torch to see around the decks. 

I knew that there was a passing ridge to the North of me, this will give an area of little to no wind.  I felt that the conditions would likely ease a little further, but I wasn’t sure for how long.  In the end I decided to unfurl the no 2 jib and erred on the side of caution before setting about and hoisting the Mainsail all the way back up.  With how tired I have been my muscles defiantly did not want to be working right then and I opted to make sure I had some extra protein shakes to re-energize myself. 

By the time I had finished shaking out the reefs in the mainsail the winds had continued to ease even more and were now blowing at a gentle 10 knots, so I took a deep breath and furled away the no 2 jib and unfurled my no 1 jib which is larger and designed for these lighter airs. By the time I was done I was ready to head below and make a bowl of porridge. I just sat down to begin eating my very late breakfast when the winds built back up to 25 knots. 

I watched the B and G instruments and hoped that it was only a short-lived gust, but the winds continued to stay high for over 5 minutes. This was well outside the design strength of the No 1 Dimension Polyant Jib I was back on deck to furl it away on the Wichard Pacific supplied Profurler before unfurling out the No 2 jib again. I had only managed to have the no 1 jib out for less than an hour.

Once that was done, I went below and finally had some breakfast. I filled in my time until the micro plastic sample change with some emails. By midnight I was struggling to stay awake and decided to have another short nap in bed, until the sample change at 1pm, however by the time I climbed into my bunk I couldn’t quite sleep and so I ended up just reading a book on my phone in bed instead.

I changed over the first set of samples and then rummaged through a food bag for a protein packed meal of naked bare burrito, which also just so happens to be my absolute favourite meal out here.  With all the funny sleeping times, and all the days that I went without in order to get jobs done around the boat, its meant that I haven’t been eating right.  

While I still managed to have a hearty bowl of porridge each day, I haven’t always managed a second meal and definitely not a third.  Quite often I would just have a protein shake before bed to tide me over because sleep was more important to me than food at the time.  So, I was really trying to look after myself with a full main meal.

It was as good as could be when its freeze dried, and it really hit the spot.  I have also now had the winds veer (move in a clockwise direction) from the WNW to the NW and now to the NNW, so I have needed to go on deck a few times and adjust the time of the sails. I also completed the second micro plastic sample change and we have now officially passed Iceberg Alley. 

That doesn’t mean that I can relax when it comes to icebergs, because last record in 2017 you will see on the tracker in about a week when that boat gets there that I had ice right up at 48 South after just clearing the South Sandwich Islands. We needed to take a hard left and sail right up to the 45-degree line and I ended up passing within 200 nm of a known iceberg. This time I am cautious, however c-core have assured us that there is nothing ahead which is nice to know.

And now with a belly full of a hot meal I am starting to get drowsy again, so I am going to keep this blog short as I have a storm arriving tomorrow night and I will likely be on deck doing sail changes throughout the day, but before I go I would like to take this moment to thank todays wonderful degree sponsors.

Thank you to:

022 West – Stella Insurance – For women – Thank you to Renee Cosgrave for your amazing support and for being a champion for women.

020 West – Arcus Wire and Rigging – Huge thank you to David Sheedy for your always ongoing support.  David has been sponsoring me the Hamma Regatta Series Rigging wire since the 2017 project.  So I am really grateful that you have also support this project by buying a degree.  Thank you all so much.

So for now I rest and tomorrow there will be the beginnings of a storm and on Tuesday there is the potential of seas reaching eight metres again.

Goodnight, all.


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JPK August 2023
NAV at Home
M.O.S.S Australia