Almost 3 weeks at sea

The motion of the boat is really starting to get to me. Just as I was beginning to get used to it and my sea sickness subsiding, the wind changes direction and I find myself back at square one – lying in a horizontal position trying to hold back the vomit. We do, however, have some wonder patches (Scopoderm) which are small patches you stick behind your ear to suppress the feeling of sea sickness. They really are brilliant and it’s largely thanks to them that I can function at all on board. The only downside is that they don’t stop my nausea completely if conditions are bad. Also, one of the side effects is that they leave a foul, frothy taste at the back of my throat, so I feel the need to brush my teeth a million times a day. I suppose the dentist will be happy at least.

Over the past 24 hours we’ve turned up wind and are now heading into the swells. This means that even the simplest of tasks, like sitting down, becomes much more difficult as the boat gets picked up by a swell then slammed back down again on the other side. About an hour ago I felt a particularly steep swell pick the boat up as I was sat on the toilet. As the boat was lifted by the swell, I felt the downward force push me into the toilet seat, as though it was trying to suck me through. Then, as the boat dropped back down to earth again, for a split second I was levitating clear off the toilet seat, the pee going everywhere!

We’ve had typical British weather for the last day or so which is now starting to get a little better. All day yesterday the sky was full of dense grey clouds which rained on us pretty much constantly. Now the grey skies are subsiding and even though the sun is now shining, the wind is from the south and feels pretty chilly. I’ve not showered in about 5 days because I just can’t bring myself to stand on deck, in that cold wind, and wash myself with cold water. I’ve noticed that Alex is doing more things independently today…. I must smell pretty awful!

Anyway, it’s not all bad. In fact, overall there is a lot more good than bad. I feel like I’m getting to know the boat much better and I’m finally starting to understand how everything works. It’s nice to actually feel useful when we’re doing manoeuvres rather than Alex having to go out of his way to show me every little thing. I also saw my first whale the other day, it was probably about 50 feet from the boat and quite small as far as whales go. I’m not sure what species it was, maybe some sort of pilot whale? I’ve also had a lot of time to read, play games and watch tv series’ which is very relaxing. I can’t remember the last time I got to relax and rest as much as this, it’s very pleasant.

Alex has been wonderful company and a great skipper. He’s gone out of his way to look after me when I’ve been feeling ill and has been very patient with me learning the ropes (literally as well as metaphorically). This lifestyle is very different to the one I had planned a little over a year ago. If someone would have asked me back then where I thought I would be in July 2016 – I think ‘the middle of the Pacific Ocean’ would have been the last answer I’d have given. However, I feel completely at home on Bob and that old lifestyle seems so far in the past that I can barely see it. It feels so alien that it must have belonged to someone else – not to me. It’s been a difficult road to get here and in many ways I was heartbroken for the life I was leaving behind. Now I’m fully settled in and couldn’t be happier. I think that says a lot for two people stuck within 36 feet of each other for 3 weeks, with no one else for company. It feels like I’ve hit a big personal milestone and I can’t wait to see what else is in store over the coming years.