Guns,Pirates, Bad Weather, Sea Sickness and ??????

Trip Start Apr 04, 2008
Trip End Jul 03, 2009

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Flag of Spain and Canary Islands  ,
Monday, November 17, 2008

Left Rabat at 3pm with promises from our weather download of light winds on the tail all the way.  Now we know from previous experience that this is not always true but we hoped anyway. There had been heavy seas for the previous 4 -5 days so going thru the bar was a little lumpy again and continued to be so for the next few hours until we got further away from the coast.

Unfortunately my stomach was not prepared for the lumpiness of it and I had the most violent episode of sea sickness I have ever had within 1hr of leaving port. By the 4th bile chuck in 2 hours I had started to think Divorce with my reasons given to the solicitor being "Cruel and Unusual Punishment"....

It was to get worse, Pete has always had a dark obsession with blood, guts, surgery and that kind of thing, always wanting to play Doctor. More like bloody Dr Jekyll... He could see the hopelessness in my eyes as I tried in vain to empty the contents of my already empty stomach and came to what he thought was my rescue with a suppository.... As I was in a weakened state already, it was hard for me to fight him off as he said there was no other option, I screamed and wriggled in vain as he tried to administer the dose. Tom and Harri were in squeals of laughter at my situation and thought it the funniest thing to happen on Bella in a while. Now, I have had three children and a hysterectomy, so have sort of got used to having my private areas examined by strange people but this was a little too much..... As I lay on my bed whimpering in shock for the next hr I realised that the lump in my throat had disappeared and then in the hr the knot in my gut had also gone, I was actually starting to feel better.... Time to get my revenge and milk this for all it was worth as I had Pete and the boys running back and forth fetching me drinks and things as I looked on at them with sad, miserable eyes, keeping my malicious grin and sniggering hidden under the doona.

As we were sailing just off the coast of Africa it was a busy night watch with the radar going mad, beeping off every few minutes while they were trying to keep a lookout for fishing buoys, boats, cargo ships and other floating paraphernalia on the Atlantic. I on the other hand was snug as a bug in my bed for the whole night being too sick to help.... Not that I could sleep much but it was still better than being thrown around on deck in the cold. During the night Pete did come to blows with an annoying fishing boat determined to run us down. After several minutes of evasive driving Pete finally took the spot light in hand and started to signal the rapidly approaching trawler. As is customary there is no one on watch and it continued on its merry course. Pete resolutely grabbed the air horn, only to find the gas in it had escaped and it was of no use whatsoever, other than a projectile, which he promptly hurled at the trawler as it sped past our stern. I think the words "Dick Head" may have sprung from his mouth. I know I heard someone yell!

The next day was bright and sunny with trailing seas which made for a nice spinnaker run, very comfortable. So I had to give up my idea of still being sick and joined the crew on deck for a nice days sail. In the early evening we saw whales spraying water in the distance but they had disappeared before we got up that way.

Day 3 woke up and for some reason lifted my blind to check the weather and sea conditions (not something I normally do, leaving it to Pete normally) as a pod of dolphins broke the water beside my porthole. I jumped up along with the boys as we went on deck to watch them play with Bella for the next hr. It doesn't matter how many time we see them they are still fun and amazing to watch... That was the only good thing to happen that day... The weather deteriorated and it became cold and miserable although we were still screaming along at between 8 - 10knots. A few lightening storms decided to circle us in the afternoon and we threw all our precious electrical items into the oven and microwave. It's supposed to protect them in case we get hit....

As the night wore on Pete tried to dodge the intense storm cells picked up on the radar that seemed determined to encapsulate us in their torrential rain and intense lightening. The lightening hit the ocean around us quite a few times. When you get that close the bright light is almost purple. After 2 hours of this he resigned himself to the fact that we couldn't find a way around them so we're just going to have to push on through these storms. I'm sure Pete was praying at one stage, that the boat wouldn't get hit. He told me later it was several times. He also confessed he was more concerned with the thousands of dollars damage to electrical equipment than our safety and that we would be held up in the Canary Islands making out insurance claims and repairing Bella.

Day 4 woke up to bright blue skies and gentle seas which is how I believe it should be every day but have not been delivered. La Graciousa (one of the Canary Islands) was just off to starboard and was a nice sight to see. We made great time on the trip and hope it bodes well for our Atlantic crossing.

 Playa Blanca on Lanzorote is a beautiful resort town in what looks like a moon type landscape. Barren of any greenery except cactus the lava rocks flows down to clear blue ocean and the promise of other islands in the distance. There are beautiful manicured beaches here with rows of yellow and blue beach recliners and umbrellas laid out in military precision looking just like the med resorts in the brochures. We spent a couple of days here relaxing and socialising with other yachties swapping horror stories of guns, pirates, bad weather, sea sickness and suppositories! One of the group we met were an Aussie couple from Byron Bay who had been at it for almost 9 years. Although after their stories of the Yemen coast guard trying to board them with machine guns that would have been my last.
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