Little Island - 360 hours
In my sleep I seem to have developed some strange, disoriented worry; always acutely conscious of the need to sympathetically keep the boat moving without overloading it, despite being lost in sleep. Sadly my depth of sleep has been wholly unsatisfying the last couple of days. Although I only usually manage a precious few hours, they are necessarily quality hours. Now the hours are no longer but the overall rest is far worse. I’m not sure why, but I’m sure good sleep will return.
While sleeping I seem to believe that I have fallen asleep on watch. Every big roll of the boat jolts me awake, causing me to quickly look around to check the helm, but it isn’t there. One shift yesterday I woke up suddenly and frantically felt around to grab the wheel. I couldn’t find it. I must have been fumbling around for a good ten seconds before realising I was feeling around the ceiling of the forepeak. It sounds completely bizarre but I could quite clearly see a sky of stars above me at the time, or at least I thought I could. But how could I? I was below deck. In all of these instances, which repeat numerous times per sleep, Cat has been safely steering the boat in the cockpit, and has been steering it masterfully. There hasn’t been an event that would trigger this peculiar change, at least not in my consciousness. The boat is doing perfectly well and Cat is doing superbly. Perhaps it’s my urge to simply get to St Lucia bubbling to the surface. The palm trees and rum punch don’t feel so far away now.
On the past couple of watches I’ve managed to get the wind vane steering working effectively. It has always worked to an extent, but has often lacked the accuracy required to justify me to surrender the helm to the machine. I’ve always felt I could do a far better job. I did a bit of work on it in Gran Canaria and now it seems to be working brilliantly, improving in performance the faster the boat goes. I’ve barely touched the wheel in eight hours of sailing, which is a welcome break from the continual demand of concentration required on this trip. Fingers crossed we can continue to use it effectively as the Caribbean closes in.