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Night Watch

On longer sails we normally do three hour watches onboard. This was Carita's first proper passage and she was quite excited about it. I did the first watch as Formentera disappeared, then woke Carita at 01:30 to take over, with instructions to get me up if anything happens that she's not sure about, then I went to bed. It always takes a bit of time to adapt to the watch system and as you know that you have to get up in three short hours, the pressure's on to get to sleep as soon as you get into bed.

It was a fairly peaceful night, however, without any big ship action, the wind had dropped, and we were having to motor. Shortly after I took over the watch again a pod of dolphins appeared, porpoising out of the water in the near darkness. I quickly woke Carita but by the time she got onto deck they'd gone, and I'm sure she assumed it was some sort of cruel joke I was playing to spice my night up.

After dawn the wind picked up from behind, as did the waves, giving the boat an uncomfortable corkscrewing motion as we surfed down the waves, and trying to sleep meant clinging onto the bed to avoid being thrown around it. This continued for the whole day, but at least we could sail, and just before sunset we caught sight of land; the lighthouse at Cabo de Palos. We weren't stopping, however, but at least it meant we could get an internet connection over the phone to download the next day's weather forecasts and synoptic charts.

Another night of watches, but at least by now we were beginning to settle into it. At one point I'd only been asleep for an hour when Carita woke me up saying that the wind was picking up like a squall was coming. It's strange to be in the middle of a happy dream one moment, and the next you're on deck on a black, windy night at sea, trying desperately to waken up enough to decide what the weather is doing and make the right decision for the sails. Then I was back asleep again. Thirty minutes later Carita came to tell me that the boat was surrounded by dolphins! I got up, but unfortunately I just didn't have the energy to stay and watch them, and decided to go back to bed. Apparently, I missed a fantastic display though as they swam through wheels of bioluminescence and jumped out of the water. Maybe Carita had taken too many seasickness tablets by this time though...


the joys of sea personship !




proud to say that I only needed to take two tablets on the hole trip and that was on my first night wacths and during that time I did experience some hallucinations (all sorts of twinkling lights and funny sounds.... very eary.), but after that I was fine even in the big waves. :)

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