Last night will not be forgotten quickly!!!!
Before I get to that, we’re sailing fast under 2 reefs and the solent almost straight at the barn in 30 to 35 knots of wind, looking for it to slowly diminish as we get closer. Last night came with the forecast that the wind would build to the mid-30s and then fall slowly back to where it is now.
The boat had been sailing with the code 5 and a reefed main for the last 24 hours or so. We were all pretty comfortable with it, knowing that it’ll take 40 knots and that there was good full moon visibility. Emma and I started our watch at 8 UT with her driving. After an hour or so, I took over and was having a great time, working hard and loving the speed, top recorded was 24.9 knots.
The seas began to build into steep mountains in pretty short order. At one point, I stuck a wave and had a foot of green water flow from front to back washing my legs out from under me. Being clipped in, I didn’t move and simply played superman as the water passed under. We had a good laugh over that.
An hour or so later, I had broached once, but recovered it quickly. Some time later, a massive wave hit us; I would guess it was 20 ft from top to bottom. I was ready and square to it when it hit. With a ride like an elevator, the stern was picked skyward and the bow dropped down the face of the wave – not fun like take off and go fast; it was 50 degrees flaps down and submarine!!! Stuck the bow in the water up to at least the mast and kicked the stern over the top, the boat just hung there for a moment until it kicked to the side and we needless to say WIPED OUT! The sail flogged violently with no speed on and tore, Emma, quickly went to the bow as Mark and Dave came up on deck. The sail wrapped on the forestay a handful of times, but after about 20 minutes of wrestling with it, we had it down. This seemed like a very long time to us, great job was done by all in controlling the situation. If you can see the kink in our track last night that was during this procedure, and the solent up, other than the torn sail, no worse for wear.
Emma and I went down for some much needed rest. About an hour later, with the boat going well, I was cold and decided I had to get up to grab a fleece. Just as I was climbing out of the pipe birth feet first, looking backward, the bow fell down and stabbed into a wave stopping everything but me it in its tracks. I was launched forward 12 ft into the forward bulk head, head-first, hitting the back of my head just below my occipital process. Bo Dreamâ€™s pretty yellow color was now getting highlights of red. I sat for a minute collecting myself and was surprised I wasn’t in worse shape. I opened the door to Mark and all he said was, who’s bleeding, I tilted my head down and he said, â€śAll you need now is two eyes back there and you’ll have a face.â€ť The gash is just below the prominent bump I have back there, so I would guess it acts as a nose.
Anyway I stopped the bleeding and laid down for a bit. Getting up to go on watch I found a deep bruise on my thigh and head pounding, but for what it’s worth, not too bad.
600 or so miles to go, France – here we come.