Saturday, April 10, 2010

Riding the Storm

Well all is fine now, but it has been a pretty wild 24 hours. Was dealing with winds up around 40 knots and swell to match. Along with that it was a little too action packed for my liking. Had to get on deck a couple of times in the night to sort the mainsail. Of course I was always firmly attached to the boat but it was still a daunting experience each time in those conditions. I came back to the cabin thoroughly drenched each time, but I’m finding the wool blanket amazing in its ability to dry me off by drawing moisture away from me. I also find that eating lots is essential in making sure that I can generate body heat. Also had an unfortunate chain of events set off by a wave, that kept me occupied with the cleanup for ages afterward. Basically I had the “double tap”. Braced myself for the wave, thought it had gone through and at the moment I let go of my hand hold it came back for a double wammy. This saw me fall onto the microwave which is on gimbals so tipped me off into the companionway. In the process I broke the glass microwave door with shards going everywhere. In the clean-up I managed to cut my big toe – blood everywhere, more cleanup required, and bandaid for big toe. There really ought to be a video camera on board to capture some of this stuff. Gave me ideas for new paralympic sports – eg.” Watch the quads put bandaids on toes whilst in a moving boat amongst glass shards” now there’s a challenge!
I did, eventually, manage to pick up all the glass and it took me an unbelievable amount of time but I did get the bandaid on the toe as well. The wind started to settle to a more manageable 20-25 knots at around 2AM and is continuing to decrease. I have sorted out and re-stashed everything that was adrift on deck and below and am feeling back on top of things. Alas the microwave will never recover. As for all systems on the boat, I had a backup and it is now in action – a 12volt travel oven – takes longer to heat the food but does the job fine.


  1. Hi Jamie,

    You sure do go over the top finding things to prevent boredom. Personally, I would have smashed the microwave one day and saved the bloody toe til the next day to spread the fun further. You over-achievers just need everything to happen at once.

    I'm glad the wind has settled a bit - even you can do with a short break between challenges. You can still get a reasonable boat speed from 20-25 knot winds, I should think. Won't a 12v oven use up a fair bit of power?

    Best of luck and fair winds,


    Mike (Avoca Beach)

  2. Wishing you a safe trip Jamie, I only hope that what you have to endure to prove to people (in wheelchairs etc) that they can do anything they want, actually gets through to the people (able bodied) that sit around doing nothing whilst at the same time being negative about people with the guts and determination that you have.
    Go for it Jamie YOU ARE A LEGEND.

  3. How in anybody`s eyes can they see what it is that you are overcoming.I can only imagine the intestinal fortitude that you have. That introduction into the Southern Ocean made me wince.Round AUS is the stepping stone to round the world.Maybe when you get to Hobart you might just decide to keep going.

  4. Hey Jamie, sounds like fun your having out there; Broken glass, wet, cold and bleeding - where do we sign up? It seems these gales go through pretty quickly at least, and I know you would have been disappointed to arrive at Hobart and not have at least one Southern Ocean storm to tell people about. Are you starting to identify with how lone sailors start to talk to themselves. Joshua even had someone come on board and steer for a bit. I found having actual conversations with an imaginary 'me' was very helpful in checking on my thinking and tasks while did them. You might try it - just don't expect people to think its OK.

    Thinking warm fuzzies for you,


  5. Hi Jamie,Well you didnt get the splintered backside but you sure made a mess of the microwave and your big toe.I dont think it would be fair to have your suggested sport in the Paralympics,you would win hands down every time!Keep on sailing,GOOOO you legend.Gumleaf in Qld.

  6. You SO do it tough, my heartie! Thanks for even having the energy to share incidents like that with us - as you say, a video to show how you, of all people, have to cope, mentally & physically, clean up, get yourself to rights, all on minimal sleep, would be a lesson for the rest of us. In admiration!

  7. Come on Jamie, admit it. You were bored and wanted to spice up the day. That microwave had a nerve dying on you like that. Please take care. I had not heard of your journey until reading about it on Jessica Watsons blog. She said that she was totally in awe of you. Great compliment. Jeanp

  8. Jamie, I salute you buddy! Glad you've had some visitors pop by to say hello. Thinking of you in the good and bad times.

    Stay safe,

    Sarah x

  9. Bloody hell Jamie sounds like a nightmare in your cabin and outside!
    How do you keep your balance? Has the boat got an extra heavy keel so u don't heel so much?
    You'r doing a fantastic job out there. Bloody brillint.
    Go go go go mate
    Craig from Byron

  10. HI big brother very proud of you (braveheart) you are achieving the most wonderful thing, knowing what you want and following your dreams. We are all sending our love and strength on your journey. By the way microwave meals are overated, take care love you. Naomi,Pete,Chris,Melyssa,Jarryd, Lauren and Maddison.xoxoxox.

  11. Hang in there, you sure are a courageous young fellow.
    But try to talk to King Neptune, and make sure he gives you quieter time ahead.

    Thinking of you all the time

  12. Hi Jamie
    I was wandering around Freo sailing club checking out a fancy Cat and noticed your boat was missing and thought I'd check out your site.I'm amazed how far and fast you have already come. Congrats on making it happen. Looks like you have a high pressure zone accompanying you to Hobart til Thursday.Best of luck for fair weather and hope the breakages are smaller and kinder for the rest of your trip.

  13. Jamie - you are doing your town proud - if you represent the "Spirit of Rockingham" then what a great place that must be! Come on you Rockingham folk sitting in your comfy loungerooms, lets see you get behind this courageous brother of yours!


  14. Hi Jamie was thinking the same thing about Rockingham. How wonderful to call the Yacht Spirit of Rockingham. I have also been waiting for Rockingham people to get with the "Spirit" and cheer you on. You are fantastic for what you are doing, you give me hope for the future. My aches and pains just do not seem to be so bad when I read what you are going through. My family and I send you all our love and look forward to your blogs.
    Take care stay safe and may the weather be kind to you.

    Sharlene and family, Mandurah. W.A

  15. Hi Jamie - what a few days you have had! Glad to hear you came out the winner of the war with your microwave! It is also great to see that so many people far and wide are being inspired by your journey and following with great interest - and am sure you are chuffed! Take care Michelle V

  16. Hi Jamie, have been following your journey and reading your blog, I am also form Rockingham and I am a recent 'Paraplegic'. I cannot even imagine how hard it must be for you, it is so hard for me just here in the comfort of my home.
    You are amazing and your strength is an inspiration. Congratulations and Keep Strong.