Its been a fairly exhausting couple of days, with wind going all over the place and almost constant rain for 24 hours, meaning that until today I had very little rest. I haven't been able to put the guard zone up on the radar because of all the storms coming through so have been on almost constant watch for ships. I racked up a couple of firsts for the trip - in the midst of the rain and storms I experienced a perfectly flat ocean and had a beautiful sail on it for a couple of hours doing 5.5 knots before the next lot of swell came through. Reminded me of Cockburn Sound back home. The other first was the sheer volume of water coming out of the sky on top of me at one point - including a fairly scary lightening strike that was a bit too close for comfort. Unfortunately I also paid the price of being lazy. I needed to head more east to pick up a northward moving current and thought I might get lucky and the wind would get me there without having to pole the jib to help her along. It's quite an effort to get the pole out, and what with all the rain I put it off meaning that by the time I realised I wasn't going to get there without it, the wind was hard on the nose from the east and it was a slog to get where I wanted to go. I'm learning a lot of lessons out here! The wind also backwinded the jib again - although this time didn't lay the boat completely over like it did last time and I also had a bit of warning when I heard the sails starting to flog and was already halfway out the cockpit so managed to right things in time.
I knew the day was likely to be a tough one when I opened the days food bag and discovered my selection for dinner was my favourite (not!) "cat" strogonoff. For some reason its called beef strogonoff on the packet but there's nothing in there that looks or tastes like beef. Was making my way through it in the evening when I came across a foreign body (even more foreign than the rest of it) in the gravy. Gingerly picked it out imagination going wild (cats nose? Paw? Claw?) when I realised the gravy was congealed around one of my used ear-plugs that must have dropped in unnoticed. Then last nights dinner that I was actually looking forward to, managed to get flipped out of the microwave and splatted all over the companionway. The distance some of it travelled was unbelievable. I've been picking bits of meat out of cracks and crevices ever since, and wiping gravy off rough non-skid surfaces is just a nightmare.
Things have improved today, the rain has eased off and I have been able to get things dry and set the sails with a degree of certainty. I have also managed to catch up on some sleep.