Wednesday, May 19, 2010

A knockdown, Ear Plugs and Suicidal Fish

Well I was moving in front of the breeze quite nicely yesterday - 10 to 15 knot south easterly, had the jib poled out to help me along. Rain was coming in intermittently, and as it was coming from behind I needed to keep the washboards in to stop it blowing inside. Was down in the cabin keeping dry when next thing I find myself spreadeagled over the plotter on the port side. Wind had gone from 12 knots to 35 in the space of minutes, hit the jib and knocked Spirit onto her side. Although your instincts are screaming "danger" at you in those moments, and it is certainly very scary, logic does kick in as I know how tough Spirit is and the very reason I chose the S&S design was the safety factor in difficult conditions. I knew that she would right herself again, but it did take a little while. There was nothing I could do - no way I could move from the position I was in. I have some control over my arms but my legs are a hopeless case and go pretty much wherever gravity and the odd spasm takes them, so spreadeagled over the plotter I stayed until the wind backed off a bit and sure enough Spirit righted herself as I knew she would. No harm done to either boat or myself, and I reset the sails and unpoled the jib to avoid that happening again.

I discovered the joys of using earplugs when I run the genset for the microwave and to charge the batteries. I still seem to have a problem with the batteries holding power, we thought we might have solved it by isolating one of the batteries but unfortunately there is still a problem. The noise from the genset was doing my head in, so the earplugs seemed just the thing. Until I ate an apple that is! Have you ever eaten an apple with earplugs in? Every crunch is like an explosion in your head - tried a carrot, same deal there.

The only sea life I've seen today was some strange looking little black fish that has decided to keep me company all the way to Airlie - in the cockpit that is. Poor little fella, I think he may be a little on the nose by the time we get there.


  1. Jamie,
    Be careful there, my man. Did the pole dig in and cause the boat to pivot after the knockdown ? Nice that you were able to share Jesse's homecoming with her family. Earplugs are a great idea, but you might what to get some sound earmuffs ( like the plane ground control people use, or even noise cancelation type ear protectors).


  2. Hey mate!
    Don't sweat not catching up in Sydney. You had enough to do without having to make a side trip to the 'Gong. I'm just happy to have caught up with you guys when you came in. I thought Bella was more settled than ever (and taller). Saffron said to say hi.
    Thanks to Jo for the call today. It was great hearing all the news first hand.
    If you want to email the model number of the Sat phone to me, I could see if I can download a manual and figure out how to turn it into a modem and talk you thru the connection process? Failing that perhaps you could find a friendly techie at Airlie.
    Well, you're all in our thoughts. You bloody legend! Damo

  3. Hey Jamie,
    Go Jamie you are flying along.
    Fish and chips for lunch! Yum Yum.
    Lots a love Cathie

  4. May 20, 2010 7:30 PM CDT

    Dear Jamie,

    It was a tremendous thrill for me to be in Sydney for Jessica's arrival. I am sorry I missed you at the Opera House --actually, at one point rather early I set out to find you there, but obviously I failed....maybe you had not yet arrived. As you know things got pretty busy when she docked. Wasn't that a great celebration party???

    I was so glad to have found Spirit (Solo 1). She is a beauty! You must be very proud sailing her out there on the high seas! On the flip side, there are a great many of us who are extremely proud of YOU and greatly admire your courage and abilities! Way to go!

    Thank you so much for your note. I had only limited access to Internet and I didn't receive your message until Sunday night or I would definitely have made my way back to the yacht club to visit with you. I will be following your progress carefully and am praying for your safe sailing.

    All the very best!
    Janell in Oklahoma, USA

  5. Hi Jamie
    My heart stopped when I was Reading May 19th spirit knocked onto her side,but kick started by LOL at apple eating with ear plugs.Well done,still LingOL at mental image.Enjoying my trip around Australia with you.Take care.

  6. keep going , you are doing well, and your boat is one if the best, if you remember jessica watson also had several knockdown, but the same boat took it all and behaved will be fine and your courage is equal to none.
    We are proud of our Australians and you are a very special one.
    God Bless. Viviane