Leg 3 Day 17 - 17th December

Woke up drenched in sweat again– the lurgy has finally settled on me now!  Had a couple of paracetemol, got dressed and got on with it.

The night was as dark as any I'd seen. Complete cloud cover again making even the faintest of horizons impossible to detect.  Helming was by compass only and while not difficult, due to the still gusting winds, was challenging to keep both course and speed up and steady – still aiming for our target and keeping GKHFX in mind.  Added to the waves crashing over the boat was the rain coming down pretty steadily.  Had there been any horizon to look out for – or other shipping you would have been blinded by the rain hitting you straight in the face – but with only the compass to watch, the eyes could be fixed downward and therefore intact. Six hours of blackness, wind and rain.  We were all thoroughly soaked through. Just what you need when you have a cold!

The thing with getting wet on deck is that the wetness gets carried through to below deck too. The wet clothes and sails that end up below deck can't get dry and then that combined with everyone breathing, creates condensation on all the cold surfaces (which are all the surfaces!) which creates even more wetness. The water drips off the walls and the ceilings onto sleeping bags, bunks and if you don't have them all packed away into sealed bags, onto what were your dry clothes!  Socks that you got wet 3 days ago which you hang up to dry  are still just as wet – if not wetter than when you first hung them up.  It's depressing and demoralising. You're first thought when you wake up for your next watch is “oh please don't make me put on my wet oilies again!”  Even if you have dry base layers to start with – once you've got your soaking wet oilies on over the top, the best you can hope for is to be merely damp!
My one consolation in this nightmare scenario is that both the oilies and my boots are by far easier to get on and off when they are wet-through! So.... no matter how bad it all sounds there is always a tiny little light at the end of a very long tunnel of dark, grey sogginess!