1st December

We finally left after much scrambling around and final checks from the surveyor to give us the all clear.

The last tools were all stowed, a quick final tidy up, a fill up with water and a wave off from the Clipper Team, the surveyor and all the local 'yachties' who had been watching our story with interest.
As we left, the Club rang their bell and bade us a good luck and a special farewell over the tannoy system.

It’s great to finally be heading out again – 9 days after most of the rest of the fleet and 4 and a half days after Cork.  The sun was shining, the wind had dropped considerably from last night and we were all eager, if feeling a little over-fat and out of touch with our sailing side having spent so much time on land

The initial sunny few hours lulled us into a false sense of flat-sea security, as once out of the wind shadow of the mountains the wind picked up as did the waves and most people's stomachs. Sea sickness tends to take hold like a Mexican wave.  Once one person starts throwing-up, the person next to them joins in, then the next, running around the crew in an unpleasant ripple effect.  By lunchtime we were a good 40% down on crew throwing up in buckets, on deck over the side and in the heads.  Charles who was on mother-watch with Katy was one of the casualties and so because I was feeling ok (and am stupid, plainly), I volunteered to step in and help out on mother – again!

However as the day went on and the cacophony of people puking increased, so did the somersaults in my stomach and after Katy had had her turn in the heads, I then followed.  We soon settled into a nice round-robin routine of one of us being ill while the other one kept plodding on with dinner preps, while making sure there was a fresh beaker of water ready for the other after we'd been ill.

I have to say that this was one of the most personally challenging things to face so far on the trip.  The desire and need to go and lie down in your bunk was overwhelming, but we had a job to do and we struggled on – at times both wedged in the galley, groaning, with our heads bowed to the floor as that was the most bearable position to be standing in. By the time we served up dinner I couldn't even look at the food and was stirring the pot while looking anywhere else.  Katy had to put the food (chilli and rice) into the bowls as I couldn't – but luckily (for us) only four people were able to eat in the end – needless to say Katy and I were not in that number!
My watch was due on deck from 8pm to 2am but I was too weak to manage it so went to bed for an hour asking to be woken.

At 10pm I awoke, forced myself up and into my Oilies and onto deck hoping that some fresh air would help – also aware that we were short on able bodies so I could be needed nonetheless.

The night watch was a real struggle but I felt a bit better – enough to volunteer to make tea and hot chocolate. I thought a warm sweet drink would help – but got half way through making it, smelt the chocolate and instantly knew it wouldn't! That night watch was definitely the longest one of the trip so far – but at least what was left of my insides stayed inside.