Leg 5, Race 7 – Day 22, 22nd March

Having managed to climb up and then roll into my bunk last night, I got up for night watch as per normal. I knew I wouldn't be of any use but I needed my next round of pills and I felt a could at least show solidarity with my watch and be there in support. I also wanted to be awake in case we had any update on California Clipper. I hadn't really slept, through discomfort and worry, so after supervising some bread-making and catching up on a few emails (very slow one-fingered typing!) I dozed more comfortably sitting upright in the saloon while the rest of the watch milled around and we all waited for news. Day 2 of my injury and I was already climbing the walls – hating the fact I couldn't sail – I wasn't even safe to be on deck at the moment – I felt the need to be useful so spent 3 hours sorting through all of our medical supplies, writing a full inventory of everything and also trying to put things back where they should be. It had been such a frantic scramble when Piers broke his leg, to find everything that might be useful, much of the contents of the boxes had become jumbled up. I felt it only right I should try and put it back in some semblance of order and in the absence of an on board medic, this area by default, appeared to have landed squarely on my shoulders! Still I was happy being occupied, and it was something I could just about manage one-handed – although watching me totter from skippers cabin to saloon with each box, one by one precariously balanced on one hand like a trainee waiter, must have made an interesting, if not slightly alarming sight!

When I got to the box of containing painkillers, it was very tempting to have one almighty 'happy hour' (my term for my pill popping sessions) but I reined in and dutifully listed everything to the mg. We finally heard two bits of news regarding the other boats in the race; California had had a knock-down, had been dis-masted but apart from a generally shaken-up crew and one nasty head injury that wasn't believed to be too critical, they were all present and correct and now dealing with the aftermath. That was a huge relief to us all. Jamaica had arrived on the scene to lend support in whatever way they could and more importantly to act as comms for the US yacht – as all their power was disabled. Secondly we heard that in the same storm, Singapore had been hit by a huge wave that had swept their skipper and another crew member overboard – they were still attached to the boat by their safety lines and were therefore hauled back in, but had been dragged for some way, which must have been a harrowing experience in itself. Another reminder that this is not a sport for the faint-hearted. By early evening I was feeling distinctly sick and over-tired. I think the last 12 days were finally catching up with me. I went to bed early and uncharacteristically missed both supper and my next set of pills in favour of sleep.