Leg 5, Race 7 – Day 24, 24th March

I went to bed with a bit more purpose, promising to start on the galley inventory for Albert during night-watch.  We now had the prospect of spending an additional week at sea as we would be staying with California all the way there – they had no comms facilities and were effectively “lost” without them. We would a) need to keep them in sight at all times and b) be their comms to and from the outside world – give them weather and position reports, be their navigators and also their method of contacting the clipper office and more importantly their friends and family back home. The additional days at sea meant we needed to take stock of all our supplies and rework some menus.  I got up for my pills around 1.30 and then up for watch. I wasn't feeling too great – and although I was supposed to be doing the galley inventory all I managed was a couple of chats and a half arsed email before I shuffled back to bed for a few hours. In consultation with nurse Mulliner – who kept a strict eye on my schedule of drug taking - and as I wasn't feeling too great but my shoulder was feeling slightly less sore, we decided I would change down a gear on the pills hoping that the change would make me less drowsy and get rid of the sick feeling.

I got up for breakfast and decided, having slept in the same clothes for the last 4 days, that I should have a wet wipe shower and put some clean clothes on. While doing a ginger houdini act in the girls heads, I took the opportunity to look at my shoulder - for the first time since the accident! As I hadn't wanted to face the agony of getting out of my base layers, I hadn't done a visual inspection of my shoulder as yet! I didn't entirely like what I saw, as there appeared to be some 'nobbly' bits around my shoulder that shouldn't be there! I had no memory of them being there before – and they certainly weren't there on the other side! I then started to worry that perhaps my shoulder hadn't quite gone back in place properly and after second and third opinions decided the best thing to do was to take some photos of it and send to Joan – the medic on SoA so she could advise if all was ok or not quite as it should be. We duly took photos then Jo and I got on with doing the galley inventory for Albert.

By mid afternoon we'd arrived alongside California and once Jamaica had done their final transfer and cleared the area we moved in to start doing fuel transfers via our spare diesel canisters to the other yacht. It all got very busy in the saloon area and as I was a liability, I kept out of the way in the skippers cabin – feeling completely useless, worried about my shoulder and out of the loop in terms of sailing and running the boat. I stuck my head up to look at the poor California Clipper with its stump of a mast. The seas, although calm enough to transfer, were still pretty lively and without the stability of a full mast and sails, their boat was pitching and rolling wildly all over the place.

Watching the poor yacht being tossed around by the waves I realised just how awful the conditions for the guys on board must have been. Brendan confirmed that the chances are that most of the crew would be sea sick and on top of that, the smell of diesel will have made living extremely unpleasant.  We immediately started discussing what we could do for them and send them, which could help to cheer them up or make life easier. Several of us started writing notes and we had a think to see what we had kicking around the boat that we could put in their transfer package. The last thing they had sent over to us was a metal watertight canister that the US Coastguard spotter plane had dropped to them from the air – when their emergency EPIRB signal had first fired off to say they were in trouble. The canister had contained a hand held VHF radio so that once within range they could communicate with any other nearby shipping and more pertinently the other Clipper yachts on their way to find them. It also meant that they were able to talk to the tanker who had been sent to medivac off the head injury casualty they had had on aboard, who despite being fine and lucid, needed further medical attention. We would use the canister to send them back their hand held radio once we had recharged it for them and could then take the opportunity to send them other bits and bobs too.

By early evening I was feeling pretty sick so went to bed straight after supper. It was watch change over so Charlie – who had been my nurse for the last 4 days handed over to Tom, my new WL so he could supervise my meds!