The night of Friday 27th July 2012
One minute you’re happily making supper, a glass of chilled white wine within reach, having showered, washing the heat of the day (and the layers of sunscreen) away. Next, you hear that the wind has arrived. A whistling in the rigging, and a slap of the sea against the hull. Within an hour, the wind had whipped up the sea, so that we were in constant motion. Not particularly big waves, but with punching regularity. The roller coaster ride had begun. Fortunately the movement was along the length of Whinchat, bouncing from bow to stern – a movement across is so much worse (memories of that awful night on a mooring buoy outside of Penzance come to mind; the night before we crossed the Irish Sea). Movement about the boat became more tricky, like walking in one of those fairground rides, where they shake and shudder the floor! We knew that weather was on the way, but really, it could have picked a better moment!
We watched a couple of boats, much smaller than Whinchat, move into the ‘avant port’, behind the breakwater. Most of us stayed where we were. There was a small boat, probably 26fter, in front of us that was really being chucked around.
There was no way that I was going to sleep in the fore-cabin, where the bouncing would be most, so I made bunks in the saloon. Even Pete decided that he’d do the same. The bottle of red wine was half drunk and stowed. We were early to bed.
It was a terrible sleep for both of us. The constant motion didn’t make me feel sick, or even queasy (well, hello sea legs!) but it was just wearing. The wind wasn’t even that strong – around 16 knots – thankfully! Pete said he lay awake for some of the night, and I was wide awake for a couple of hours. I got the small-hours worries… What if the pin on the shackle worked free, and we got flung off the mooring. Should I get up and check? No Pete’s, asleep, if it were something to worry about, he’d get up. But what if we crashed onto the boat behind, swept us all against the breakwater and it killed someone? How could I live with myself? Terrible, rambling thoughts. I did go back to sleep, eventually, but had nightmares. Anxiety overload!