Finally it was morning, James went to lie down and Tony and I sat in the cockpit, it was now 30 knots of wind and a rough sea with us continuously rolling and being knocked down. We hung drogues out the back of the boat, five diesel cans, six ropes and the spare jib, Jim also attached fenders to them so that they were visible. These were supposed to reduce the rolling and reduce the pressure on the boat, which was taking a beating. We added a small amount of headsail and in a way it worked we started moving north east at about 2 knots but it was minimal in reducing the rolling. Tony and I sat there all day, I wouldn’t allow the children out as it was just too risky but at the same time I didn’t want them to be inside, I kept thinking in my head where was it safest for them to be? If we roll over are they better off inside the boat? Then what if they got trapped? But at the same time if they were in the cockpit they’d end up in the sea and being on lines they may end up trapped under water… my god it was all consuming and impossible. I kept thinking of all the you tube videos I’d watched of boats rolling and how it was chaos inside it, how it was safest in the stern bedrooms, so that’s where I put them, but every now and then I’d panic that that would be worse and bring them up into the cockpit. The coastguard were now ringing every hour and we would repeatedly go through the welfare questions, are you eating? No, We were trying but the rolling had made eating impossible as we were all nauseous. Are you sleeping? No except the children. Are you drinking water? This we were all doing and happily, however now James had decided to stay with the boat we didn’t know how long he would be drifting so we were all trying to conserve the water. The only person who did follow all this was James, he would go and lie down, I don’t think actually sleeping but creating new plans in his head, he would come racing back up and start on a new idea. He ate and drank so did everything right.
The day was bad due to the conditions, we were all struggling with nausea but Heath was being continually sick and alongside this was repeatedly having heavy nosebleeds, I’m not sure if these were caused by the continuous retching, the heat, or the stress of the situation but he made a sorry sight, throwing up, whilst dripping blood and all I wanted in these moments was to take him away, take him back home, make him safe, comfortable, cool, just hold him and make it better. It felt shit that all I could do was pinch his nose and mop up sick.
We finally had a different call from the coastguard, Fort de France had diverted a second ship to us, this one being more suitable for a transfer, it would arrive the following morning. YAY this was something good and we passed the rest of the day thinking about the following morning and being on a vessel heading to Gibraltar!! GIBRALTAR the kids said, we had almost crossed the Atlantic Ocean and now just days from land we were going to turn around and go back the way we’d come, gutting! But and it was a big but, we’d be safe.
I think we all started thinking about leaving Jim, this was really hard for me but especially the children and we all constantly asked him to come with us in the morning. He however was not going to leave the boat and was intent on somehow controlling her and bringing her into land, I think even if it meant drifting for weeks. We had worked and planned so hard for this trip, given up a lot to do it, had taken a risk and he couldn’t walk away from it, it couldn’t be over, we had barely begun our journey.
It turned dark, the Newseas Jade put in a vhf call to wish us well and say how they’d watch over us and stay close. It was always going to be worse in the dark and it was, the continuous rolling and knock downs were making me think about the keel, I was basically waiting for the boat to roll over, snap it’s keel and us all be trapped inside, in the dark. Everything was going wrong so why should this not happen too? James and the kids slept all cuddled up on the sofa and Tony and I sat and waited for the sun to come up and our new rescuer to arrive. This obviously took a very long time, with no moon it was again a very black night.