Sorry I didn't update you all yesterday. I've been catching up on a bit of sleep. I've certainly had an interesting few days.The wind started picking up pretty much right after I'd sent Tuesday's blog and topped at 44knots mid-morning yesterday. Which makes for my first Southern Ocean gale.
Ella's Pink Lady and I came through beautifully and I learned a lot about how she handles when the sea's up. There's a good chance that we'll see worse somewhere along the line, but apart from a bit of fast surfing (a bit too fast for comfort!), everything went really smoothly this time. After a while, some of the waves started to knock us around a bit which got just a little hard on the nerves. But one thing I'm really happy with, is what a good job Parker did keeping us on course!
The sea was really quite something. My best guess would be conservatively 5 metres and far more amazing than any of the pictures or how I'd imagined it! The ocean in a state like that is downright spectacular and fascinating to watch, but I think it's really one of those things you have to experience first hand. I'm not sure I can really describe it and pictures really don't do it any justice.
But the most amazing thing of all was the dolphin that swam along next to Ella's Pink Lady for over 6 hours while the wind was the strongest, just as if he was keeping an eye out for us! Every time I'd glance out the porthole I'd get another little flash of fin or tail just as if he was reassuring me that he was still there. I haven't seen a dolphin for weeks, so to have one see us through the gale like that was something special and very comforting!
The wind and sea kept dying off today, so we're making good ground with nice 15 to 20 knots of wind and 3m of sea. It's currently the middle of the night for me but it hardly seems dark as for the first time in weeks I got a sky full of stars and a brilliant full moon! It's such a novelty that I've spent the last few hours bundled up in more layers that I would have thought possible braving the cold and sitting out in the cockpit taking it all in.
With my mind on other things for the last few days, New Years Eve has crept upon me a lot faster than I'd realized, so I think I'll save my New Year's party for tomorrow in my own time zone. But I would like to wish Happy New Year to everyone out there celebrating tonight. Looks like I'm going to miss the fireworks so make the most of them for me!