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Lord Howe Island - New Year 1993
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7th December 1993

The next morning we woke to find mountainous seas. We were all on a 4 hour rotating watch which means to say Rosalin and I were on one watch, Colin and Ivan were the other watch. Ian proved himself to be useless and Jodi was very sick so they were excused from doing a watch.

We spent that whole day under a partly furled staysail.
It was amazing to watch the sea and to think that there was over 3 kilometres of water under us and that it didn’t really give a shit about whether we were there or not. That day we saw heaps of flying fish a few dolphins and even a pod of small whales going about their business. We also had to steer between two sea mountains. This was a point in the ocean where the dept rose to about 800 metres from the usual 3 kilometres. We didn’t want to go directly over or even near them as the sea was reported to get very nasty at these points.

I had not done much steering the previous night as it had required a bit more skill than I possessed however during the day I had the chance to get some good practice in and it gave Ivan and Ros a chance to have a well earned rest. That night we changed so that Col and I were on the same watch with Ivan and Ros sharing a watch. Col and I ended up getting into a groove with the steering and we did a double shift of 8 hours. I was really enjoying the steering. It was a continuous process of lining the boat up with the wave that came up behind us and keeping it straight as it sort of surfed down the front of the wave. It got so that I was steering without conscious effort. I could feel the wind on the back of my head and it was enough to tell me how to steer the boat. If the wind shifted I could feel it and steered accordingly. Its exciting stuff surfing with a 13 tonne boat. At only one point did we have a  moment when a particularly big wave broke around the stern and it ripped the wheel out of my hand and we skewed sideways.



 

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