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  • Writer's pictureSophie Dingwall

Leg 1 - Big Night Out

14 Women, 1617 Nautical Miles and Only 6 Sick Buckets

I promised myself I would write a blog every leg, sharing what we are doing on this expedition… In a hope that more than just my Mother and husband will read it! Chances are my Mum won’t manage to find the link…so I guess it’s just you Tim!

For anyone that knows me, you’ll know that long offshore sailing is not my chosen category when it comes to sailing… I’m more a round the cans kind of girl. Race hard, have a drink, shower (and in that order)

So when it came to finally leaving Plymouth to sail across the North Atlantic I suddenly became slightly apprehensive. Sea sickness is my biggest daemon and the forecast wasn’t filling me with confidence but drugs swallowed and seasick bands on… I was ready? Right?

72 Hours down…

I’ve had the same clothes on for 3 days now. Balancing up taking the time to get changed Vs the time I could be sleeping was only on my mind for a second, as of course my bed won.

The idea of my documenting all the little moments became nearly non existent for these 72 hours. For the fact was, it was non stop and my camera spent most of its time sharing with me, my bed.

The first night went with a bang. We had the top of the mainsail pull out of the track and the sliders stuck so we couldn't get it down. In the end the halyard snapped and we were left with most of the sail over the side of the boat. For you guys who aren't sailors, that will likely make no sense.

It basically went like this… Flap, flap, bang, bang, splash.

Minutes, maybe hours later we dragged the 150 kg of sail back onboard, exhaustion and determination battled my body but eventually we won and lashed it down to the deck.

I remembered why at this point, I always lose weight offshore.

Silver lining to everything!

While I thought this to be the biggest problem we had onboard, I was so wrong as Anna the skipper cried,

“We’re maxed out of buckets!”

To think of the scene behind this was distressing to say the least, but some humour came with it. The desperate grasp of white knuckles around the buckets needed no explanation… NO ONE was game for giving up their sick bucket!

I won’t lie to you, the first 24 hours weren’t pretty.

As time passed, the crew began to overcome seasickness and moral grew onboard.

Knickers were changed, faces washed and teeth brushed but for definite… My boots were still wet.

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