Oh, woe is me? I want my Mum!
If you’ve never had sea sickness then you cannot begin to understand how it feels. I have never had to myself either, before today (apart from a bout of Labrynthitis in the early ’90’s which is similar in its effects on the body). And I don’t want to be seasick again so as soon as the shops open on Monday I am buying enough tablets to supply the NHS for a year.
So, the story. We slipped the mooring around 6am for the long haul to Milford Haven – as mentioned in the last blog, the base from which to sail to Ireland and an immediate bolt hole given the coming bad weather – with light winds and the prospect of the longest individual journey on this RBE adventure, of around 125nautical miles. Not too long into the day – and timed just to inject a note of caution on my morning’s visit to the ‘heads’ – the winds got up and with it, the sea.
A touch of “wind over tide” makes for very choppy water indeed and given also that the wind was in the wrong direction for sailing (yes, it can be) we had the motor full tilt as well. The aggregate result was not good. Wet, cold, choppy, diesel fumes and a, mostly, empty stomach, given the early start, add up to a state of misery, with a capital M. Never had it before but the dreaded SS cannot be fought. You just have to suffer. Although, that said, lying down in a cabin with the lights off and trying to sleep does ease the symptoms. Goodness knows how I made my way through it but I did. 19 1/2 hours motoring during which, for 9 1/2 hours, I was on Watch with Allan. Also in a similar condition.
Now for the positives. Through all of this, both Allan and I completed our duties well, made a good fist of recording the log every hour, including tricky ‘Estimated Positions’ and tidal streams, also keeping the Skipper fully informed of any contacts with other shipping. Given that this was my first full sail at night (other than the last one I did, in thick fog) the curiosity and excitement probably accounted for me persevering. To help me – and they must have known my physiological predicament – my friends the Porpoises turned up periodically to lighten the mood. Bobbing and weaving in the moonlight was simply mesmerising (here comes that frolicking from the Skipper again) and was very good for the morale. Charming.
We arrived in Milford Haven – a glare of lights given its industrial nature – at shortly after 1:30am and tied up to the pontoon inside the large lock that gave us entrance to the marina. The lock opened at 06:18 so we had another few hours kip before getting up again to move on to a permanent mooring inside Milford Marina.
Each time I went to my cabin to sleep over the last day it has been when fully clothed. Indeed the last time was with full wet gear on and my beanie hat. Too tired to care and too tired to organise a photo session so you’ll just have to use your imagination on that one.
Got up at 10 and went to the marina office to figure out the laundry facilities and ended up doing a couple of full loads, including the bedding. And am also getting the hang of tumble dryers and so not shrinking too many clothes. Socks take a time to dry so they’re finishing off in the shower room on the boat for a few hours. Also, while in housekeeping mode, I washed and shampooed the decks and topsides. Smart boat. Then it rains! Ce’st la.
Milford Haven is, well, Milford Haven. The marina we’re in is close to the gas terminal and away from the main town proper. Being Easter Sunday (and Monday to follow) the opportunity for a Retail Experience is somewhat limited. Time to update the blogs, get the ‘Cards’ out for some study and wait for dinner – chilli con carne because, apparently, we have shed loads of mince and Lloyd Grossman sauce. Look, I’ve said before, we’re on a budget. Where’s that Waitrose Parcel someone promised?
That’s it for today. We’re here tomorrow to do some shore based courses. Radar and Diesel Engine maintenance and then another 100miler to Howth, in the Irish Republic. What’s the Pound/Euro exchange rate, I wonder.
Thanks Moyna, Ted and Bob for my Easter Egg. Nom, Nom.
Day 14/15 April 19/20th