Caylie Jeffery aboard Sigma 38 Steamy Windows pens first log despite seasickness 1/12/06

Caylie Jeffery aboard the Sigma 38 Steamy Windows is sailing with her husband David and team in the ARC. Nearly one week into the voyage Caylie describes the situation onboard as the team settles into the daily routine?

Log date30 November 2006
PositionLat 23 30N, Long 22 30W

It’s now day five of the ARC and I am sitting on the deck of Steamy Windows in the hot sunshine. I would love to go below for some shade, but unfortunately my stomach has other ideas! Beating around the Med for the last six months obviously has not been enough seasick preparation for the slow rock of downwind sailing!

Steamy Windows’ crew consists of David – the skipper and my hubby, Carol- a dinghy instructor from Scotland, Simon- a Solent racer and computer whiz extraordinaire, and me – nurse and cook. We are a solid team, despite having only spent a few days together, and all crew have proved their competence by working together well in the lead up. Simon has helped us get our comms up and running, while Carol has been calm and supportive when the stress levels have overtaken us!

26 November 2006 to now
Six months to prepare, two weeks to really prepare and 25 minutes to the start (see photo above). It was finally happening. We were about to cross the Pond. As we left the Marina, the crowds lining the rocks cheered us on, and we felt proud yet humbled to be there. It was a beautiful day and the sun glistened on the water as sails were hoisted, engines turned off and we set forth towards the Caribbean. We had a fabulous start (ie we didn’t hit anyone!) and were totally in awe of all of the beautiful yachts, white sails and colourful spinnakers around us. As yachts spread out, we revelled in the fact that we were finally sailing, and away from the stresses of the marina preparation.

We were surprised at how quickly the yachts dispersed – surely the ocean isn’t that big and aren’t we all going to the same place? This was a little unnerving for us, as we were all daunted by the size of the waves, the distance in front of us and the magnitude of what we had set out to do. We had hoped more boats would be close by – thank goodness for SSB and VHF.

We have now settled into a steady watch pattern where we all manage a full night’s sleep. The sunrises so far have been spectacular, the dolphins have come to play with us, and we have even seen a turtle. The waves are less now, and we are enjoying the hours of rest and relaxation that gentle downwind sailing affords. The main activities of the day are to count shooting stars, see the flying fish before they hit you in the head and of course, to cook and eat.

On the subject of eating, I must say that one thing I underestimated when provisioning was the huge appetite of the crew! Fortunately I have been too unwell to eat much so far, so my share has kept them all going. I pre-prepared five meals and froze them, and now I think we are going to have to catch fish every five minutes just to feed them. It’s not as if they are actually doing anything!

Enough for now. Today we are celebrating St Andrew’s day (Carol is a Scot) with much fun to report – but I’ll leave that for next time.