The crew of Spirit of Juno deal with knee problems as they wait for more wind

DateSunday 4 December

First serious peg leg problem today. Kaj Hansen’s leg developed a problem.
So the engineering might of the BLESMA team were brought to bear on the problem.

Colin Rouse, skipper, Copsey and Charley Streather. After a couple of hours of stripping down, repairing and adjusting using spares provided by Dorset Orthopaedic and Otto Bock, the job was completed.

Later we gybed the boat. Not our best attempt. Colin got a bit of a strop on and told us in no uncertain terms where we went wrong.

Remember about three days ago, the crew were calling me FLOP FLIP as I wearing my sandals on the wrong feet for two days. I discovered that the buggers swapped them over when I was asleep! Bob tried to do it again this morning, but gave it away.

A very frustrating day with little sign of real trade winds. We had spinnaker up with little boat speed and not making a great course for a large proportion of the time. As we are la limbless crew, I thought it worth pointing out what it is like to be on a yacht with one leg. Space, everyone takes their leg off to sleep. This means the leg lies beside the person like a soldiers rifle, or just litters the floor.

Balance is the most difficult one to cope with. Below knee amputees (part timers) are most fortunate as the can feel the movement of the yacht quite well and are able to compensate bending their knees. This is not the case with above knees. AK’s have the advantage with their ability to stand and helm for must longer. BK start to loose circulation after an hour and have to site down.

Pain management is an important aspect of helming with one leg. Most of the crew have additional injuries to cope with such as burnt smashed real foot, fist size holes in thigh muscles and my own of a knee joint that has next to no tendons that has been fractured twice. We carefully monitor the helm during their stint. If they show any sign of faltering concentration, we replace them straight away.

We overtook a yacht in the night, but were unable to identify it. T’was dark.