Warning: life out here is not for the faint hearted
I'm not going to sugar-coat it: the last few days have been tough - really tough. I'm shocked I have kept my food down, but only with the help of medicine and choosing my editing time wisely--others have not been as lucky.
Waves catapult us into each other, the deck, deck hardware, and tangle us in sheets. Stacey might have broken her nose. Libby twisted her back. Add fighting and constant exhaustion to the mix and life for the last few days has been far from pleasant.
For one, it's incredibly tense and tiring. At the end of the day, it's a race, so everyone is focused on one thing, and one thing only, and that's going fast. We all agree with Sam when she said that it's not just physically tiring, but mentally too. When you're concentrating that hard, I guess it's a brain and body numbing exercise - it's always the same, 24 hours a day.
A working body clock is also vital out here. In fact, it's just as vital as working sails. It's a constant mind and body battle - your mind knows it needs to work hard but your body can't physically keep up and vice versa. That's why rhythms out here are so important - to help get your body clock into sync.
For Libby, getting into that rhythm has not been easy. This has mainly been down to the leg starting at night which has made it all the more difficult to settle into a regular pattern.
There are the rough times, and the last few days have been pretty rough. But we're so fuelled by the love for our job and the love for the sea that getting smashed around does not phase us.
Case in point: last night Stacey was thrown by a wave, face first, into a bit of deck hardware, she heard a crunch and was pretty convinced she injured her nose. Now, if she wasn't addicted to her job then chances are she would have happily sat below for the remainder of her watch. Nope, not Stacey, she went right back out there. That, my friends, is true girl power.
There's a reason why our "Southern Ocean Five" (Sam, Dee, Carolijn, Liz & Abby) keep coming back--and last night I realized this would not be my last experience down in the so-called "Roaring 40s" (the term refers to both the wind speed and the latitudes 40* South and lower).
This is where the adventure begins. Give me spelling errors, because I cannot find the 'g' key as the computer is moving with each wave, any day! It's not an average office. Life offshore is unique: it's pristine, beautiful, silent, loud, evocative, vulnerable, and spellbinding. It's addicting.