Captain's Log
4 July 2015

Day 4 – Extremely Bad Weather

Hi Everyone,                  Welcome to day 4 of our voyage. I am going to have to make this short as we have been battling heavy seas and extremely strong winds trying to transit through the Straits of Gibraltar but have had to accept that it is impossible for us to safely achieve until the conditions improve. At the moment we are heading back along the coast of Spain to find a suitable anchorage for the night or for however long it takes for this severe weather system to pass through.Despite this being an eventful day Caitlin and Jess still managed to sit down in front of a computer and write tonight’s log. Please enjoy because in these conditions it really takes an enormous effort to sit in front of a computer to write this log. Thanks Girls!!Until tomorrow, take careYours AyeCaptain GavDay 4: Seasickness and Other ChallengesTuesday 7th AprilPosition: 36o21N 006o11WSeasickness. AKA ‘Mal de Mer’ in this part of the world. That awful feeling of nausea when your inner ear and visual cues play tricks to upset your balance and equilibrium. That awful feeling which you just want to stop, but can’t because of the continuous rolling motion of the ship. That awful feeling of embarrassment in sharing your breakfast a second time with newly made friends. A feeling that is appeased only by the fact that your new friends are also sharing alongside you!Welcome to my world today. A number of my crew-mates and I have been getting to know each other intimately, hanging over the leeward rail of the ship, feeding the fish! Talk about a good ‘ice-breaker’/team bonding activity!After experiencing seasickness on previous tall-ship voyages, I anticipated this as a likely event. So I employed all preventative measures, sea-sickness tablets, patches, wrist bands that activate acupuncture pressure points, ginger biscuits, fresh air and horizon gazing. But to no avail. In fact, I have discovered there is also a high correlation between blogging on a computer below decks on a rocking ship and being sea sick! It is all part of the adventure In our sea-state this morning of 2 meter swells and 40kt winds, my crew-mates and I are accepting our fate and trying to put a positive spin on this situation. We remind each other that we are on our way to entering the Mediterranean Sea. We are currently in the Straits of Gibraltar. This morning on watch, the moon lit up the water like it was looking out for us. We could see the lights of towns on the South coast of Spain and lights from many other ships and bulk carriers passing through this busy shipping lane. What a unique experience. Whilst not 100%, I certainly feel alive!Some crew, however, are not coping so well and have spent most of the last 24hours lying on the deck, not able to move or eat. Others who have some capability ensure they are ok and help out our team mates where we can. When rocking and rolling around on a ship and feeling under weather even the simplest of tasks, such as walking, eating a meal or dressing yourself, can become complex.Our Captain provided a timely briefing to the crew and a quote from JFK, “the ultimate measure of a man or woman is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy”.I have decided, for myself, the best thing is to push through and continue with the daily routine onboard. Today this has included cleaning stations and more watches. Not one to miss out, I fully participated in these activities, making sure I got some sleep in between my watches.This afternoon, the conditions deteriorated. We are now seeing 40-50kt winds and 4 meter swells. Many remain unwell. A command decision was made by Captain Gav to turn the ship towards the coast to seek out shelter. This means schedule may be sacrificed and we lose time in our next port. But nothing comes ahead of the safety of the ship and crew. With some sailing experience in rough conditions I remained on deck with the staff crew to set the storm sails. In these trying conditions, with deafening wind and waves washing over the deck, clear communication between our group was vital. Equally important was communicating back to our Captain at the helm.This is not a cruise through the Mediterranean. So early on, we have experienced challenges; personally, in terms of seasickness and programmatically, in altering course and impacting schedule as crew safety is put first. With his smooth crisis leadership skills and a team ready to respond, Captain Gav has us on course for an overnight anchorage off the South Coast of Spain. This is a Captain who leads by example. He has also inspired us to overcome our personal challenges and work together as a team.We welcome our night ahead in calmer waters and are ready for the adventures to come. Wishing our crew mate Cara a happy birthday today – this is sure to be a birthday she will always remember!Caitlin and Jess     “ 


36° 21' North / 6° 11' West


Currently proceeding to anchor and experiencing gale force 40-50kt ESE winds with a 3-4m swell. Current temperature is 12 degrees.