Its 22:00, I’m tired and my back hurts.
I’ve spent much to the day preparing Dauntless to cross the North Sea in the next week. Now you would think that there isn’t that much to do.
When you consider that in the last 14 months, we have travelled over 8,000 nm and virtually all of those miles have been on the Atlantic Ocean, the North Sea and the Baltic Sea, one wonders why I am having such angst about the North Sea.
I’ve been pondering the same question for the last week.
Finally I realized there are two issues:
- The North Sea is ferocious. Yes, I should have crossed two weeks sooner, but if wishes were horses, beggars would ride. There is nothing I can do about that now.
- So, let’s tackle what I can control. It is the small things rolling around the boat that upset me, as I always imagine something far worse than the reality. I do have a very vivid imagination.
Coming to Mandal a few days ago, there was an exposed stretch of only 6 miles, but it was like riding a bucking bronco. I did not have the paravanes out, and we rolled a few times to 30°.
I’m secure in the pilot house, but it is the noise of loose things crashing that drive me crazy. And then when things settle down and I go to see what the damage is, expecting to see the refrigerator on the floor, all the contents broken and now mixing into a weird kaleidoscope of colors, dripping down the hatches into the engine room.
Instead, I find the wooden business card holder and the old cards it was holding rolling around and making a racket that would wake the dead. Everything else is sitting there sedately, wondering what the excitement is all about. And this is not the first time that stupid card holder has done this to me.
So I realized that if I don’t want to have a heart attack in the coming days, I better make sure everything is put away. It’ll take two days to cross the North Sea. I am hoping for at least one good day, but I assume the second day will be bad.
So everything must be put away. Even the stuff that has never moved. By doing so, this is the only way I will have the peace of mind to be willing to tackle the North Sea. And I mean everything. All the stuff that has been fine over these last 8k miles is now put away or secured.
The transformer that is sitting on top of the battery box is now secured to the wall. It had never moved before, but why risk it.
The crap that has collected on the helm. The 4,000 pens and pencils, the markers, the rulers, sun glasses that I have not used in three years, all put away.
The 8 different chargers and cables, all put away.
Virtually everything that can cause a problem is secured.
That way, next week as I roll my way west, I’ll be miserable, but at least I won’t be worried.