A Southern Ocean waterfall

Another fun post from Samantha Davies aboard Roxy who is on the Vendee Globe race. With her quirky outlook and non-macho honesty, Davies may be the most entertaining writer of any Vendee racer yet. She’s certainly the first Vendee racer I’ve seen who writes about wearing a bikini.

From the post: “Hello Earthlings!

Here on planet “Grey” (grey skies, grey sea) all is well. There are still 30-35 knots of wind and Roxy is rocketing along!

A funny thing happened last night. I had been struggling to find a safe/comfortable speed and angle, the solent was a bit too much, so I had put the staysail up for the night. Quite rightly, as the waves were a bit “sneaky.”

I was sleeping in my usual bed (now in hat and gloves I have to mention) at the chart table, and I was awoken by the sound of a waterfall!

I quickly remembered where I was – on my boat, in the Southern Ocean – and which way was forward (the usual “wake up offshore” procedure). During this time I managed to realise that we were a little bit on our side (my bed was no longer horizontal) and the waterfall noise was coming from the hatchway. In fact, the waterfall was coming IN the hatch!

So, what had happened was that Roxy had got picked up and “dumped” by a breaking wave, and the aforementioned wave had the cheekiness to break itself not only into the cockpit (that is allowed) BUT right into MY cabin!

Initially, it was quite scary to wake up to that, but actually it was perfectly harmless, just a bit damp. The inconvenience of it all was that I had to get out of bed and wade around in my wellies with the bilge pump to remove the Southern Ocean from my, once dry, floor. One small positive point is that my two buckets had been sitting in firing range and the wave had obediently filled them both up, so at least that was a little bit less work with the sponge.


By Ocean Navigator