Calm. Well, compared to what we’d been through. It was such a relief to know that we were going to be back on land this morning – the GPS gave us an ETA of 10:30am, and I couldn’t wait. I had mixed emotions though, because while I was so happy to be so close to land again I know that Stu was shattered that we had to turn around and come back, not because he wanted to ‘fight out’ the storm but because it was such an emotional rollercoaster over the last few days, and he was so exhausted mentally and physically, feeling the pressure and responsibility of keeping us all safe, and now he was back to square one again.
I am so proud of him. He was an absolute rock at all times – stayed calm, took everything in his stride and dealt amazingly with every situation as it came up, and while I was scared at times I just had to watch him taking everything in his stride and I felt safe. Stu is a hugely competent and experienced sailor who has been through worse than what we experienced and I knew that he would get us all through this. Bruce was also amazing, taking on so much so Claire and I didn’t have to.
Back to Two Harbours – felt so surreal!
A very welcome hot shower, and spent the day at the café and bar on terra firma. Talking to the locals and looking on the net we realized that we’d probably been in a ‘washing machine’ of storms – the earthquake in Chile, there was a minor quake off the coast of Hawaii apparently, plus we had heard storm warnings for San Diego. Tsunami warnings all over the place. We also found out from Harbour Patrol that these storms were the worst they had experienced in “decades and decades”.
Back to the mainland tomorrow. Heading to Newport to restock and to get the torn jib fixed. Bruce and Claire have decided to go their own way – they are running short on time, plus there’s no way they want to get back on the boat! I can’t say I blame them. The thought of running in to another storm like that terrifies me – knowing that we could be 1 to 2 weeks away from land and no way to escape. At the moment I really don’t think I can do it. Stu has said that there’s no way that he will make me do anything I don’t want to do, and I know he means it, but we can’t sell the boat and take such a big loss, plus Stu needs to do this trip. Maybe I could fly and meet him in Hawaii?? I feel much more confident about the shorter legs (after Hawaii the trips will only be around 5 to 7 days for a little while). Maybe he could hire a couple of crew members to go with him instead of me? I feel sick thinking about it, and my brain is total mush trying to decide what to do. I know he really wants me to do this with him and I really want to support him but at the moment I have this total block trying to think about 3 weeks at sea. I’ve got some thinking to do. I’ll keep you posted.