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Tired and Exhausted

December 4, 2014

Even with a full crew the talk is of fatigue at sea. At a minimum it’s using different muscles. Muscles work even when seated and especially when standing as you struggle for balance and are always holding on with one or both hands while legs are braced. Sleeping is also different in that legs are spread wide, braced against anything and the body tries not to roll though it will levitate at times. No wonder one wakes fatigued. Compound that with what we solo sailors have to do - sleep aware of what’s going on.  The sleep is not deep and I limit myself to one hour maximum at a time on this voyage and in these waters. Later I may take a two hour sleep once out of any shipping lanes. So I am perpetually tired and when I get to land though I will indulge in several ten hour sleeps I will still, just as with most solo sailors remain fatigued for a month or two. The fatigue is constant and is such that most chores begin with a mental exercise of such as "I have to do it."

 

Last night at 4:00 am I was experiencing a fresh wind which woke me from a one hour nap. I decided to top off the water ballast tanks on the windward side when all of a sudden there was a loud "bang." I feared the mast had broken - a sailors biggest fear but it was obvious as I sailed on that had not happened. Perhaps I had jibbed and damaged the end of the boom - but no it was fine. Then I saw it, a large block on deck had come adrift and the line smashed into the Bimini taking away one of the support poles. I turned the boat up and through the breeze so that the sails were now on the wrong side and lay a hull. Here the boat was even in 22 knots quite calm and it drifting north at one mile per hour while I planned the work I would have to do and waited for daylight. Six hours were lost to sailing but then on my way.

 

Yeah for a day at the office!

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