Adventures on the English Channel

2015-03-31 01:25

Time for an update. We're moored in Gosport-Portsmouth, but the howling wind - a full gale - is pulling hard at the mooring lines and the ship is rocking and tilting as if still out at sea. We probably won't leave until tomorrow morning, especially as we're not getting our jib sail back from the sailmaker until 9 a.m. (it was torn the other day).

Well, we have now most of the journey behind us. And what a journey, so far!! As the Captain said: "This is by far the wildest sailing we've ever had.
The Biscay offered quite fair sailing conditions with a good side wind, although it caused the ship to tilt to starboard side for days, making it impossible to make either water, electricity or heat - we had to do all the dishes in cold salt water for some days. But we kept 8-10 knots and could sail relatively comfortably in the troughs of the sea, with the waves coming in from the side.

But then we came to the English Channel... Suddenly the wind whipped up a full storm (gale 10) with insanely high waves! I've never seen anything like it, especially not in the Channel!
It was extremely hard and taxing to steer, technically difficult, so Stefan, Gustav and I took turns to steer during the worst five-six hours. I was soaking wet by sweat after only 15 minutes by the wheel - then to be soaking wet by all the waves cascading in over the ship...!

One thing that happened a few times that I haven't experienced before was that a wave suddenly could lift up and turn the ship around so that the rudder ended up above water level - totally loosing the steering ability! No matter how you turned the wheel, the ship only tilted over and luffed drastically in only two seconds. Scary.

Another scary, but at the same time quite funny, thing that happend (funny, as for how it looked) was when an enormous wave suddenly welled up diagonally from behind, increased in power and size, and then forcefully knocked the stern - just as if it was hit by a straight right - causing the ship to catapult 45 degrees to the side in just a second. I wish we had caught it on film.

We took in water by the scuppers over and over again, but the worst incident was when the whole ship suddenly leaned over on its side, and the girl standing outside the galley found herself waist-deep in water!
By some amazing coincidence, I had just taken out my camera (standing inside the navigation cabin) to see if I could get some shots of the waves - and I sure did! =D
(only two seconds differ between the last two adjacent pictures)

In the evening the wind slacked off a bit as we steered towards Portsmouth and chased the clock so that the Norwegians onboard would make it to their flights. They just barely made it. =)

Despite all craziness in regards to weather and winds, everyone has been in great spirits. And the food has been excellent, thanks to Gustav's admirable patience by the stove with all the moving-around pots and pans. I tell, such a detail makes a huge difference on a sail like this!
And besides a tear in our jib sail, we haven't had any injuries on either people or ship.

Now the final leg awats: the North Sea. Currently there's a storm out there (another one...), but we hope and pray it will slack off by tomorrow, while we move up the Channel.
Our hope and plan is to reach Gothenburg by Good Friday, but - we'll see.
And from England we'll only be nine people onboard, three per watch team. So, please, continue to pray for strength to all of us! I myself feel quite wasted by now, and we all earnestly long for a good, long night's uninterrupted sleep.
We're immensly grateful for all your support and prayers! And we long for home. =)

Happy Easter to all of you! May the amazing, inconceivable and priceless reality of Jesus' death and resurrection "strike" us all this week and bring forth a sincere and resounding praise offering to the King of kings, who did what no one else could - reconcile us all with God the Father Himself! THANK YOU, JESUS!

Much love,
/Elida Crew, through Karin

  • 2 kommentarer

Ulla-britt säger (20150331, kl 15.39)

Ni får troligen uppleva "Stilla veckan" på ett lite annorlunda sätt (allt annat än stilla runt omkring er).
Välkomna hem allihop, välbehållna. Skönt att ha en Gud att lita till när det stormar!

Birgitta Axelius säger (20150331, kl 15.36)

Vad ni är duktiga! Han omsluter er på alla sidor och håller er i sin hand! Kram

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