War-Zone sailing

That rather silent cracking sound of the mainsail tearing apart I will never forget. I expected more drama, but nothing happened basically. We continued sitting in the cockpit with Dusan, looking up for the massive hole for a few long seconds before we lowered the the whole textil. 20In my imagination before, this things should happen in massive storms, the boat is heeling over strongly, dramatic shaking, … but actually nothing… it was the last cry from the old and worn-out material… can not blame Psyrema, or the winds, or the seas. It was me who over-stretched it… captain’s mistake, I would say. Looking back I consider myself lucky nothing happened before. This here is a real war-zone, the southern Biscay… the worth think about it that you never know when the conditions will deteriorate… that constant fear made me a headache and insomnia.30
While close to the spanish coast  sailing is usually no fun this time of the year I feel pain in my stomach from the constant laughing on Dusan’s jokes and stories. He is quite seasick since we left la-rochelle but this does not stops him making fun of me, or the situations we end up in. And strange situations do happen here usually with small sailboats.40
By leaving Cape Finister behind the sea calms down. It is quite unbelievable that within a few minutes and a few miles the sea flattens from the battlefield-like 6meters to around 1m.  Finally we are out of the danger-zone. From here, conditions will improve day by day mile by mile as we turn south. From now on, as Dusan nicely pointed out, I will travel south until I reach the tropics. Yeah!50I hope the temperature will increase as well as we still have to wear double trousers, double pullovers and double socks underneath the waterproof gear! Funny I remember Zoli mentioning several times, that as soon as I leave the British waters all the climate will improve… khm… not really. Actually one of the warmest days so far was the one we crossed the Channel.60
We progress nicely with Dusan, although sometimes have to wait a day or two here and there… but from here my chance to cross the atlantic increased again!70
I have to say sailing is a strange mental state. You get tired as you hardly manage to sleep (especially me, who is a bad sleeper even on land) on a boat this tiny the motion sometimes are rather challenging, many ppl thinks that sailing is relaxing and sort of a laid-back activity, well that ppl should try it on a small boat, after a day you feel all your muscles by only balancing yourself against the constant motion of the waves not to mention the workout of pulling and trimming the sails… you basically hit your body to something sharp twice a minute, after a few days I have more purple skin area than a practicing rugby player… also horizontal and vertical start to have a new meaning while you try to organize your life on a boat which is constantly heeled over a good 30degrees, sometimes even more, sometimes you are actually standing on the side of the lockers and doors, even the most basic activities, such as going to the loo is quite a project.80Additionally you have this constant paranoia, when the weather will turn bad, and if it does turn bad life becomes even more hard…. But, when you arrive, as a miracle, the minute you step on land, the whole memory transforms to something new, you start to enjoy the experience… but strickly after you arrived…. i’m not the only one experiencing and describing this… but it is really strange.90While on the passage, sometimes you feel that you actually never want to be even close to any boat, sea, or basically anything moving but than by the time you sort out your lines after arrival the only thing you can think about it when is the next time you will be able to be out there.95
Approaching Portugal in the early morning is so far the most scenic sailing I ever had.  I’m sitting in the cockpit with a camera in my hand, wandering about the beauty of the raising sun over the Portuguese coastline….  i do not know why but everything looks great this morning, the colors, the contrast, even the haze, everything in harmony while Psyrema hobbyhorsing clamly on the waves…. hello Portugal!97

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