Bad dreams and little headway

It’s curious.

I’ve found that since the start of my second leg that I’ve developed an alarm clock in my sleep.

If the boat gets grossly off course and needs adjustment while I’m asleep, I find that I invariably have a disquieting dream and awake.

I used to own a 4WD that had brakes with flair of character.

When all is said and done, I must admit that they never failed me.

However, they constantly hinted that they didn’t see stopping as the primary job description. The steering also needed some coaxing, and sometimes these two systems would have a conference as to who was to do what when the brakes were applied.

Hence there was always a mild tension in the air whenever stopping was required. This has, for a long time, translated into my dreams, invariably with foot going through the floor with little effect.

Ultimately I completely rebuilt everything from the knuckle, bearings, brake lines, and cylinders in the hope of exorcising its demons. Sadly however, things stalled with hospital work, and I ended up selling her to the cruel knacker in preparation for this trip.

I’ve relived the brakeless experience a few times this trip, although a few days ago, I awoke from the intricate horror of being the protagonist of that TV show “The Bachelor” to find the boat stalled and hove-to.

So I guess this new found ability is both a blessing and a curse, as many things in life are.

I awoke this morning at about five from a vivid recreation of an another less than palatable event in my past, to find that I was entering a squall.

I had been running all night essentially becalmed in front of a particularly light tailwind, so I had full mainsail out with preventer and a poled out jib.

It must have come on relatively quickly, as the wind was coming from the front starboard quarter and both sails were backed. I would have expected the self-steering to have brought the boat round so that it was coming from the rear otherwise.

I shook the dream out of my head and set about fixing things as the wind and rain rose, I couldn’t just steer it back onto course, I had to furl the geneo, and then gently gybe the mainsail against the preventer before I could steer the boat.

I eventually had her running under just a double reefed main, and peace reigned once more. The heart of it never really hit me, and it soon petered out to a sunny windless day.

I don’t know if it was the dream, or the fact that I’ve made so little headway in what is supposed to be the trade wind belt, but my mood just didn’t seem right today.

I can quite honestly say that in the 50 odd days at sea so far, every day has had a positive mood, even, and perhaps especially, in the worst of the weather. I’ve always been happy when I’m busy!

I think one of the greatest gifts that humanity has is the ability to shut the eye and awake to a new day. There is a distinct rupture from whatever happened yesterday and we get to start again, so tomorrow will fix things no doubt!

I read a quote from Joshua Slocum last night which I quite liked.

“To face the elements is, to be sure, no light matter when the sea is in its grandest mood. You must then know the sea, and know that you know it, and not forget that it was made to be sailed over”.

Latitude: -18.525, Longitude: -133.227, Time: 05:13:56 28-05-2018 UTC