Like cows in a wind chill

Like cows in a wind chill
Tonight the night watch was started off with a
bang! It is Gijs and Jannette their birthday and so a cork blasted through the
dark night to sound in a new year! But it is way to cold outside for a deck
party, after a glass off bubbles the off going watch went to bed and left the
red watch to it. To straighten us out and warm us up we hit the coffee and so
our first hour of the watch was over before we knew it!

It was a very
dark night, while it lasted, cause even though we have shifted another hour, the
day starts breaking in around 3 in the morning. At watch hand over (30 min ago)
the sun was rising red behind the clouds and left an amazingly beautiful glow.
The weather report already told us there was more wind and bad weather heading
our way, the red sunrise just confirmed it.

The last day was a calm day
though, or as calm as it is likely to get down on 55′ south. The storm jib was
swapped for the second jib, but left on deck, just in case. The just in case has
not yet happened, we gibed and are heading a bit more north again in
anticipation of a north westerly breeze.

We measured the water
temperature and got to 2 degrees Celsius.. During the day the air is about 6
degrees, not counting the wind chill! We are all living in our sailing suits and
half a dozen or more layers of clothing. And if you forgot to put on one layer
during the morning when you are not yet fully awake, or just cant find your
things.. then you will soon be below decks again searching for it, because it is
just that cold! During the drizzle or rain patches we all stand like cows with
our backs towards the wind in our own little cocoon. Our view has been limited
and is about an angle of 120 degrees. Limited by the hood or collar of the
sailing suit, we turn our whole bodies to talk to the person next to us or
follow one of the amazing Albatrosses that seer through the sky.

We have
not been surprised by any more freak-jumping-waves, in stead we are properly
surfing down the waves right now. Waves on this great big ocean that are never
the same. Just before sunrise the water was dark grey, during the sunrise it
looked like the rosé we drank at watch hand over and now it is turning into the
deep dark blue that we have gotten so used to. Although many days might seem the
same, they are not. Each day we are on watch multiple times, we stand in the
same place (you can see our favourite spots in the worn down paint..) look at the
same horizon, but see something different each time we look up. We have passed
the halfway mark and have left Auckland more then 3 weeks ago, but time flies
out here and the miles tick away as we cross distances that are hard to

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