We finally left Las Palmas with a handful of other boats. We are 4 days later than the rest of the fleet as we are hoping to avoid the rough weather forecast. Sarah and I did some sailing over thirty years ago and despite a couple of test sails in the last year we are not experienced off shore sailors. After 3 days of increasing winds and seas, we ended up with a gusting gail force 8 blow, 4-5 metre swells. I needed a refresher course in how to hand steer under sail in nasty conditions , after the new top of the range autopilot broke.
Handsteering 2 hours on 4 hours off around the clock staring at a compass in the pitch black and corkscrewing down large waves was not what we had signed up for. Sarah was managing her seasickness well and although not vomiting this time, was not enjoying the experience at all, she was only able to spend a few minutes below deck unless we were horizontal before nausea engulfed her. Having tried all remedies on the last voyage, starting with natural remedies like ginger wrist bands etc, only the strongest pills available hit the spot though tiredness was a side affect. She stayed up with me during my watch to keep me company and keep her eye on the radar for other vessels.