Day 88 Stretching it out 28/11/13

Nov 28, 2013

Position: 41.20 S, 121.30 E

We’re sailing with a triple reefed main, 30 square feet of staysail. I’m trying hard to point north west and finding it difficult to beat into heavy seas. I have about 60 nm to go to reach one-third of the way, and 250 nm to round Cape Leeuwin. West Wind II just plows along and I follow ! 
All is well on board. 

I’m sitting in my starboard bunk, quite comfortable, although my hands are damp and cold from my excursion on deck thirty minutes ago. I had a very good night and was up on deck only once. We’ve been sailing in gale force winds since late last night with three to four metre waves providing a rather lively ride with the occasional full boat water feature just to keep the dust off. There is a triple reefed main and a handkerchief of a yankee pulling us along on a course of 290 T at about six and a half, seven knots. I’ve had my morning tea to warm me up while I decide what to do with the sail plan and how to make things easier on West Wind, and still keeping  us moving ever further west. Ron’s weather report which I downloaded last night has this gale blowing till tomorrow morning so I have tried to fit West Wind in her best suit for the occasion and not have to change it for some time.

Just lately my sciatic nerve has been bothering me, most likely due to the odd positions I find myself sleeping in to suit whatever tack we are on. My brother in law Peter has been a great companion throughout my voyage and has taken it upon himself to be a kind of coach to me. He suggested a yoga exercise along with some regular leg and arm exercises to build up my large muscle groups.  Yesterday, after Peter’s kind words of concern,  I’ve taken up regular exercise and stretching to help my sciatic nerve. The new regime, although only in place for a few days, has me a born again exercise nut and I find myself doing deep knee bends and pull ups when ever I am in a position to do so. This turns out to be often as I’m standing holding on to two posts on either side of WW II’s cabin, about one arm’s length apart.  I break out into thirty reps of squats and pull ups. The effect has been almost immediate. I feel the blood coursing through my veins and a bit more of a spring in my step and, I’m better able to deal with my thoughts while I’m alone out here. Thank you Peter. 

Course 300 T Speed 5 knots Wind N 25 knots Waves N 3-3.5 metres Cloud 95% Temp Os 13 C Baro 1013 Miles in last 24 hrs: 140 nm Volts 14.50


  1. steve sonneveld says

    I was laughing at your cooking comments. I remember “putting everything in one pot and heating. the resulting cooking recipes would not make a best selling cookbook. Just pallatable but nourishing.
    I enjoy reading your sailing descriptions as it brings back “?good/baD memories of my solo exploits. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry sometimes – both help – eventually you will laugh about it all.
    Sciatica the bane of our lives at over 55. I suggest paracetamol, codeine combined with an anti inflammatory such as indomethacin, ibrufen , diclofenac or similar for 24 – 48 hours. helps to settle the local inflammation as well as pain. I’m sure you would have a local drug store /pharmacy handy or at least a well stocked medicine kit,


  2. Wow Glenn, the Southern Ocean sounds about as bad-ass as it usually sounds. Sorry to hear about the sciatic. I will send you some healing vibes with my next meditation. I can’t believe how great of time you are making. I love opening up stories of your adventures everytime you post.

    One Love

  3. Pat and Fred Lark says

    Hi Glenn,

    Good to hear you have a life/exercise coach. You are like an astronaut but on the seas. I recall they had a regimen of of exercises as well. Yes, you are an explorer, solo, but with a wealth of supporters and followers. Wow, pretty amazing.

    Pat and Fred

  4. Hi Glenn,

    Still enjoying your daily posts. I note the voltage readings as well and assuming the wind generator is still off line, how you’re making up for the shortfall. Today’s voltage of 14.50 looks encouraging.


  5. David Burke says

    I too occasionally suffer from sciatic nerve issues. The advice your brother-in-law gave is excellent. Yoga goes a long way to keep the muscles and joints flexilble, but it must be awkward and difficult to do on a yacht at seven knots in wild seas. The deep knee bends sound like they are doing the trick. I really enjoy your blog; thank you for sharing.

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