Today is Christmas day, Merry Christmas everyone, God Fortsättning vänner och familj på Gotland och i Sverige.
How did we celebrate Christmas onboard?
Well to start with sun, 28 degrees in the air and 25 in the water so we’re not feeling the cold of winter. On with the downloaded Christmas play list from Spotify and we were off. The day started with a shower standing on the aft deck. You have to look your best for Christmas! Per-Erling has installed a handheld shower in the aft of the boat on the stern platform so you can have have a shower with the ocean as your back drop. A great experience to stand in your birthday suit with the Atlantic waves sweeping over your feet soapsuds in your hair. We are attached to the boat with a safety line, but if you drop the soap its a goner.
Midmorning we had coffee and opened our Christmas presents. Santa did find his way to Link One despite her current position. Presents from home were greatly appreciated and provided us with a moment of longing. They even provided us with home-baked saffran biscotte which were a perfect match for our coffee 🙂 . The crews own baker, Per-Erling, made a new batch of his cinnamon buns. Newly baked buns straight from the oven where amazing and you cant just have one!
In the afternoon we were all going to call home! An extra Christmas bonus and something special to look forward to. Johan and I sat planning when would be the best time to call based upon family traditions, meal times, etc. Just planing the calls and looking forward to them was a pleasure in itself. Making the calls was a big treat. The delay caused because of the satellite technology, was overcome through using military radio discipline ”kom” ”over”. Brilliant being able to speak with home!
Food wise we had a simplified ”julbord” eggs and caviar/mayonnaise, hard bread and cheese, homemade meatballs, potato sallad and ”julskinka” which was a handsome piece of cured Iberian ham purchased before we left Las Palmas. We even treated ourselves to dessert, tinned peaches!
We had ordered a new dolphin show to round the evening off and they turned up as requested. It wasn’t the magnificent show they provided for Johan the other evening but they did swim with us for about ten minutes. Dolphins really are the most fascinating of creatures, they appear so curious and friendly, just beautiful.
We rounded the evening off with coffee and big bar of Marabou Seasalt chocolate.
To summarize, the three of us managed to create a Christmas feeling onboard, we ate well and were merry. Presents from and contact with home all made for a lovely celebration.
As night fell upon as we settled back into our watch rota. The wind was predicted to pick up and with it the sea. At around 20:00 the boat was being thrown about a bit and I decided to call Captain P-E up on deck to asses the growing winds and sea. We had wind speeds of around 28-30 knots and a wave hight of 3-4 meters so he decided we should reduce the main sail to 40% and our Genoa to 30%. In the dark of night everything feels a bit more dramatic but Linken soon settled into a more rhythmic motion.
Through the night the wind maintained the same strength whist the sea grew. During my second watch for the night/evening which was 03:00 – 06:00 I was sitting alone in the cockpit looking at the night sky when suddenly we recieved an unexpected visitor. Linken had been skidding about but in my opinion still under control, when out of nowhere in the middle of a sliding motion a wave broke over the port side of aft filling the cockpit with water, soaking me. This sudden impact resulted in the rearranging of almost everything inside the boat, everything that was not stowed away or secured went flying! Before I could wake Per-Erling he was up on deck and changing coarse. Once we had Linken back in balance Per-Erling went on to securing the Hydrogenetrater and releasing a line that had fastend in its propeller. To me this was a dramatic rescue action out on the stern platform. For me in the pitch darkness of night and with little or no previous experience this all felt quite dramatic. Per-Erling assured me he did nothing dangerous.
With nothing broken and no harm done we continue our route towards Union Island. Over night the sea has built up and we have waves exceeding 5 meters and a strong tail wind. So we have kept with the reduced sail but are still sailing along at a good speed.
Enjoy the rest of the festive period.