It was a cold, rough but fast 8 day trip south from Hobart. For 8 hours we ran under bare poles, surfing at up to 17 knots. I did wonder whether we should have slowed down, but Mr Aries steered a steady downwind course and we were not worried.
Earlier, we had been broad reaching under storm jib alone. I lay in my warm bunk sensing increasing thumps from breaking seas and putting off the inevitable need to get out of bed and square off. That delay was avoidable and stupid – it allowed time for a violent knockdown in which, mercifully, we sustained no damage. A salutary lesson for me.
That was my first knockdown and I was surprised by its suddenness, the chaos it caused and the real difficulty in knowing what happened. We went flat I know, because Ian,to leeward in the galley at the time, was hit in the head by flying drawers from the windward navigation station.