What a spooky day it has been. It started when I woke up to the sound of an alarm. We had lost GPS and the system kept on dropping the signal each time Yoav rebooted it.
I stepped on deck to have my breakfast and saw a curtain of fog on our starboard side, the moon barely piercing through the clouds on our port side, and no wind on a glassy sea. I sat down with my 1/4 of coffee and a big bowl of oatmeal. I was looking at the sunrise, then the sunrise was behind me before it reappeared in front of me, the boat was making big circles.
Those conditions didn’t last, the wind started to pick up, waves were rising and it started raining before I jumped in the water. The water temperature was higher than the ambient temperature, it felt like I jumped in a warm bath.
Paul and Maria were in the dinghy and under the rain for the first two hours. The waves and wind picked up and moved eastward, in the same direction I was swimming, they were giving me an extra boost. I could feel big waves thrusting me forward. Paul moved the streamline from the port side to the starboard side to keep it more parallel to the RHIB. The direction of the waves and current pushed it under the dinghy.
I had been doing great progress during the day, I was on my eighth hours when I felt the push of a wave carrying me forward. At the same moment, a bad maneuver was made on the dinghy which propelled it in reverse right over the streamline. It was too late when I saw the grey side of the RHIB, my head was already by the propeller. I felt my forehead hitting a hard surface and immediately grabbed my forehead. I was hurting but it wasn’t an excruciating pain. When I removed my hands, blood starting to drip.
Paul quickly reached for me and pulled back my hoody to checked the extent my injuries. He was relieved, he did not see any big openings, it appeared to be only superficial. I heard Maria saying multiple times: “I am sorry Ben!”
Paul asked me to come on the dinghy and had radioed the rest of the crew on Seeker about the situation to get them ready.
I wasn’t feeling dizzy, so I took the time to removed my wetsuit and equipment in the water and rinsed myself before hooping in the RHIB. During that all time my blood dripped in the water and I wandered if a shark would smell it.
Once on Seeker, Maks took care of my forehead, no stitches were required. He cleaned everything and did a full assessment before I went to lay on my bunk.
In the evening, during our daily meeting, we spoke about what happened earlier and Paul showed me the snorkel I wore during the crash. The propeller made a big cut in the snorkel, right in front of my nose. Had I not worn it, my nose would have been split in half…
Mark gave me my answer about the shark. After he finished filming Maks assessing me, he went back on deck and saw a shark passing next to our sailboat. Maybe just a coincidence?
Cloudy (could coverage 7/8)
Wind speed: 15 kts
Wind direction: W
Waves height: 1-2m
Waves direction: W
Water temperature: 27.1°C
Miles Swam: 24.28 NM