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The comfort was long gone. I was now wearing the survival suit my brother-in-law gave me, which I became very fond of. It is completely water-tight and both warm and dry. The boat was thrown around the sea. The cockpit got very wet from the many waves that went over the cabin and ended up in the cockpit. The howling and screaming of the wind in the rigging gained strength and was indeed incredibly loud, though the suit's tight-fitting hood luckily prevented me from hearing much of it.
When I turned the boat to run with the wind, I had taken the mainsail down and secured it to the boom and ran nicely with the wind for a couple of rounds of the rolling foresail. It was nice getting the boat turned. It nearly felt like the wind had subsided. Instantly it became more quiet on board. Initially steering wasn't difficult, but that gradually increased.
There were times when I thought now things can't get any worse. Little did I know. I would of course never voluntarily have gone out in such weather (conditions). I also wouldn't have thought that my boat, or anyone else's for that matter, could make it through such a journey.

After eight hours of running with the wind, I was starting to get physically exhausted and really tired of it all. I was going in the wrong direction, getting further into the bay and the waves were insane.
Surfing down the waves for hours and at the same time avoiding the heavy sea breaking over the boat, is physically and mentally strenuous. I was hit by a few. The amount of water in the cockpit makes my little boat's stern droop and nearly makes it come to a halt. And without any speed, the bailers won't bail you out. I was convinced that the next sea would sink the boat. In a (matter of a) few seconds a desperate is able to empty a cockpit full of water with a bucket.

I had previously heard of the Bay of Biscay (which was also why I waited so long before I started my crossing). I wasn't afraid, but edgy and cautious. I had obviously heard and read about the terrible storms and 15 metre tall waves, etc. (It was also here that Captain Haddock from the Tintin cartoons were always heaving to. The ordinary waves were about10-13 metres tall (3-4 metres taller than my mast). But the waves in the bay are not just coming at you from one direction. And, there are also a lot of confused waves from other directions. Sailing in such conditions is very unsteady. Foam was everywhere now. The air was filled with it, and the cockpit likewise. The wind was rushing over the cabin and almost created a vacuum. So to avoid getting sucked out, I had to wear a lifeline in the cockpit. I have read about different tactics(/techniques) like heaving to and lying ahull. The last is when you move the boat sideways against the waves and let it(/the boat) take care of itself. Doing that here, I think, would be suicide. And I believe the boat would get washed and filled with water instantly. I have never tried this, since one book described it as such (suicide).
During rough winds in Denmark I had tried heaving to for the fun of it. I decided to do this (manouvre) since running with the wind was no longer possible(/an option). I felt completely exhausted. In order for me to execute this manoeuvre, I need some(/a) sail on the boom. But since I was running before the wind with no sail set, I not only had to steer but also ease the the mainsail from the boom and put(/tie) it in the fourth reef. When I made the turn, the danger of moving sideways in my boat suddenly became very clear to me. It was difficult getting the stem up against the wind and the waves. On two occasions I had the spreaders all the way down in the waves. I got the jib rolled a bit out and was now actually at a standstill (up in the wind). I managed to get the foresail reversed, making the wind hit the "wrong" side of the sail, and the boom was right in the cockpit. I now fixed the helm position. The boat was now lying stable, a little slanting in the wind and I was drifting sternward by 1˝-2 knots/hour. After some minor adjustments and fastening of various ropes, I sat down for an hour admiring the behaviour of the boat. Without looking too much out on the ocean, which now seemed almost frightening. I was extremely impressed that it was even possible to make it through such weather inside(/on board) a small fibre glass shell. The power of the ocean is incredible and I suddenly felt very small...

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From Esbjerg, Denmark to Tahiti aboard a Junker 22