Now outside and clutching to the submerged stantion, literally for dear life, the humour of the situation had started to wane. It was impossible to climb onto the hull as it was too high out of the water.
I was so pleased that Sacha had been down below cooking or I'd have been here on my own.
Our hands were gripping onto a rope railing by our waists; with every swell of water our heads were submerged, breathing whenever the boat rose with the waves. It's truly remarkable how little one needs to breathe in order to stay alive. Our grips tighten in order to stay fixed to our one hope, an upside down boat. This is better than no boat at all.
Not only was this our particular hell but it was also now Luke's.
Where the fuck did he come from?
'Fuck! Fuck! Fuck!'
I was pleased that Luke popped up from underneath the boat. His expletives were the truly rational actions of a person placed in our position. A good old swear about now would have been lovely, however I was too busy learning how to breathe underwater. One hand juggling a pair of Salopettes with the spectre rope railing that was swiftly feeling like cheese-wire, and the other clutching a lifejacket and struggling to pull up the dead weight that was my thermal pants.
I always had an inkling I'd go like this, floating off somewhere, face down with my bare arse to the world.
'What the fuck happened? Fuck!!'
You tell me, it was your watch. I was kipping.
'What the fuck!? Where the fuck is anyone? I don't know where any of the Bens are?
I think of Ben Wookey, the mild mannered optimist that is infamous for his high spirit and good humour. I hope he's okay! It's my fault he's here. He'd never been to sea before and I knew he'd just love it. I asked him along on the trip as we were short a crew member and a friend had suggested him.
He was very apprehensive, a lot of people are at the prospect of going to sea. I was the first time I set foot on a boat. This feeling though lilts away with the dolphins, whales, sunsets and stories that are prevalent in this watery realm. He had sailed across the Bay of Biscay to La Corunna and had become a valuable crew member almost instantly. A sailor had been made of him, and I was happy to have him along until this. Why did I ask him? Why did I tell him that it would be fine, that there are inherent risks of going to sea but it's unlikely that things would go wrong! How naïve, how thoughtless.
I hope he's not dead. I need to see his smile again. He was on my watch, probably asleep at the time that the boat flipped. On his own in the starboard hull. My God what have I done?