By 1600 the winds were now 20 plus knots WSW, or about 45 degrees off our port bow. Throughout the late afternoon and early evening they steadily increased to more than 30 knots, and the sea conditions gradually built to 8-footers or more. But while their size was not a problem, their direction and shape were. The opposing ocean current created menacing square walls of water off our bow that were breaking on top as Venture II rose to their crests, high on top of the ocean swell, leaving our 135,000 pound ship to fall mercilessly into a huge hole below. More often than not the fall was taken gracefully, with Venture II's deep forefoot softening the blow. But every once in a while, we experienced a loud, jarring, sickening crash that shook everything in the boat, including our sense of confidence. These are the times when you begin to wonder what the hell you're doing out here. I confess to thinking, "If I wanted to see Iceland so much, I could have flown there and been in a classy hotel eating a wonderful dinner."