“A voyage single-handed makes a tremendous demand upon the courage and stamina of any man. Capt. Otway Waller will do it if anyone can. He is a fearless fellow.” The Irish Times June 14, 1930
June 27, 1930 Bad arthritis in my back last 2 days, can only lie on my back, if it gets any worse I’m through.
From Otway Waller's log of the Imogen, 1930
Otway Waller lay wedged on his back on the floor of the cabin with the mattresses from the settees holding him steady. Since leaving Ireland twelve days before, mountainous seas had treated his little yacht as a cork in a turbulent stream. Wherever the waves came from, he could at least sleep in a stable position.
Lying there in agony as his arthritis – perhaps the result of the wear and tear of a maniacal sporting life – forced him to question his future journey. He asked himself why he was in the Bay of Biscay, still 126 miles from the nearest point of Spain and less than half way to Madeira, his initial destination and possibly now not to be achieved. He managed a smile as he remembered that bad luck came in threes: a broken marriage, then broken rigging and now a broken back. He smiled again as he thought how the Imogen, his 6-ton, 26-foot yawl had ridden the gale that had broken her rigging. Years of sailing off the west coast of Ireland had toughened both boat and master.