RED WATCH - Happy Birthday Andy
Following on from our previous blog, the next few watches (1600 to 2000, 0000 to 0400 and 0800 to 1200) weren’t too eventful other than the occasional rain squall. During the last of these, Greg was on helm and faced with ever increasing wind, had to maintain his wits and courage to keep the yacht on course while we adjusted the sails. Considering this is his first time “under duress”, we felt he handled the situation remarkably well, without panicking (at least not outwardly).
Discussion of our musical tastes has arisen on various occasions and Greg surprised us with his revelation of his liking for baroque music. Consequently we were treated to some Bach to accompany the 0800 to 1200 shift, giving us a nice chilled out start to the day. One of Greg’s other comments on the subject was “Led who?”, “oh yes Led Zeppelin, I did once meet someone who liked them”, which needless to say caused some amusement.
From 1200 we were on mother, Café Rouge was again open for business. There have been some mutterings from the skipper about the lack of “morale bakes”, so we decided to throw the gauntlet down and bake Byrne’s brownies – a task undertaken by Andy and Byrne. Following a practice run at home by Byrne, we thought that the standard time of 45 minutes to prepare and bake might be increased to about an hour. We were slightly out on our estimation. Unlike what you see on the TV cooking programs, things didn’t go quite as smoothly as hoped. Weighing ingredients turns out to be a pointless exercise as the yacht is forever shifting and the G-forces cause significant changes in the displayed weights. Measuring ingredients with standard kitchen apparatus while trying to maintain a semblance of balance at 15 to 20 degrees is another “fun” challenge. The mixture turned out rather well – but that was only the beginning. Next we were treated to the awesome flexibility of the onboard gas oven – for example, it is not gimbaled and it has two heat settings on and off. We managed to manufacture an inclined stand using the cheese grater which worked very well – at least until we hove-to (due to some on-deck work required as the result of a storm), which had the unfortunate consequence of shifting the brownie mixture from the tin to the oven wall! (See below). After around 5 hours we finally had some brownies (below and notice the sloped outcome) – so just a little longer than our planned hour.
At the same time as making brownies we also prepared dinner which went down rather well. Andy cooked up an excellent carbonara and we served the brownies up with some custard.
Meanwhile, Linda and Greg were off shift and hoping for some well earned kip. No problem for Greg the student who seems to be able to grab numerous zzzzzzs in any position at any time of the day or night. However with much rougher conditions than we’ve had so far causing lots of banging and the need for noisy sail changes Linda only caught a couple of hours of sleep, but got some good chill out time nonetheless.
Linda and Greg came on for the evening shift, but unfortunately Greg was once again feeling the worse for wear, and spent a bit of time on deck to recover. Byrne scrubbed the oven walls and we all worked together to get most of the washing up completed. Andy and Byrne then left Linda and Greg to finish off. Linda showed a huge amount of understanding and patience by cleaning the brownie pan. (Skipper's note: Linda was a real brick - and I am sure her watch appreciated it). Greg returned and was rewarded by being dispatched to clean the heads (toilets for those not of a maritime persuasion).
Breakfast turned out to be a great surprise for Andy as the crew had managed to put together a unique birthday card, many thanks to Windy’s ingenuity – some cardboard from cereal boxes and a cover shot over a lovely lady from a sailing magazine worked a charm. Below, Greg presents Andy with his card and Andy reading his card in the galley with Richard looking on at one of his favourite (ex-)magazine covers.
After breakfast we started the process of repairing the starboard heads door which was ripped off (nobody seems to know who or how) during the evening. We also enjoyed our showers, a real treat. So, back to the top of the resuscitation list we hope. Looking forward to this evening as we’ll be having some venison beautifully prepared by Windy. Our mouths are watering already.
Coming up in a future blog, we hope to bring you some more details about life on board.
The Red Watch (Andy, Byrne, Greg and Linda)