8. Fresh

Telefonica Black
Lance Shepherd
Sun 26 Jan 2020 02:10
15:28.068N 034:11.700W - number of Gybes: 12 -
Distance to go: 1618nm - ETA: 03/02/2020 17.24h
The minds behind your regularly scheduled blogging have brewed up something special for you today. In an unprecedented change from the regular blog format a temporary narrator has been drafted in to keep things 'fresh.' The lack of so-described food in our diet is said to be having an effect on performance so management has approved this as the next best approach.
The role of 'master raconteur and vessel's chief bard' or 'blog writer' as every one keeps telling its supposed to be called has fallen to myself. Alex, or, the bow monkey, as so introduced by Angela in a previous, some might say inferior, edition of this blog. When I was tasked with coming up with 3-5 minutes light reading for the legions of friends, family, and Telefonica Black super fans, whom I am assured are refreshing the outlet for this blog every 30 seconds so that they can go about their day in comfort and safety with the knowledge that they are up to date on the daily goings on of our crossing, I will readily admit I had no clue where to start. So in the interest of 'freshness' I thought I would break from form and introduce somebody, and who better than our previous dutiful blog writer, Angela.
In one of our endless hours of conversation during night watch Angela revealed that she used to have, to use her words, "very normal life goals" of: a family, a house, a good job, financial security, and disposable income with which to enjoy oneself. However the passing of her son, George, has given her new perspective. The daily trials of getting in a car to drive to and from her job in the Netherlands were no longer satisfying to her and so she fell back on the foremost of her many passions, sailing, and has since launched a more fulfilling career of blog writing, delivering, skippering, instructing, and all other things boat. Her many stories of her experiences are a testament to her abilities and her safety conscious approach certainly puts me to shame.
She has come to be on this crossing through the many powers of the internet and hopes to fit in some regattas and teaching of day skipper courses between her busy schedule in the bar on landfall in Antigua.
To continue with the theme of freshness I thought I might run you through what it is to stay 'fresh' on board, in all senses of the word.
Firstly, the aromatic sense. I'm sure Angela has already run you through our baby wipe 'showers.' While these may seem very unsanitary and a bit like flogging a dead horse in an attempt to get it to smell better, there is definitely something to be said for it. I feel the ethos is best encapsulated by my mentor and Serious offshore ocean racer extraordinaire James Macfee, "Yeah, I won't lie, it's a bit gross, but if we all just get smelly together no one can complain."  However a new addition for this trip, the revolutionary Super Solar Shower (a water tight bag with a small plastic sprinkler head hung from the dagger board) has reformed our motley crew of salt encrusted smelly sailors into, a motley crew of salt encrusted smelly sailors, just not for the 6 hours after we used the shower. Fresh.
Secondly, the mental sense. On a very cruisey watch pattern of 3 hrs on 6 hrs off. Sleep is not an issue, however, finding something to to keep your grey matter in shape can be tricky, especially when you have as much of it as I do. None the less we persevere. A few days ago the crew collaborated on a short story, each writing 4 lines with only 1 line of the previous persons writing to work off, it was a fantastic success and I believe we already have penguin books on retainer. However the enterprising Pierre enlisted the help of Jose and together they adapted a full screen play. Now with the help of Johannes as cinematographer and some excellent voiceover work by Drew they are in the process of producing and directing a full feature length film. It amazes me how quickly a project can get off the ground without the bureaucracy of Hollywood.
Thirdly, the 'off the press' sense. "Fresh off the press," possibly a bit tenuous, but I am very quickly realizing how difficult it is to remain succinct while writing one of these so in the interest of brevity, and so that I leave some topics for subsequent blogs I will bring my ramblings to a close.
Thank you for reading, I hope you have enjoyed it.