Nyaminyami 2 - blog - Saturday 7th December - Jane
By Jane Robertson
Hello all from Nyaminyami on our 13th day at sea. The most unexpected find of the trip has been the excellent philosophy, poetry and general variety of our blogging whizzo, Chris. We thought you might like a bit of female perspective about this adventure so here goes.
I have discovered that ‘going to sea’ has a whole new meaning when planning a long trip rather than the weekend hop along the coast or to Brittany. Mostly this is to do with vitalling the ship for four people for a month without sinking it and without throwing anything away. This involves lots of trips to supermarkets checking sell by dates and trying to find items that will last for at least a month. All fresh fruit and veg from the markets in Las Palmas had to be washed and dried before loading, largely because of the risk of importing cockroach eggs from the cockroaches that are endemic on the Canary Islands. The snag arose in our case, as once all the produce was washed, we had a series of heavy showers which meant it was not possible to fully dry everything before loading. Packing of slightly damp aubergines and courgettes has meant that we have inadvertently created the perfect hatching conditions of warm and moist bilges and expect to hear the patter of tiny feet within the next couple of days.
Being ‘at sea’ has raised some interesting issues too and I have discovered the most important 3 ground rules, mostly for self preservation and to avoid the skipper’s wrath:
1. Holding on. This would seem to be an obvious skill to develop in a pitching, rolling and yawing sailboat. But there is a technique which involves developing strong hands and long arms to swing between the various holding on points around the boat. The body must be bent slightly forward at the waist, the knees flexed to absorb sudden rolls and the feet parted and pointed out slightly to add a certain poise and balance. Small shuffling steps help greatly and if you imagine an orangotang then you have the general idea, although he would be somewhat more graceful than your average yottie.
2. Don’t waste the water. Now our skipper, Francis, is a lovely chap and just a teeny bit deaf. But as soon as the gargle of the pressurised water pump is to be heard his ears prick up, his head tilts to one side and the question flies ‘Who is running the tap?’
3. Learn a new game. This new game is all about saving the planet and reducing global warming. It is called rubbish packing and every item of plastic and paper is washed, chopped and pressed into a plastic bottle for disposal in St Lucia. Thirteen days into our voyage and all waste from four people is contained in two lemonade bottles.
I learned a new acronym from the girls on the crew of Alcedo of Ryme – NWW – Not Womens Work. This apparently involves anything to do with the anchor, the foredeck and especially the spinnaker pole, the engine and particularly blocked loos. Having given this a bit of thought, this sounded eminently sensible to me but in the interests of democracy and equality I thought it only fair to ask Francis, Graham and Chris if there was anything they thought was Not Mans Work? They looked blankly at me and announced in unison ‘Cooking of course’ and immediately returned to their conversation about the finer points of velocity made good.
The days fly by and there are not enough hours to simply live whilst sailing the boat. Reading the blog, forecast and emails from loved ones are the highlights of the day and our ship is happy with lots of chat, laughs and excitement especially as we saw a large pod of dolphins yesterday who came to say hello.
Our position is N13.58 W42.07 – we are just over half way and hoping for more wind soon.
Love to all from the crew of Nyaminyami 2