Authors: Ric, but mostly Nelli
Another day, another spoon thrown overboard with the washing up bucket.
Things could become quite desperate in the cutlery department if we keep
this up! A most uneventful 24 hours, crew all working hard to keep the boat
moving as fast as possible while I've been tearing my (limited) hair out
trying to decide how far south is 'south enough'. Knowing where our rivals
are would be valuable knowledge, as heading west first carries the risk of
finding lighter winds, but standing on too far south increases the distance
we have to sail. We've settled on 15.5N for the time being, and are
currently heading due west. I'm eagerly awaiting this evening's position
No shortage of volunteers for blog writing today - I'll hand over to Nelli
to enlighten you about day to day life on P42.
For our less informed readers, P42's day is divided into 7 watches - 3 day
and 4 night, each of 12 hours duration 7am-7pm.
That equates to roughly 112 watches this trip! The watch change is a fairly
busy time where the off-watch is woken (yet again) and stagger bleary eyed
into lifejackets and onto deck to assume boat positions. Watch news is
shared such as course to steer, wind angles, shipping sighted, and how far
behind EH01 is! [currently 294 miles - Ric]
For a morning watch copious amounts of suncream, silly hats and shades are
applied before the heat of the day starts to build.
There are 4 important positions on our boat - helmsman, kite trimmer,
grinder (winchman) and tea-maker! Fortunately our excellent tactician Skip
Ric and Mate Paul are responsible for the intellectually challenging
business of navigation and crew haranging [we call it 'motivation', and we
also have to stop you lemmings from finding endless new ways to endanger
yourselves - Ric].
Watches are spent spent in the relentless pursuit of boat speed, position,
tactics supplemented by helming, trimming, winching and of course, essential
joke-telling. Night watches take on their own rhythm; bleary eyed we stab
our way through the endless ocean usually with starry lit skies for guidance
and dolphins for amusement. The last few nights have been dark, cloud
filled nights which makes driving difficult in confused seas. Our
perception at times is one of drivingan articulated lorry down a twisty
mountain road at breakneck speed with your eyes shut! [With some of the
drivers on this boat, I sometimes feel locked in the back of said lorry!-
Our hushed conversationson 'H' watch have ranged from farming to psychology.
Last night's topics featured 'Desert Island Discs' - George's luxury items
were a helicopter and his highland cattle. Chris wished for a working iPod
and Sky Sports. Sebastian, being practical felt he needed a catamaran and a
wind generator. As for myself, a lifetime supply of Rococco chocolate and
Frette linen! Sandy has put in for a sound-proofed room with air-con, set
on a gimble. As you can see, life here is far from reality.
Now for the practicalities of daily life on P42 with 10 people in the middle
of the Atlantic. She runs like a well-oiled machine (most of the time).
Our tiny galley feeds 10 of us three times a day, and without a fridge,
needs to be kept clean daily! The same goes for the head (loo) which as you
can imagine shared between 10 several times a day in hot climes could become
worse than a public loo on a Bank Holiday. Fortunately we have an eager
supply of volunteers for cleaning duty.
Drinking water comes from 450 litres of bottled water stowed below the floor
boards and in every other spare bit of space. There is a limited 160 litre
supply of tap water (nearly gone) for cooking. Cooking is kept to a minimum
(it is a race boat!) so boil in the bag Wayfarer meals supplemented with
rice, pasta, breads, cous cous and fruit keep us all going. We also munch
or way through an 'unhealthy' supply of chocolate bars, cake and Haribo with
the occasional treat of peanut butter (an unofficial cure for seasickness -
P42's daily rubbish is separated - everything goes overboard except
plastics. Empty water bottles are crushed awaiting disposal in St. Lucia.
Washing takes place with the latest hi-tech marine bucket system on the
'poop deck'! This consists of pouring a bucket of water over oneself while
harnessed at the back of the boat and trying not to fall off the now
hazardous soapy deck. Some are more thorough than others and feel a squeaky
clean result is best achieved naked! [I really wish they wouldn't - Ric]
Given the recent high temperatures it is most refreshing for about 15
minutes! It's a good job there are no mirrors on board as the boys are
conducting a troll-like beard growing exercise.
There are plenty of comedy moments on board. Last night Chris was woken by
a classy bird feeling his butt. Yelling out 'Stop Nelli!', further
investigation found the culprit to be of the feathered variety which had
flown in through the hatch. Paul and Sandy seem to be having an eating
contest - latest score, 4 all.
Love to all our friends and family,