Life at sea

Salsa af Stavsnas
Ellinor Ristoff Staffan Ehde
Thu 6 Dec 2012 00:35
What does a day look like when sailing 24/7, a two handed crew with two small children? I will give you my fragment and then I'll try to convince Ellinor to give you her's. We run a four hour shift schedule.
My day starts att 24.00, Ellinor wakes me up and we have a short handover routine about sailing, other boats etc.
I start with writing the blogg and answer e mails, but the computer is not online.
Today it was different, when I was woken up, the first news was that we need to start the generator. And since I have been waiting for an answer from our fabulous DP (Designated Person): - if I can add oil to the generator that is not the right quallity, and he in turn has started off a whole lab at an oil refinery and then gave us an answer this afternoon, I could now start my shift doing so.The generator probably lost some oil when it was hoisted in Gran Canaria. Anyway, I always thought that working in a machine room must be hell when it is rocking about, but we are so used to it now it does not matter anymore.
So as I'm typing, now the generator destroys the calm of the night we usually experience. The sun has not been out today and the powerproduction is behind. We use the electric autopilot which was not the intention etc
Well, let's move on.
I usually take a security check in the bildge, machine room etc.
All the time I have a 20 min clock that reminds me to go up and watch the horizon.. If a ship is nearby and has a doubtful direction we stay up and watch them.
We logg our position, barometer etc every hour or so
If there is time over, I read, but it is almost never that.
At four in the morning I wake up Ellinor and I go to bed.
She does a whole lot as well, and we usually wake up with fresh bread nowadays.
At eight my shift goes on again. Now the kids are up, Erika might be reading for Andreas or something cute like that. Kids are always cute when they sleep and when they have just woken up.
We eat breakfast and then Ellinor dives to bed.
I make the dishes and try to organize the kids so they are happy. This means for instance that we have decided to surprise Ellinor one day with the boat fully covered in Christmas ornaments, and since we have nothing of that on board we are making it ourselves.
At 9 I connect to the satellite, upload and download mail and gribfiles for the weather program.
I check the weather and check our strategy.
Ellinor usually sleeps half her time off and then we have a riggcheck, sailchange, deckwork etc
Since NO ONE is allowed to leave cockpit when we are on our own there are things to be done when we are together.
I usually make lunch and then stay up part of my time off to do things that we need to do together as well.
Ellinor is on watch between 1200 and 1600.
When I get on at 1600 I usually make food for the kids, fight piles of LEGO, serve the food and then prepare what to cook for us later.
Ellinor has usually done her vegetable check and there is a pile of stuff that needs to be cooked NOW.
Then when it gets close to seven it's time to brush the kids teeth, read a story and put them to bed.
After that I prepare the meal for us and wake Ellinor up at 20.00 We eat and I go to bed.
My next day starts at 24.00
Now, when you read this, imagine the day time scene, with two kids that go about- DADDY this and DADDY that.
Or if they are playing doctor and patient (guess who is the doctor) Erika suddenly brings out a real needle from her sewing kit and Andreas stops my job with a cry.
Try also to feel the contrast between the interior of the boat, full of activity and when I go up and make a horizon check, just sea, sea, sea.
No manmade obstruction, the wind howling in the rigg, some seabirds, some flyfish (one scared me tonight by flying right into the cockpit)
Then you go down again, the kids watch a film or fight, or play along well. The dishes moving back and fore in the faucet reminding you to take care of them.
Someone (Mary!) told us that we will bored on the way over. Oh yeah? I thought I would bring out the guitarr and continue to learn, it is still stuffed in the forward cabin....