Specially written for those of you who ask how we fill in our day....our
very own Bandit (Bridget Jones’) Diary!
Occupation: galley slave/deckhand/cleaner
units of alcohol: none sadly..we don’t drink at sea!
Midday: Update blog then, highlight of entire day.....dial up
satellite phone to send/receive emails. Spend next hour reading emails and
feeling not so alone in this world.
1pm: Prepare and eat lunch. Today tomato and cheese tart, lettuce,
cucumber and tomato salad and a fresh Cape Verde orange.
2pm: Computer time. Write emails/stories/blog etc.
3.30pm: Cup of tea with Christmas cake (bought in Gibraltar) or banana cake
(made on Bandit!). Read.
4pm: Afternoon SSB check. An informal one, this time it’s more of a
chat between fellow Australian and Kiwi sailors.
5pm: Another SSB check.....great to know someone knows we are out here and
is checking on our progress!
5.30pm: Afternoon game of two handed 500 which the skipper always wins
(can’t believe it’s not rigged)
6.30pm: Dinner. In view of skipper’s complete failure to bring home
the bacon (tuna) we have chicken curry.
7pm: Watch a movie/tv – tonight it’s Auf Weidersen Pet.
8pm: Bed.....asleep within minutes of head touching pillow.
midnight: David wakes me from deep sleep. Struggle to find eyes and then
struggle to prise them open. Grab clothes discarded night before and pull on in
any order (who is looking?). Go up on deck and let fresh air wake me. Play
computer cards which zaps brain into life. Go up on deck and look at stars.
Read, feel drowsy so back to computer. Listen to music, make ginger tea, read,
play cards, yawn, get huge fright when dolphin leaps out of the water beside
Bandit. Fall into bed when watch over at 4am. Sleep like the dead.
6.30am: Woken again...feels like only been asleep two minutes. Skipper
decides on sail change which does the trick – wide awake now. Find this watch
easier as the sky is starting to lighten......a special time and I love watching
the sun rise.
8am: Big bowl of banana, papaya, kiwifruit, bircher muesli and yoghurt. Do
dishes, clean floors (where does all this salt come from?).
9am: David’s up for morning SSB radio check. An hour or so of chat,
information exchange after an initial roll call and check in of boats crossing
10am: Back to bed after yet another sail change.
11.30: Wake to smell of coffee brewing and, after having one, finally feel
completely awake. Have hot shower, feel human. Make bed....again......can’t
stand unmade beds....and do washing.
footnote: on watch means keeping a look out for shipping (scanning horizon
every 10 minutes), adjusting course and trimming sails if needed.
swearwords emitted: lots (during sail change so allowed)
1200: Send/receive emails.
1330: Lunch. More food. Checked the fruit. Found one off orange and two
that need eating.
1430: Off to bed for an hour or so sleep.
1600: Up for cup of tea and cake.
1630: Catch a fish but too small to keep.
1645: Chat to Richard on Moonshadow who is about 80 NM to the north of us
opting for the great circle route to Barbados.
1700: Afternoon net then thrash cook at cards.
1800: Pull in the fishing line, redeploy the towgen, walk around deck
(harnessed on) to check for chafe.
2000: On watch for the next 4 hours. Read a lot of an old Sunday Times
Culture magazine. Not very often I read every article but devoured
everything. Keep an eye out for shipping...none. Made a few course
adjustments to keep the sails from flogging and waking Brenda, this usually
means about a 5 degree adjustment as the wind veers and backs. Made a cup of
cocoa and had some yummy slice cook made, not that I was hungry but it makes the
time go quicker. Made a few entries on the ship’s log to keep a record of our
course and position
0000: sleep, sleep, sleep.
0400: Felt a shaking going on somewhere in my dream and woke to find Brenda
saying how hard it was to wake me!!
0430: Now awake enough to make a loaf of bread. Seems to be a good time to
do this as I find this watch a bit of a drag.
0630: Bread now out of the oven and the ship smells great! Off to get a bit
0815: Waking, I can see the reflection of the wheel in the hatch and Zak,
the autopilot, seems to being working a bit hard. By the noise Bandit is a bit
0830: Drop the main, made a mistake of not coming up into wind a bit more
as the full battens got a bit caught in the lazy jacks as it came down. Set the
staysail on the pole to port and genoa to starboard. Go back to bed.
0900: Morning SSB.
1000: Can’t resist the fresh bread! Made toast and marmalade. Replaced
water pump belt on generator – for the umpteenth time! Run generator and make
1030: Ran the Genoa sheet through the end of the main boom which is pulled
forward, worked well and prevented the genoa from flogging as we roll.
1130: Coffee. Resist temptation to have more food.
1145: Round up into wind and pull in the towed generator and put out the
fishing line. Watch this space to gauge success.