Wobble boards and juggling

Elemiah's Atlantic Adventure
Ian Cole and Rosemary Bointon
Sun 13 Jul 2008 01:18
Given that you cannot really walk around very much on a boat, it is amazing how much exercise you get. There is of course a certain amount of exercise in winching up the sails or wrestling them into submission when they are lowered, There is also hand steering. That has proved very tiring, although not so much now that Roger has fixed the steering. We motored under autopilot which meant no exercise from that source. We are currently under gennaker and think it is better to hand steer, (particularly as we are on a point of sail where we might accidentally gybe), so we are at least getting in a bit of upper arm exercise as well as an exercise in concentration. It is all too easy to start thinking about something else and whoops - off course she goes.

But the main source of exercise is counterbalancing the constant movement of the boat. With not much wind, it is not so much effort but with a modicum of wind, even the slightest thing becomes a major effort. For example, getting the potatoes out of the stowage under the bunk feels like a major mountaineering event as the bunk is on the uphill side.

We have eaten very well but cooking is quite difficult. Imagine cooking dinner for five whilst balancing on a wobble board. At the same time, all the items which you are using are on their own wobble boards. Every time you put something down, you have to be sure that it is balanced and that it is not going to slide off or fall over or generally empty itself of the contents that you need for cooking the dinner. It's like those shows where somebody spins plates on poles. You have to keep going back to the first one to make sure that it is not about to fall off its pole.

Yesterday was a prime example. We were eating outside in the cockpit (Thai noodles with chicken and satay sauce). Ian brought out a bottle of wine and put it down whilst he climbed out of the companionway. The boat gave a big roll in the swell and the bottle started to topple. I lunged for it, but could not quite reach. Roger got to it before it had split very much. Meantime, the boat lurched back the other way and caught off balance, I sat down hard, slid off the cockpit coaming onto the side deck. My dish of noodles in my left hand, rolled backwards with me and flipped the contents neatly overboard, leaving a short trail of satay sauce down my arm. I was left stranded on the side decks like a turtle.

There is also all the getting up in the middle of the night for the night watches to take into account as well. During the day, we take it in turns to sleep and loll about not doing very much.

It is really very tiring to spend your whole time on a wobble board.

Rosemary and Ian