Not only do I get wet on deck, but sometimes below decks as well. Whilst
standing innocently at the wet locker at the beginning of a shift reaching
to get my foulies, a fair few litres of water was tipped on my head. Not
literally tipped. The last person either in or out of the companionway did
not pull the hatch over, so when a wave broke over the side, it made its
way down the stairs and on to my head. Great. Then up on deck I managed to over balance when a wave hit and roll from the high side of the boat to the low side, ending up with my legs in the air and a sore arm and shoulder. I was tethered on, so no chance I was going too far. But it still hurt!!
This morning, there was hail interspersed with rain. Driving rain. The
visibility was down to about 100 metres – although it is hard to gauge as
there are no land marks to go by. My hands are constantly red and sore
from being so cold, and having to put on freezing wet gloves. Even if they
got a chance to dry out, it would only take minutes for them to be wet
again. After half an hour or so on deck, my fingers are completely numb,
so when it comes to having to use my hands they don’t work very well.
I have been having hot drinks whenever they are offered, not because I want a hot drink (although it does warm your insides) but because I can put my
fingers around a hardly warm thermos cup that makes a small difference.
One of the victualling issues on this leg is bread. After the bread on leg
two outlasted the amount of loaves I had bought (and we found a loaf four
weeks in on leg one that was still edible) I thought I would buy mostly
enough for the whole of this trip. So, thirty loaves were bought and
loaded. Brown bread, as I thought it would be more healthy. What I hadn’t
thought about, was that it has far less preservatives in than white bread.
So, after just under one week, green bits started to appear.
It is quite dark in the mornings when we make toast, so I am sure we all ate a fair amount of green bits. But when there was more green bits than brown bits people started to complain! Over the side they went – the albatrosses
We have not quite enough bread flour to last the whole of this leg – it is
taking a little longer than anticipated. No toast at the end of the trip!
There was already one disaster, when the last glass jar of vegemite
smashed on the floor. The Australians will not even handle marmite, let
alone eat it. There was no vegemite in Capetown that I could find – so we
are now out. Not good when the skipper only has toast and vegemite for
breakfast. I believe she has taken matters into her own hands, and a
catering container of vegemite will be waiting for us in Albany!
The generator broke this morning. Water was getting in from the deck and
dripping onto the switch. Marc and George fixed it – but not in time for
the toaster to be plugged in for breakfast. Sign of what is to come….
The generator is used to allow the water maker to work, and to charge the
batteries for the lights and all the navigation equipment. Important that
we get it working then!
I had a little cry yesterday – I am so missing all of my family. It seems
very lonely out here at times, even though I am in such close proximity
with another nineteen people.
The positives. There was the most amazing rainbow the other day at the
back of the boat. A perfect, vivid semi circle starting at the sea and
ending at the sea. No trees or buildings to spoil the perfection. There
is a little bit of sun at times!! Even when the boat is ploughing through
the waves, the spray that comes up often catches the sun and a tiny splash
of colour is painted in the guard rail.
The best one is my sleeping bag. Whilst others are cold at night, my Volvo
Ocean Race Sleeping Bag is perfectly warm. In fact, it is so warm I really
don’t want to get out of it. Sleep deprivation might also have something
to do with that. I really can’t understand how I am functioning on so
little sleep. Perhaps I’m not!
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