Pancake Day means pancakes – even if we are on a boat in the South China
Sea.  As it happens, I was on mother yesterday and today for breakfast, so
we had pancakes for breakfast.  Perfect!

I have spent the last 24 hours on mother duty with Val, who is on the other
watch this time.  We listened to Mozart all day, cooked, chatted and
generally caught up.  It way a lovely day – just what I needed.   Apart
from the odd incident.  It was hot in the galley, so Val decided to risk it
and open the hatch.  It cooled down nicely, and then a wave came over, and
soaked me.  She thought she had shut it – obviously not properly, as
another came over and soaked me again.  Why is it always me that gets the

It has been rather roly poly the last few days, throwing you from one side
of the boat to the other.  Not conducive to a good days cooking.  We were
making a chocolate cake – well, Val was – and I was making the bread.  I
bent down to get the bread tins out of the locker at Val’s feet, when a
huge wave knocked the boat sidewards.  The flour that was destined for the
bowl on the work surface missed, and landed on my head.  What a sight!
Or I presume what a sight, as I couldn’t see it.   There was much merriment at my expense.  I have been finding flour for hours, even though I thought I
had cleaned it off.  Having just come off the helm in fairly rough seas and
driving rain, I left my hood down for the water to wash the last of it out.
She did offer to pour the black coffee grinds over the other side of my
hair to look like Cruella De Ville.  I declined!
Then came the sugar incident.  The lid wouldn’t fit properly on the
tupperware, as crystallized sugar was stuck in the grooves.  So I decided
to wash the lid, and just as I got the lid off a wave came and the sugar
was all down my front.  Whilst doing the toast this morning, just as I was
buttering one slice a wave came, and I managed to butter my hand.  I only
needed egg and I could make a Victoria Sponge with the ingredients on my
body. Several people offered!!

Our Vietnamese crew member has not taken to the high seas with gusto.  He
was very sea sick to start with, but seemed to get better.  He now prefers
to lay in his bunk and play candy crush on his phone.  On day shifts, he
goes to sleep on deck virtually as soon as he gets up there – that is if
you can get him out of bed.  On night shifts he plays the “not well” card
and doesn’t do many. That is a real shame, as I think there would have been
quite a few people that would have jumped at the chance of doing what he is
doing and gone into it with boundless enthusiasm.  He is a nice enough
chap, but I feel that he has taken a chance away from someone else who
would have appreciated it a lot more.

We heard that there was an earthquake in Taiwan a couple of days ago – we
sailed just below Taiwan around that time.  We didn’t feel a thing – not
sure whereabouts in Taiwan it was, but could have been dodgy.  We also
heard that North Korea had launched a long range rocket in the vicinity –
the advice that came with this news was to avoid it if we saw it.  Hmm –
not sure that we could have done anything about that!

I have just had some really good news – Emily is going to be in Danang when
we are there.  I told Wendo, and she said to tell Emily that we have
shredded all three kites and there will be no way she will have time to fix
them in Danang so she will have to come with us to Qingdao.  (Emily was our
chief sail repairer.)  David said to tell her that he has been using the
sewing machine – that will freak her out!  Sam from Leg One sent an email
wishing us all Happy Half Way Round.  He said it fells like a lifetime ago
when he was on the boat – I quite agree.  A long time ago, but not very
long.  Wonder how long the next five and a half months will feel like!

Only just over a week to go now until we get to Danang – I think this is
one stopover that I really could do with.  We are at present heading the
opposite way to where we need to be – back to near the equator.  A few days
ago I was thinking of getting my sleeping bag out, as it was getting quite
chilly at night.  Now we are back to sleeping with sweat dripping off our
bodies as soon as we get into the bunk.  The fans are all at full pelt
again – trying to keep the power pack fully charged is difficult when there
are twenty of them and the generator is only on five hours a day.  It is
also difficult to know how to dress on deck – full foulies are needed for
the waves and the rain, but it is so hot.  With the “bottom” situation, I
have gone for full foulies and just sweated!  Hopefully we will turn the
right way shortly, and make our way to terra firma.  How long can a week

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Bridget only has basic email facilities on the boat. Editing and the choice of images on this blog is entirely by Paul Keevil!
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