And then there was calm.
Yesterday I was back on mother duty. Apparently it is a day you look
forward to with a full night’s sleep as a reward. bullsh*t. We’re running
low on key ingredients so cooking for 22 in a cupboard is even more
stressful than it might otherwise be.
And then there was the ‘sleep’. It was the start of the ocean sprint.
After washing up, baking 3 loaves of bread for breakfast and soaking the
porridge oats I took to the ‘coffin’ bunk that has been reserved for
mothers. As the name suggests its somewhat cosier that the other (hardly
And then it started. Commotion on deck and the pounding of the grinders as
the code 3 wrapped (again). Then the yankee. Then the leak above my bunk.
Then someone shouting that the boat was listing. Then the spinnaker
wooling by my bed. Then the floorboads up (at this point I’m convinced
we’re sinking in my sleepy haze). Then I started to go through the drills.
I’m number 12, that means I’m responsible for loading the life rafts with
the first aid kits. I’ve had less sleep than any other night. The sailing
is a breeze in comparison to the sleep.
But there was one moment of amazingness. A day 10 hair wash. It took the
form of a bucket of saltwater at the back of the boat. All others dressed
in drysuits to combat the chill of 36degs south and to fend off the spray
from the 30ft swell. Not me. Sports bra, woolly pants, salopettes and a
lifejacket. Determined to momentarily smell of coconut. Brilliant. I was
not the one that ended up with hypothermic symptoms.
And so to day 11, an abandoned ocean sprint and one day closer to seeing
that stunning place. A high pressure system some 350 miles out from CT
could make for a slow and painful finish. Remember our code 1 is in
Missing hand cream.