Day 23 – Sailing and my observations

What were your last 5 meals? which one you love, which one hate?

Last one was an egg mayo and paprika-fried Vienna wrap that Charlie and I concocted from leftovers instead of the tuna sweetcorn wraps that we’ve had twice already (not exactly flavoursome and the wraps are flaking apart).

Brekkie is always porridge, toast (boat toast made on the back of a baking tray on the gas hob…the only way to do it on a boat!) and cereal. It’s not so bad…but we’ve run out of everything except weetabix for cereal. Thank god there’s loads of peanut butter left!

Last night was stir-fried chicken with cashews and bean sprouts. All from tins. Not too bad but there are never enough noodles!

Yesterday’s lunch was not memorable…tinned ham on half-cooked dauphinois potatoes. Sometimes the experiments work…sometimes not O_o

We’re entering ‘snack-fest’ at the moment. Before we get to Aus, we have to consume or chuck overboard all of the food that the Aussies won’t allow in. They will board us and search the boat before we berth so we have to be careful. Upside: Alll The Biscuits are up for grabs (well, all the non-chocolate ones for me). Custard creams are us at this point!

Your best moment from yesterday…

Whale!! We saw a whale not 10 foot from our port side. That and avoiding the mess of tangled lines that swept passed us on the surface of the sea. Oh…and it’s getting warmer. Blessed bonus, I’m not sleeping in everything I own!

What you miss the most

Kirei. I mean, obvs I miss family and friends and wine and showers and a good burger and fresh fruit and stuff…but my pooch. Miss my furball!


– After nearly weeks at sea, the skin on the tips of my fingers has gone hard as rock and, when wet, is a luscious shade of grey. Let’s not even get started on the state of my fingernails… That said, the pedicure I got before I left London has survived beautifully! Open toed sandals and gloves on arrival methinks!

– Everything is a bit swollen and, when I’m sleeping, that puts pressure on the nerves and I wake up every shift with numb hands which quickly go to pins and needles. Yeesh.

– Blood (not mine this time) on the deck goes a very fetching shade of rust very quickly. Adding anti-bac turns it black.

– when the moon shines onto the sea at night, it looks like you’re sailing on molten silver…beautiful!

– the 12-4am shift sucks. Nodding dog syndrome sets in and I’m fairly certain I’ve had a few hallucinations. The tricolour lights at the top of the mast look like a dragon…and the lettering on the boom looks like a mass of people standing around…but only for a few seconds before you realise you need to stand up and move around!

– this boat runs on tea and snacks.

– *everyone throws a wobbly at some point. Some recover quickly, some not. You think you’re a patient person? You are not.*

– when the shit hits the fan, it’s really good to have someone on deck who really knows what they’re doing. Even the experienced sailors we have on board don’t have the range and depth of experience that our skipper, Dale has and can make the wrong call. We all make mistakes, Dale knows how to get us out of situations fast and safely. I feel immense reassurance from having him as our skipper. I can’t imagine the pressure he’s under not only to race this boat but also to keep us all safe. Herculean effort. Much respect.

– being complacent is a major issue. You’ve no doubt heard the tragic news about what happened to Simon on GB. He wasn’t complacent…he was being safe. And yet still it wasn’t enough. We’re normally quite good about being proactive in our management of small niggles and fixes on the boat or with our gear so when this news came through, we were all very shaken. We have redoubled safety protocols and watch each other like hawks now.

And all my love and sympathy to Simon’s family, friends and crew on board GB. I know I echo the same thoughts from our crew.

3-ish days to go.


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