This is coming from my entry in our crew diaries lovelies 🙂
Hello intrepid family, friends and supporters!
Here we are with another missive from the mistress of the foredeck. OK, that may have come out wrong…foredeck boss? Although that makes me sound like the end villain in a video game. Beat the foredeck boss and you advance to…erm…main boss? I guess that would be Neil, our watch leader. He’s a scary one…watch out.
Anyway. I’m here to talk to you about water. There is a LOT of it on this leg. If it’s not coming at you from the sea (I was treated last night to the first sailing watch where I didn’t get drenched), it’s coming out of the sky…or sweating out of your body as you try to sleep in 35 degrees below deck, waking up in a pool of your own making. Yeesh. The yachtie bottie has now turned into the yachtie body. Various applications of talcum powder, sudocreme, hydrocortisone and antihistamines seem to be helping but there is no stopping the advance for most. I am told the best cure is actually to sit under a tree…an activity I will try to enjoy once we hit Sanya. If I can find a suitable tree…not sure palm trees provide the best shade.
Continuing the theme…I’m sure that most of you have read that a couple of days ago we had to about-face to assist the Liverpool 2018 team who had “not a drop to drink” (see what I did there?). A rather successful boat transfer requiring a dinghy, a boat hook, a spare watermaker and 4 jerry cans of water. All lead by our swashbuckling leader, Skipper Dale “ the meerkat” Smyth. On receiving our water bottles back, we were delighted to find a bag of treats given to us as a thank you from the Liverpool 2018 team! The biscuits and crisps are already gone, the sweets are being consumed at a rate not seen since we had mini-Kit Kats onboard, and the Pink Panther (nicknamed Rex…don’t ask) has been put into a place of safety. Some on this crew (who shall remain nameless) were threatening to waterboard the poor mite to gain Liverpool 2018‘s secrets. Not on. Ironically for someone who despises the colour pink, I seem to have become his de facto protector. The duty is shared with at least one other trusty crewmate and between us, Rex will survive this trip. Never fear, children!
Why is Dale “the meerkat”? Well, he does tend to pop his head up out of the hatch at random moments and look around as if he’s sniffing the air. With his weather-predicting abilities, I think he may actually be sniffing the air. Anyway…it’s cute. And so are meerkats.
OK, one other topic I’d like to address while I’m here as this may be one of the last blogs I do before my journey ends: mental health (yes, I know, a bit of a tangent but there you go).
One of the reasons that I’m doing the Clipper Race is that it is part of my journey back to mental health after a devastating breakdown at the end of 2015. It was a horrible, dark period in my life and sadly not my first. I was very lucky to having wonderful friends and family who rallied around me and held me safe until I could pick myself back up. Not everyone is so lucky. Not everyone has the good fortune to have people around them who understand what it is to suffer mental ill-health and support them in finding the help that they need.
Two years down the road and I’m back stronger than ever. The Clipper Race helped me focus on achieving something outside myself, outside my norm and though it has been tough at times, I’m nearly there…and I’m determined to get there. I’ve also taken this as an opportunity to speak out about what I went through and try to help others understand this “scary” topic. It’s really not all that scary. The brain is an organ like any other and it has illnesses just like any other. If you want to read more about my story, I’ve been talking a lot about it on my personal blog (shonadavies.com). If there is only one person out there who reads this and thinks “OK, just because you have a mental health issue doesn’t mean you can’t do amazing things with your life”, then I will consider my campaign a success. Feel free to drop me a line if you’d like to chat about this or any other topic. I like chatting. After nearly 5 months with this team, I’ve become a master at chatting 🙂
And that’s it from me for now. I hope that wherever you are, you are surrounded by laughter, love, peace and contentment.
Sailor, Puppy Owner, Reader, Music Aficionado, Wine Lover, Runner, Traveller, Adventurer, Crewing the 2017/2018 Clipper RTW Yacht Race! Smart, Sassy, Solvent, Sorted.