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Saturday, November 24, 2007

A Day in the Life - Part 3

15:30UTC 24/11/07 17'0N 036'08W Wind ENE4/5

We're moving south to avoid some lighter winds in the north, but that means that we are running directly downwind again and rolling like a bad'un. But 138 miles in the last 24 hours, despite a quiet patch overnight so no problems with progress.

Cocktail last night was a Canadian Wake Up Call - Expresso coffee, milk, baileys, vodka and maple syrup. Mmmmm.

Below, the third installment of a day in the life, there'll only be one more!

Nick.

'A day in the life of Ty Dewi - Wed 21 Nov 2007 - Part 3'
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Now that we are set up for the tradewinds that seem to be firmly established, we can leave the boat and autopilot to sail on and get on with the simple chores of daily life. We have a strict rota for the four of us. Day 1, you're making Breakfast and Lunch, day 2, Dinner and snacks, day 3, the nasty day, you do all the washing up, sweep the boat and clean the heads (toilet). Day 4, you are rewarded by having the difficult duties of inventing the evening cocktail and choosing music. Today, I'm making dinner.

Now though, I turn to a little job I've been meaning to do for a while, and permanently wire in the navigation lights. Up to this point, lighting up at night has been done by joining two bits of wire together. Effective but inelegant. All I have to do is lead a wire under the floor and up to the switch panel, but doing anything in this rocking, rolling world takes a long time. After an hour, I've done it and the lights can go on at a flick of a switch.

I lie down and read. The current book is 'Ninety Degrees North', a well written and entertaining history of the quest for the North Pole. Those guys were mad.

After another couple of chapters, I get up, check the radar - still no ships - and revise our course slightly. The weather analysis suggests that we want to be positioned a bit further south by Friday, so I set a course that will take us 60 miles south and about 100 west over the next day. Playing this game is always a bit tricky, sailing extra miles takes longer, but falling into a calmer patch does too. Of course, the light winds might not materialise or might be somewhere else but we go on the information we have and if we can optimise our route, we do.

I realise that the past couple of hours have been solitary. This happens quite a lot, we have a burst of communal activity - sail handling, meals or just a meeting up in the cockpit - then everyone finds some time and space to themselves. It's good, a nice mix and avoids the pressure of being sociable all the time.

Soon enough, it's time for lunch. Ian consults our little menu page, a laminated card for each day listing what is needed for breakfast, lunch and snacks, plus a recipe for dinner. Today, up from the galley comes crackers, ryvita, paté, cheese, pickled onions and olives, plus another litre bottle of beer from the fridge. Despite the boat's constant attempts to tip these things over, we've got quite good at balancing our food, so we sit in the cockpit and enjoy our lunch, chatting away. After a while, the cleaning wallah (toady it's Ed) gathers everything up and washes, dries and puts away to leave the galley nice and clean.

At this point, I look again at the dinner menu for which I am responsible. A little warning light goes on in my head when I read 'chocolate pudding - from mix'. Hmm, I dig out the pack and sure enough, it says make then chill for a couple of hours. Lucky that I read that one, so I get on with it, boiling some milk and making a passable imitation of a chocolate pudding to be put in the fridge. If I say 'Angel Delight' the Brits will probably know what I mean.

I lie down again with my book and then try to catch up on some sleep. Once more, the boat, or rather the seas, are against me. With every roll, something clatters from one side of a cupboard to another. We have a variety of chopping boards, and I've almost thrown the round one overboard as it was stored on edge, rolling nicely from one side to another. I saw reason and stuffed it, flat, in a locker somewhere. The biggest annoyance is that, after a meal, we've used some tins from the cupboard and there is now space for the remainder to slide around, which they do with the delight of kids having finally been released into the playground. I shut them up by digging more tins out of the storage boxes, and wedging them in with the bags of dried fruit. I wedge other things by using almost our entire collection of tea towels to jam in the gaps between bottles, plates and anything else that disturbs me. But you never get them all.

Eventually, I sleep for an hour or so.

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2 Comments:

Blogger The Mig said...

We're really enjoying reading the "day in the life of" stories. It brings back all the memories of the Canaries trip and we can really empathise. The story about the party on the French boat made me laugh with surprise. Going to a party in the middle of the Atlantic - how cool is that? Enjoy yourselves and stay safe.

Love Mig x

1:23 pm  
Blogger The Mig said...

We're really enjoying reading the "day in the life of" stories. It brings back all the memories of the Canaries trip and we can really empathise. The story about the party on the French boat made me laugh with surprise. Going to a party in the middle of the Atlantic - how cool is that? Enjoy yourselves and stay safe.

Love Mig x

1:24 pm  

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