The northern hemisphere – based on our last couple of days of experience – is grey and cloudy. We feel quite close to home already! Sadly that means no stars to keep us entertained on the night watch, and dawn breaking was particularly unremarkable as he sky turned from a dark grey to a lighter grey. Life on board is not without highlights and fun though, and the night watch was a little cool (not a bad thing!). So much so in fact that I bought out a jumper for the first time in about 2 months. Highlight number 1. This would seem such a normal event back home, but here it was something quite special. The feel of the wool was soft on my arms which have been bare and clammy from sun cream, sweat or salt spray for so long. But most remarkable was the smell of clean washing. A foreign smell in our little world. Something of a distant memory. Clothes washed on board never manage to have that washed and pressed smell. It was such a welcome smell that I had Sarah and Rachel’s noses attached to my sleeve for quite some time.
The second highlight of our watch came shortly after dawn. Well…apparently it was there the whole time, we just never noticed it…in the shape of a Boobie perched on our spreaders. Boobies are related to Gannets and we’ve seen them swooping and diving after fish. Sue the suicidal boobie as she is now known to us due to the stunts she’s now pulling alongside the boat is chasing the flying fish that scatter as we sail along. I can hear the watch now on deck marvelling at her aerobatics
The wind has steadied up – we think this is the trade winds now – and we have actually been sailing with no interruption from the engine for exactly 24 hours. Sometimes even in the right direction, and at a good speed!! It’s such a good feeling to be sailing again, but it does require a bit of getting used to. The boat is heeling (leaning) quite a bit making everyday tasks more challenging. When teased about how long she had needed to make tea, Rachel described how the tea shuffle went. She shuffled from the kettle to the tea shelf and back to the kettle, then back to the tea shelf when she realised she’d picked up coffee. Then shuffle shuffle to find some mugs, and so on. When we’re not shuffling along the boat, we are generally climbing up a very steep hill of the floor or deck. My exercise routine has gone to pot (it’s hard to do exercises on a slope), but I think the extra effort that goes into moving around the boat will make up for it.