We found that having a routine helped to make the days go by faster. The first four days or so every moment off watch is spent napping, then it seems our body gets used to the schedule and doesn’t need as much sleep. So what do we do with our time? Well of course there’s the actual sailing of the boat. You have to keep an eye on Ernest since he steers by the direction of the wind, if the wind swings, so do we. But a casual glance at the compass and a quick scan of the horizon for traffic every few minutes is really the required watch activity. Add to that the occasional sail and vane adjustments and there’s still time to read a book or cook a meal. We also keep a rather detailed “logbook” which really reads more like a ship’s journal. We note the weather, our speed and direction in a table every four hours as well as our noon position and a few other important stats. Otherwise we often note all sorts of very “unofficial” details: wildlife: whales and birds and even flying fish (especially if they land on deck), the moon, stars, general mood of the crew and and what we eat, etc. It’s often quite interesting to start a watch and read what the other has written, especially if there’s been serious star-gazing and philosophizing.
Other shipboard routines include our daily happy hour drink. Conditions have to be pretty rough for us to go without it, sometimes it’s just a glass of juice, usually it involves brandy. We also have a daily “bucket bridage” on the foredeck. There’s not enough fresh water storage on Narama for us to have showers, so every morning (usually at the 10 AM watch change) we head to the foredeck with a bottle of shampoo and a bucket. In this hot tropical climate it is very pleasing to tip buckets of sea water on each other’s head. We then get a couple of cups of fresh water to rinse off a bit of the salt and this keeps us from going “feral”.
Aside from all this, reading is probably the most common activity (next to sleeping). Our most common conversation topic is definitely the weather, followed by the boat itself. Life at sea isn’t too bad really, it’s just tedious when the seas are rough and you can’t use two hands to do anything (one is holding on!).
A few quotes from our logbook:
April 14: “We’re now bouncing along under 3 reefs and a little bit of jib. I’m guessing that the large convection cells and wind against tide are keeping the seas rough.”
April 17: “Happy hour and full moon rise as sun set. Seas slowly easing and we’re making just over 4 knots.”
April 26: “Dreary drizzle, dolphins diving with dashing dexterity in the dark depths, drawing dazzling designs with diamonds.”
April 27: “One of those nights when staying awake seems impossible. Walk from the cockpit to the galley and back again, over and over. Eat a piece of chocolate and still my head wants to lie on any surface available. Meanwhile Stevo snores like a trooper and makes me insanely jealous!”
|We caught a Tuna!|