Clipper Race 2017/2018 - Charlie's Voyage - Week 3
Flying Fish Assault
This week I was assaulted, assaulted by a flying fish that is. Upon completion of my duties as Mother for the day (cooking breakfast, lunch, and dinner for the entire crew) I took the liberty of 'airing' in the companion way in order to cool down before attempting to climb into my hot bunk (Everest had returned by the end of this week).
Unfortunately, I think King Neptune felt I had cooled enough and sent one of his soldiers from flying fish squadron to first assault my arm before ricocheting off my head and into the cockpit where Port watch were settling down for the next four hours, I must admit the squeals were not just from the girls on Port Watch.
Back home, I've often used the phrase “getting hit in the face by a wet fish” and not once have I ever expected it to come true. Silly me thought this was purely a metaphorical phrase but now having experienced what it actually feels like to get hit by a wet fish, it makes me wonder if flying fish in the Atlantic are the root cause of such a phrase? Perhaps one of you could use the power of Google to research the history of the phrase and let me know once I hit Punta del Este?
Tackling the Doldrums Corridor
We have been in the Doldrums Corridor this week and it has not been as I expected. The Doldrums are supposed to equal no wind and unbearable heat, well we've certainly had the heat but lacking in wind we have not. Upon entry, we initially saw the wind drop and we had a couple of days with a little breeze and sunshine, with me on mother this week I thought I was in for a gentle lull to accompany me while I stayed below. Wrong again. Thursday saw us pounding into waves and 20knts of head wind under engine.
Under engine, you may say? Well to help ensure that the whole fleet doesn't become becalmed for weeks on end in the Doldrums we are allowed to use 60 hours of engine to cover a maximum distance of 6° latitude. Thankfully the added heat of the engine has now been turned off and sailing resumes with life back to 45°. Sometimes I look ahead to the next ten months living at this angle and wonder if I'll return with one leg longer than the other!
Life at an angle
The positive side of life at such an angle is that I am becoming rather nimble at climbing around the boat. Week one saw me struggle with climbing in and out of my bunk but now as Mount Everest returns I feel like a seasoned climber. Don't get me wrong I still have my moments when I feel like a beached whale flapping around as I try and roll the last of me in, especially when I've pulled it up so high that there really is no room to move and however I get in is how I stay until I get up in four hours' time. However, I think I may like to try climbing when I return...but only low level!
Keeping up morale
Our Rubix cube remains unsolved though some crew have given it a good try even taking it to their bunks with the hope that with sleep comes the answer, so far, I've only managed to get as far as one side completed.
What's the plan?
As I write this, we are only a few miles away from the equator, anticipation fills everyone as we try and work out what our Skipper (Dale) has planned. All wet mushy food scraps were thrown overboard at breakfast to try and limit his options, however, there is an abundance of tinned Mac n Cheese...perhaps I should find a good hiding place for them before we hit the line!? Perhaps if the sun was shining and life wasn't currently at 45° I'd be more willing to have random food thrown at me in homage to King Neptune but with today's conditions I would be unlikely to get a shower, living without one is hard enough let along when you add being caked in old food too.
Wish me luck and I'll let you know how we get on next week!
This blog was written by Charlie Garratt, Clipper 2017/18 Crew Member, and 3Si Ocean Safety Ambassador.