Last of the sailing training

With the final 600nm of sailing under my belt before heading off around the world. In a week spent with a predominantly Australian crew, a couple of Canadians and four token Brits, I find myself when presented with a wet wipe, naturally reaching to wash my neck and other body parts.

Now, whilst on the boat, this is perfectly reasonable, however, sitting at the seafood bar in Gatwick airport it took a considerable amount of willpower to refrain from such activity.

Imagine therefore what it might be like after a year at sea!

Eating in restaurants I shall have to relearn the art of using knife and fork rather than spoon. To eat from different sized china plates rather than a plastic “dog bowl”. And to chew, to take ones time savouring flavours rather than bolting down the bland but calorific food before one gets pinged to the other side of the cabin after the skipper’s called for a tack, or to get on deck for the next watch or to eat quickly so you can get to bed and get extra time asleep before your own next watch.

Work and sleep will be in random 6 or four hourly chunks rather than ordered 12 hour working days and 8 hour sleeps.

My office will become a 70 foot deck and rather than a telephone and keyboard, winches, sheets and sails.

My kitchen reduced to a tiny space in which I need to prepare meals, in any sea state, for a hungry crew of up to 20. Where your daily calorie requirement increases from just under 2000 per day to 5000 (think I’ll enjoy that bit).

And my 6 foot bed to a bunk of about a meter wide. Crisp cotton sheets to a sleeping bag. A daily change of clothes to the same items…. until the crew tell you that you really do smell.

Imagine washing your clothes, hanging them in your unheated garage for four hours and then putting them back on.

Imagine your bathroom where you can touch each wall with less than fully outstretched arms. And your bathroom privacy shrouded by a zip up canvass material door.

Ablutions carried out at 35 degree angles.

And imagine working with a group of people who want to get the most out of the experience, who really want to be “in the office”. Awesome.

For now however, Sunday brings 180km cycle race around Lake Geneva. Not having been on my bike for two weeks it’ll be an interesting challenge this year. Perhaps not as fast as last year, although with the same passion and desire to do as well as I can.

Wish me luck 🙂


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