Here I am on day 13 at sea, not even mid Pacific yet.

I was reflecting yesterday on life, the world, the universe, general “stuff” and as usual sentimentality got the better of me.  My role on the foredeck took me back to my childhood days of adventure and mischief with my cousins. In particular ‘big cuz’ John.

We would find the biggest trees to climb, the dirtiest mud piles to jump into (usually from high walls) and explore the woods and rocky outcrops near our homes. And race around Aunty Liz’s house like demented puppies.

Out on the foredeck with Gordon offers similar proportions of fun and satisfaction. The wetter or lumpier or darn right freaky, the better. We grin, always have an eye open for one another’s wellbeing and are generally inseparable when something needs doing “up front”.

Rather than being just ten weeks older than me, like ‘big cuz’, Gordon is half my age! His bunk is the one above mine and we are frequently heard giggling loudly when we should be sleeping, like mischievous children, as we rerun our latest adventure or plan a joke on another crew member.

And then there’s the freshly baked bread on board that reminds me of coming home from school with my cousins and devouring a loaf of bread before dinner was ready a few hours later.  That was assuming we got to the bread before John.

And now forty years later “little cuz” Mary who was simply a baby in those days (well, too little to climb a big tree!) is, with her four fabulous children, following yet another mad escapade of mine. Mary’s daughter Phoebe ensured that I had a very big birthday badge to wear on my big day and the cards they all made for me to wish me luck before I set sail are stashed in a water tight bag in my dry bag as I travel the seas.

Mary and Aunty Liz came to London to see me off last September, sadly arriving after I was on the boat. I simply can’t wait to see them when I’m back. Knowing that family and friends are there even though you can’t see them or speak to them really keeps me going out here.

Now back to off watch reality and just three hours of sleep ’til the first of our two night watches. Heavyweight kite flying and over 11 knots of VMG (velocity made good – i.e. fast in the right direction). By Sunday we should be half way……. With a low pressure system appearing and probably walloping us with around 60 knots of wind.

More adventure tales for me and Gordon then.
Loving it!




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