Since just shortly after the start of this race the weather has been quite ‘full on’. There has been no respite from the wind, the bumpy sea and the rain/waves. We have spent most of our time wet and a bit cold. My bunk is now slightly damp with condensation running down the walls and I am eternally grateful for my Ocean Sleepwear sleeping bag and its waterproof outer. I am also becoming a very adept bunk contortionist as I struggle into my 5 layers of clothing in my bunk before getting up to put my foulies on. My boots are doing a great job at keeping my feet dry (thanks Daddykins) and my legs are warm enough with just thermal tights under my oilies but the top half of me is doing a good job at resembling Michelin woman. I still have my furry midlayers in a dry bag in my cave locker – I’m saving them for when it gets really cold. The other outfits on deck are proving entertaining, the array of hats and buffs are great and we have Rich and Scarlet in bright yellow dry suits – Banana Man and Banana Skin respectively!

The sea and weather conditions are everything I had imagined when I pictured a sailing race around the world, rough, wild and exciting. It still amazes me that I am here, on a tiny boat in the middle of a huge boiling ocean. I’ve tried to capture the experience in photos but they are never quite the same so I’ve tried using the video camera on my camera so we’ll see how that goes.

I was on mother watch yesterday. A challenging day! Partly due to cooking at 35 degrees, balancing all the food and utensils then catching them as we are hit by another wave, to the fact that the full kettle managed to spill twice all over the galley, to working with a mother watch partner who has very different ideas as to how things should be done and is very definite about it being their way. And finally, to trying to wash my hair (a mothers day perk) in the galley sink without falling over, soaking myself or the galley and rescuing the shampoo and conditioner bottles as they fly through the air whilst leaning backwards at 45 degrees with soap in my eyes! All in all a relentless day to go with the relentless weather. However, worth it for the 8 hours sleep that follows a mother watch.

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3 Responses to Relentless

  1. Zena Louth says:

    Hello Lesley, catching up on all your entries – so much happening! You really are having the time of your life 🙂 And what an expert Sailor you are – is there a female equivalent term for this? Why not try asking your mother watch partner for tips on hair washing? ha ha!! x x

  2. David Cockburn says:

    Hi Lesley, I dial in every three hours on the main clipper website to find out your position and read the race reports. I think you are doing a great job conveying life on board and I sense you have a good skipper for keeping up morale. It seems that harder it gets the bigger the “adrenaline rush” is reported! I just wonder if the non-boaties will appreciate just how hard life is under these conditions…that’s before we all tune in to the TV programme of the race next year sometime. I recall 3 days and nights in an F11 in a 70ft boat – we put in to harbour to recover and we were all completely shattered and famished. How you are coping with day after day, week after week of these conditions is a real credit to you and all on board not forgetting the purple beastie herself!
    Keep it up and look forward to the different challenge of making your boat go fast in warmer climes and lighter airs in legs to come.

  3. David Cockburn says:

    Hi, just heard the news that Purple Beastie has won the ocean sprint – and by a decent margin too! Well done – vindicated the decision to go south – here’s hoping you can catch Finland next.

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