Bobbing Around

More updates to follow shortly but I cannot resist sharing this one with you. This was written by Daisy/Trinngg for our boat blogs and it sums up quite nicely our bobbing around in the tropics…

“Hello dear reader and welcome to another set of musings from Trinngg aboard the EIC Purple beastie. I will apologise for the slight tardiness of this particular diary entry, but the heat is rather stifling during the day, and I have waited until a quieter night shift to stay below decks for longer than it takes me to get our of my bunk, don on my life-jacket and race to fresh air.

So, you find our watch and the rest of crew on, and occasionally IN, the Solomon Sea, attempting to outrun the tropical monsoon trough in a vain effort to find stable wind conditions which will propel us on the next part of our journey. The general plan at the moment is to head north out of the Solomon Sea, but it does appear that mother nature is suffering from some New Year blues and not providing us with an easy passage. We seem to have zig zagged for days (for those of a more nautical persuasion, tacking and gybing would be the appropriate terms) as we try to make use of squalls and currents. It does remind me of the survey ships they used to send out onto Loch Ness, combing every inch of the great lake for the mythical beast. No such legends have appeared to us out here, although some passing logs and a palm tree leaf have provided an exciting break to proceedings. In fact, I am not even sure if there is supposed to be a mythical beast out here, perhaps someone could check wiki for us and drop us a line….

Being from the north, it is good to see 000 degrees come up from time to time and, as the mind wanders, I couldn’t help reflecting on this particular journey and the similarity to the frustration of the drive back north from London felt on so many occasions. You get the feeling we have had a great escape from the big smoke, crossed the M25 and the equatorial ‘Watford Gap’ services is the next milestones. You know, the one when you have crossed from the south to the north when suddenly it all goes cold, wet and grey and you have to swerve past the pony and traps… Anyway, all is good, traffic is fine, we have passed Milton Keynes, Northampton is flying by. You know you will be home in time for tea, and you are feeling good with the world. Then suddenly, the red lights in the distance, a truck blocking lanes one and two, slowing down, grinding halt, the sat nav traffic report has failed you and you are stuck. You can almost feel the slip road is just around the corner, but short of getting out and walking (which, unless things have really changed I believe is still illegal) you feel a bit stuck and helpless. So it is with the Solomon sea, great progress, flying along, then halt. Nothing. Seemingly no warning. Short of getting off and swimming (which I am not sure is in with the keeping of the race rules or legal by clipper standards) you are stuck. I needed to dig deep on the Southern Ocean in 50 knot winds, and I feel I need to dig deep now, but for very different reasons. The worst part of course, is that being so far away, I can’t even pick up The Archers for my 15 minute pick me up….” Quick comment from me here; the swimming in the sea has been fantastic, one of the things I had dreamed about doing as part of the race. It was a fabulous feeling to dive into crystal clear waters from the pullpit and swim along the side of the bat. If only the water were a little cooler, it was like bath water. The only cooling water we have at the moment comes from the squalls when, if we are lucky, we get the chance for a deck shower. Sometimes the squalls bring wind – a great thing to get us moving but not good for showering as we are often working the sails. We did have a fabulous deck shower the other day though. It tipped it down for quite a while, allowing not only shampoo but conditioner and shower gel – it is so good to feel fresh and clear, free of sweat, even if it is only for 10 minutes. I cannot possibly begin to describe the heat and the constant sweating. Anyone who has done Bikram yoga will have experienced the heat I am talking about, except this is not a class at the gym that you can escape from to a cold shower and chilled water, this is what we live in 24/7 with no cool escape!

And Rich’s musings on the heat effects on his feet…
“It has been a strange start to 2012, with one of the strangest, and of course more comical ones, being my feet. Not unattractive feet, if I do say so myself, but they did manage to swell up to quite an inflated size. As Shaggy pointed out, they were like puffy babies feet. After a quick consultation of everyone’s internal medical dictionary, two possible causes. Dehydration or Pregnancy. Following a round of interrogations in Bachelor Towers, all of the boys swore blind as having nothing to do with it, so we decided on de-hydration as being the likeliest cause. Don’t worry (especially mummy Trinngg) a couple a rehydration sachets later, protection from the sun and all back to normal. It did strike me as somewhat ironic though as I spent the morning fixing the water maker. We go to so much effort removing the salt from the water to fill the tanks, to then go and mix an expensive sachet of salts back into it….” Back to the heat again, it’s hard to keep up the water intake as we are sweating all the time both above and below deck and in our bunks. Our water bottles are permanently being topped up, we must be drinking about 4 litres of water a day on top of the usual teas and coffees etc, and it probably should be more than that!

And finally Daisy’s realistic resolutions for 2012…
“So, my realistic ones for 2012 are;
– Ensure that any bed I pay for in the future does not require me to tie up an additional piece of cloth to stop myself falling out
– Never try to cook a meal whilst bending over and wearing roller skates, with someone pushing you round the kitchen and randomly sliding the food off the counter
– And finally, and quite possibly the most important
Never buy 1-ply toilet paper. Honestly dear reader, life is too short….”

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4 Responses to Bobbing Around

  1. chris cowen says:

    Very amusing!!! keep at it guys

  2. Martyn says:

    Thank you guys …really lovely to see the return of rrtw and what’s in store for us joining you later. Uhm …take your point about the 1ply, wonder how we sneak the triple ply on board. Thanks again for the update , waging for the next episode …well done Lesley, good luck and keep safe .

  3. David Cockburn says:

    1 Ply paper!! I am of the era when the toilet paper in public loo’s / office etc was like greaseproof paper – didn’t absorb a damn thing, just spread things around a lot. I was therefore ever so grateful when 1 Ply absorbent tissue arrive on the scene. Just checked Robin Knox-Johnstons book and he did his entire 10 month + non-stop trip around the world with only 18 rolls of toilet paper which seems hardly enough. This demands knowledge of the “how to use just a single sheet at a time” trick. You fold the single sheet in half and then half again. Tear a small piece of the corner off that and when the sheet is unfolded you have a sheet with just enough room to insert your middle finger through the middle. Do the business then use the little circle you tore off to wipe down your middle finger.

  4. Sal says:

    Thanks Dave for hints and tips I hope I never have to use …. but if I do I will think of you.

    Rest assured the Archers are still going strong and so are the Friday afternoon traffic jams – so thanks to Rich’s wonderful descriptions we are now all a lot clearer about your daily life.

    Take care and enjoy it all the more knowing you are not on the M1!

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