I woke for the 4 to 8am shift and there was very little wind and it eventually completely died around about 8am. It was the first time we had become becalmed. It’s stayed like this for the entire day and night. There is something psychologically challenging about bobbing about the middle of the ocean miles from anywhere. I can quite identify with the cabin fever concept after just one day of this so far. Suddenly there is even less to do and I think at the back of everyone’s mind is the thought that “we might never get there”. The wind is the comforter. Without this phenomena of nature we would be stranded – 7 men in a tub bobbing. In our case even more real as we don’t have a motor.
So there we were with nothing to do, and as with any other day so far this did not last long. Kevin was busy with his mid-morning ablutions when he came to tell us that someone hadn’t flushed – so please could they! Well no one owned up and he returned to do the “necessary” himself. Well after a while he returned looking a little off colour and sweating saying it just would go! Mark resigned himself to investigate – his job to pull us out of bad situations as skip. It was discovered that there was not a flushing problem but a blockage problem. So began a nasty process that would have been very interesting had we been sailing along under good winds. Shaun and Mike spent 2 hours, knee deep in the …….., as they say unblocking the pipes and valves. It was not a job for the faint hearted. I glad to report after a good wash with Badedas soap they were returned to normal and the toilet was as well.
My personal view is that all yachts should be installed with a bidet it would be a lot easier.
While I am on the subject of ablutions, I might as well explain some other details. We have 3 toilet and shower rooms aboard. Two up front attached to the fore cabins and one at the back attached to the back cabin. All toilets are equipped with a basin with removable shower head spout for washing as well as a tiny toilet. So washing your hands and brushing your teeth is easy. From there it just gets progressively harder. The fore cabins are tiny especially for some us more established gentlemen aboard. If I turn round I hit all four walls. So they have limited use and only our Skipper Mark uses them entirely for what they are made. He has obviously grown into them with his years of sailing.
The aft toilet is rather spacious and we can move about freely. The only problem is that if Hot Ice is keeling and rocking there is no place to hold onto and you get thrown around the room.
If you sit down you need to stretch your legs out into some sort of yoga position to stay firmly seated. We are very fortunate to have water maker on board, which makes a fair amount of water from sea water per hour to add to the water tank that was filled in Cape Town. This water we still need to use sparingly. Stuart my 10 year old, would be particularly happy aboard as you are encouraged not to shower every day unless absolutely necessary. Wet wipes and powder work wonders.
The good thing is there are no mirrors aboard so you can’t see yourself.
Back to the day again. Jean, Mark, Warwick and Mike, who overcame his fear of getting into the water, all went for swims in what was according to the chart 7.8 km of water. Mike had put on his go-pro camera and filmed his swim. They all tell me that nemo was swimming behind us about 3 meters back from the stern all on his lonesome.
Kevin and I made dinner for everyone. We had ostrich burger patties, gem squashed filled with curried tinned corn, fried butter onions and baked potatoes. Shaun said it was the best meal he has had on board so far. Jean made baked apples and custard for pudding.
The evening was stunning! The moon was out with a few clouds and the air was warm without the breeze. Looking at the moon you got the feeling that it was earth and we were on the moon. Everything was so silent. We shouted out and it disappeared into the dark blue yonder!
Till day 13, my lucky number!
Position [ 21 57 S 03 59 W]