Ok I'm finally getting around to writing this blog that technically was supposed to be written 2 days ago but its been pretty crazy out here. I was hoping to get away without having to write it but after some “gentle” prodding from our head of media... here goes.
I wasn't exactly sure what I would write about but after giving it a lot of thought it all seems revolves around sleep. How much time is left on the watch till I can sleep?
Do we get the morning long sleep or the afternoon long sleep? (personally I prefer the morning) however that does mean we have to do 2 night shifts and waking up for the 3-7am is brutal.
Especially in these last few days... the Southern Ocean is an incredible place. I was really looking forward to doing this leg. It’s been a dream of mine since I was a kid. Most sailors will tell you that and I feel privileged to be among those whom have done this.
Anyways, back to the sleep part. The worst thing that happens while you are sleeping is the dreaded “ALL HANDS ON DECK” call. This happened 2 days ago while I was peacefully sleeping around 1030am. I jumped out of my bunk clad in long johns and a t-shirt, threw on my boots and lifejacket and ran up on deck. Our whole spinnaker was in water... the details of why and how aren't really important... trying to wrap your sleepy head around what’s happening and what you need to do in this situation is difficult.
So after about 30 minutes of wrestling our heavy weight spinnaker back on deck I crawled back down below, soaking wet and freezing. By the time I was into dry cloths it was almost time to go on watch. So much for a good sleep. Then later that night our skipper (who has an uncanny talent of getting us to do a sail change 20 minutes before we are due to come off watch) tells us to take down the storm jib and put up the staysail. I look at my watch and think “ok this is doable... we can still be off watch at 3am... NOT! Due to a helming error our staysail wraps around the inner forestay. We were on deck until 345 getting that all sorted. It takes about 20-30 minutes to get into bed after a watch depending on how rough, cold and wet it is, so at the moment we are definitely in the 30 min range. Yesterday was pretty dismal on deck and below. Big waves crashing over the deck, feeling cold and wet, my arms and shoulders aching from fighting the helm, mixed with feeling of exhilaration when riding these huge waves and getting great boat speed. 19.8 knots with 3 reefs in the main, staysail and Yankee 3. There's nothing like it!
Anyways back to sleep... I am amazed at how much I dream. So is everyone else for that matter. Most of my dreams involve some of the crew members and I'd say about half of them take place on the boat. My last dream had Mark Light (Deputy Race director) in it. He was working at a sporting goods store and I went in to buy some cloths from him... how random is that? The other night Dawn Miller( training co-ordinator) was dancing in my dream... doing the moon walk to be specific. Dawn does love her 80's tunes!
The best sleep though has got to be the mother sleep. Mothering is a really hard job. You spend the day cooking and washing up after 20 or so people but the pay off is that you get a whole night sleep! If you're lucky you get the long sleep and you don't have to be on watch till 1pm... heavenly. There is also the art of waking people up from their sleep but I'll leave that for another blog as I am already late for my watch.
Sweet dreams everyone
Sascha Bonus aboard Old Pulteney