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Race 4 - Day 5

PSP Logistics - John Madin

09 NOV 2013 - Race 4

Good evening or is it good morning?

Anyway, PSP Logistics followers, in this crew blog we have:

Mayhem; Does anyone really know what time it is? Rock the Casbah

Leg 3 already, two months into the race, Table Mountain and the excellent seafood at Zenzero restaurant in Camps Bay a fleeting memory I and my fellow crew members are settling into the reality of life back on board Dixie.


Well the day started off pretty well, slept like a log, prised myself out of my bed (OK bunk, but for the next 9 months its my bed). The main point with bunks is the art of staying in the damm thing. Once I have either walked up the side wall to climb in or attempted  a slight leap I reach for a piece of rope that's attached to a pulley that raises the bunk which crams you against the side of the boat in the vain hope that's where you going to stay for your 'off watch' time. As you drift off into some sort of slumber the dreaded words from on deck 'Tacking!' mean either you end up feeling like a squashed tomato with your face wedged into the corner or there's the distinct possibility you and your bunk part company. I digress.

We had the Code 2 flying quite happily. For none sailors reading this, that's a big sail that flies at the front of the boat on the bow sprit (the pointy thing at the very front). We take turns in 'flying the kite'. My turn. Without all the gory details it involves standing by the mast holding a bit of rope and looking up admiring the sail for 1/2 an hour making sure it behaves. It's big disadvantage it cricks your neck. However we have Kiwi Chris on this leg, an osteopath, so could be calling on his services. All was well, one of the few sunny days we have had on this leg.

Then up ahead not so friendly clouds… yes looked like a squall was about hit. 'Anyone want to take over? I had two motives a) a didn't want to be the one who dropped the sail b) My fellow crew members were eating chocolate and hadn't offered me any. Patrick calmly responded ' you have 6 minutes left'. So there I was holding a bit of rope knowing full well that those clouds were going to deposit everything they had within the next 6 minutes. So what happened over the next 2 hours? You will need to read the Skippers blog for the details suffice to say as the designated sail repair 'specialist' I envisaged being banished to the sail locker for 2 days with my favourite piece of equipment, the Clipper Race 18 year old 'sewing machine'.

Does anyone really know what time it is? If you recognise the song title you may know the next line 'does anyone really care about time?' We work our days on a watch system of 7 hours on during the day and 4 hours on during the night. If you were to ask any of the crew members what day it is they have to think pretty hard before giving an answer. I thought it was Wednesday but its Friday and as I’m writing this its now Saturday. The concept of time and news form the outside world is not really considered as our boat drives on relentlessly and each of us goes about our jobs on the boat, each watch merging from one to the next and on the off watch we disappear into our own little 'worlds' be it reading listening to music, thinking about our families (in my case James, Simon and Annabelle) or just crashing and getting some sleep.

Talking about music...

Rock the Casbah

There has been a real mix of music tastes on the boat although we have been lacking so far on this leg. But hopefully that will change. Neil requested some dance music yesterday so I managed to locate some dance/trance. Ursula played some excellent South African music on the leg into Cape Town. Check out 'Freshly Ground'. We had some Santana yesterday from the 'Shamen' album.

What took me by surprise was how many of the crew like Classical and Opera which we had been playing in the morning from the contemporary 'Ludovico Einoudi' to Vaughan Williams and Holst. On his mother watch a couple of days ago Matt played bird songs! I've been impressed by a couple of Australian bands 'Jet' and 'Midnight Oil'

Anyway all for now I have the bunk challenge waiting....

John (RTW)

PS did you recognise the song titles (Imelda May; Chicago; The Clash)x