I spent today on Mother Watch. For those of you not familiar with the phrase the Mother Watch must provide all the sustenance for the boat and all the cleaning for a 24 hour period. I know that "real mothers" will scoff when they here this but Mother Watch only happens about once every 10 days, but in truth it is a very tough day.
This is because when racing across an ocean sailing boats lean over and crash up and down waves. As a result of this much of the day the galley and everything we were trying to cook in it was at angle of about 30 degrees, coincidently the temperature in the galley was also at about 30 degrees.
In these conditions the mothers (of which there are two) rise at 0530 to prepare a breakfast of toast and cereals and tea and coffee. Even if you're not feeling seasick tea and coffee for 21 people on a rocking boat is challenging to say the least, as is washing up in a sink which wont drain when on a port tack (or sometimes just wont drain at all) After breakfast comes the simple challenge of baking bread for 21 people. We use live yeast, which is put in the engine room to mature and kneed and prove the bread in the galley.
Not only is it a great moral boost to have fresh bread each morning its also slightly incongruous to be sailing through open sea and smelling baking bread. Cooked lunch for 21 is then the next challenge, followed by more tea and biscuits, remembering to bake the bread (and to turn it in the oven which, doesn't heat evenly).
Finally, having cleaned up the kitchen exhausted you crash in to bed. In all honesty battling with seasickness made me rubbish at this and I owe huge thanks to Elaina my co mother who somehow held things together.
On the upside after a day of purgatory I've gained my sea legs!