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Race 4 Day 23

Invest Africa - Mbongiseni Oludlu

27 NOV 2013 - Race 4

Day 16

I was on mother duty and I had to bake two breads. At midnight I asked one of the crew members from my watch to help but she could only help with mixing 1 bread and I had to do the other one on my own which was a challenge because I’ve never baked bread in my life. We mixed all the ingredients , took it to the engine room so that it could rise, then my partner had to put the bread in the oven at 04:30am and wake me up at 05:00 am to prepare breakfast for the crew. When I woke up I found out that my bread didn’t rise as it turned out to be like a brick but the other bread turned out perfect. We had to prepare lunch which was noodles and veggies but it didn’t go well either because we burned them and most of the crew didn’t eat it, they decided to eat cereals for lunch instead! We had to make it up to the crew with a nice dinner and a lovely dessert and we did beef curry, rice, fruit salad and bran muffins all cooked on board. We finished the day by seeing some dolphins playing around the boat that made everyone smile.

Day 17

My day started at 8:30am waking up with a sore body feeling like I had been beaten up because I was sleeping on the mother's bunk which I find totally uncomfortable and I am not the only one! One the other crew members who were on mother duty that day cheered me up by making me nice breakfast and the sweetest coffee as I would like it. We had the spinnaker up and I did some sail trimming which I find hard and interesting because it needs concentration and focus.

Day 18

We had the spinnaker up and did some sail trimming and I was on engine check duty I managed to do well with the help of one of the other crew members from my watch who I like to call master P. we were sailing on the Southern Indian Ocean on this day,we had enough wind to sail and it was a nice sunny day.

Day 19

At 0200am we were 1000 miles away from Albany, I was happy with our progress and I started with the countdown hoping we will be arriving in five days because we were doing 250 miles in 24 hours. We had the skipper on the helm on our shift from 0200 am to 0600 am doing 20 to 25 knots so the boat was moving like butter on bread and I’m always happy when we have great speed.

Day 20

I was on navigation duty doing the logbook every hour and I could see how close we were getting to Albany our destination. I was excited because I knew soon enough I’ll be back on land and flying back home to see my family who I was missing and I was already making plans for Christmas because it was around the corner.

Day 21

I was hoping we were going arrive on this day but I was wrong because it looked like we still had two more nights sailing towards our destination but I told myself I should just enjoy it while it lasts. It was a bit sad knowing that I will be leaving the boat soon because I was having  a good time and the crew were so good to me.

Day 22

We were 189 miles to go but the wind decided to go off and spoil our destination. We had to sit on deck for more than 10 hours waiting for the breeze and still we had nothing. I was sad, disappointed and irritated by this situation we were going through because I was looking forward to crossing the finish line.

Day 23

0200 am I had to go on shift but still there was no wind for us to sail ,we had to sit on deck and wait, other crew members entertained themselves with games and I was just sitting feeling down and decided to express my feeling on my note pad. In the afternoon we were trying all we could so we would move with the little breeze we got and finally we got it right with the lightweight spinnaker we did 8 to 9 knots. This whole situation taught me that no matter what never give up in life, just keep on trying and everything will be alright. It was my last night on board sailing with the crew and it was sad but I enjoyed it because of the love and support the crew was showing - especially my watch but I was excited at the same time because I was coming to the end of the journey which was a great success.