The joys of mother duty.
As we are all one team, there comes a point in every journey that you take off your smock, hang up your life jacket and on the good ship GREAT Britain, don one of the tabards that we picked up in Cape Town. Mother duty calls.
Mother duty means cooking the meals for the crew, making the teas and supplying the crew with everything they need food and drink wise. I had the pleasure of doing this amazing task today with Mark Nichols.
So the day goes something like this. You either get lucky and have a sleep before you start the mother duties due to the watch rota, or you are unlucky and come straight off deck onto it. So you are awake from 3am. Mark drew the short straw and I had a nice sleep then woke late, sorry Marko, and joined him in the galley to serve up coco pops, muesli and the all-important porridge.
Extras are supplied to pimp your cereal, such as honey, nuts and dried fruit and Neil Bennett went the extra mile by adding a good cup of syrup to his porridge which when later asked if that was a bit much, he simply looked at his bowl and said yes.
Breakfast completed for both watches, the washing up needs to be done and the first teas and coffees for the on watch served. A new addition to the food stores have been oranges which are amazing. Segments of fruit are served up out the hatch, carefully avoiding the waves crashing over the boat and the crew feel like its half time at the footy.
Bread is next up and Marko did a sterling job of kneading away the mixture to make the buns for the lunch of hot dogs and beans. Not really a crew favourite (Sorry Ionie Robinson) but hey, food is fuel!
I also made up my legendary, world renowned cake bread which is a fan favourite. Take one bread mix, add all the good stuff to make a cake - eggs, sugar, more sugar and a bit more sugar and bake until not quite done to give it that gooey consistency.
Then while it was cold wet and miserable on deck, I took a nice hot shower and changed my pants. Only a short stint for pant set 1 on this leg, just the 7.5 days.
We had a few visitors in the galley for a couple of nice chats- Paul Hendry came down to do engineering and we discussed how ace Sydney is going to be. We had the new live lounge album on so it was all nice.
Lunch was promptly served in the good old dog bowls and you could tell the look on some people’s faces that the hot dog and beans wasn't really cutting it. Ollie Phillips made a dash for the tuck box as soon as he had finished.
As soon as washing up was done, we started to prep tea. Yes it’s called tea, not supper, not dinner, tea. Skipper said all northerners should be taken to a field and shot for calling it tea, I think he should just jump off the back and let us cook the food and next time you ask for a coffee, good luck.
Tea comprised of a de-constructed cottage pie (the oven is too small to make it properly so you get a spoon of mince and a spoon of mash) with garden vegetables (canned variety, properly from a GM plant somewhere).
Followed by bread cake and custard.
After prepping tea, Mark went up on the helm. He is loving every minute of being up there, I looked at the rain, hail and waves and wrote an e-mail to my mate and changed the music to a bit of Motown.
Tea time came and the food was served, and the crew seemed very happy with this one. Sarah Usher just simply commented it was lush. Thank you very much. After all 20 people were served, we washed up in a host of gybes which caused every plate which was clean to hit the deck and need re- washing, thanks skipper. Then once washed up, cleaned the heads and that's the day done.
For me, I get lucky again and don't have to be on deck until 1pm tomorrow, for Marko, he is up at 7am, but I don't think he minds.
Mother watch done, happy days.