The daily routines of long offshore racing are steadily determining the life of the crew of Jamaica Get All Right.
At fifteen minutes before midnight our starboard watch climbs on deck, still a bit dozy and unsure on their feet. They shuffle along the deck starting from just in front of the starboard runner winch. Most members of port watch are already lined up on the port side, eager to get to their bunks. The roll call is completed up to number 21 followed by a cheer and a short hand-over; the port watch quickly makes their way down the companionway steps.
The night is not unpleasant, a steady breeze fills the main and Yankee 1 and Jamaica Get All Right is trucking along.
Night helming conditions have been challenging so far and last night was no exception. Clouds cover the moonless sky and the helm has to use compass, wind instruments and his/her senses to maintain maximum speed and anticipate the rolling seas coming in from the starboard quarter. A slight lapse of concentration on the helm can be costly as we found out earlier.
Thankfully this watch goes by without any incidents, we clock up some good mileage, there is laughter and banter as well as hot drinks. The watch snack box provide us with sustenance and some variation as the wind conditions are steady requiring no evolutions and only small trimming. Our turn to leave the deck and have some rest comes at 4am. Some members of our watch have become very crafty at this process and their loud contented snoring can be heard even before the last starboard watch members have made it down!
We have reached warmer waters and this morning Skip Pete was busy rigging fans in the galley and the navigation station. Other places are to follow to make life more bearable down below as the only ventilation on the new boats is created by four vents and the companionway hatch..
Meals are an essential element of life on board and a tasty couscous for lunch will be followed by bean stew cooked by our 'mothers' Nick and Roda (who owns two restaurants in Belgrade, so expectations of the crew are high). We have been eating very well since race start thanks to our victallers. Unfortunately some food did not quite reach our bellies as in the morning the food supplies were reorganised and a couple of packs of mouldy looking pre-baked bread were discarded in the sea after the plastic wrapping was removed.. And on this subject, tomorrow we will have a big clean-up down below as some crew members are complaining about cheesy smelly socks.. Monday is laundry day on Jamaica Get All Right...
This afternoon port watch set the asymmetric spinnaker and they are having a good time on deck; full set of sails, fair winds under sunny skies above incredibly deep blue seas. We are still in ninth place but are making good headway south.