Race 2 - Day 13
Crew Diary - Race 2 Day 13: Punta del Este to Cape Town
17 October

Dave West
Dave West
Team Garmin
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Here on Garmin, our crew is split into two watches: Port and Starboard. Now, it's not that the Starboard Watch all sleep on the starboard side, or that they all dress to the right. No, it's nothing like as, for example, I sleep on the port side despite being on Starboard Watch and I dress to the – oh never mind about that. Anyhow, everyone is allocated to one watch or the other whatever.

We currently have a total crew of 19 for Leg 2 and they are split 10 to Starboard Watch and 9 to Port. So what happens is that one watch is on duty whilst the other one rests. The working watch are called the “on” watch and the resting watch the “off” watch. Hence, for example, you can be both the Starboard Watch and the On Watch. Watches last for 6 hours during daylight hours and 4 hours at night, all on local boat time. So, starting from breakfast time, the first watch is 0800-1400; the second 1400-2000; the third 2000-2400, the fourth 2400-0400 and the fifth 0400-0800. At watch change the on watch become the off watch and the off watch become the on watch. I know there are some similarities to the vagaries of cricket but I hope this is becoming clear? I am writing this during my On Watch but fear it will run over into my Off Watch time, which will impact on my sleeping time, so if there is a sudden ending you will know why.

As well as sailing the boat, we crew also have other duties, which rotate on a daily basis:

  • Mother (galley duties for the day)
  • Loggers (who complete the boat log and chart plot every 3 hours)
  • Heads (toilet cleaning)
  • Cleaner (general cleaning, partiuclarly hand hold places)
  • Bilges (emptying the bilges with buckets and sponges)
  • Backups

As the name suggests, the backup team support the other duties in the case of incapacitation or if additional work is added to a role on a particular day.

The idea is that every job is done during all five watches, which helps keep the boat in a clean, tidy and safe order. For example, the Starboard Watch Heads Cleaner will clean the heads when they are on watch and the Port Heads Cleaner wil do the same when they are.

Oh my job? Today it's daily blogger, so I had better get on with it ….......................

Special love and shout out to my wife Yvonne and daughters Laura & Jayne xxx