Race 3 - Day 10
Crew Diary - Race 3 Day 10: Cape Town to Fremantle
10 November

Dave West
Dave West
Team Garmin
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Right then, who's doing what today? As well as sailing the boat, we crew also have other duties which rotate on a daily basis.

Duty Port Watch Starboard Watch
Mother (galley duties for the day) Art Harmon
Loggers (who complete the boat log and chart plot every 3 hours) Mike B Mike T
Heads (toilet cleaning) Mike B Bill
Cleaner (general cleaning, partiuclarly hand hold places) Dave Smith Klas
Bilges (emptying the bilges with buckets and sponges) Sammi & Emmanuel Jerry & David Loe
Backups Nell, Rowenna & Mick Eric, Toby & Simone
Deck Checks Dave West Mike T

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 will do the same when they are.

My day started not too well on the 0400 - 0800 watch. I was woken as usual at 03:30 and was sprightly out of bed by 03:32, leaving me 28 minutes to complete dressing for deck watch – loads of time you might think. I had also taken a shortcut earlier in that I went to bed already wearing my two merino wool base layers, fleece second layer, merino wool underpants and longjohns, leaving just mid-layer salopettes and jacket, second lightweight and windproof Storm jacket and then foulies, boots and lifejacket to don (it's cold!). I had decided to wear standard salopettes and smock foulies this morning whereas I had being wearing my drysuit for the previous few watches. This did mean I had to transfer some kit from pockets, such as knife, torch, gloves and sail-tie but felt sure I had plenty of time for this.

It all started to unravel when I went for my foulie salopettes – where were they? Not in their usual place, so I made a frantic search to eventually discover them in a very inaccessible gap at the end of my bunk behind a bulkhead door: I suppose a helpful crewmate put them there for safety. However, this ate hugely into my available time. Mid-layers went on swiftly and I quickly tried to don the salopettes but somehow put my left foot through the right leg and into the right boot and did it want to come out? No, it didn't. Eventually left foot was extracted and put into correct leg and boot, swiftly followed by the right. Smock went on reasonably quickly but the pressure was on - most of my watch had by now disappeared up the companionway into the storm blowing above and the other watch were beginning to descend. All that was left was my lifejacket and surely nothing could go wrong now. After all, I must have put it on hundreds of times before. Most of us take a shortcut and leave the crotch strap connected and simply put our foot though the resultant ring and then heave the jacket onto our shoulders and secure the buckle. Easy-peasy except for this particular morning. First my foot went through an entirely incorrect and much smaller ring, leaving me bent double when I went to stand up. When finally extracted, attempts to heave the jacket onto my shoulders this time found my arms going through incorrect webbing rings time and time again, leaving me in all kinds of peculiar poses. Eventually I got it right, transferred kit from pocket to pocket, donned my wooly hat and got on deck all of 12 minutes late to my immense shame. Some 40 minutes to do what would take about 5 on land.

The watch ended rather surreally with a serious bout of Christmas. It started with just 3 or 4 of us deckhands for some reason starting to sing Christmas songs on deck but this swiftly developed into a fully-grown condition with my Christmas iPod playlist being played at full volume in the galley and saloon over breakfast, with all watch members gustily singing along and joined occasionally by our skipper.

Oh yes, and my other job for the day: crew blogger, so I had best go and get on with it.

Special love to all my family and a big hello to all my friends.