Race 6 - Day 21
Crew Diary - Welcome to the 45 degree club
17 February

Elaine Leigh
Elaine Leigh
Team Imagine your Korea
Back to Reports View Team Page

As we enter the last few days / hours of Race 6 and I’m on deck duty (which also means blogger for the day), I’ve been thinking about the last week of sailing and living aboard Imagine your Korea.

As part of signing on to compete in the Clipper Race you know that, unless you are already super fit, improving your fitness level is a key part of your physical preparation. No matter how much time you spend in the gym nothing can really prepare you for the realities of living your life at an angle. I suspect even astronauts with their zero gravity centrifugal training would not even be prepared for this!

Even the most simple thing is made more complicated by rough seas and by the sheer effort required to undertake the most basic everyday tasks.

Take for example a normal morning routine … Wake up, go to the toilet, shower, get dressed, make a cup of tea and eat breakfast before heading off to work. So far so simple. Takes minutes. But at 45 degrees (and pretty bumpy at that) it can take what seems like forever!

You are unceremoniously woken up from you hard won slumber by a crew-mate 30 minutes before your watch starts. After clambering out of your bunk you then literally pull yourself down the accommodation corridor, using whatever hand hold you can, then grab hold of a rope to heave yourself across the companion way from port to starboard. Throw yourself into the heads (toilet), zip the door closed, sit down and put a hand and foot on each available wall to keep from toppling over and at the same time identify a hand that is not essential to staying sat on the toilet to pump water in and out of the system. At the same time hoping that getting rid of your waste will not require 10 minutes of heavy duty pump action to empty the bowl.

Once you’ve re-rolled the head door open, reverse the procedure to get back to your bunk where your ‘shower’ consists of a quick wet-wipe wash of your pits and bits followed by using some deodorant which may or may not cover the smell of sweat. Once done you put your ‘cleanest’ clothes on while leaning at various angles to counteract the heeling of the boat. By this time you are a sweaty mess and whether you washed or not is a moot point!

You then make your way back to the galley, navigating the falling and swinging belongings of your crew-mates (sometimes it is just like an Indiana Jones action sequence), throw yourself onto the closest seat and perch your feet up on the side of the galley aka Cafe 45 (in a way that you can almost hear your parents tutting disapprovingly at your behaviour) so that you are wedged into a secure position to receive your chosen breakfast and watch the mothers struggling to fill jumping mugs with tea / coffee so that you are ready to start your watch above deck where living at 45 degrees is much more fun.

As always, lots of love to all our supporters and especially to my friends and family.

Elaine Leigh