Race 3 - Day 11
Crew Diary - Race 3 Day 11: Cape Town to Fremantle
11 November

Nigel Walcot
Nigel Walcot
Team Liverpool 2018
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A (largely) factual account of day in the life on board Liverpool 2018 – Part 1: “Toast, The Whole Toast, and Nothing But the Toast”.

It is safe to say that toast (made from freshly baked bread) on board CV20 is not a matter of life or death. It is far more important than that. To quantify this we had at our disposal a vast range of toast-enhancing extensions, from jam, to Nutella, to Marmite, peanut butter and Vegemite (no, NOT the same as Marmite). So when the toaster on board suddenly 'died', not just did breakfast cease to have importance, but life on board suddenly became very tense indeed. Safe to say, that if it had been possible, BOB (our Man Overboard practice dummy) would have let himself out of the lazarette, removed his life jacket and dived overboard. The words from Sir Robin at the crew briefing in Cape Town “.....you're doomed...” hove into view.

So here we were, at watch change breakfast, faced with some really good boat-baked bread, but with no way of turning it into the hallowed race-winning toast that all were expecting. At this point, I should mention, that the toaster that we had been donated was not just any toaster, this was the NASA of all toasters. More buttons, LEDs, sensors and motors than your average space shuttle. So, with a malfunctioning toaster, and a boat load of breakfast-starved pseudo-intellects, debugging commenced with a sense of urgency.

We considered firmware upgrades, virus infections, malware, looked for a USB port, reset buttons etc. We turned it off, waited 30 seconds and turned it on again, but with no luck. We even hit it. Several times. Nothing. As we were in the same time-zone as Bangalore at the time, we discussed whether we could call the help-desk that would inevitably be located there. But to no avail. We were still a deeply depressed toast-free environment.

(In a separate burst of activity, one of the off-watch came into the galley, dived into a wet locker, pulled on foulies and boots – and disappeared. Some minutes later, with a look of deep satisfaction, they came out of the heads (toilets), took off their foulies/boots, and went back to their bunk.)

After some more time, the combined on-board intellects came up with a common thought – 'the crumb tray!'......After a bit of delving, no crumb tray was found. However a very small piece of toast came falling out – and finally the toaster sprang back into life. It would seem that this small piece had triggered some laser guided, computer controlled, 3D crumb detection mechanism. With mopped brow, toast was back on the menu, and Liverpool 2018 was back in action.

Despite this, one crew-member had given up all hope of toast, and had politely asked for a bowl of Alpen instead. “Calpol? We don't have any Calpol” ended that line of 'enquiry'.

Motto: On board, simple is better, teamwork is essential, and humour really helps.

In Part 2, “What Happens At 45° Stays At 45°”