Race 1 - Day 23
Crew Diary - Race 1 Day 23: Liverpool to Punta del Este
12 September

Michael Hampson
Michael Hampson
Team PSP Logistics
Back to Reports View Team Page

"Down Under by Men at Work"

PLEASE NOTE: This blog entry is to be read with the song

referenced in the title [Down Under by the fine Australian group, Men at Work] played on constant repeat!

G'day followers of the Mighty PSP team! You will notice a slight twang to the start of this email, as we are slowly giving way to our antipodean cousin's more liberal use of our Queen's English. This fate is now hard to resist given yesterday, we crossed into the southern hemisphere for the first time. Yes, that's right, our water now goes down the plug hole in the opposite direction...

Well that would be if the water actually went down the plug hole at all - at the angle our illustrious vessel has been heeled at for the past few days, the water actually congregates in the corner of the basin and has to be bailed out by cup! So I thought it would be fitting to share with our keen followers, that Port Watch [one half of our crew, of which I am proud to be a part] have spent the past 22 days in intensive, on the job training, at the "Sailing school of Trevor Taylor". Many of you will know Trevor's [aka "The Master"] extensive experience in the yachting world and I, on behalf of Port Watch and the rest of the crew, would like to thank Trevor for imparting this knowledge [in his own unique fashion!] to enable us to become better sailors and a more experienced, and therefore competitive crew. Bonza mate!

However, before we have been able to progress and improve our sailing skills, we have first had to undertake a foreign language course in order to decipher the dulcet tones of The Master, and understand just what the hell he's telling us to do! I include below a glossary of common terms, so that you fair blog followers, may get an appreciation of The Master's teachings:

(Australian Term, English translation, Example Usage)

Boil the billy

The Australian version of "putting the kettle on".

Would someone put the gas on so we can boil the billy?


The Windex at the top of the mast. Port Watch have learned the importance of this instrument, as it enables one to ascertain the direction the wind is coming from, and therefore the best course to sail. It is also virtually instantaneous, unlike some of the more modern instruments, and therefore a key tool at the Helm's disposal. Apparently, the colloquialism comes from weather vanes on barn roofs in the outback?

Bear away – look at the Chook


An apt renaming of the heads [or toilets for you back at home], as they often do resemble an outhouse, especially when the phantom logger pays them a visit!

What? The phantom logger has payed another visit to the Dunny?

Feel the heelOne of the key phrases learned by Port watch at the Sailing school of Trevor Taylor - this refers to feeling when the boat heels too far over [and thus slows down]. Once the Helm "feels the heel" he then instantaneously steers slightly toward the wind in order to correct this action and make life morecomfortable for all onboard [and also increasing speed again].

Feel the heel, guys, feel the heel!


More commonly known as a "downhaul". This is a piece of line attached to a sail to enable said sail to be dropped in strong wind when easing the halyard does not have the desired effect. Suitably renamed as often used in a situation where someone utters "get that ****** sail down"

Use the down******!!!


The 2x man coffee grinders located in the cockpit of the boat. I presume the reference comes from some gym related activity e.g. pumping iron? We know how these Aussie's like their "beach bods".

Jump on the aft pumps and quickly get that halyard up.


Yes, dear blog follower, you would be mistaken if you thought this referred to the now defunct high street chain. And yet further mistaken if you thought this must be warm weather clothing [come on - we're on Leg 1 and it's up to 40 degrees down below deck!] No, this term refers to the "tell tales" which fly on the rear of the sails to indicate correct sail trim. I can only assume that when The Master started sailing, they were made of wool, rather than the luminescent man-made substance they are today?

Grind on staysail - the woollies aren't flying.


No, not my favourite sandwich product, this refers to a number of turns of a sheet or halyard round a winch.

Get four wraps on that winch and grind it up!


The infamous act of either putting in or taking out a reef [where the mainsail is reduced in size as the wind strengthens or vice versa] Wind speed is up to 23kts, let's stick a tuck in. Righto A multi-use term, but commonly precedes a call to arms for Port watch. That or we know we're just about to have to do some work!

Righto... let's get the code 2 up and the yankee 3 down!

I hope this short piece demonstrates just how hard Port Watch have been studying at the "Sailing School of Trevor Taylor". Remember for all you reading at home - this is NOT a holiday, but a serious learning experience! ;)

Once again, thanks to the Master himself and hopefully a subsequent entry will follow once we have more to report, or another nation which we can suitably make jest towards?

Thanks for your time...I'm off to throw a few shrimps on the proverbial barbie ;)

Michael Hampson

Watch Leader, Port Watch

The Mighty PSP Logistics [CV28]