Race 1 - Day 20
Crew Diary - Race 1 Day 20: Liverpool to Punta del Este
09 September

Thomas Whittaker
Thomas Whittaker
Team Visit Seattle
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Eat, Sleep, Clean, Sail, Repeat

Today is my day to write the blog, and as one of the RTW crew members I am sure that this will be the first of many to come.

Well here we are about half way gone, and half way to go. By now life has taken on a sort of routine and each watch plays their part in moving the boat along to our final destination of Punta Del Este. What is unusual is the infrequent interaction between watches. We do have a daily happy hour to share ideas and time together, but otherwise we each have our own schedule and sometimes just say a passing hello at watch changes. So not only is the boat crew like a small family, there are 2 distinct families within the crew family.

I have the rare honour of being the Watch Leader on the "Seahawks" Watch, the other watch being the Mariners, both named after sports teams in our sponsor city of Seattle. The Seahawks, as in any team, has its mix of individuals, each with their various strengths. We have the helm stars, Benno and Marek; our undisputed technical man, Ian; Brute force and ignorance, otherwise known as Cam and Ollie; the high energy drivers, Jerome and Em; our very own Mr Happy, Oscar; the dolphin whisperer, Sharon; and finally the old guys, me and Tony. I do also have to mention my "Mother" buddy, the master baker Tomasz from the Mariners. His bread is THE best on the boat. At the moment the team has developed a way of operating which is working well, but the saddest part is that we will be losing Ollie, Cam, and Oscar from the team in Punta. It will be sad to see them go, but we will be hoping to see them again next Jul in Liverpool at the end of our epic journey.

We are currently sailing close hauled. This means that the boat is heeled over quite far most of the time. This makes even the simplest tasks difficult, e.g. getting out of bed, getting dressed, and the toilet and personal hygiene routines are "testing" to say the least. While this is much more tiring, our real fear is one of injury. The deck both above and below decks can be slippery and the boat movement uncertain, and so great care is needed moving around. On deck, it helps that we are tethered to our lifejackets, but below decks is like an obstacle course and we all try to take care of each other as best we can. It is great to see the level of care that has grown within the crew, and how much we support and depend on each other without question.

Finally, to the title of this blog, eat, sleep, clean, sail, repeat. It should really read; eat, clean, sleep, clean, sail, clean, clean some more, repeat. In such a confined space and with so many people, good hygiene is essential, and we all spend time cleaning the boat every watch, i.e. every 4/6 hours. We clean the heads (toilets), all open surfaces, the bilges, and "spring" clean at least one area of the boat daily. This too is part of the sailing experience, and helps to bring home some of the realities of undertaking such long ocean voyages.

Finally, finally, I do have to mention our skipper, Nikki. She is the driving force behind the boat, our mentor, teacher and slave driver. She is taking care of the boat and the crew, and I think in our own way we are trying to take care of her. We need all three to last 40,000 miles.