Well into the race and settled into the watch system, I was gently awoken for this morning's watch by lovely Alfie and handed pancakes with fruit and syrup and a cup of coffee by our doting mothers of the day, Jonas and Austin. I made my way onto deck to watch yet another glorious sunrise perfectly unaware of the horror that was about to unfold on our boat.
At roughly 30 minutes into our watch, I leaped to attention upon smelling the strong odour of fish. “Can anyone smell that?” I asked my teammates, and they all shook their heads and replied with a no. Certain of my nose’s accuracy I began the search for what I assumed would be the sorry carcass of yet another flying fish when Andrew B (team victualler) appeared in the companionway with a pained expression and a slightly green tint to his normal rosy complexion.
At this point it hit us like a lorry speeding into a brick wall, the unmistakeable smell of putrefying fish. Andrew heaved the food bag for day 18 (yes, today’s food rations) onto deck, and tipped out the tins of food, to find many cans of sardines had unfortunately ruptured. The juices had covered everything and made their way into the bags of rice and the naan bread that was supposed to be for dinner. Everything was completely ruined, and by the smell of things, had been for some time.
Everyone was suddenly retching at the smell and quite a few of us were unable to perform to our normal standards. Thankfully Jun came to the rescue, and she and Andrew managed to sort out the problem whilst the rest of us remained incapacitated. It is true what they say that not all heroes wear capes.