Champagne Sailing

Nearly two weeks at sea and we are blessed by breeze again, miles and miles of blue ocean and an expansive sky scape…sailing by stars or a few fair weather clouds. In the last week we have come through the doldrums with some motor sailing through light patches, a visitation by Neptune and a fun celebration as we crossed the equator, and then against expectations we came across a big wind hole which has meant very slow progress for 2 days. Happily a chance to have salt water showers, slowdown our routine, rest a little, chill out, chat and get to know each other.

We are a well run ship with our skipper, mate and initially two watch leaders and a clear structure and understanding of jobs to do to ensure we remain fed, clean and equipment monitored and maintained. A lean racing machine … haha! In fact we had pretty much got settled into our routine when it was decided to change the system from two to three watches. Objective to enable people to get more rest, improve sharing and allocation of jobs and trial a routine that will keep the optimum number on deck in what is searing heat and as we progress further north upwind and colder more challenging conditions.

The changes led to quite a lot of initial consternation and confusion. Most notably because some people had to change their bunks and arrangements for bunk sharing. Including sorting out and shifting all their kit. Bunks even when shared are a semblance of personal space and privacy. Most had some practical extra work and then there was some friction and evidence of concern about invasion of space. Also it was quickly realised that the watch timings suggested would mean everyone having the same pattern of time of deck. Mine would have been noon – 1600 and then the graveyard slot from midnight til 0400 am. Every day. Oh joy!

Happily the timings were sorted out with further tweaks to the plan. Good news, and yet more confusion.

24 hours on our skipper led a good team meeting and we are settling into the new structure and routine. These are critical building blocks for us all. We are good spirits. I am very happy with the changes …it has meant a new watch leader and team. It is easy to find yourself only getting to know people on your own watch, this shake up means more friends, increased variety and because we have more free time, more conversation. And hopefully as we are happy and better rested, a properly lean efficient racing machine… with perhaps a little time for us reflect on just how blessed we are to be here, now, witnessing the wonders of our universe.

Time is something we may have more than previously anticipated… as light winds mean so far we have only covered just over a third of our expected distance of 4242 nautical miles!

Much appreciation to all family, friends and supporters, smiles. Susan

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