Header image: Henri Lloyd in St Katharine Docks before the race start

Squall or a free shower?

Written 19 January 2014, at sea

The other thing about Mother watch is that, on Henri Lloyd at least, that is the day when you are allowed to take a shower.  With a full crew of 20, that would be one shower every 10 days. We are short-handed on this leg so it is one every 7 days.

The usual choices are a freshwater showerhead in one of the heads, an area barely big enough to use as a toilet and that you have to sponge down afterwards.

Nico, "showering" in one of the heads

Nico, “showering” in one of the heads

Or you can use one of the two solar showers hanging from the back of the boat.

In weather like this, there is a third option. We are in the tropics, passing along Papua New Guinea towards New Britain. It is hot, sultry and when it rains it is in a squall. A bout of very heavy rain with high winds that is over very quickly. But if you happen to be on deck when it starts there’s time to use your shower gel and shampoo.

The morning after I was mother, I caught the end of one and got to use the shower gel.

But this is not guaranteed. Last night, we could see squalls around us. I think our skipper’s priority was to use the wind that came with them but avoid the rain. His crew was looking forward to the rain. So we put in reef 1, tacked, put in reef 2, tacked, tacked, shook out reef 2, put it back in again, tacked, shook out reef 2, shook out reef 1, tacked, all the while eagerly awaiting our free shower. Then all the squalls were behind us and we were back to business as usual. No shower.

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