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

What are we up to today?

Written 1 February 2014, at sea

Today it is the hottest it’s been yet.  Usually being on deck is fairly pleasant, even though below decks can be known as a sweatbox. Today is different though. This morning’s watch had us breaking in to a sweat just sitting down. Bits of the deck were too hot to sit on unless you had asbestos shorts or pieces of leather in the back shorts pockets, as James had. Then you had to be careful about where you put your feet and what you held on to as you moved around. The deck looks a little like a Chinese laundry as many crew have taken advantage of the heat to dry freshly washed clothes.

Morale on board is high. We have just had news from the boat positions that overnight we have climbed to 3rd place. So the night we spent going at very low speeds as there was little wind didn’t matter. The lead group of boats that we had been chasing all went backwards! The two boats that are ahead of us now have taken a very northerly course and so now we are chasing them instead.

All you at home with access to the race viewer can see much more of what is going on in the race than we at sea can. Every six hours Clipper give us the race position and co-ordinates of each of the vessels in the fleet, and that is all. From that, over time we can build up a picture of distances travelled over 6 and 24 hour periods.

We have long since eaten all the fresh vegetables, except some garlic I found when I was mother the other day. Lunch today was shepherd’s pie, highly appropriate for such a hot day and dinner, I am informed, will be something to do with rice and lamb! Hopefully the mothers will also be making bread to help us through the night watches, and I’m sure I overheard them mentioning cake too.

A tune popped in to my head this morning. It was either Liberty Bell or Bandology, both of which I know from Barnet Band, appropriate since tonight will see them putting on a concert to celebrate 125 years in existence.

We’re going to get ‘woken up’ for the next watch soon so I think it’s time to go and find my toothbrush.

Written 2 February 2014, at sea

Yesterday was not hot. Today was hot. The thermometer registered 50C when we put it on deck and a mere 37C below. We rigged the sunshade from the boom and started putting seawater on the deck and us to cool it down. Then we took it in turns to put our feet in a bucket of water.

The communal bucket

Dave with his feet in the communal bucket of water

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