27 Days At Sea and Counting
So this is day 27 of the trip down to Rio from Brest in what should have been a 23 day voyage. We’re still 3 days out as well.
Most of the crew are struggling now with fatigue, lack of sleep and the monotony of the watch system. Watches fluctuate between a couple of hours flat out doing multiple sail changes to hours of boredom trucking along on the same tack and sail configuration. Most of us are also now fed up of the diet, no disrespect to the victuallers, but you can only do so much for 30 odd days at sea. Personally I’ll be glad to never see another bowl of cous cous!
Good though the Clipper training is, it does not prepare you for this monotony of the watch system or the hours of boredom with nothing to do whilst you are on watch. This part makes it not only physically challenging but mentally as well.
The extra time taken to cross the Doldrums has also eaten into our R&R time in Rio. It looks like we’ll only get 3-4 days now which is precious enough time to not only prepare and fix the boat for the next leg, but also prepare all our personal kit as well.
Matt, our skipper, has just given us some not so good news. It appears there is a large storm front that sits from Africa all the way across to South America that is in our path before we get to Rio. So looks like the South Atlantic is about to give us a final reminder of who’s boss before we get in. So we have prepared the storm sails, sorted out out foul weather gear and are ready to batten down the hatches for the final run in.
Still, he also gave us some good news, we have just found out that the bars and restaurants in the marina complex at Rio are open 24 hours a day – beer and steak are definitely first up on the menu, along with a long long shower! Glad I have a bag of clean clothes just for when we hit shore.
All being well the next time I post should be to say we have made it to Rio!