After 10 days at sea, being woken up at odd times of the day or night to go on watch has become part of our daily routine. Feeling a tap on my shoulder at 5.45am I turn over and peak out of my bunk, still half in my own world of dreams with earplugs to block out all sounds, and am surprised to see a figure in a wrestling mask mouthing the words (in my sleepy memory in slow motion) “Time to get up – it’s your watch now”! Startled out of my drowsiness I leap out of my bunk with a chuckle, get my foul weather gear on and fly up the hatch to find the same masked man and the rest of his watch team ready to hand over to us and happy to go to bed. They obviously kept themselves well entertained on their 2am-6am watch.
Over night the wind had died down and a storm was due to hit California with 30 ft waves. Out here in the middle of the Pacific we felt the swell pretty strongly. Swell accompanied by dark rain clouds that kept on creeping up on us from behind. So it was a dark and wet watch but I had loads of fun at the helm for a few hours feeling the wind and surfing the waves. All this was accompanied by a delicious breakfast at sunrise – wherever the sun was behind the clouds – with hot chocolate and Marmite as well as Nutella sandwiches. While I was building my relationship to the ocean and feeling its power at the helm, the rest of my watch team was busy cleaning the boat and preparing lunch for the rest of the crew. It’s always a busy watch that early one from 6am till noon. What an adventurous start to yet another fun day out in the middle of the Pacific.
What has become so apparent is the close relationship of the crew members that has developed throughout this trip so far. Although we are split into watch teams we are nevertheless one big team and work hand in hand helping eachother at all times, in all circumstances. It’s difficult to imagine that two weeks ago we all had never met before and here we are now sailing the Pacific jointly keeping a 72foot yacht running 24/7.
Sailing from Cabo to Honolulu takes us through three timezones. Today we decided to put our clocks back by two hours and we are therefore now officially on Honolulu time. We were all happy to enjoy an additional two hours in the afternoon, especially Danny who, when asked whether he had a few moments to lend a hand answered: “I’ve got plenty of time! I went to bed for a few hours, then woke up and it’s the same time!”. The extra hours also lead Captain Dale to order us around a bit more: “We need to clean the boat. It’s filthy.” Monisha shut him up with a brief: “ No it’s not. You’re like my Mum!” Classic! And we carried on enjoying a lovely afternoon. Without scrubbing the boat. Again.
We enjoyed a sunny afternoon. I decided to spend mine dangling off the side of the boat for a paddle in the deep blue ocean. Scary five miles of water below my feet. This was the first time I was actually in contact with the water, apart from some cheeky waves surprising us in the cockpit every now and then. Unfortunately, my attempts to attract dolphins to swim alongside the boat by copying their whistles and clicks was not successful. Some crew members were of the opinion that I probably scared them away instead. I will try again another day and they’ll see!
Cooking on board amazes me. Usually, the thought of cooking for 11 would make me slightly nervous. Now it seems just like the most normal thing in the world. Hungry sailors need to be fed well. And handling masses of produce, having a few pots and pans on the stove simultaneously and juggling knives on a swaying boat and being bounced from one end of the galley to the other now seems an easy task.
After dinner Danny gave us all in introduction to photography which really helped me understand my camera better. We’ll all be pros by the time we arrive.
This long day is about to end after another watch from 10pm to 2am. This time it’s a starry night full of shooting stars. Still no other vessels or life in sight. I cannot wait till tomorrow to enjoy another eventful day in the middle of nowhere.
Only another 800nm to go to Hawaii.