Student living aboard sees mixed progress, the food revolution, a new type of foredeck work, and the story of the world’s first offshore cricket continues.
While we have all agreed that the last few days have seen a slight reduction in the night temperatures, to the extent that we’ve even seen the re-emergence of long sleeves and trousers, it’s still a long way from bearable during the day. I’m sitting in the sail locker while I write this, in a new attempt to escape from the heat. The deck is too hot to stand on and shade is minimal. The galley is it’s usual sweatbox, and nav station has become unreasonably hot as it’s attacked from the sunshine above and the engine running below, creating a very special environment indeed. All of that in the mind, the sail locker is the new office for now.
Last night saw the wind we’ve been waiting for since Panama. Up to 10kts of boat speed, ploughing through a moderate sea state. For many of the crew it was the first time they’d ever experienced Disco come into her own, which is in a fine reaching in a fresh breeze. The helm was being fought over for the first in ages, and many whoops of delight punctuated the air throughout the night.
This morning saw all that change, and we reverted back to our ‘boring’ boat mode, with not enough wind and too much sunshine. The only good news is that we now have enough diesel to get to Acapulco for our resupply regardless of the weather, but the ability to sail is far more significant than just logistics. What it brings to life on the boat and experience for all involved is immeasurable, and it really is tough to endure windless days, especially on a boat without the creature comforts that many other modern boats afford.
In a discussion about how good the group of people we currently have aboard is, we worked out that the currently average ages is 24.9. Ty is the ‘old horse’ at 29, and Henry brings up the other end of the scale at 19, with various accompanying descriptions being thrown around.
The downside of the low average age, is that I’ve had to implement a cleaning rota to ensure Disco does not end up erring towards a student shared house, which it was fast in danger of doing. It’s hard with so many people, but seems to be working well so far, and it turns out there is in fact a fully operational galley underneath the washing up and food strewn worktops.
On the food front, we are nearing the end of the ‘planned menu’ that Seb so meticulously developed from scratch for us. This is going to leave us in uncharted territory from Acapulco onwards, but it’s good timing for it. We have a big change in crew numbers at Acapulco, which would render the existing plan unsuitable anyway, and for those of us that have been on since the start, the appeal of rice and beans is finally waning. For this reason, we are running the current menu into the ground in these last 250 miles until land, taking the best elements from all the remaining meals, and Ty (not that he knows it yet) will be reinventing a new plan with all the remaining parts. Good bloke Ty (if I’m publically nice to him he might not refuse…).
At lunchtime the mischievous twosome, Henry and Ty, both looked at each other, announced ‘it was time’, gleefully refused to tell anyone what they up to despite continuing to go on about how amazing it was going to be, and then walked off with a tape-measure. Deeply concerning.
I have since established exactly what mischief they are up to, and in the time I’ve sat in the sail locker writing this, the large hatch above me has become slowly obscured by a sheet of blue plastic. This plastic eclipse is in fact the bottom of a 1.47m diameter paddling pool that they acquired in Panama. It’s not exactly racing, but the foredeck has now descended into a scene from half term at the local swimming pool. Once again, a quite amusing result from these two troublemakers, that for one time only I don’t have a mechanical or general ‘grown-up’ based reason that it’s a bad idea.
Our favourite Ben Lecricket is growing bolder by the day, having definitively smashed the record of cricket offshore sailing (pending Wikipedia verification from Mexico). He has now started venturing out towards the helm, increasing the noise levels considerably, and also adding the risk of squashing him into the mix. However, we admire his enthusiasm to be involved with the sailing of the boat, and hope to have him up to foredeck work by the time we hit San Diego.
Date: 10th March 2017
Position: 13°29.6N 097°27.4W
Wind: N 1-2
Swell: NW 1-2ft
With the support of our partner Weather Routing Inc.