The cold has finally returned. I refer not to the Belgian Flue that gripped Discoverer in the early stages of our delivery, courtesy of the now infamous Moris, one of two Belgians to have graced Discoverer with their presence. I do in fact point to the fact that we have finally made it far enough back north to be appreciating a noticeable drop in the temperature, at night at least. This heralds the return of a slightly more normal and human environment on board Discoverer, as there is nothing normal or human about enduring over 30 degrees Celsius 24 hours a day on a boat with minimal ventilation and no ready shade.
Last night saw me slip on not one, but two layers on top of the still omnipresent shorts and t-shirt combo that sees us through the daytime. Henry reports that he happily shivered his way through his night watch, enjoying a clime more akin to being back home again. However, as soon as the sun is up it’s back to the usual routine of hopping across a red hot deck towards wherever the nearest slither of shade is. On reflection, considering there are only 5 of us now aboard, its quite funny that we spend most of the day bunched up in the same 4 sq ft of shade at the back together.
Reduced numbers has definitely made some aspects of life harder, but also developed other areas into previously unknown dimensions. During the day we share the helming and sailing duties evenly, but spend most of the time, particularly in the afternoon, up on deck together, talking the world to rights and doing the various bits that need done around the boat. At night we do solo watches of 2 hours on, 8 off. This means you have 2 hours just you and the stars, before a nice sleep.
Occasionally boring, especially with the constant attention required to steer the boat, it is a completely new experience for all of us to have that much time to ourselves, accustomed as we are to a busy boat with at least 5 people on each watch. I think we’re all enjoying it, and it’s nice to have a change after what is now 3 months of the same routine. The only downside is that if anything needs done the person on standby has to get up, do the doing, and then go back to sleep until the next time. Regardless of the change in numbers and watch system, we are still producing as much washing up as 50 people every day.
This afternoon has just seen a nice bit of breeze kick in, from a perfectly acceptable angle for a change. The sea state has flatted out a bit as well, a tangent from what has recently been a quite bumpy ride turning the foredeck into a submarine simulator again. The recently reborn genoa is back up, and the new soft hanks currently getting a proper run for their money. So far so good…
With the exception of Renaud, although he’s fast being accepted into the Disco Old Boys Club, the rest of us have been living together on the boat since November. While there’s no tears and breakups yet, certain conversation topics are are gaining notoriety as recurring themes and buzzwords to ‘not another story about…’. We are now catching each other out whenever an overly familiar topic comes up in an attempt to curtail this repetition, however it’s becoming apparent that this is soon to leave us with nothing to talk about. We might soon have to go back to hearing Ty go on about Asia (did you know Ty had been to Asia before? Check out lostaussies.com to find out all about it), or Alex recount tales from the darkest corners of Portugal.
I’m completely innocent of this trait of course… Ahem.