Friday 29 November 2019

Rosie's Laundry

Today is Rosie's turn on Mother Watch, only there isn't much to cook as we are still eating our way through the leftovers of Mervyns feast, so he turns his hand to the laundry. With five on board, showering every day, washing up in the galley and hosing down the cockpit after fishing, we use quite a lot of fresh water, maybe 300 litres per day, and since our tanks hold around 800 litres in total, this is less than four days' supply. For this reason we have a water maker, a desalination plant that turns seawater into fresh drinking water at the rate of 240 litres per hour; so once a day, for an hour or so, I run the water maker to top up our tanks.

With our tanks now brimming, Rosie fills a large bucket on the aft deck
and diligently sets about the washing. Soon the lifelines around the boat
are festooned with clothes drying in the hot sun. The favourite brand of
underwear seems to be Calvin Klein with Marks and Spencer coming in a
close second. The daytime temperature is now in the high twenties and the
washing is soon dry, folded and laid out on the saloon table for
collection. Rosie makes a salad to accompany the feast for lunch and then
the afternoon is spent reading and sleeping in the shade, or in Oults'
case, wrestling with his sextant. The latest sun sight plots us somewhere
in the Sahara desert so Oults decides that the sextant is at fault and
looks at the black plastic device in disgust. I remind him what bad
workmen do but he is convinced that the machine is to blame so we
re-calibrate, adjust the angle of the mirrors and generally fiddle about
until everything is blame-free. Tomorrow we will no doubt see the fruits
of these adjustments but in the meantime we will continue to rely on our
satellite technology which tells us exactly where we are, to the nearest

Not that our position matters terribly as we are in the middle of a very a
big ocean and we haven't seen another vessel for two days. We are still
motoring southwest and I begin to worry about our fuel. We carry two tanks
of 430 litres each, giving us 860 litres in total. Based on a passage
time of seventeen days, which is now looking quite a challenge given our
slow progress, our generator will consume about 100 litres, leaving us
sufficient fuel to run our engines for 150 hours. We have already motored
for 50 hours and I decide that once we have consumed 50% of our fuel, we
will switch off the engines regardless, as we don't know when we might
need to motor again further down the route. That leaves us 25 hours
motoring to find the wind. I am finding it very frustrating because this
is perfect spinnaker conditions; if we hadn't blown ours on the first day
we would have been flying it day and night in these light winds,
travelling no faster, but without the sound of the engines, the cost of
the fuel and inevitable adjustment to our time by the ARC race committee.
The latest forecast is more promising but it's unlikely that we will see
solid trade winds of 20 knots until Sunday. So we will motor on Friday
and sail on Saturday, regardless of the conditions. Most boats with less
fuel capacity will be sailing and not using their engines at all so we
will be in good company; drifting in the light winds and scanning the
horizon for the first signs of the trade winds.

Caroline will be sad to hear that the gentle game of Bananagrams, played
by her many times on boats over the years, has mutated in her absence on
this trip into a more adversarial game called Snatch. In this testosterone
adaptation, nothing is safe, as words carefully crafted can be rearranged
and stolen by another player. Mervyn joins us mid-game, uttering loud
cries of outrage as our resident grammarian and sextant operator reject
his more wishful spellings. The afternoon soon passes and it's happy hour
again, our daily ration of a single cold beer accompanied by peanuts, Pink
Floyd and a pink sunset.

Miss Tiggywinkle is back in the galley. This time Rosie's haute cuisine
comprises tuna mayonnaise on toast as a starter followed by cauliflower
cheese, prepared earlier by Andrew, but embellished with strips of bacon
perfectly cooked by Rosie who has finally been able to exercise his
culinary skills. The feast has at last been defeated, the washing up is
done, Caroline's galley is looking spotless thanks to Rosie's meticulous
cleaning and I am soon left alone with the stars and the muffled rumbling
of the engine.

1 comment:

  1. So my conclusion is that you guys have WAY too much time on your hands! The mother job is too easy on the cat - no full time tilting....... Missing you all....