Saturday 29 November 2014

ARC day six guest written by Paulus Windsor

It is perhaps the wrong approach but I can’t help drawing comparisons with my previous Atlantic crossing on Juno in 2012. It all comes flooding back – the bruising of various part of the body, sprained wrists from grabbing a rail at the last moment as we twist off the top of a wave and the plates, food and other accompaniments that are one moment securely placed on a table or work surface, are launched into midair on a port or starboard trajectory the next.

However, some things are very different. The introduction of female crew members to replace Oxy, Andrew and Stephen has been a revelation. No longer are we able to leave the cleaning of heads until after the first week – it seems now to be of daily importance. In fact I find it easier to shower with the Jif cleaner as it enables me to do the two jobs at once and save a great deal of time.  Breakfast is now accompanied by freshly prepared yoghurt, linseeds and finely chopped fruits of the forest, although the skipper and I are sticking resolutely to bacon and eggs with a good slab of buttered toast and coffee to follow. Lunch today included seeds of all sizes scattered over an array of vegetables with a hint of tuna (tinned rather than freshly caught, but we remain hopeful), yesterday we had a hoummus dip with our 6pm sundowners and this afternoon freshly baked chocolate chip cookies with our afternoon cuppa. 

Being on a 60ft Oyster eliminates much that the purist trans-Atlantic sailor might expect. Electric buttons operate the furling mechanisms and winches, a bimini (sunshade) extends over the whole cockpit area providing generous protection from the elements and the auto helm whirrs away day and night. We also have a new addition – a deck hose – not such good news for the crew but an item that excites the skipper every time the stern hatch is opened. Most boat owners seem to have  compulsive obsessive tendencies when it comes to cleaning – so our crew duties now include a daily wash down of the cockpit following this recent addition. Today we had to hose off the remnants of some flying fish that had made a bad call when they flew from the water only to find Junos aft deck. One even bounced off the spray hood and bimini leaving what seemed like a deliberately provocative trail of fishy scales in their last gasping minutes.

Below deck and when off-duty, Juno provides lashings of hot water for showers, comfy cabins and a well stocked and very well equipped galley that would put the kitchen of most London flats to shame. The fresh produce has been stowed beautifully in made to measure crates on top of the new storage cupboard, below which is an extensive wine ‘cellar’ or perhaps it’s better described a wine bilge. We couldn’t be on a better prepared or provisioned vessel.

The night watches remain a highlight for me with the vast expanse of the universe set out above our little boat with the rest of the crew asleep below. As Juno bounds into the blackness ahead, I lie at the back of the cockpit trying to identify various constellations while listening to Van Morrison – a musical reminder of home and family and all things heavenly. How lucky I am to be here.


  1. Fatty - keep up the crew training, I don't know about Pete but I am looking forward to seeds and fruits of the forest on my homemade yoghurt, seeds on my salad and freshly baked cookies every afternoon, not to mention the "heads" in Skitreadons meeting that Jif bottle!!

  2. I am a little concerned by some of these changes, is the Captain in charge any more? and as for showering with a Jiff bottle - I can think of more appealing things. Should'nt the females conform to our ways rather than vice versa?

  3. I disagree Andrew!!! Also think you will need to practise some new recipes in the sound of applecake and freshly baked cookies! Loving the blog and all contributors! Much Love Katie and Naylors all xoxox