Monday 8 December 2014

ARC 2014 Day 14 written by Fatty

Well get this! I have been invited from below decks to sit in the authors’ chair of the eloquently written Juno blog. This is surprising, given that my vocabulary stretches to that of an average ten year old, but perhaps the intention is to attract a younger readership.

Another reason is that many men trying to convince their wives to join them on the high seas often say to Frewie ”My wife wants to know what Fatty thinks of…”. Well firstly, Fatty thinks that her name should be changed, before she grows into it. All those in favour shout “yay’ and submit alternatives on a postcard to SY Juno.

More importantly, it seems that they want to know what I think about sailing across the Atlantic. Six months ago I was given the option to either sail across or Juno would have a boys crew as before and I could fly to meet them in St Lucia. I felt that my reputation as an International Round the World Yachtswoman might be undermined if large oceans always involved a 747 so I agreed to commit. Having done so I went about signing up my good friend Kerry who I knew to be on for an adventure. Once she was signed up, however dark and doubtful my days might be in the months leading up to the ARC, I couldn’t let her down so here I am.

My worries about ocean sailing were thankfully not fear and seasickness. They were a lack of sleep, constant motion and boredom. Lack of sleep turns me in to a monster of the deep so it was a real concern for my own safety as in time I could become a victim of a hate crime mid Atlantic. Since having children I have become a light sleeper and wake with even the smallest sounds. Noise on a boat at cabin level is frighteningly loud and inconsistent so good quality sleep was unlikely. Luckily the answer lay at Gatwick Airport with a pair of Bose noise-cancelling earphones which I tack from one ear to the other as I toss and turn. Sorted.

Frewie described the rocking and rolling motion of downwind sailing with glee in the months before the trip. I realize now that is because he is a top deck dweller where the motion is exhilarating. However below decks the motion is increased by an order of magnitude, causing many bumps and bruises all over the body as a result of crashing around in the Galley trying to hang on to the vodka, the tonic and the ice tray with the only hand that’s not gripping on for life. Having said all that I have come to terms and indeed come to embrace the movement by telling myself I now live on a giant Pilates power plate and it is possible to tone one’s body by simply standing up. Marvellous.

Before I left I loaded my iphone with music, audio books, desert island disc podcasts to relieve the boredom I was sure I would face with days on end at sea. To date I have listened to 3 chapters of a book, about 4 desert island discs (and I have to guiltily admit to a number of games of candy crush, an addictive iphone game that Jamie suggested which instantly turns me into a monosyllabic teenager while I complete level 29 before my lives run out). The fact is that there isn’t much time to fill that isn’t eating, sleeping, cooking, cleaning (in Kerry’s case) chatting, fishing, playing banagrams, looking at the sea, the moon and the stars oh and did I mention sailing the boat?

So with all my worries dealt with I find myself actually enjoying the adventure and in a few days I will be sipping (or gulping) a rum punch looking rather pleased with myself.


  1. Clearly married to Frewy the only possible alternatives to Fatty would be Caz or Cez but if we take Fatty as a starting point we come neatly to Fez and Fuz (maybe quite appropriate this late into the journey)…perhaps stick with Fatty! Love Saz x

  2. Well done old bean, us girls are very proud of you and yes, stick with Fatty - there's more chance you won't grow into your name if you do! C x

  3. Well blogged Fatty!