Leg 6 Race 8 Day 2, Weds April 21st

At around 4am, I rounded a corner and happened across a fitful sleep which was broken all too so by Charlie, peering around my shower curtain (leaky fore-hatch protection) saying it was 6am and time to get up. Breakfast was to be a solo affair in the galley. This was all part of my new mother-watch plan. As the new watch system would make the sleep patterns of the mothers from each watch very one sided I tried to even it out by having one mother do breakfast solo while giving the other a couple of hours extra sleep.

As I re-acquainted myself with the fact that the tupperware cereal boxes have great flying properties and even better bruising properties, and that a large pot of porridge needs constant stirring, which is nigh-on impossible to do while keeping the aforementioned rebellious boxes of cheerios and weetabix at bay, at the same time as making teas and coffees and spreading marmite on bread that has zero spread-anything-on properties, I once again questioned the wisdom of my new mother-watch regime. It would all work well if I had the arm properties of an Octopus. But I don't - right now that was very obvious! So, breakfast passed by to the accompaniment of the gentle slide and clatter of bowls and cutlery as they zipped recklessly from one side of
the galley to the other and I soon settled back into the routine of ducking head-height flying objects, sticking one hand out just in time to catch something before it flung itself on the floor and ignoring the nerve-racking grating of everything else that, while sliding wildly about, was not in danger of either breaking or causing serious bodily

Nikki, my co-mother had turfed up to the galley early, looking decidedly green and then vomited with great force in the very handily placed heads just next door. Needless to say I packaged her straight back off to bed. Being horizontal was the only way to be when you're in that state. I made do, got on with the job in hand and wondered how I was going to manage to do the engineering duties with Arthur as well as mother-watch on my own! Luckily lunch was easy so I had time to get stuck in on the saloon, tidying up what had become a dumping ground already – within the first two days! This was not unusual. It always took a few days for everyone to get into a routine of putting their stuff away in their bunk area – and it was particularly tough for some at the moment who were still struggling to dash from on deck to their bunk without being ill! I was trying to be thus forgiving when one of the crew went to get their oilies and discovered a huge amount of “puke” (sorry – but that's what it was) all over the floor, walls and much of the contents of the wet locker!  Lots of people came to look, were appalled and then shrank quickly away again, so muggins here rolled up her sleeves, got a bucket of hot water and cleaned the lot up – although not without much muttering under her breath all the while! Despite Justin later bringing this up – no-one owned up to being ill and leaving the mess!!! Charlie offered to clear up the lunch pots and pans for me so I could get on with the engineering duties of water-hunting and cleaning.  Then it was straight onto supper which Brett then came and helped wash-up after. Poor Nikki had tried to arrive to help at several points during the day but each time had been violently ill again so had had to retire to the sanctuary of her bunk – not before asking in desperation “how long” people were normally sea-sick for!

Meanwhile on deck, Umba had been flying along – we'd covered around 260 miles in the first 24 hours of the race. We'd also headed further off-shore from the coast than the rest of the fleet in order to pick up stronger winds. It was a gamble as we'd be taking a slightly longer route – but it also felt like the kind of calculated risk that Piers would take, so the move was somehow comforting! Despite the fact that mother and engineer are such important roles, I still don't feel like I'm geared into the racing team at the moment – and while the conditions are not right for me to be on deck I know that I won't feel right til I'm up there helping to drive the boat forward.

One by one most of the guys feeling sick are starting to feel better and are managing to keep food down. By the end of tomorrow they'll all be right as rain and won't remember how bad they felt – well that's what we keep telling them anyway!!!