David Scully with the latest yachtingworld.com story from aboard Cheyenne
Not a lot of news, no calamities, some unusually good weather for the Indian Ocean, a fin whale, a fat whale, we are lifted north of Kerguelen by an increasing westerly wind as we overtake the high pressure that has given us such great reaching sailing for the last few days.
Last comm was about the crew. This one will tell you what we do.
The crew is divided into three watches of four persons. One watch is asleep. One watch is on standby, which means that they are in their gear, ready to assist in manoeuvres, but are also engaged in cooking, cleaning, boat maintenance, or napping. The on watch drives the boat, one on the wheel, one each on the traveller and headsail sheet, and one checking trim, making coffee, etc.
My feet come out of the bunk to hit a cold, wet, floor. There is some merit to the statement that the boat is wetter inside than out. The superconductivity of the aluminium honeycomb core and carbon skins produce a great deal of condensation inside. In cold weather, it is literally raining inside the hulls.
I grab my socks, from where they have been drying against my body in the sleeping bag, and go to a rack in the head to collect my gear. Wiping dry a small spot with a rag left there for the purpose, I sit and get into the waterproof gear. Depending on our speed, the noise below can be deafening. Based on the noise, I usually have a good idea of our progress by the time I grope my way passed the nav station and check in with Adrienne or Steve. The navigator on duty will fill me in on the latest weather. I am now on standby for the next four hours.
During the day standby, we check the boat and rigging and work down the job list. There is one of Dalia’s excellent freeze-dried meals to be hydrated, and cleaned up after. During the night’s standbys I often write these pieces, or download the day’s photos, edit, and send them.
My watch takes the con. We are in the habit of doing 40 minute tricks at the wheel, and thus we roll along. If we need to change sails or reef, we call the standby watch to give us a hand, putting eight people on deck for manoeuvres. A coffee, a candy bar, a conversation about the stars, Middle Eastern politics, the quality of the cooking, the trim of the sails, and four hours later we turn over to the standby watch, strip off the wet weather gear, and zip into the sleeping bag for the next four hours.
That’s all for now