A day in the Life and 33 sausages part 1

If you’ve never sailed or sailed overnight long distance you might not know what life is like for the crew of Tioga. We stand watches for 3 hours with 2 people in the cockpit and off for 6. Overnight is quite tricky as you will get woken to a bright red light of a crew mate’s head lamp staring down at you. The boat is pitching and lurching so getting dressed could take 20 minutes and the degree of difficulty increases with the angle of heel. Ulf likens it to a difficult yoga position. Of course in Yoga you are never tossed into a wall. Its a ballet of sorts as you position your feet, hands, and arms to brace yourself while trying to get dressed. Besides the normal clothes, pants and shirt, you add layers of fleece depending on what the current watch advises. Then comes the foulies – damp wet rain gear, inside and out – you wear your foulies regardless of rain, since at times a wave will splash up and soak you. First are the farmer john bib overalls then then a jacket with hood and high collar. Next is the high top boots to keep your feet warm and dry. Hats and gloves help ward off the cold breeze as you man the helm. Finally and most important is your life jacket and tether. Whenever you leave the cabin, you have on your life jacket and are clipped onto the boat. Another common necessity is the head lamp, switched to red lights so as not to lose your night vision. The next item of need is the head, bathroom, rest room toilet… The captain calls it ” riding the bull”. You could have an easy time if heeling to port, getting the feeling of sitting back in an Adirondack chair. The violent lurching could lead to a bidet style experience. One can only hope the prior user practiced good hygiene. Your hands quickly become calloused from the pumping required to clear the head.

To be continued……

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