Life on the sea for a month
I thought it would be a good opportunity to introduce you to some of the ways of life on board a ocean rowing boat.
Cooking and food
On board all our food is freeze dried from Summit to Eat. The meals recommend being prepared with boiling water but Niall is now sticking with cold to save time. I prefer to use the Jet Boil gas cooker to heat the water and prepare the meals, then use one of the myriad of herbs, spices and hot sources to give the meal my individual twist.
Breakfast options are
- Tea, water or a protein shake
- Morning Oats with Raspberries
- Scrambled egg with cheese
Lunch or Main meals include
- Beef stew with potato
- Pasta bolognaise
- Chicken fried rice
- Chicken fajitas
- Chicken tikka with rice
- Salmon and broccoli pasta
- Vegetable chipotle
- Apple Crunch with custard
- Rice pudding with strawberries
- Chocolate mousse with Cherries
The facilities on board the boat are very limited to say the least we have
- A white bucket for washing clothes which generally happens weekly by each individual crew member in their off watch
- A black bucket to be used as a toilet with its own toilet brush to ensure it remains clean
- Rusty old cans from Ralph's protein since we lost the nicer plastic bottles to pee into
- Our own toothbrushes but how often they are used is hard to tell. All I can say is I am a daily brusher and have smints to get me through the day.
- Baby wipes to wash with, these are a godsend when you are hot, sweaty and or been hit by a wave just before coming of watch. They remove the salt and make you feel refreshed (honestly)
- Talc for trying to stay dry and making your feet, groin and arm pits feeling silky smooth as well as smelling lovely.
- I know what your thinking, a princess like me must have more than that in my wash kit. You would be right, I also have
- Aloe face wash
- Aloe Propolis hand creme
- Aloe Heat creme
- Aloe Sun kiss lip gloss
- Nail clippers,file and scissors
- Mouth wash and flossing brushes
- Beard comb, oils and wax
- Plus a few other bits
Its tough being a modern salty sea pooch. I think Ralph the salty sea dog brought just a toothbrush.
Each of us has a different approach to clothing but generally we all have
- 2 pairs of merino ice breaker boxers (if you have never tried them buy some now online) they are amazing at not smelling and once sweaty dry fast. We change rota these weekly if we remember.
- merino t-shirts or Nike Dri-Fast t-shirts
- a pair or leggings or shell quick drying trousered for when it is a bit chilly at night
- sealskin water proof socks
- pair of normal sports trainers and a pair of flip flops or Keen Sandals ( hoping to top up my foot tiger tan next week)
Most of the time the crew are rowing in their boxers, t-shirt, trainers and hat other than legendary ocean tower Ralph who is just wearing a die hard white (stained) vest with nothing else but trainers and of course sun glasses.
We are split into two groups (one from each watch) which then each share either the fwd or aft cabins. This is generally referred to as hot bunking or bunk buddies. We all have our own sleeping bags but generally it is too hot so sleep just on to of them in our pants. During the night watches to save time we generally sleep fully clothed.
Some of us are light sleepers and others like myself have an off switch and people struggle to find the on switch in the morning (1hr later) to wake me up. The light sleepers seem to have a range of eye masks, padded head buffs or just sleep in hat and glasses (Ralph again as he is so cool!)
So you would think 4 weeks in to a 2hr on 2hr off watch Rotation would be easy. Well not really because every Tuesday we move the watches around so that we get to row with different people and keep the conversations going. This means each week two unfortunate people end up getting a 1hr on 1hr off watch thrown in. This has more recently started to show up some unusual behaviour.
- people waking up 50mins into their off watch, getting dressed and on deck 1hr early
- people not getting up and sleeping through their wake up calls
- Niall has started getting dressed in his sleep
- Ralph and Clément have synchronised body clocks and since the British summer time clock change which we did not do, they are now waking up an 1hr early for each watch.
- I apparently have started laying on my back asleep and rowing with my arms in my sleep with my legs bent in the air.
What I can say is I am getting plenty of sleep in the 12hrs available should I choose to go to sleep.
Well if I was a health and safety at work officer there would be trouble.
- The office chair has no back support and seems to be stuck so the wheels only let you go backwards or forwards.
- Cushions are provided in different varieties depending on your experience or medical condition (sore butt cheeks).
- Standard carbon seat
- Amateur rower pad
- Comfort Airbag ride (generally options on pimp my ride)
- The Throne (skippers only)
- There is no desk but two leavers that have horrible wooden handles you pull on
- There is a foot rest but you feet are strapped in and last time I checked restraining employees is not allowed.
- There is a water monitor like you used to have for Milk at school, that's cool because you get unlimited refills
- The commute is about 5 steps from home so manageable but sometimes there is traffic.
- Canteen is really quite effective with a good selection of meals.
- The view, you can't complain about as it is 360 degrees of ocean, glorious sunshine and wildlife on hand to distract you.
Health And wellbeing
As part of the office package we also have some additional benefits
- 3 rowing positions
- functional playground
- 310 million km salt water pool
- Sun deck and yoga stretch zone
- Unlimited supply of energy gels
I hope this gives you some insight into life on board our floating home office. What I can say is if you think "Rowing is Great!" Then this is the perfect remote working location and you should apply now for any up and coming vacancies. What other Job let's you workout 50% of your time, gives you free meals and let's you sleep 50% of the time, all within 5 steps from your home.
We now have 1210nm to the finish and should be at the 2/3rd point by late evening on Thursday.
Lat +12deg38'56" Lon-33deg26'4" 1
Shocking fact I learnt today
- Every day 29 people in the UK are diagnosed with a brain tumour.
Please remember whilst I am taking the time to update you on our Adventure there are others that need our support. Please can you find the time to spread the word and show your support by making a donation to one of the charities I have chosen to support.
How the funds make a difference to @BrainTumourOrg :
£250 could cover a day of research for one of our leading brain tumour researchers to further the understanding of a particular type of brain tumour to provide more targeted treatments.
£2000 allows a clinical trials nurse to spend a month managing essential research to launch safe, effective new treatments.
£5000 could fund one Family Day, giving 60 children with brain tumours and their families a fun and supportive day out together.
Also please can you follow me on twitter @Cblears so you can stay updated with this and future challenges.
From Colin's blog