Saturday 10th October – The Deep

Despite the rain over the last 36 hours, it seemed hotter than ever last night.  I had an hour’s sleep if that – and have woken up in a bit of a grump!    Suddenly I'm feeling that this 'Firm' was perhaps not all it was cracked up to be – and that perhaps it should provide air-con for it's employees – along with personal 'brow-moppets' and complementary buckets of ice. I decide that's an email for later and arrived on deck at 2am wearing what is generally described as 'a frown'. I believe these are also sometimes seen on the high fashion catwalks but despite that and after a lovely cup of tea handed to me by Paul our watch-leader, I remove said article, deciding it's very 'last year darling'!

Having been moving in a vague forwards fashion, by lunchtime we were going nowhere fast again.  I changed into my optimistic bikini (a must for this season I decided) and set about finishing the saloon cushion covers (for when we're in stormy conditions – something I can't really imagine right now). The sun yet again seemed hotter than ever and we're all slightly concerned that we might be running out of sunscreen. I spend a good 5 minutes marvelling at human nature's survival instinct – one suggestion of a shortage of sunscreen and suddenly all the personal pots that had been happily pooled, are squirreled away like lightning and the 'all for one, one for all' attitude is quickly replaced by 'not on my back-door'!  I'm just considering another outfit change to my “sod 'em all shorts” when Piers declares that, as we're not going anywhere, it's “Swim-time”!

Still mentally pulling on the aforementioned shorts, I decide I'm far too busy doing something worthwhile to swim – a resolve that lasts all of 5 minutes before I sprint for my towel and take a running jump into the middle of the Atlantic Ocean! Ever since I've been a toddler my Mum has struggled to keep me out of the sea on holidays, so swimming in the Ocean is nothing new to me.  I am used to being able to touch the bottom of the seabed and just keep my head above water though.  I normally like the reassurance that it's there.  However today there was no amount of standing on tippy-toes that was going to make this happen.  Here I was swimming right in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean and the reassuring seabed was a far from reassuring two to three miles well below my 'tippy-toes'! Hmmm....!

Once over that little hurdle I set about checking that I could in fact swim faster than the boat – one of the criteria for being allowed to doff ones life-jacket and take a dip into the water. I can confirm that indeed I was able to stay just ahead of the boat – although I did take the precaution of jumping in at the bow just in case I couldn't!  Once content that my legs could remember what exercise is, I relaxed and enjoyed my swim.  'Ull & 'Umber looked beautiful from this new watery vantage point and I took the time to check her over and can confirm that she does indeed have 'Barnacles on her Bottom'! (That's for you, Jon!)
Seeing those set me thinking about what other wild and wonderful creatures might be inhabiting the dark depths beneath my no doubt nutritious legs, and it was at that point that I felt that enough exercise had been taken and that it was vitally important I should return to my sewing duties. Which I did. Very swiftly! I had just nicely dried off and was mid-pinning when Piers declared hat “weather was on the way” which we now know meant we're all about to get very wet.   Sure enough within 5 minutes the rain came again and we went from scorchio to drenched-io! The off watch dove below with a turn of speed they certainly hadn't mustered in their sail change evolutions (!)  and the rest of us were left manning the deck in swim shorts and bikinis in torrential rain.  Even though it did turn a tad chilly we were happy that the boat was finally moving again, so we braved it out. It reminded me of many family holidays in England when we'd sit on the beach in the drizzle sheltering under towels and a blanket – optimistic the sun would return and determined to enjoy our picnic in True Grit British fashion!