Friday 16th

No mother-watch today – hooray – so it should have been a great day.  However I had a really bad night last night. I was exhausted after 2 days of being constantly on the go from 6.30am to 9pm...and I was just too, TOO HOT!  I lay in bed trying to will myself to sleep and eventually got up thinking it must be about 7.30am.  It wasn't – it was 1.30am and just coming up to night watch change over. I shuffled into the heads – as that's what you do when you get up in the middle of the night, and having inspected the contents of the pan (you can't help but notice while you pump the flush)  to discover wee the colour of well-brewed tea, I realised I needed to force several litres of water down myself.  Which is exactly what I did over the next 50 minutes, while perched in the saloon where it was at least a tiny bit cooler! I felt stupid – it was my own fault I'd allowed myself to get really dehydrated over the last 2 days – you tend to do drinks for everyone else and forget yourself. Now I was paying the price feeling over-tired and wretched and trying not to let the watch change-overs see the tears of self-pity trickle down my face!  3 litres of water later I shuffled back to bed already feeling cooler but already knowing that I would now have to make several further trips to the loo that night!!!
The 8am to midday watch was a struggle and I pre-empted my mood by apologising to everyone in advance in case I was grumpy with them! Midday arrived and despite the heat I took myself straight off to bed and slept right through until just before my next watch at 4pm.  I felt loads better but my body clock was completely out of sync and it was past 5pm before I realised I needed to do the all the daily engineering checks. (After each day on mother you then do a day of being “engineer”). I'd be doing the two hourly boat logs during the day and had checked the day-tank of fuel that fed the generator – which we ran to power up the batteries at least twice a day.  One of the key roles though was pumping out the bilges.  As we'd had a rough 24 hours I knew there would be a fair bit of water around so Chloe and I got to work – with the aid of the trusty aqua-vac – without which this task would be a complete nightmare!  The main bilges weren't too bad but me being me and being thorough I had to go and inspect the rope locker (which normally gets forgotten) and which was full to floor level with water.  It took nearly 50 minutes involving 3 other people in yet another human chain of emptying buckets of water.  It's a job worth doing though and after relieving the boat of that much water – which MUST weigh a tonne – I hoped above hope that our speed would pick up and we'd start making ground on the Qingdao clipper.  I'm nothing if not optimistic!