Friday 9th – Dress-down/dress-up Friday!

The end of yesterday evening finally brought some relief from the heat. We'd watched the clouds gather throughout the afternoon in the distance to the east and ahead of us.  We took down our spinnaker and hoisted the more forgiving head sails and almost immediately the rain started.  The wind didn't arrive with it and as the thick, black clouds gathered overhead - even though just aft of the boat the sea and sky remained holiday brochure blue - Piers uttered the immortal words “ Better go grab your soap and shampoo guys – it's shower time”! There was a mad scramble to get into swimsuits and to grab wash-bags and within 2 minutes the heavens turned on all the hoses and emptied every bucket, and water-butt it had stored, up in Hallelujah House! Eighteen 'grown-ups' suddenly turned eight again and squealed with delight. Heads foamed white, and body bits jiggled with joy as fresh water from above cleansed the parts that only a wet-wipe had reached for the last few weeks!  Twenty minutes of mid-Atlantic madness and smiles, and peace and optimism was restored to the boat.  Who among us could have imagined 2 months ago when we were sitting behind our desks and respective shackles of the 9 to 5, that a twenty minute deluge would bring such joy and harmony?! Managing directors, Surgeons, students, Fork-lift truck drivers of all ages, all joined together to enjoy this simplest of pleasures – the rain!

It was then straight back to the business of trying to keep the boat moving. Dinner was served, those that were about to start night watch dried off and had the dilemma of what to wear on deck to stay dry but cool, while the rest of us going off watch dried off and had the same dilemma of what to wear in order to stay dry (not sweaty) and cool.

Just before 2am I poked my head above deck to ask for some fashion advice. There had been several other heavy squalls during the night but although the air was slightly fresher it was still ridiculously hot.  I surveyed the outfits on deck which ranged from full red Clipper Oily smocks and trousers (with the wearers looking equally red in the face to match), to now very soggy shorts and T-shirts with their owners modelling the Drowned rat look.  I opted to follow Charlies fashion advice.  She's young and very stylish and was sporting her Oil-skin smock top with very short shorts and bare feet on the bottom half.  It made perfect sense – your top half stayed dry and protected and you could hoik your hood up in a second when it really chucked it down. The shorts and bare feet kept you cool, short shorts were covered by the top and legs dried quickly after a squall.  The rest of the watch could jibe and tease all they like but it was the by far the best clothing combination for the weather and an outfit that I don't think would look out of place on the catwalk with the simple addition of some killer heels!

As the sun came up to backlight in shades of rose pink and honeyed amber, a glorious shop window display of clouds of every type and design, we marvelled at how this was just 'another glorious day in the office' – and wind or no wind, we were all extremely thankful for the opportunity to be part of this 'firm'.