Leg 3 Day 15,  15th December

My Motherwatch turn had come round again and once again was with Rob. Rob was one of the guys who had been struck down with the near fatal strain of man-flu so I suggested he stay in intensive care – sorry – bed for an extra half hours while I get breakfast organised!

We dished out the penultimate helpings of porridge for breakfast  (all our stocks were starting to run down now as we began what we hoped would be the final week of sailing) while the boat did its 'seesaw on a bouncy castle' impression.

Rob and I practised co-ordinating our bracing positions – Port tack in the galley required positions 17 a & d for breakfast preparations, positions 34 a, b and 29 f for washing up and I had to resort to the very tricky – shouldn't be attempted without the back-up of a safety-net 48 e in order to climb up to the top locker to retrieve the final jar of Cadbury's Hot Chocolate which had been stashed in the back corner behind the pipes for emergencies!   With 'Umber flying along like a bouncing bomb and the entire crew wet through from the waves crashing over the entire length of the boat, today was classed as an Hot Chocolate emergency!

On mother, part of the challenge is to come up with some little surprise that no-one is expecting – ie rustle up something nice that's not on the planned menu in order to keep spirits – and in weather like this – the calorie intake - up high!  On this leg we seemed to have half a hundred-weight of condensed milk that we were all getting a bit bored of having on some tinned fruit or other, so I dug deep into my old chalet girl memories vaguely remembering that boiling up either condensed milk or evaporated milk gave an end result of caramel.  I couldn't remember which but thought it was worth a go!

The other main challenging aspect of the watch is the opening of tins. Our record at purchasing tin openers that worked for more than a day and half on this race so far was poor to say the least.  I was proud that I had suffered some pretty nasty sailing conditions so far, kept going through the sea-sickness and braved out some very scary moments – but the one thing that nearly had me reaching for the “get me off this boat now” button had been the trauma of tin opening on mother-watch.  With this in mind I eyed the contents of my “day-bag” wearily as I noted 12 tins of butter beans, a large catering tin (these were the worst) of sweetcorn and also one of tomatoes.  I checked my watch – 10.05am – if we wanted lunch by midday I'd better start opening them now!!!
To my delight, Cape Town was apparently the home of super-duper tin openers.  Oh joy!  Despite the bouncing and the bracing and the life-threatening man-flu germs, today was obviously going to be a great day!
And it was. After lunch I banished Rob and his deadly germs back to bed for a couple of hours while I fired up my laptop, cranked up itunes and pottered happily in the galley, cleaning cupboards and making chocolate cake for dessert while the yacht ploughed on through the wind and the waves towards Geraldton and Christmas.