Well hello my beloved shore based fans and friends, it's time for another interactive “play along at home” blog. Last time I had you running around and hugging toilets and I promise that this one will be much easier, although if you're wearing a belt you might want to take it off now. Don't panic... it will be fine, I promise.
So, did you ever play that game as a kid called the floor is lava? It's where you're not allowed to walk on the floor and you have to jump and climb from pieces of furniture to get around. This is the closest way I can describe what our current movements below deck are like, due to our excessive heeling. So, go to your living room and stand on your sofa. Then get yourself from the sofa to the coffee table. Go, jump! Now jump to your single seater. Get to the kitchen if you can! Do it. Now start to assume that the wall is now your floor, the floor is still lava (so don't touch it) and the ceiling is somewhere to your left. You are now surviving sideways version 2.0!
OK, did you take your belt off? Because I need you to up the ante and take this game to the next level. Drop your trousers. It's OK, no one will see - just do it. We have a rule on the boat that you're not allowed to sit on the galley sofa with wet foulies (that's boat talk for wet weather gear). However, because the crew all have their boots and other layers on, it's far too hard to simply take your foulies off for the 20 minutes that you're below deck so all they seem to want to do is drop their trousers around their knees and waddle around. So, hop to it! Drop yours too and then restart your game of the floor is lava. This is surviving sideways to the extreme and this is as close as you can get to moving around below deck in the middle of the Southern Atlantic (short of signing up for the Clipper 2019-20 Race).
Speaking of climbing around, our resident medic on board, James “McSmokey” Macfee (not a real doctor), channelled his inner monkey today as he went up the mast to fix some minor issues with our reefing lines (that's boat-speak for ropes that help to shorten the Mainsail). The winds are hitting 35 knots and the crew are sailing well, and there was no time to stop racing so we sent him up anyway. All I can say is I've never seen so much of the whites in his dreamy eyes before and well, I'm glad he was wearing dark shorts. But he fixed the issue just fine and is now safely back on deck. I did enjoy him shouting down from the sail "my mother will have stern words with you about this" - Sorry Mrs Mcsmokey!
Finally, I again have to give a shout out to our Mothers from yesterday. Helen “The Huntress” Lane and her new assistant Mr Frenchie Stephane Leloup. As per traditional French cuisine (unlike the fancy posh stuff) the portions were huge and the cake was light, airy and for once fully cooked through! Tres bon!
So that's that for now. We're still racing to catch Qingdao and we know that you all back home are Thinking Pink. Your continued emails and Facebook likes are always much loved by the crew and spur us on ever further, so keep up the good work guys and keep sending in your support!
Also put your trousers back on - you look ridiculous.