Saturday, 2 April 2011

A Quick Tour

I thought I’d give you a quick tour of my galley and my cabin. It won’t take long because there’s not a huge amount to show you.  We’ll start with the galley.

My oven is known as a ‘Force Ten’. I really think that it’s perhaps designed to cook on boats that are less than 60ft long for no more than 8 people on the occasional, nice weekend’s outing on the Solent. And there I am, cooking for 12 every day, sometimes on deliveries, for days at a time on an angle of various degrees. Last year, ‘Mr Oven’, (he’s definitely a male. So difficult when I least need it) got the chance to live up to his name; ‘Force-Ten’ (said with movie trailer voice). He failed.

We sailed the boat from here, St Tropez to the UK. Most of the 3 week trip was great, catching fish and making sushi. But then the coast of Portugal brought weather that sent the fruit bowl flying (amongst anything else on the boat that wasn’t glued down or lashed to the deck) so that whilst trying to stay up-right, hold on, keep a non-sea-sick head and cook stir fried vege’s and egg noodles, I also had to avoid a pineapple, apples and some kiwi’s all hurtling through the galley in various directions. And then the oven door kept flying open, whilst my one and only port hole started to leak all over the floor I was already struggling to stand up on……

‘Oh, how we laughed!’, she says with a small, its-all-in-the-distant-past kind of a chuckle.

So here we are, the crew queuing up for lunch whilst in port. So if you were thinking of downing some Stugeron, hold back, its all flat and calm again.
Tim and Matty diving into 'kitchen-sink-lasagne'

You’ll no doubt get to know this lot quite well over the next few months. I’ll remember not to complain about their eating habits too much. We work, live, eat and play in such close quarters, its probably wise to say nothing but the nicest of things. To be honest, I’m very lucky. I have one vegetarian, one nut allergy, and the odd, few dis-likes. Oh and the captain can’t eat too much shellfish or drink green wine but that’s his story and I definitely need to keep him sweet.

Moving onto my cabin then; sorry, our cabin.  The Fella and I have now spent a week, back in our cabin quarters. Now, you may think from these pictures that it all looks quite nice! And you’d be right. We’re very, very lucky. 4 members of the crew sleep in the forepeak. They have ‘cots’ which fold down on pullies. And a space under a seat to put their stuff in (crew uniform, pants etc). So Billy, Joe etc, if you’re reading this then please forgive me my whinging.

maybe I could have tidied a bit more...
We all spend about 7-8 months living in this manner. And let me tell you that you can love your partner/boyfriend/spouse more than anything in the world and yet, I assure you, you will be tested by this arrangement. The Fella and I sleep head to toe in our bunk. George is 6ft 3 and very broad in the shoulder (don’t want to brag about how butch my man is…oh, ooops!).  And I…well I am no slim, tiny, slip of a thing, Hey man,I’m a foody!  So we simply can not lie next to each other and not, quite literally, hate each other by the early hours. It’s a small single bed in normal, land-bed-sized terms.
Thank God I love the Fella’s feet.

Showing my drawers on the internet eh? Anyway, there they are. 2 whole drawers. Its amazing how as a chic, you can put the most amazing amount of stuff away in 2 drawers. The problem comes when you need a particular top or pair of jeans. It all has to come out or you’ve no hope of getting dressed any time soon.

 My life for the next 8 months basically is all right there. Obviously I haven’t shown you any of the cool on deck sailing stuff yet, but don’t worry, we’ll get there soon. We move the boat to Cannes on Monday and start race training in a few weeks. There you’ll get to meet my fabulous stewardess who I couldn’t live without as we peel off wet clothes after a hard day’s sailing, make tea and snacks for the rest of the crew, looking like we never had a hair out of place all day, cooking dinner and sandwich fillings for the next day’s sail… Its my turn to buy the next bottle of Gin Sian, don’t worry I’m on it.

Hope you can join us for it, its going to be an amazing season.