Running A Dead Ship

13Got woken up by the house elf for my 6am watch and didn’t have a clue where I was. I knew I was on a boat and I knew I was in a cabin. I even knew where the door was as I could see the instrument panel beyond but I had no idea where the cabin was relative to the rest of the boat. I sat up for fully 30 seconds trying to work out what was beyond the cabin door. If I walked through it where would I end up? I concluded that I would come out somewhere forward of the coach house. The fact that there isn’t a coach house on Ocean Indies compounded my complete confusion. As the other crew members awoke I learnt that I was not the only one having bizarre thoughts and dreams. Probably the blue cheese we’d had for supper last night then. Unfortunately that was the last laugh we had today.

Can you see me?

Can you see me?

Another miserable day on the weather front (the second in a row with no sun), giving us a grim backdrop for the bad news: the batteries had stopped charging and neither the skipper nor the first mate had any idea why this was so. Ocean Indies is, after all, a new boat. This situation meant we now had to run what is called a ‘dead ship’, i.e. no electricity. In a vague order of importance the impact of this was as follows:

• No water maker, leaving us with 250 litres of filtered water in the tanks and 160 litres emergency in jerry cans. The impact of this means cleaning teeth and washing up in seawater. A good antibacterial agent, apparently!
• No navigation instruments, including nav lights for night sailing, as well as no GPS and VHF
• No electric pump for the heads. With no manual override this meant hanging off the back of the boat to do ones business
• No house lights, so all cooking and reading and log reports to be done either during daylight or with a torch

31This situation essentially takes us back 100 years, sailing as our grandparents would have done. “Though they probably would have taken the train,” quipped Simon. We’re estimating arrival in about a week, so the next seven days are going to be rather interesting.

41We must have known something like this was going to happen: when the first downpour occurred earlier in the morning we all ran out on deck, soap in hands and treated ourselves to a freshwater wash under the sails!

Video Clip

As every sailor knows fresh water is worth its weight in gold, which is why someone had the bright idea of using an oncoming squall to take a quick shower.

Pity poor old Dobby who was at the helm at the time. By the time he had covered himself in soap the rain had stopped!

Keep an eye out for the skipper’s skinny white ass.

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