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Ericsson 4 Leg Five Day 34

It’s an interesting concept - time. Or maybe it’s just the fact that we have been out here for so long with little contact with the outside world that we are starting to show the developed signs of insanity?

The routines onboard carry on regardless of time and we are now noticing the fact that we have overtaken the date regarding local time. When we set off on this leg we were firmly in the eastern side of the globe and therefore we would have 'our day' at the start of the world day sequence.

Now we have moved into the western side we should have our day towards the end of the world day. This would normally be taken care of around the 180 degree line - the opposite of the Greenwich mean line - known as the International Date Line.

Onboard Ericsson 4 we didn’t bother with this and as always just kept on UTC time or the correct time for Greenwich (0 degree line). Time for us doesn’t really have the same meaning as ashore.  We don’t need to know what time the news is on or if it’s time the dog should go for it’s walk.  All we need to know is what time the watches start and what time is meal time - all of which rotate on an eight hr cycle (a meal every eight hrs and an off and on watch every eight hrs).

But we now are really noticing onboard that we have run back into ourselves somewhat with the date. On the yacht we feel that it’s the morning of the 20th March as far as our daylight schedule goes, where as our watches tell us it’s the 19th!  Just a little confusing it has to be said (although not as confusing as the babble you have just read no doubt!)

So, the fact of the time being a little out of kilter and the fact that, over the last few days his off watch has either been in the middle of a sail change or that no off watch has existed due to sail changes, has meant Dave Endean has had very little sleep.

So it also doesn’t help Dave that the watch hanging in his bunk and owned by Tony Mutter is firmly in NZ time and on a 12hr setting. What it has basically meant is that for the second time this leg Dave has sprung out of his bunk and got himself prepared in all is thermals and outwear only to find that he is on deck a full hour before he needs to be - he read the watch to say 10am when it was actually 10pm NZ - 13hrs different from our UTC.

This doesn’t sound much, but when you are running a four hrs on and four hrs off schedule, the time off is the most valuable thing ever. In your four hrs off you need to get undressed, eat, get dressed and to do your business if you get my drift, so it doesn’t leave much time for sleep, which at present is probably about two hrs max if you consider the  thermal layers to get in and out of.  It doesn’t help to spring up an hour earlier as you can’t really just go back to bed, as by the time you have undressed, it’s almost time to get dressed again.

At present we are jib reaching on port (be interesting to see time spent on port for the leg as a percentage as I remember moaning about it some time ago!).  The sea is very flat and it is slightly overcast and quite chilly on deck. There seems to be a flurry of emailing and writing as it seems everyone is either typing away furiously or queuing to use one of the boat’s computers.  These chances don’t appear too often as the nav area is usually involved in some tactical play or being used to hatch some cunning plan to take over the world.

Ryan Godfrey has been gloating at his winning the sweep stake - he was just under three hrs out - not bad considering we made the bet 6000 miles away from the Horn.  He is, however, suggesting a date when we all meet up to help him drink his winnings!

Guy Salter - MCM