White Ocean Racing

Reports 12 January

12 January - Blog 19 - The state of the Bat cave.

My boat is pretty untidy at the moment! After I had finished the repairs here was some mast climbing to do, so there are still a few things out of place.

Basically, I live in the bit between the mast bulkhead and the companionway bulkhead, so a space of about four meters long by over four and a half wide at deck level - the ballast tanks down each side make it quite narrow. In the middle, where I am sitting now is the nav station which faces forward, on a sort of "vee" bunk / seat across the boat. It is too short to stretch out on fully and has no sides, so it is difficult to sleep soundly here because you don't feel secure, but it is therefore ideal for catnaps! When you are typing your feet sit above the main alternator and ballast pump which are driven off the main engine, which is boxed in underneath the seat, along with the watermaker. At the chart table I have a stuck down mouse with a ball in the top - you spin the ball rather than moving the mouse - much easier when the boat is bouncing around. The camera charger and my i-pod sit in an ice cream container glued down with sikaflex. I still have my Christmas CD and a Patty Griffin CD which were both presents, and my elephant pencil case Kim bought me when I did my RYA Day Skipper in 1996!

Another thing which has never left the chart table is my stereo manual, every day I learn something else about it, it is so complicated!

If I spin around and face the other way, so I'm facing aft looking out of the hatch but still on the seat, I have the sink on the port side and the stove on starboard. Next to the stove, right by the door is a deep locker with my camera, nurofen, instant energy things from MX3, nail clippers and a torch, kitchen roll etc all ready for immediate use. Below the stove is a draw of sailory type things - needles and palm, tape, almanac, batteries, mini socket set, passport, binoculars and other stuff like that. Below the sink are my pots and pans and the orange plastic salad servers that I keep taking off the boat and which somehow keep getting back on!

My oilskins hang on hooks on the companionway bulkhead on both sides of the hatch, next to the handles for opening and closing the ballast valves. There is a bunk on each side of the boat; you sleep with your head by the companionway bulkhead so you can see the instruments, and your feet go forward and stop level with the chart table. I sleep on the low side and stack my spares on the high side, that way the weight distribution is good, and I don't fall out of bed when the boat heels suddenly. That would be a bad thing as the floor is wet all the time - I have many leaks! I have an Ocean Sleepware sleeping bag too, which has a waterproof breathable outer layer and two fleece inner layers, and is warm and dry enough to sleep on deck - never go sailing without one! Under each bunk are bags for stowing gear - everything from the spare laptops to my big socket set and Christmas presents.

I have some art too; on the ceiling is a mural by Didier Becet which is fantastic! It shows penguins, gulls and flying fish, big ones in the centre and smaller ones all around the edges in little groups wearing sou'westers and other things, some dancing, some "chilling out", and the flying fish have fantastic expressions - some human and some are definitely pure flying fish - they do have expressions believe it or not! I like it best because you see something different every time you look. Also there are little drawings of bats in strategic places - my nickname is Bat, and Kim draws them here and there so that I remember she loves me - very important!

Infront of the chart table are nearly 600 litres of diesel three in fixed tanks, the internal structure of the keel with the generator on top, the batteries, and the best bit - the loo! Luxury!!

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