Despite a less than comfortable life down below, we're all pretty excited for the next couple of days. Around 2100 tonight we're due to reach the top of Sumatra (finally!) and begin our journey through the Malacca Straits. The Malacca Straits are like a busy marine highway and we have a narrow path to scoot through, which also includes fishing boats and shallow waters.
It's a very interesting time here in Abu Dhabi as we break down the leg. The important thing to remember is that this is all a time for the benefit of the team and the race as a whole. So, watch out, Team SCA is coming back on 3 January with a fighting vengeance as we navigate our way through tricky seas to Sanya, China!
If you've watched any of the Volvo Ocean Race video content (you can find a bunch of ours on the Team SCA website), you'd most likely gather that out here it's 100% carnage 100% of the time. However, this can be a bit deceptive as generally, especially in the last few days, for us it's been far from carnage.
Life on board is finally beginning to look "normal" again. For the last four days (although it feels like more!) we've been living a flat life. Cooking, changing, sleeping, and eating were all incredibly easy. Yes, it's been excruciatingly hot so life hasn't been that easy, but you are easily spoiled by flat water, no wind conditions.
A few weekends ago I was having coffee with a friend. We have a lot in common, not least of which is that we are both caesarean section mamas grieving the loss of the birth we deserved. "I'm thinking about siblings" she said, "do you think it's worth trying for a VBAC?" It was a simple question; but the weight of it hung between us, sodden with emotion.
It was years ago that Dr. Komisaruk and Nurse PhD, Beverly Whipple, found the neurologic pathways by which women are able to orgasm. These discoveries gave women the "right" to talk about the different ways they could climax, and validate their experiences scientifically. How can it be that a "true" scientific study, such as the one cited by the London Daily Mail, could be so wrong?
I work with a leader who is sloppy: a bit disorganised, he forgets things and at times drops the ball. He is also extremely successful and admired. The thing is, his sloppiness is interpreted (accurately) as big thinking and creativity. It occurs to me that I don't know any women in senior positions who are also sloppy and successful; that bothers me.
The Design Museum's new exhibition Women Fashion Power examines how female fashion has changed in line with emancipation and showcases examples of how powerful women have used fashion to define and enhance their position in the world. But by including the word 'power' in their exhibition title, I can't help but feel the Museum has set itself up for a fall.
If we had to sum Leg 1 up in a single word, it would be 'incredible'. In the 27 days between Alicante and Cape Town we really did see a bit of everything. There were good days and bad days; it was up and down, windy and light, sunny and raining. A true test of our abilities as a team, and an amazing way to begin this epic journey.
There are no short cuts to any place worth going. Making changes that are tangible come from yourself. Ask yourself this: 'Am I on the right route to get to where I want to be or am I aimlessly wandering around, stuck because it's safe and familiar?' Do you have a strategy for your life? Do you know the rules of the game and have a map, a plan and a timeline?
The idea of getting older and entering a whole new decade can be daunting when the focus is on attempting to adhere to social standards determined by age. However, when we do away with the sets of lists and various expectations, which are age dependent, we are able to embrace where we are and look forward to where we are going.
I have not done this quickly either and the project is very much ongoing. Four months or thereabouts in, the benefits of being more like my former trim self are beginning to become apparent. Along with the jeans a plethora of other favourite garments banished to the nether regions of my wardrobe are now reinstated for everyday wear.