15/09/2015 06:53 BST | Updated 14/09/2016 06:12 BST

When Lemons Are a Luxury


At the moment we are travelling at an average of six knots and I can feel the rest of the fleet catching up. Whilst the progress is slow, I think we actually all needed a day like this as it gives us a break from living at a forty-five degree angle and constantly having to climb everywhere.

The truth is, if we just had just started out in these conditions, this would feel rough, which shows just how accustomed I'm becoming to life at sea. The comfortable sway rocks me gently deeper into my stretches as I sit on the foredeck drinking lemon water and listening to music.

I've been spying the lemons for a week now. I was sure that they would be used in a recipe but they haven't. Soon the remaining fruit will have to go overboard. The bananas are already black and in need of a swim in the Atlantic. As effective as my electrolyte sachets are at keeping me hydrated, nothing quite beats half a lemon in your water. And the stuff in my bottle happens to be freshly filtered sea water.

The six o'clock shift this morning was hard, especially because the shift before ended at two in the morning, just four hours earlier. As good as the days are, I still can't fully enjoy myself as there is no opportunity to take a break. There is never an opportunity to fall asleep knowing that you can wake up naturally. It's either a four hour break following a four hour shift, or a six hour sleep following a six hour shift. All the way until we arrive in Rio.

This week has involved a lot of being thrown around and a lot of clambering around the small, crowded, wet and usually pretty foul smelling environment. On the plus side, the weather on deck is amazing. Plus, the company of turtles yesterday and a family of whales at sunrise this morning put a smile on my face. When I catch a moment to look out to the horizon, I find myself in absolute awe of the beauty of my surroundings. Our surroundings. We have got to look after this world and everything in it. To damage this in any way would be complete madness. It astounds me that so many people have somehow lost sight of that.

We are crawling at the moment and should be rocking again in a few hours. We'll be on this tack for another day or so before changing courses. We came second to LMAX Exchange through the Scoring Gate to win our first two bonus points. Those will be valuable as we've already lost about five hundred pounds worth of stuff overboard, and that comes with a penalty.

While Port Watch sits around patiently, glancing up at the sails with hope every few minutes, and Starboard Watch rests down below, I'm going to finish stretching on the foredeck and have a lie down. I've got a couple more hours before my next shift starts, but this afternoon's respite has done me the world of good. Now the weather is getting warmer as we edge closer to the Equator. A daily bucket bath in the cool, crystal clear sea water that surrounds us, is also a treat.

There is not a thing in sight. Our little seventy foot world with its twenty three inhabitants is all that is relevant. The odd cargo ship in the distance is a reminder that life is out there and the rest of civilization is plodding on. Laughs are shared and voices are raised, but in the end we are a team, and fast becoming a family. With all of its imperfections and issues, it works. And in this moment that's what matters.