Yippy!!!! Above is my home when I get to compete in my leg at sea next year. Welcome to the Edinburgh Inspiring Capital yacht!! Doesn't it look kool - you would never believe the luxury inside - double beds/mod cons/ensuites/state of the art kitchen/lounge quarters and a 50' flat screen TV............hold up! You believe that? Well for about 2months all will be back to basics - no mod cons, no luxury, no privacy and that is the first challenge. I do like to pamper and look and feel good, but no time for makeup/hair/nice clothes. All about being practical and being part of a team and helping each other to win!!!!!!
I have now completed all my courses, and this blog will detail my last 2 training courses, that I did back to back (wish I had a break but only dates I could do inbetween all my other commitments/transplant games). And, in a way I thought would be good as give me a feel for a longer duration at sea and a reality for what is to come. I normally blog day by day and managed to make notes in my notebook for level 3...so that format will follow. However, level 4........hahahahahaha..if only...wait until I write about that...
What do you think of my strategically placed Henri Lloyd shoes under this Clipper logo....you would never know I am an artist? Oh, and if you didn't know - I am! Another story for another time.......
So, let the fun begin level 3 crew:- (left to right) Antonio, Lynn, Richard, Anne, Jami and me in this opening scene 'welcome to our lounge' :)
I actually arrived the night before and glad I did as driving tires me out and wanted to be on form ready for my 1st week at sea. This week was to go over all that has been learnt over levels 1 and 2 and to be ready to do a mini race against the other 10 Clipper yachts ready for level 4. I got to meet some great people (have done on every level) and people that I will be racing against too when the race actually starts. Friends for now...enemies when racing and friends again when Edinburgh Inspiring Capital wins ;) x
Hey, don't we look sexy in our sailing gear! Yes, I know your jealous...left to right in this photo:- Kate, Tom 1, Anne, Me, Tom 2, Antonio, Richard, Steve, John, and Jami.
The first night was a safety training de-brief then pub!! hahaha. I didn't sleep much but loved my Gauss sleeping bag (minus the thermal layer). Having had 2 different sleeping bags over the previous levels....it didn't take me long to realise I needed the real thing for comfort and warmth, only took me 2 failed attempts to get it right. Better late than never ;)
Check out all our beaming smiles as we chill - sailing like this is bliss....not always this way (level 4 was not the case, and you will need to read on to find out).
I still manage to get my 'pink' in and that is my only glamour on board.
Night watch is actually very hard - just trying to keep awake! You do eventually adjust but it can take a few days for your body to get used to a watch system. There are many challenges with sailing not just the back to basics, but lack of sleep and mentally being strong to deal with this, people skills and sea sickness, and other things. Unfortunately, quite a few people on this level was attacked by the green monster. I was lying in my sling (well it isnt much..lol) and thinking how confident I was feeling NOT being sick and how I could boast about this here in my blog. After 4 hours, and time to get on deck for night watch duty....eek....erkkk....oops.....crikey...I'm running for the heads (toilets) and both were being used......I managed to shout out LOUD "hurry up"!!!!!!!! Needless to say.....the green monster greeted me with helllllooooooo - and gotya!! After that...the rest of the week I was fine, phew.
The next day, was as an engineer role but I must state that after a while at sea/watch systems...I had no concept for day/times. As engineer I needed check the engine with Jami and also check the bilges in the yacht to remove any excess water, and log entries. There was a leak from one of the heads - and the smell...........cripes!!! You don't need know need that...
Think it is Monday now......and lack of sleep really starting to get to me, and feeling like utter crap and having to get on deck for 4am-8am. There is no air below deck and trying to sleep in intense heat is a mare, and I think I never actually slept in my sleeping as so hot below..but had the comfort of lying ontop of it.
Ok now welcome to a selection of gallery photos with a little description.......some chick on the coffee grinder :)
Jami demonstrating some dish cloth skills in the galley.......urm...ok ;)
Giving chase to another yacht....
I just love this photo - so had to share it here, do you like how I managed to capture a yacht in the horizon ;)
Eek!! 45' angle all harnessed in, but, deep down exciting!!!
And for any doubt below deck the crew swinging about like monkeys.....you would think we were all drunk as no one was able to stand up straight!!
I really enjoy capturing shots like this as night falling and how amazing to be at sea.
The last 2 days of sailing took us across the English Channel to France, Guernsey and surrounding Channel Islands, and finally to Alderney where we moored up and escaped to a local pub with other level 3's training. We actually moored onto a buoy and got a water taxi to land...lol....all in the fun. I had a shower too whilst there (and that IS luxury)!
Smiley me here, but no idea what day this was taken..hahaha, as said days just disappear into the sea. But, a it's wrap for level 3 and I now have 1 night to rest and get ready for it all to start again the next day........
Here we are having giggles with Robyn, me, Alan and Tom...it's important to have laughs and a plenty we did :)
Part of the drills were a session in knots.....oops....I went into mini panic thinking can I remember all of them, and we were in our watch teams competing against each other. Thankfully, I got them right except some took longer to do than others. And Gordon (skipper) then checked every knot and helped those still unsure. It was a good exercise, fun, but with a serious undertone as it's important to be able to do knots correctly!
One of the days involved a photo shoot to be used for promotional materials for Clipper 11-12. It was supposed to be the week prior (not sure why it didn't happen then). However, I wasn't complaining....a media blitz..love it! We were to wait for a helicopter to come and take photos of all the 10 yachts then do individual yacht shots. A formation was needed to be done and the skipper showed us the layout and which order we needed to be in. It seemed like hours we waited so we all simply laid down on the high side with our feet hanging over. Eyes closed trying to get 5 mins catch up, then Gordon said helicopter is here and everyone bolted up! No helicopter..bah, so we all lied down again and shut eyes. "helicopter is here" Gordon shouts again...we all wake up again only to see no helicopter. This must have gone on for about 30-40 mins and I think Gordon enjoyed seeing us snooze then wake us up...jokes!
However, the helicopter DID arrive and photos were taken, then time to set sail and carry on with the day.
Here is also the link if anyone would like to help me give back Transplant Ambassador Fundraising Page
No one wants there to be injury, man over board, sinking yacht...but, it is important to re-emphasize safety drills over and over again. A feature that has strongly dominated across each level. Level 4 was no exception and I was the apparent 'unconscious' casualty on the bow and needed to be safely moved and put below deck. The crew needed to work out the best way to do this and incase injury how to carry me...and here I am strapped in a hospital bunk and tied with ropes. Apologies as I couldn't help laughing and talking at this time and many other followed and laughed telling me I was the worst 'unconscious' person ;)
Supporting crew (left to right) Callum, Lynn, TT, Nick, Justin, Steve and Pru.
A serious exercise, but one that was exectuted extremely well and I felt very safe and was maneuvered perfectly below. I hope this never happens to anyone - but, I feel confident as a team we can do this. I did manage a 'thumbs up' and smile below falling unconscious again.....
Here I am and also getting ready to flake a sail (sitting down) and waiting to be crushed once the sail has been flaked into a sail bag. Tip....great way to get a flat tummy quick or a case of breathe in!!!
Nick, TT, Pru and I having a thinking moment.......
I have mentioned how glorious the weather/seas have been so far.....but that all changed the day after the photo shoot. I was actually quite poorly for 2 days - not eating and being sick for that duration! The sea/weather changed to a force 8 and I found myself really struggling to cope. No photos were taken then - no sight or sound from me......quiet as a mouse. I felt so 'unme' and didn't like how I felt. I wasn't the one affected and out of a 19 crew (including skipper who wasn't sick) 16 were sick at some point!! Only a few of us were so bad that we couldnt get on deck for watch duties and were bed bound (including me). What a shock......reminding me on my days bed bound in hospital. I felt so ill that I couldn't even move..barely talk..couldn't eat and needed to go to the toilet, but, frustrated as not able to get up. Sadly, throwing up everywhere (sorry if you are eating..hahaha whilst reading this) and given a bucket - that became my best friend.
Through the lows...will be high times...and I captured this amazing sunset after being unwell, makes it worth it and all I can is, "breath-taking".
I have now finished all my training for Clipper 11-12 and have 10 months until I do my leg at sea. I can't believe it - I've done it. I have achieved what I thought the impossible and feel confident I can sail around part of the world and be a transplant ambassador in the process. I have made so many wonderful new friends..had so many laughs...struggled at times.....overcome sea-sickness, shed some tears and what a journey.....