Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Cabin Boy!

Hey everyone,
Chris here, writing my first blog of...well ever and hopefully sending it via satellite phone to the site. I'm kinda hoping this works first time, otherwise it just means more work for me.

Okay, so where to begin. I guess it has been an average three weeks. Y'know, fly to the other side of the world, stay in an incredible city, travel to a tropical island, meet the PM and King of Tonga. Pretty Standard.

But seriously, these mozzies are ridiculously annoying. I have been chomped on daily by those little buggers. My ankles and feet are covered in bites and my arms are close behind. But what's even more annoying is that they're barely touching anyone else. I've been bitten three times while writing this short paragraph. Awesome.

So its all been a bit of a blur so far, things happened so fast I couldn't really do anything except just go with it. I count myself fully lucky for getting this oppourtunity, purely because I've met some really amazing people that I probably wouldn't have ever crossed paths with if it weren't for this.

Lately though, it has all started to get very real. Yesterday we sailed back to the island of Atata on Bounty Boat, which was my first time properly sailing. And, as expected, I felt very seasick. But hopefully with some time out on the sea (and plenty of tablets) I'll start to find my sea legs.

On top of that, I've been assigned a lot of quite important responsibilities, which I didn't particularly expect. The main ones: keeping track of all our water, working with the laptops and satellite phones, pretty much all our medical gear and logging important details, so we don't become hypoglycaemic or stumble into a cyclone or worse..... Honestly, I don't think i've ever had this much responsibility or worked this hard towards something in my life...and we haven't even started sailing yet!

As for crew relations, I'm getting on great with everyone, though the generation gap is becoming pretty apparent. Here, if I dropped in a quote from Anchorman or a Pegg/Frost film into normal conversation, I'd probably just get a weird look. Whereas my friends and I do it all the time because we're a lot more involved in popular culture. Luckily, Stu, who's a lot nearer my age, kinda bridges that gap to an extent.

There's a fooseball table here in the bar, so whenever we get a real break me and Stu are straight on it. But I still haven't won a game yet. We must have played at least twenty. Before we leave I want the esteem boost of beating him at least once....it could happen.

Anyway, more on topic. Right this second, I'm not feeling worried at all about the voyage. In fact I really want to just get out there and get this thing underway. But that isn't to say I haven't been scared or overwhelmed by what we're undertaking, this is pretty daunting, but lately any worries I've had have been unfounded. I've just got to keep myself focused on the jobs assigned to me and I shouldn't have time to overthink anything.

All I need to do is cover my bases.


Patron of Sheffield Institute Foundation said...

Take no notice of the "Mickey Taking"
of those "Crusty Old Salts"
After all Admiral Lord Nelson was sea sick nearly every time he went to sea, and he turned out to be an above average sailor-I think?
Well blogged
Cheers Stuart

Ehvee said...

Chris, I love the way you write... its like beimg part of an interesting conversation. Good luck to all on this bit of insanity you're starting soon! I'll be watching the whole way.

RLN said...

Chris ... Mozzies like young blood, not blood from crusty old salty sea dogs! :-) Wow, what an adventure you've signed yourself up for. No looking back----as they say. Hope you get your sea legs quickly. Maybe you should try a self talk, like "brain, accept motion as normal, this feels right, motion is good". In your free time, if you have any, close your eyes while standing and sway right to left, back and forth, giving your brain and cochlea (inner ear) motion practice. Have fun and looking forward to the launch.

I'm glad England is represented. I'm American, but my first grandchild was born in Kendal, Cumbria a few days ago.

Patron of Sheffield Institute Foundation said...

for the attention of RLN,
FYI Coincidently, where your first grandchild was born is in the area where The Fletcher Christian family lived!
Perhaps your grandchild should be called after him?
Cheers Stuart

johnboi said...

Great blog Chris, Will look forward to reading the future ones. I followed Mike Perhams round world blog last year and he was always complaining about sea sickness every time he left an island, but it did go after a while, so it happens to the best of 'em.

Sounds like it will be a great adventure! enjoy it!

RLN said...

Stuart ... small world.

RLN said...

Stuart ... My daughter and her English husband haven't yet picked a middle name, so I emailed her your comment and suggested Fletcher. We'll see. :-)

Anonymous said...

Gents, all the best, may the seas be calm, the rains frequent enough and the seas abundant... so you don't have to eat the guts first! I'll be following with interest and hope you are successful in your dual missions of completing this remarkable voyage and raising money and awareness for motor neurone research.
David S

Mike said...

Well done Chris. Good to see that 'old Don' has discovered your many talents. Great entry & I like the new face page to the Web-site.
God speed, Mike Syd/AU

Anonymous said...

Chris, They are biting you cos you are easy pickings with your fair English skin compared to these other old leathery types on board!!! Be flattered - they are probably thinking "geez, this guy is a Pom - he wouldn't know what a mozzie bite was if he fell over one so let's intorduce him....." lol Sorry mate - but you are a target for them. Just learn to belt them the first time you feel a little tickle on your legs etc - they are as much use as an ashtray on a motorbike - Mosquitoes -- can't think why they were ever invented!! Cheers and Good Luck - with you all the way. MJ from Brisbane.