Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Food For Thought!

Well, what an interesting week....   I wont report on positions, courses or sailing matters as I am aware that Don is reporting on this and therefore don't wish to duplicate.  Having said that, Don has been hit with a dose of gout today, started at 7am this morning, seems this delightful diet is just not too good for him, as a result he has had to drink four liters of water today, dose up on medicine and everything seems to be settling down, it does leave a question on his diet moving forward but will leave Don to report on that.

I always knew the diet (or lack of) would be the biggest challenge and this has proved to be the case, I have experienced two major blows as a result of food deprivation, the first at Tofua Island and then at Naighai Island after the knock down.  It was sudden and left me disoriented, I found myself isolating from the others and my mind set became very negative, I could only see the doom....  and this is not good, while repacking the food after our knockdown I became depressed when I realized we really would be living on Corned Beef for over 60% of the time, not just corned beef, but the worst I have ever tasted, saturated in salt, it really smelt, looked and tasted like cat food.  Unlike the two old salty sea dogs here, I seem unable to convince myself that dog poo can actually be a delight to eat...  I spoke with Don, expressed my concern and said I would like to secure some edible provisions, which I believed were available the other side of the island.  He declined... What a pettle...   I slept on the matter and awoke in the morning deciding I was to leave the expedition, return to my children in Hong Kong and within a few days I could be with them, flicking the channels while discussing the adventure I had  walked away from.  I could see no alternative, I really did not believe I could survive on the provisions, I was already weak, extremely hungry and miserable.  I told Don and the crew of my decision and Don as expected handled it very professionally, he did not try to convince me either way, discussed the reasons and suggested I thought on it for an hour and then let him know...  I was out and what a relief....

I walked up the beach, sat alone and thought long and hard, I recalled how I had felt like this in Tofua and that 24 hours later I was fine, I realized I had completely mismanaged my foot intake, I had not been eating the sea survival biscuits, instead storing them as if a good meal lay ahead, my sudden mood change I realized was simply food deprivation, of my own doing...  I thought about some of the difficulties I had faced in the past, to now be beaten by a tin of corned beef seemed so sad, I thought about my daughters, if they had sunk so much of themselves into a project and were going to give in, then sort my advice, would I just say, "thats OK, just walk away"  I hope not!  I returned to the crew, explained to Don that I wished to continue, he discussed the reasons why, his concern was that I may be trying to avoid letting the rest of the crew down, it wasn't even part of my consideration, this was personal, much more personal....  As we sailed during the next few nights, at one time with dolphins following us for an hour, I shed a private tear, grateful that I had found the courage to continue.  I now manage my food intake very carefully and force feed myself sea survival biscuits at least every two hours.  Don't misunderstand me, they are still disgusting and I cant eat the sodding corned beef (as it dehydrates me) but I am eating sufficient to keep myself going.  Its tuff! The water is now limited to 1 liter per day, I am managing on this, but know I will struggle on less, we have had no rain so this is possible.

The mackerel caught by Don was delicious, this lifted my spirits very much, but again, I was surprised how much this dehydrated me a lot.  Still, it was worth it....

When I get really hungry, which is 75% of the time I try and think of those people in countries of famine and this seems to give me the gratitude I prefer.

We have been becalmed for another day now, yawn...  swimming has been a welcome break.... so has being able to submerge yourself in the water for number 2's...

All the crew seem to be getting along fine, though there are moments...  I am learning more about my own character defects, which is frustrating and irritating...  I never realized how grumpy I can be when I am tired, ( I can hear those who know me laugh) I had to apologise to Chris the other morning for ripping his head off for not vacating the bunk within 2 minutes after my 2-6am watch had finished.  I find Don and David Q amusing characters, sometimes I think they are straight from an adventure novel, I mean it respectfully, they are fascinating characters.  Mostly, they do stuff, like men used too, stuff that I watch and think, why can't I do that, for example, we had leaks on the lee cloth, two bits of wood, bit of old sail and rope, needle and thread they made covers to tie on, its simple with hindsight, but definitely a skill....

That's all for me this week, its an adventure for sure, and i am glad to be part of it...  1 secret....  In my Tilley hat there is a hiding place for keeping $100 in case of an emergency, I have stored in there 4 tea bags, two breakfast and two Earle Grey, oh I dream of arriving in Kupang, finding the nearest kettle and making myself a lovely cuppa tea, incidentally I have two hidden in my life jacket too, never be caught short where a cuppa tea is concerned....

Private Message - Lucinda and Isabelle, almost 25% of the way, becalmed, 360 degree view of water horizons, its really beautiful, dolphins have been following us at night, its very special, but I am missing you both very much and don't wish to be away from you for this long again...  I love you both x Dad


magpie said...

Hi Crew, This is an amazing journey. To be so reflective says to me that the team is solid as a rock. The brutal honesty is amazing. Hoo ROO ☺☺☺

Ken said...

What exciting reading! It's one thing to prove that you all have the seamanship abilities on a seaworthy vessel in following Bligh's original adventure. To me, that is what the voyage is about. It's another thing, and unnecessary, to punish yourselves while making the trip. Not even prisoners in a third world country are treated like this and deprived of the basic necessities of life. I fear that you might harm yourselves mentally and physically and carry the scars for the rest of your life. Starvation is not acceptable and proves nothing!

I just shake my head in bewilderment as I wish you well in your misery.

worldwidewendy said...

David, I am so proud of you for seeing what is real, and taking ownership of your moments of weakness.We all fall, it's how we get up that counts.
What a great legacy for the girls.
Tinned meat is a luxury for many on this planet- but if you can't eat it, you can't eat it.
You are too fat anyway.
Don sounds ill....if he dies, you can all eat him.
At least the meat will be fresh.

Anonymous said...

And I forgot to say - all the best you guys - read a couple of days ago that you had crotch rot - ewwwwwwhhh that;s not good - just need to dry it out by all accounts...........thinking of you all and smooth sailing..........MJ

Queenslander said...

I cannot get the tracking chart to work...??? help!

Toni McLean said...

Hi team,
Don, I hope the pain of the gout is easing. I've never had it but know someone else who has, and he is obviously in agony at times. Bligh and his crew didn't know if they were going to live or die, but you guys do know you've got the rest of your lives back home, so it is important to take care of your health as much as possible. If that means breaking the rules a bit, so be it.
Of course, if the others find out you're just a fine actor ... well, I hope you can run fast! :-)

Dave, what great reflections and such a high degree of insight. Being confronted by our character defects is not at all comfortable, but acknowledging them is a sign of great maturity - there are probably a few of us squirming as we read your thoughts, thinking about our own frailties and faults. I know I am!

As for your tea bags, reminds me of my younger days - more than 40 years ago - when mothers insisted their daughters go out on dates with $10 tucked into their bra, in case they needed to get a taxi home! That was in the days when guys paid for everything so we often didn't take purses with us.

If you resort to them, I hope you take the time to sit and savour each mouthful, without any sense of guilt at all.

Your humour is great, no doubt it will see you through.


Anonymous said...

I agree with everyone else - the Voyage in itself is an amazing challenge within itself without compromising your health...........I reckon stock up on as much water as you need at next stop!! @Magpie - yeah the brutal honesty is amazing and makes it so much more enthralling to follow than getting a "glossed over" account. @Worldwidewendy - what a resourceful sort of person you are!! Sort of person I would want on my side though if I was to be marooned on an Island in a Survivor situation!! But I do think it would just be stupid to eat Don - he is as Dave W called him an "old salty" - ickk.... he'd be as tough as old boots!!lol Stay safe. MJ

Stuart Keane said...

Dear Queenslander,
I have just been on to the chart by clicking on the "POSITION tab" accross the top and it gives Talisker Bounty Boat position as
"bounty2 on 2010-05-13 08:46:31
LAT: 15 47.5 S LON: 173 21.5 E COG: 268 SOG: 3.7KT"
It is still not showing previous waypoints! but our website boy's are working on this.
Cheers & thank you Stuart

Sarah Passmore said...

Well done David for facing your own demons and carrying on. I'm very proud of you and I know your girls will be too. Isi and Isa played with each other the other day and your Isa was telling me all about your adventure. They are fine and will be ready with many hugs no doubt on your return... Stick with it - it is a mind-over matter thing and if you can conquer this there will never ever be things in your life you can't do. Sarah P xxxx